Our Military Muscle Is a Wasteful Trap But US leaders can't seem to think outside the box: Tom Englehardt By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Oct 9, 2012 12:05 PM CDT 111 comments Comments In this Aug. 14 file photo, an Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth fighter takes off from Kadena Air Base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa. (AP Photo/Greg Baker, File) (Newser) – Our leaders in Washington—and this applies to Democrats and Republicans—are stuck on "militarized autopilot," writes Tom Englehardt in the Los Angeles Times. Consider that America "spends as much on its military as the next 14 powers (mostly allies) combined," he writes. With that kind of spending advantage—and the absence of any superpower even close to us on military matters—we should be able to hold sway over the world, right? Yeah, not so much. But the misfires don't seem to change a thing. Take Libya, for example. The original military intervention seemed to work initially, but the consulate attack shows that part of the country quickly fell under the spell of extremists. Our reaction? "Yet more military action" is planned against militant groups. This military-is-all mindset is now "just a way of life in a Washington eternally 'at war,'" writes Englehardt. It is "engraved in the policy DNA of our national security complex. In other words, our leaders can't help themselves." Click for Englehardt's full column.