Powered by Blogger.

Search Google



Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Military Industrial Complex

"Over-grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty."

--George Washington (1732-1799), 1st US President





"[The] conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. . . . In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

--Dwight D. Eisenhower



"Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together." More HERE

--Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), 34th US President, Farewell Address, Jan. 17, 1961


AAPP: While the Military Industrial Complex grows look what the folks in China, (who are kicking our economic butts are reading) in the Asia Times:


China - Asia Times: Since Bush came into office in 2001, the Pentagon's budget has increased by more than one-third. The US$481 billion proposed for 2008 –the $459 billion appropriations plus the nuclear weapons programs of the Department of Energy - is a jump of more than 10% over current spending. To be clear, this is a huge figure even before factoring in the costs of military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in under the "war on terror". A recent analysis of the emergency supplemental budgets to pay for the war by the Congressional Research Service finds that (so far) a total of another $607 billion has been spent since September 11, 2001.


The United States is currently spending more on the military than at the height of the Ronald Reagan military build-up (when the US had a nuclear-armed superpower rival) or during the Vietnam or Korean wars. Thanks to the Bush administration, the United States now spends about as much on its military as the rest of the world spends collectively, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Given these figures - and the fact that preponderant military spending has not equaled an unassailable military or the fulfillment of the Bush administration's objectives - there is plenty of fodder for Democratic candidates wishing to take on the Bush administration's love affair with the Pentagon.

In the 2008 military budget, the White House showed its devotion to weapons manufacturers and its disdain for men and women in uniform by packing the "reconstituting the forces" area of the budget with $51 billion in weapons that are not only not worn out by the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan - but aren't even relevant.

There is money for 20 F-22 tactical aircraft originally designed to engage Soviet fighter planes in high-speed aerial dogfights. Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia does not have any fighter planes. Among other useless programs was $74 million to continue research on an unmanned spy plane that is years away from being fielded.

A tale of two budgets

While this administration justifies the spending as necessary to fight the terrorists over there so that the US does not face them at home, the numbers tell a different story - a story of two separate military budgets.

The first is bursting with billions for new fighter planes, nuclear-powered submarines and ballistic missile components. This is the budget that has propelled spiraling profits for weapons manufacturing companies like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

The other military budget is plagued with the belt-tightening one usually sees in education and social service programs. The army suffered a $530 million shortfall in 2006 that led to cuts at military hospitals and no new money for medical research on key procedures like dealing with traumatic brain injuries - the signature of the improvised-explosive-device war in Iraq.

All the Democrats who wish to sit behind the desk in the Oval Office criticize the administration for not providing ammunition, communication systems, armored vehicles and helicopters to US soldiers in the field. They also take Bush to task for always leading with the Pentagon and not providing enough support to the State Department's non-military counter-terrorism programs.

After $20 million was slashed from their counter-terrorism program budget in 2007, the State Department is requesting only $150 million for 2008. Its highly touted Regional Strategic Initiative, bringing together different agencies to collaborate on the ground, is getting a mere $1 million each year - the kind of money the Pentagon loses in its sofa cushions every week.

More HERE

The five pillars of the U.S. military-industrial complex

so... now you really realize what we are up against?

Search This Blog

Contact Your Elected Representative

African American Pundit encourages you to contact your elected officials/representatives and share your thoughts on current events and government policy. All politics is local!

Below you'll find links to e-mail and postal addresses, and phone numbers for key elected officials.

Employment Opportunities

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP