1 of 212

Tag Archives: military industrial complex

To what degree is the the “Defense” industry driving foreign policy? And why Obama is the military contractor’s best friend

As I’ve written many times before, I grew up around the military industrial complex. I am a Navy brat and am still a Navy Football fan. (Pretty much the only team I care about these days.) I know the squeal of an F-14 as it banks in at sunset to land with its wings open. I can practically recite Top Gun to you. At one point I thought I might want to be a navy SEAL. My mother used to take us to the beach and we’d watch the giant hovercrafts ramp over the dunes. I used to go surfing right next to a gunnery range. (No joke. The break is called Pendleton and one could watch the shells splash into the water just to the south.) The point is when I post articles about the Military Industrial Complex I do not come from a position of ignorance. I do not come from a place of jaded familiarity either. But I am a tax payer. And it disturbs me that the weapons industry is the juggernaut of cronyism it is. It’s not healthy for our republic. To say the least.

It concerns me even more to think that war is perpetuated officially because behind the scenes powerful interests want to see warfare continue. I don’t want to believe that’s true. Most Americans don’t want to believe that’s true. And it may even be less true than many critics believe. But I think most informed individuals think that the MIC drives foreign policy at least to some extent. And even some is pretty messed up and not the way it should be in the United States.

Read More

Did you know that wars used to END? Today is the 70th Anniversary of VE Day

I run this clip periodically because I think it is one of the most important presidential speeches caught on tape. It is of president Eisenhower, who was the commander of American forces during World War 2 warning of the emergence of a powerful armaments industry in the United States, and the danger of such an industry. It was his farewell address to the nation.

I am a navy brat. My father is/was a Cold Warrior.  I’ve spent a good part of my life around the Military Industrial Complex and I believe Eisenhower’s warning was dismissed and continues to be dismissed simply because so many people make money in the war machine. People go into the military, retire on a pension and then enter the military contracting game. It’s a very complicated works program which is championed by supposedly small government “conservatives.” (They aren’t really conservatives.) It’s a shame actually. Our military should be much smaller and much smarter.

Every time I post this video somebody gets upset and explains to me why it is that we should have a military apparatus which spans the globe. This time the rule is – anyone can make the same argument – but only if they’ve never gotten a dime from the Military Industrial Complex.

Explaining why we need to reduce the size of the military to some is like trying to explain to a UAW guy why GM should have died in 2008.

Read More

The GOP is fighting over more military spending, What one Republican president had to say about such spending (Video)

Some within the GOP will always want more military spending. Whether in peace or during times of war their bias is always toward MORE. This disposition is not good for the Republic as President Eisenhower in his farewell speech explained.

Remember, this guy led our forces in World War II as a five star general, was a Republican president, and has an aircraft carrier named for him.

Read More

Rationalizing Lunacy: The Intellectual as Servant of the State

A few weeks ago we wrote about the “mandarin class” which populates official and think tank Washington DC. We argued that many of the people making important policy decisions are dangerously out of touch with the real “blood” of America, the grit, the nuts and bolts. Many of this group of folks come from the same northeastern schools and have similar political dispositions (which is to say establishment liberal). This wonky concentration has only increased over the years.

In our prior post the emphasis was on domestic policy technocrats. But many of the same things can be said for some at Defense as well. “War mandarins” move up through the ranks of academia to find perches within official “Defense.” It is there that their theories can be executed on the world stage. Where they can play Risk with real armies and with real lives. Often with disastrous results.

Read More

The Pentagon’s Slush Fund (The military like it or not is BIG government, very big)

As I have said many times, I grew up a Navy brat. I have great respect for the military and its culture. The sound of an F-14 screeching as it comes in for a landing is deeply ingrained in my subconscious and in my heart. I am a Navy Football fan. But conservatives (at least modern conservatives and of course neoconservatives – who are not really conservatives) give the military far too much credit, literally.

Read More

Pentagon Says It’s Ready for Audit After Years of Delays

Well that’s great. The question is how useful will this audit actually be, and how truthful? In the 3 years since the birth of this site we have chronicled plenty of examples of waste in the military. It is PERVASIVE. The level of waste speaks frankly to a culture of accounting negligence at the Pentagon which is perhaps only rivaled by the chicanery at the Federal Reserve. Heads (and many many heads at all levels) should have rolled long ago. But, because a large portion of the American people have given the US military a pass on waste (Republicans) nothing has been done for decades – really ever.

Read More

The Pentagon Overpays for Almost Everything—Massive waste, Massive crony capitalism

The Department of Defense has been given a free ride pretty much since World War II. The Military Industrial Complex which President Eisenhower warned about in his farewell address (former 5 star general Eisenhower) is very real and it has grown and grown taking up ever more of the American economy. The contractors and the services are awash in taxpayer money. Your money. And much of this money isn’t being used wisely. It is going to hyper expensive parts procurement (see above), and for programs in sub-Saharan Africa, and jets which catch fire on the flight line (The F-35) and Lord knows what else.

Read More

1 of 212