21:49 GMT06 August 2020
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    With the Senate’s 86-8 vote in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Tuesday, the military spending bill moves on to US President Donald Trump. With definitely more than enough money to go above and beyond the Pentagon’s requests, one expert wonders why the same funding cannot be extended to other programs.

    Kevin Zeese, co-coordinator of Popular Resistance, joined Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear on Wednesday to present his major takeaways on what he called a “horrendous budget” for the US military in the upcoming year and express where he believes the ballooning budget’s newer funds should go instead.

    “Military budgets are really not defense budgets - they’re offense budgets,” Zeese asserted to hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou on Wednesday. “The major breakthrough for the militarists is this agreement to move forward with a Space Force,” a new branch of the US military.

    This, he pointed out, is an “incredible spur to an arms race in space,” as it ultimately lays the groundwork for the US to violate the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits the militarization of space - especially pertaining to nuclear arms.

    “The major purpose of the Space Force is really global dominance,” he said. “From space, a military force will be able to control everything from cell phones to ATMs to military communications.”

    Furthermore, the addition of a space force for any country would allow them to prevent other nations from entering space. This could not only present a situation in which a world power such as the US could commodify space, but may also bring the risk of nuclear weapons entering into the territory.

    Zeese contended that with the creation and funding of a US Space Force, Washington is roping the world into yet another arms race - despite already being unwilling to establish or continue nuclear treaties on Earth with Russia.

    “This is a horrendous, horrendous military budget,” he argued, speaking of the 2020 NDAA. However, if the predicted outer space arms race takes place, then it will “make these military budgets look small as that defense force develops.”

    He did note that there is one good thing within the bill: “One provision that calls for a diplomatic solution to the conflict with Venezuela.” But even that, he said, may come with a range of stipulations, considering its bipartisan backing.

    "Let's speak in facts," Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) said in reference to the bill, which he dubbed “Orwellian” while speaking in the House on December 11. "This defense budget is $120 billion more than what [former US President Barack] Obama left us with. That could fund free public college for every American. It could fund access to high-speed, affordable internet for every American. But it's worse. The bipartisan amendment to stop the war in Yemen: stripped by the White House. The bipartisan amendment to stop the war in Iran: stripped by the White House."

    “It’s absurd that we have these debates about ‘Medicare For All,’ and the budget debt-concerned people who all voted for this bill are saying, ‘How can we pay for it?’” Zeese highlighted. “It’s absurd that we can’t pay for ‘Health Care For All’” and have an estimated “100,000 less deaths per year,” he noted.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), NDAA, military, Radio Sputnik, military budget, Space Force, space, Loud and Clear, Budget, Donald Trump
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