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The American public wants less war. Can Joe Biden deliver?

Senator Kamala Harris is a “big slasher of funds for our military”, says President Trump. If only. The truth is that Harris, like the person who selected her as his running mate, is a mainstream advocate of globe-spanning US military dominance. Last month she voted against cutting the $740bn annual military budget by a mere 10%, though she said she supported reductions as a goal.

This November, US voters, facing an uncontrolled pandemic and economic collapse, will choose between one ticket that insists on spending more on the military than the world’s next 10 countries combined – and another ticket that might, after careful deliberation and under the right circumstances, be willing to outspend just seven or eight.

For the progressive left, this is a disappointing, even dizzying outcome. As of January (that pre-pandemic idyll when all one had to fear was war with Iran), the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination was Senator Bernie Sanders. He promised a reckoning with decades of bipartisan military interventions and led last month’s effort to cut the defense budget. (Full disclosure: I voluntarily advised his presidential campaign on foreign policy.) A Biden-Harris ticket represents a serious setback for those who believe the United States should abandon its quest for global military dominance and invest instead in building communities at home and combatting climate change and infectious disease around the world.

The longer the view one takes, however, the less grim the prospects look.

Read the full article in The Guardian.

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