Earlier this month, Congress agreed on a $738 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which will be used to fund the Department of Defense. The colossal bill, which includes a 3.1% pay increase for troops and paid family leave for federal workers, was signed by US President Donald Trump on December 20. Under the bill, the Pentagon will also establish a Space Force that will operate as the US military’s sixth branch within the Air Force.
“Trump asked for $718 billion for 2020, and Congress came back and said, ‘We would never give you that. We will give you [$738].’ So they increased it by an incredible amount, and it's tough to even state how much money this is. Trump claimed that he was going to bring the troops home and also that he was going to make military the largest it’s ever been. And he’s only really achieved one of those,” Camp, who is also the author of the new book coming out in January called “Bullet Points & Punch Lines,” told hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker on Thursday.
“That’s one of the least talked-about components of the Trump White House. Everything that’s been given to him [Trump] in terms of power and military spending has either been approved or actively advanced by the Democrats. Unlimited surveillance was furthered by [former President Barack] Obama. Trump’s been given a dictator tool kit by a Democratic [House of Representatives],” Camp explained, noting that the money allotted by the US to defense spending could be used to solve issues such as world hunger.
“The UN [United Nations] estimates you could end world hunger with $30 billion per year. They also estimate that $11 billion per year would give the world clean water,” Camp pointed out.
In November, the Pentagon announced that it had failed its financial audit for the second time in a row. A total of 25 “material weaknesses,” which are defined by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board as a “deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting,” were identified in the audit.
“The Pentagon is so massive that so much of it is unaccounted for, not really being monitored … When you have that much money and no one overseeing it, it kind of manifests itself in terms of, ‘We have to use this’ … we have this massive system that is meant for nothing else but attacking people, and it’s going to find places to attack people,” Camp continued, also noting that the US military is notorious for invading countries and never leaving, such as in the case of Afghanistan, where US troops still remain after invading in 2001 as a reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“The only thing that looks like victory to our ruling government is if we put in a puppet government that is going to do our bidding and we have a country so weak that it can’t threaten us, even if someone else were to take power,” Camp noted, before stating that a “mass movement of nonviolent resistance” is necessary to break down the US war machine.
“It’s got to be a lot of groups together, because we are up against something that is so massive. It really just has to be a lot of movements working together. We’re going to have to come together and unite as an anti-war movement to make any difference,” Camp explained.