War Lubricates the Machinery of Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Washington
Writing at The American Conservative, Andrew J. Bacevich explains in detail, yet advises not to hold your breath.
To a very considerable extent, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, preferred candidate of the establishment, because he advertised himself as just the guy disgruntled Americans could count on to drain that swamp.
Yet here’s what too few of those Americans appreciate, even today: war created that swamp in the first place. War empowers Washington. It centralizes. It provides a rationale for federal authorities to accumulate and exercise new powers. It makes government bigger and more intrusive. It lubricates the machinery of waste, fraud, and abuse that causes tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to vanish every year. When it comes to sustaining the swamp, nothing works better than war.
Were Trump really intent on draining that swamp—if he genuinely seeks to “Make America Great Again”—then he would extricate the United States from war.
But don’t hold your breath on that one. All signs indicate that, in one fashion or another, our combative next president will perpetuate the wars he’s inheriting.