Let’s Defund the Pentagon, Too – Scientific American

He had realized, he said, that the U.S. “would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So, I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.”

King’s message could not be more relevant to this moment. Activists protesting police violence against African Americans have called for “defunding” law-enforcement agencies, which entails deep budget cuts, among other reforms. “Cut the number of police in half and cut their budget in half,” criminal-justice activist Mariame Kaba urges in The New York Times. “We should redirect the billions that now go to police departments toward providing health care, housing, education and good jobs. If we did this, there would be less need for the police in the first place.”

If King were alive today, he would surely call for defunding the U.S. military, too, because we are still funneling immense resources into our armed forces. In 2019 the U.S. spent $732 billion on “defense,” accounting for 38 percent of global military spending, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. If the U.S. cut its current defense budget in half, it would still exceed the combined budgets of China ($261 billion) and Russia ($65 billion).

Let’s Defund the Pentagon, Too – Scientific American