Opinion: It’s Ridiculous to Have a Domestic Military That’s Better Funded Than the Russian Military

Walter Rhein

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Citizens of the United States of America like to believe that they live in “The land of the free.” However, the United States of America has more people in jail than any other democratic nation.

When I was growing up, we were taught that we should be terrified of the Russians. I’m old enough to remember having to do bomb drills in case of a nuclear attack. Even then I didn’t think that sitting under my desk would help much if we were targeted by a nuclear strike.

Today, our kids have to do active shooter drills. We make our kids do this even though there’s some suggestion that active shooter drills just set kids up to be killed. Again, I’m reminded of being told to sit under my desk to protect myself from a nuclear missile.

You have to ask yourself the question, “Why are we doing this? Why are we wasting time with these ineffective drills?”

Maybe the answer is that it’s all part of a massive distraction.

Maybe they don’t want to help us at all. Maybe they just want us to be afraid? Maybe they want us to do what we're told? Maybe we're supposed to learn to be obedient? Maybe we're not supposed to ask any questions?

Growing up, I was trained to be terrified of the Russians. I suppose that was by design to make me easier to control. Imagine my surprise when I looked up the Russian military budget and found it to be a tenth of the US military budget.

We shouldn’t be afraid of the Russian military. The Russian military is across the ocean on another continent. We should be afraid of the domestic military that’s more well-funded than Russia and which exists in our neighborhoods.

When I dug deeper into the numbers, I found that the budget for the American police force is significantly higher than that of the Russian military. So, tell me, why do we need a domestic military force that’s larger than the Russian military?

Shouldn’t it set off some alarms if what we’re told are “authoritarian” nations have police and military budgets that are a fraction of our own? Think about it.

Follow the money. Money always tells the truth.

Modern children are told they should be terrified of active shooters, but statistics tell us that the police kill four to five times as many citizens every year.

All of this should be on the mind of every responsible citizen as we review the bodycam videos of the incident in Memphis. No responsible American citizen should be satisfied with the possibility that they might get killed during a routine traffic stop.

In cases such as this, somebody always complains that the victim “wasn’t complying.” However, that’s rarely the case. An evaluation of the Memphis incident revealed that the police gave contradictory orders. You can’t blame the victim when multiple police officers are telling them to do different things.

For the most part, I believe American citizens want to ignore reality and believe the narrative they’ve been told. But you can’t escape the fact that the United States leads the world in putting people in prison. You can’t escape the fact that our police budget is higher than any military force besides China.

Why do we need to spend so much money policing and incarcerating our citizens? Why don’t we spend that money on education, healthcare, and other social benefit programs instead? Why can’t we commit to distributing our resources in a way that’s productive rather than authoritarian?

It’s so bad that we even have for-profit prisons in the United States. That means that rich people benefit from the arrest and incarceration of hard-working people, and taxpayer money is used to fund it.

There’s been a lot of discussion in the media about the fact that people don’t want to work. Well, maybe employers are having a hard time finding people to hire because everyone is in jail or dead. Yet, every time there’s a referendum in my community the police ask for more money.

If the police are already better funded than the Russian military, what are a few more dollars going to achieve? Perhaps crime isn’t a problem you can solve by throwing money at police officers.

Common sense tells us that we should be able to find a happy medium between extremes. Maybe rather than stopping crime through force, we can stop crime by making life easier for people who live in poverty. However, I’m starting to believe that, despite what we’ve been told, maybe it’s not the point of the police to stop crime.

It seems like every few days there is another graphic video of the police killing somebody. This indicates our system isn’t working. If we truly believe that human life has value, we need to make a change.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI

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