One of America's greatest generals, Eisenhower, would later become a two-term President, stated in 1953, the above quote, as well as, "We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat," in a speech generally known as the "Chance for Peace" speech. Now, more than sixty-five years later, it would appear that America has determined that it will not be known as a rich land of peace and prosperity for all, but rather as a warrior nation, always prepared to do battle against enemies real and mostly imagined.
America's military budget for 2019 is $716 billion, of which the second largest military budget in the world is China as reported by the International Institute of Strategic Studies which is at $168 billion, with our long-time cold war nemesis Russia at a mere $63 billion, and countries such as Germany at $46 billion. The thing is all of that money being spent and having been spent on the national defense of this nation, is indicative of a nation that must, in order to keep justifying such obscene and outsized expenditures, flex its muscles throughout the world, in addition to the salient fact that such a nation has an abiding interest in finding trouble, throughout the world, even though America will not find trouble on its own borders or really won't find trouble anywhere with anyone at anytime, for there is not a single country or a combination of countries that is contemplating or would contemplate attacking America via military means.
Further to the point, all of these billions upon billions of dollars, are for the most part, being spent in the wrong-headed belief that rather than this government with all of its material resources making it their principal to actually take care of seeing that all of the denizens of this great nation, are afforded good housing, good education, fair opportunity, and good jobs; instead find that these good people are suffering in a construct in which a substantial amount of the people in this country live in substandard housing, are ill-educated, and often are harassed and treated with contempt, for the basic "crime" of being poor.
The military budget of the United States is so gargantuan, that to reduce such a budget by 50% immediately, would still dwarf all other individual western nations and their respective military budgets, and would not impact the ability of the United States to defend itself, one iota. Of course, such a drastic change would have material impact upon the structure of our defense, contracts of that defense, personnel of that defense, and might itself lead to a military coup within America, for the technology-military-industrial complex that holds the power of America and its institutions in its mighty hands, would not readily relinquish such. Still, to continue to give ground year after year, to the technology-military-industrial complex is weakening this nation to the point that its national debt is over $22 trillion, with millions upon millions of Americans that live under conditions that are not becoming of the world's richest nation, nor would any of this be indicative of a country that claims to be a beacon of freedom, liberty, and fair opportunity for all.
The Congress of the United States, has the power to reduce this defense budget, of which, even an annual reduction of just 4%, 5%, or 6%, would indicate that this Congress has the courage to truly represent the people, and further that it recognizes, like Eisenhower, that expenditures on military armaments of all types, steals from the present, and tears away the good hopes of our future.