On National Security

Floor statement of Senator Hatfield discussing vote against military procurement bill

We are asked to vote for this bill, and have been urged by many not to cut any money from that requested, in order to protect our “security.”

I would like to ask just what the true sources of our security are.

There is no doubt that people feel threatened and feel insecure.

But the threats they feel are not those that are supposedly met by our military power.

People feel that their liberty is threatened, but not from any invading foreign army. Rather, that liberty is seen threatened by our own domestic institutions, and even by our government.

I can think of no more fundamental threat to our security today than the cumulative loss of confidence in our government felt by the people. The truth is that our citizens are no longer believing that our government and its representatives actually function as their servants. Government has become an institution of domination, losing the trust of those who are to be governed. There is nothing more fundamental to our “security” than that. Yet we continue to believe that the most fundamental threats to that security come somehow from the outside.

We are misled, we are deluded to believe so.

To spend billions for external defense while the internal fabric of the nation, and confidence and spirit of our people erode, is folly. The insecurity of our people is only perpetrated.

In a more practical vein, we know from the Administration’s Budget presentation, 68°/o of all controllable government expenditures are projected to go for military purposes. (Page 333 — U.S. Budget)

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