Almost no one in D.C. is eager for war with Russia — but they’re eager to justify the bloated military budget

By Dave Lindorff, Salon

Last August, with a chaotic evacuation by air of the last U.S. troops in Afghanistan, President Biden effectively ended one of the country’s most embarrassing and pointless wars, leaving that battered land fully in the control of the Taliban — the same dogged AK-toting Islamic fighters it had ousted from power two decades earlier, but never successfully defeated.

While there were critics who blamed Biden for the rapid collapse of the corrupt puppet regime the U.S. had spent more than $2 trillion propping up — critics who wanted that longest U.S. war to continue — most Americans breathed a sigh of relief that for the first time in a generation, the U.S., while still sending Special Forces “kill teams” into countries like Syria, and with Biden promising to continue using remote drone strikes in “anti-terror” operations, was not engaged in an “actual war.”

A line of military helicopters on an aircraft carrier

Yet now, a scant five months later, the Biden White House has ordered 8,500 U.S. elite airborne troops onto “heightened alert,” telling them to be prepared for rapid deployment to “front-line” bases in countries bordering Russia, and by Feb. 5 had already begun dispatching nearly 5,000 of them. Biden and militarists in the national security establishment — the military-industrial-media-think tank complex sometimes known as “the blob” — and militarists in both parties in Congress are all warning darkly of Russia’s “imminent” invasion of Ukraine. They are also warning of the need for the U.S. to “‘stand firm’ against Russian ‘aggression.'” Most of their alarmist talking points could be lifted from speeches made by their forebears in the Cold War ’50s.

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