​Military spending bill 'guarantees' more US conflicts, forbids war debate – Ron Paul

Ron Paul.(Reuters / Jason Reed)
The Republican-led House of Representatives used “trickery” when it passed the military spending bill, slipping in $89 billion for an emergency war fund while leaving out an amendment allowing for a debate on war, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul says.

Such “emergency” spending is not included in growth caps placed on the military under the 2011 budget control act, Paulwroteon the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity website. He added the move is a “loophole filled by Congress with fed-printed money.”

Paul stressed that a large sum of the money will go to President Obama's war on the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), despite the fact that neither the House nor the Senate has authorized such a war. An effort by a small group of representatives to introduce an amendment aimed at debating the war was rejected, despite 135 other amendments being added to the defense bill.

He went on to state that by quelling the debate on unauthorized wars, the bill pushes the US towards new conflicts.

Using Ukraine as an example, Paul criticized Obama's “unwise decision” to send US military trainers to the country, adding that the move threatens the nation's shaky ceasefire.

“The military spending bill included $300 million to directly arm the Ukrainian government even as Ukrainian leaders threaten to again attack the breakaway regions in the east. Does Congress really think US-supplied weapons killing ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine is a good idea?” he wrote.

He added that the military spending bill, known as the National Defense Authorization for 2016, also seeks to send more weapons directly to the Kurds in northern Iraq – without the approval of the Iraqi government.

“Although these weapons are supposed to be used to fight ISIS, we know from too many prior examples that they often find their way into the hands of the very people we are fighting,” Paul wrote, adding that arming a group which is seeking to break away and form its own state is an “unwise infringement of the sovereignty of Iraq.”

“It is one thing to endorse the idea of secession as a way to reduce the possibility of violence, but it is quite something else to arm one side and implicitly back its demands,” he continued.

Paul stated that while the “neocons” maintain that the military budget is shrinking under Obama, the opposite is actually true. Citing the CATO Institute, he stressed that President George W. Bush's average defense budget was $601 billion, while the average has been $687 billion during the Obama administration.

“Next year’s military spending plan keeps the US on track toward destruction of its economy at home while provoking new resentment over US interventionism overseas. It is a recipe for disaster. Let’s hope for either a presidential veto, or that on final passage Congress rejects this bad bill,” Paul concluded.

The annual military spending bill, totaling roughly $612 billion, was passed in a 269 to 151 vote on Friday.

Democrats were particularly outraged over Republicans' attempts to sidestep sequestration spending cuts, saying they could not accept any increases in military spending without equivalent increases for other programs.

President Obama has threatened to veto the legislation, which Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter described as “clearly a road to nowhere.”