Gaining a firm grasp of certain policy issues on Capitol Hill can be a tricky task. Perplexing acronyms, antiquated legislative processes, and general wonkiness can make even the most dedicated advocate’s head spin.
But with some issues, the bar for comprehension is far lower. With some issues, the right and wrong paths are so abundantly clear that it makes one wonder why there’s even a debate at all.
Pentagon spending is one of those issues. The United States spends far too much money on weapons and war, and it’s coming at the cost of other critical priorities.
Consider these facts and figures:
- This year’s military budget ($858 billion) is ten times higher than Russia’s and 2.5 times higher than China’s. In fact, it’s higher than the next nine countries combined.
- The United States allocates only $1 towards peacebuilding for every $200 that it spends on the military.
- The Pentagon has never passed an audit on its spending. Not once.
The military budget isn’t just wasteful. It’s disgraceful. The biggest threats to domestic security—the climate crisis, rising inequality, systemic racism, white nationalism—can’t be addressed through the Pentagon. Yet year after year, the president requests a record-breaking Pentagon budget, and Congress approves it with very little discussion.
It’s a cycle of madness, and this week, we called on the president to put a stop to it. Along with 58 other groups, we signed a letter requesting that President Biden divert a portion of Pentagon funding towards real human needs as he prepares his annual budget request to Congress.
Our rationale was simple: “We reject pouring our dollars into outdated ships, malfunctioning planes, or record-breaking contractor CEO salaries while everyday people remain hungry, unhoused, in need of adequate healthcare, or seeking a living wage.”
It’s a simple message and one that we’ll keep repeating until the Pentagon budget finally goes down.
Faith Leaders Urge Swift Relief Following Earthquakes
The massive fallout from the earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria earlier this month continues. This week the death toll exceeded 40,000, and millions remain displaced. FCNL joined 16 national faith organizations in calling on the United States to respond by lifting sanctions on Syria and expediting humanitarian assistance for Syria and Turkey.
Aid Arrives Following Train Derailment
EPA Administrator Michael Reagan visited East Palestine, OH, nearly two weeks after a train loaded with chemicals derailed there. The Biden administration has promised federal aid for the community as it struggles to recover from the toxic exposure.
U.S. Initiative to Shape Future of AI Warfare
Artificial intelligence (AI) is growing more advanced, with serious implications for the ways wars are fought. This week, the United States launched an initiative to establish guidelines for the use of AI and autonomous weapons by militaries worldwide. The government clarified that human control must remain for decisions regarding nuclear weapons.
Faith Vigil for Peace in Ukraine
Join FCNL’s Bridget Moix and other faith leaders for a time of prayer and lamenting on Feb. 24 at 2:30 p.m. EST as we mark the anniversary of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. We will offer prayers for the people impacted by this terrible war and call for a peaceful resolution to the violence. .
The Friends Committee on National Legislation is a national, nonpartisan Quaker organization that lobbies Congress and the administration to advance peace, justice, and environmental stewardship. This Week in the World. The FCNL weekly newsletter of advocacy actions and updates and opportunities to take action on the issues you care about.