Everytime the Democrats suggest cutting U.S. military spending, the Republicans quickly accuse them of being "weak on defense."
Yet Alternet.org recently published a list of ways the U.S. military is clearly wasting taxpayer dollars. One of the most outrageous wastes of money are the Pentagon's 234 golf courses around the world.
Retired Lieutenant Colonel David R. Holland, who is a writer at Travel Golf, recently lavished praise on the Air Force Academy’s Eisenhower Blue Course in Colorado Springs, Colorado (pictured):
“This stunning 7,000-plus yard layout shares the same foothills terrain as does the legendary Broadmoor, just 20 minutes to the south in Colorado Springs. Ponderosa pines, pinon and juniper line the fairways with rolling mounds, ponds and almost tame deer and wild turkey.”
Journalist Nick Turse reported: "The U.S. Army paid $71,614 [in 2004] to the Arizona Golf Resort — located in sunny Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (picture below),… The resort actually boasts an entire entertainment complex, complete with a water-slide-enhanced megapool, gym, bowling alley, horse stables, roller hockey rink, arcade, amphitheater, restaurant, and even a cappuccino bar — not to mention the golf course and a driving range.”
More waste includes the royal treatment for the 963 generals and admirals in the U.S. armed forces.
MSNBC reports that many of these generals are “spending time writing plans and defending plans with Congress, and trying to get the money.”
According to the Washington Post, each top commander has his own C-40 jet, with beds on board. Many have chefs who deserve their own four-star restaurants. The generals’ personal staff (which can top $1 million per general) includes drivers, security guards, secretaries and people to shine their shoes and iron their uniforms.
Robert J. Callahan, a former U.S. ambassador to Nicaragua, wrote an Op-Ed in the Chicago Tribune explaining how the generals’ perks work:
“Those with a star are military nobility, no doubt, and those with four are royalty. Flying in luxurious private jets, surrounded by a phalanx of fawning aides who do everything from preparing their meals to pressing their uniform trousers, they are among America’s most pampered professionals. Their orders are executed without challenge, their word is fiat. They live in a reality different from the rest of us.”
The Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C. reports that 70 percent of recently retired three- and four-star generals become lobbyists for the defense industry, often appearing on TV as "military experts" who always push for more military spending for their employers, such as Lockheed Martin.
President Eisenhower warned of the military industrial complex in his 1960 farewell speech, but today's U.S. generals are eagerly joining it.