Washington DC

This Town Needs an Enemy

By David Stockman  |  November 22, 2019

We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

– President Dwight D. Eisenhower, “Farewell Address to the Nation” (January 17, 1961)

We’ve seen the brightest minds of the foreign policy establishment on display this week.

Indeed, Adam Schiff’s Show has highlighted everything you need to know about what’s really going down in Imperial Washington.

Take this revelation from former National Security Council official Tim Morrison:

I continue to believe Ukraine is on the front lines of a strategic competition between the West and Vladimir Putin’s revanchist Russia. Russia is a failing power, but it is still a dangerous one. The United States aids Ukraine and her people so they can fight Russia over there and we don’t have to fight Russia here.

Folks, that just plain whacko.

Trump-hating Democrats are so feverishly set on a POTUS kill that they’ve enlisted a posse of right-wing neocon Russophobes – Morrison, Taylor, Kent, Vindman, among others – to finish off the Donald.

And, so doing, they’ve made Imperial Washington’s real beef against the president crystal clear.

It’s not about the rule of law. It’s not about abuse of presidential power, nor is there an impeachable dereliction of duty.

Of course, Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, and the Clintonista apparatus at the center of the Democratic Party are overcome with inconsolable grief and anger about losing the 2016 election. Their zeal to drive the Donald from office just makes them useful idiots for the foreign policy establishment and its Deep State operators. And they have a far more encompassing and consequential motivation…

Whether out of naiveté, contrariness, or just plain common sense, the Donald has declined to embrace the War Party’s latest bogeyman.

He resists the demonization of Putin’s Russia. And, so, he threatens the American Empire’s raison d’etre. That’s the real reason for the Russiagate hoax, for Prosecutor Mueller’s farce, and, indeed, for impeachment over Ukraine.

The real starting point is to identify Russia for what it is: a kleptocratic state sitting atop an aging, Vodka-chugging population and a third-rate economy with virtually zero capacity to project 21st century offensive military power beyond its own borders.

The bogeyman cited by Morrison, et al., is a complete chimera. And the notion that the cesspool in Ukraine is a strategic buffer against Russian aggression is just plain idiocy.

Russia is an economic and industrial midget transformed beyond recognition by relentless Warfare State propaganda. It’s no more threatening to America than the Siberian land mass that Sarah Palin once espied from her front porch in Alaska a decade ago.

And how could it be?

Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 was $1.66 trillion. Folks, the GDP for the New York City metropolitan area alone is about $1.8 trillion. Russia’s economy is about 8% of America’s.

Chart: Russia’s GDP

And that dwarf economy is composed largely of a vast oil and gas patch; a multitude of nickel, copper, bauxite, and vanadium mines; and some very large swatches of wheat fields. That’s not exactly the kind of high-tech industrial platform on which a war machine capable of threatening the good folks in Brea, California, Lincoln, Nebraska, or Worcester, Massachusetts, is likely to be erected.

Not only are Russia’s vast hydrocarbon deposits and mines likely to give out in the years ahead. So are the livers of its Vodka-chugging work force. According to a recent Brookings Institute study, Russia’s working-age population is heading south as far into the future as the eye can see.

Russia’s working age population will be nearly 20% smaller than today by 2050. Yet today’s figure of about 85 million is already just a fraction of the U.S. working age population of 255 million.

Chart: Russia’s Working-Age Population

Russia’s pint-sized economy can’t support a military anywhere near to that of Imperial Washington. To wit, its $61 billion of military outlays in 2018 amounted to about a month of funding for America’s defense.

The Russian defense budget currently amounts to less than 4% of the country’s anemic economy.

The idea that Russia presents a national security threat is laughable. Not only would Putin never risk nuclear suicide, but even that fantasy is the extent of what he’s got. That is, Russia’s conventional capacity to project force to the North American continent is nonexistent—or at best, lies somewhere between nichts and nothing.

These truths shatter the whole foundation of the Warfare State. It renders NATO an obsolete relic. And it eviscerates the case for America’s absurd $900 billion defense and national security budget.

With the latter’s demise, though, the fairest part of Imperial Washington’s self-importance and unseemly prosperity would also crumble.

So, impeachment – by the Duopoly’s foreign policy establishment – it is…

Keep It Real

This is the most politicized market in history, and the Tweeter-in-Chief is still in charge. So, the situation is changing almost by the minute.

It’s “Impeachment!” in Imperial Washington and all over the Mainstream Media. It’s “Easy Money!” on Wall Street and across Bubblevision.

And it seems as if the whole world has, indeed, gone mad.

Amid this chaos, prices will continue to rise and fall, trends will continue to develop and dissipate.

Well, The Stockman Letter is made for times like these. And we’ve updated our design to help us better navigate to not only the safest harbors but also the most promising opportunities.

The stakes are as high as they can be heading into 2020. Markets appear to be straining, catching up to an economy that’s been weak and getting weaker for years.

The Donald is tied up in the day-to-day movements of the major stock indexes like no president before him. The increasingly desperate incumbent will do anything he must to hold the White House.

It’s a major tipping point. And there’s no telling what the Donald’s great disruptions could do to your wealth.

Please click here to learn more about The Stockman Letter and what comes next…

To common sense.

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David Stockman

David Stockman is the ultimate Washington insider turned iconoclast. He began his career in Washington as a young man and quickly rose through the ranks of the Republican Party to become the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street.MORE FROM AUTHOR