US is in disarray as former officials only speak truth after retirement
Published: Feb 12, 2023 08:23 PM
House of Hegemony Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

House of Hegemony Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The US has fallen into an abnormal state in which former officials tell the truth, while incumbent ones only say politically correct things. Today in the US, policies are mainly driven by political correctness, instead of respecting the truth. Such policies are not necessarily beneficial to the US; they even jeopardize the country in many cases and will undoubtedly further accelerate the decline of the country.

In an interview with CBS News, former acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller argued the defense budget could be slashed by as much as half and Washington should stop making China a bogeyman. He suggests the military-industrial complex has spiraled to unsustainable levels and encouraged military and political leaders to exaggerate global conflicts.  

As a former top officer of the US military, Miller fully understands the connection between the military-industrial complex, the White House and the Pentagon. He is also clearly aware that the unbridled expansion of the US military will trigger tremendous damage to the country as well as its people, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times. 

The US is using almost all armed might to indulge in aggressive wars on a global scale. It has repeatedly exaggerated the threat of China and Russia, constantly intensifying its military presence around the world, and sparing no effort to exploit its military alliance system to strategically encircle China.

As a matter of fact, the real beneficiaries of these operations are the US military-industrial complex and its stakeholders in the US political and military circles, Wei said, noting that it is the US public that bears the loss or suffering. Furthermore, when the US wages military clashes or even wars, soldiers, most of whom are from ordinary American families, rather than the elite class, will be sent to the battlefield. 

All this will affect Americans' trust in their government at home, hit US' international image abroad, and make the country even less safe as these actions have created more foes for itself.

As Miller told the truth after leaving office, his remarks will be of little practical value. And he doesn't express much optimism that lawmakers in Washington will heed his call for a more reasonable Pentagon budget, either. 

It is noticeable that in many cases, it is US retired officials who would like to tell the public truth or make more constructive suggestions, instead of the incumbent ones. Why didn't they say these when they were in office? Don't serving officials know about it? In fact, they are not completely ignorant of the truth or facts of the matter, instead, many of them remain sober-minded. However, trapped by the binding of interests and the constraints of the system and norms of US politics, the incumbent officials are not emboldened to talk about anything contrary to their political correctness, so as to secure their jobs. Those who have left the office, on the other hand, are relatively less constrained, so that they can make remarks more objectively.

The US decision-making circle is becoming increasingly closed, and the binding of interests is rising severely. In essence, this indicates that the US has fallen into an internal plight, a problem with the US political system. Today, the US' political environment lacks a correct and sound atmosphere for policy discussion, which will inevitably lead politics to go wrong, but the price will be borne by the entire country.

Although Americans are increasingly paying attention to the US' pressing issues such excessive defense budget and its groundless hype over China threat, due to the constraints of the US system, these problems will not be fundamentally solved, but will become increasingly grave.