Good news seldom comes from the CIA. Whether it’s secret missions hidden from U.S. taxpayers and citizens or funding secret wars without congressional approval.
The Telegraph reports “[m]illions of dollars worth of weapons sent by the CIA to Jordan for Syrian rebels was stolen by Jordanian intelligence chiefs and sold on the black market.” To add insult to injury, the weapons were stolen by Jordanian military officers — supposedly allies of the U.S.
Unfortunately, this type of incident is not unique and happens quite often. It’s easy to blame the CIA’s incompetence or greedy Jordanian officers for this recurring blunder, but, in reality, the problem is U.S. foreign policy.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a close ally to the United States. But, when close allies steal military supplies from you—maybe it is time to cut back.
The Department of Defense budget for fiscal year 2015 was $495.6 billion in discretionary funding. The U.S. spends more than the next seven countries combined. With approximately half a trillion dollars being spent every year on defense, is the U.S. safer? Is the world safer? I would posit that it is not. A brief look at the Middle East shows a region which seems to have imploded, from Syria, Libya, Yemen, Iraq, to Afghanistan.
Syria is a great example. The U.S. recently sent soldiers into the region and is supporting rebels fighting the Syrian regime. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is fighting the both Syrian rebels and government itself. Meanwhile, the Syrian regime is fighting both the rebels and ISIS and is backed by Russian airstrikes and Iranian funded militias. The Syrian situation is an obvious no-win situation, yet there are calls from for U.S. foreign policy to do more.
The U.S. cannot be the world’s policeman, and it should not spend like it. Half a trillion dollars is an outrageous bill to pay, and it does not make the American people or the world safer. If members of Congress were serious about cutting spending, they would start with defense. Every dollar needlessly spent on defense is a dollar less in the taxpayer’s pocket.
The stolen shipment of weapons signifies the recklessness and wastefulness of war. The American people should demand more from their foreign policy—or, in this case, demand less of it.