Letter: 'Peace on Earth' is impossible when weapons trump human needs

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Congress just passed a $778 billion military budget (the National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA) for year 2022 with bipartisan support by a vote of 363-70 in the House and 88-11 in the Senate, a $37 billion increase over 2021. The NDAA includes at least $10 billion for new and bigger nuclear weapons. This was approved despite what happened in Afghanistan; despite increasing evidence of the deaths of thousands of civilians, many of them children, from U.S. air strikes in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen and despite the toll on U.S. soldiers with combat deaths and injuries, suicides, PTSD, and moral injury.

In contrast, the Senate so far has not passed the Build Back Better (BBB) legislation at a cost of $175 billion annually for 10 years compared to the $778 billion in one year for the military. BBB continues the child tax credit that lifts millions of children out of poverty, reduces drug costs for seniors, starts to address climate change and more.

More weapons and more war and will not address the pressing needs of a surging pandemic, climate change and poverty in the midst of extreme wealth.

“Peace on Earth” the angels sang at Jesus birth. This huge military budget will not lead to the peace on earth that is so desperately needed.

Rich Van Dellen, Rochester

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