The first line of Susan S. Brown’s column (Journal, March 4) made me want to hurl. How cute, she mixed pop culture with the Rand Corp.’s agenda. Epic fail. Let’s take a look at the Pentagon checkbook as she suggested: From 1973 to now, the United States has spent $8 trillion “protecting” the Strait of Hormuz. This is an interesting choice of places to spend that much money. For a start there are no U.S. corporations that have any interest in any of the oil that gets shipped through the channel. Second, less than 20 percent of the oil that goes through it goes to the United States, and less than 1 percent of the oil that the United States uses goes through it. The cost is so high that if one were to add it to each barrel of oil, oil would cost almost $1,000 a barrel. And it’s not like the countries that do export oil would allow the strait to close or become a problem — after all they need to get their oil to market. But hey, we’re rich. Let’s keep flushing money down a black hole by paying to defend places that really don’t concern us like the Strait of Hormuz, putting the bill for the UAE’s defense on our tab, as Brown suggests. After all, the sheik needs a fleet of Rolls Royces more than our children need books for school, and that’s what that $8 trillion subsidizes.