Sam Smith – Before the debate begins over Trump’s plan to increase spending by the Defense Department it is worth noting that the Pentagon is about the least effective agency in the federal government. Since World War II it has fought only one clearly effective war – the invasion of Grenada in 1983,a Caribbean island with a population of about 91,000. Even in this case, however, the The United Nations General Assembly, subsequently voted 108 to 9 that the invasion was a “a flagrant violation of international law”.
Some might add the overthrow of Panama’s Noriega to this exceedingly short list but as Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St Clair pointed out, “The US put the bankers back in power after the invasion. Noriega’s involvement in drug trafficking had been trivial compared to theirs… The greatest irony of all is that, under the US-installed successor to Noriega, Guillermo Endara, Panama became the province of the Cali cartel, which rushed in after the Medellin cartel was evicted along with Noriega. By the early 1990s, Panama’s role in the Latin American drug trade and its transmission routes to the US had become more crucial than ever.”