Military Industrial Complex

The Hidden Assumptions in Gate's Military Budget

 

In his final address to the nation, Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961, Eisenhower pointed to the power of the military industrial complex which even then was playing an increasingly dominant role in defining American politics. (emphasis mine).

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

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.

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 State house, 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 militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. 

The present discussion over Gate's proposed military budget shows how far we have come since then in accepting the existence of the military industrial complex as a given in any national debate. The discussion centers on the question of implementation of the policy and the implications of any cuts for the economy. The dirty little secret hidden in the national attic is the unspoken reality that it is military spending that sustains the real economy.

Def. Sec. Robert Gates: Radical Overhaul of the Pentagon's Arsenal

Pentagon Chief: Why I Tore Up the Army's 'Future'

 

Of all the hard choices Defense Secretary Robert Gates had to make in his radical overhaul of the Pentagon's arsenal, the toughest, he tells Danger Room, was the decision to gut Future Combat Systems, the Army's $200 billion effort to design a fleet of next-generation tanks and troop carriers.

 

Are we too stupid to save ourselves?

(Image courtesy of indiesocial.com)

I walked onto the train platform in downtown Chicago today.  A woman had just finished shopping at Macy's and had several red shopping bags.  She was trying to put everything into one bag.  The wind picked up and blew some of the empty bags down the platform.  I took off running and stopped them from blowing out onto the street. 

Greed, Murder and Cowardice: The Pillars of Democracy?

(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)

“The true strength of rulers and empires lies not in armies or emotions, but in the belief of men that they are inflexibly open and truthful and legal. As soon as a government departs from that standard, it ceases to be anything more than “the gang in possession,” and its days are numbered.” (H. G. Wells, as quoted in the Gravel Edition of the Pentagon Papers.)

Shock and Awe and Flying Submarines

by Jeff Huber

Last spring my dog Shady and I were walking across the bridge over Pleasure House Creek when I heard a disturbance in the water. I looked down and saw a Great Blue Heron breaking the water's surface. The heron flicked the water from its wings, flapped them, and went flying down the creek about two feet above the surface.

Impressive, I thought. Boy, wouldn't the weapons procurement nimrods at the Pentagon like to get their mitts on technology that could do that?

Thus it was that I reacted with both amusement and horror to an email notice I received in October from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) offering federal grant money for "a feasibility study and experiments to prove out the possibility of making an aircraft that can maneuver underwater."

In other words, DARPA wants to pay someone to come up with a phony baloney argument that says it's possible to make a flying submarine.

October Surprises.......

Bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2008-11-01 10:41:44 -0500. -- GH

Pepe Escobar Commentary: Al Gore campaigns for Obama in Florida; Bin Laden still not heard from

 

For months there has been relentless talk of an October surprise capable of swaying the US presidential election - just as the Osama bin Laden video "Message to the American people" released in late October 2004. Possible October surprises include former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsing Senator Barack Obama and former vice-president Al Gore campaigning for Obama in Florida - the state that cost him the election in 2000. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda has vaguely endorsed Senator John McCain. But many - including top US government officials - are still waiting for an Osama bin Laden video.

Ike: Dead and Loving It


There are days when Secretary of Defense Robert Gates makes you glad there's a guy in that office who's at least trying to keep Dick Cheney and the Crazies in their box. Other days, Gates says stuff that makes you want to scream. When he warned recently against a risk of "creeping militarization of some aspects of U.S. foreign policy," I wanted to scream "Yo, Rip van Winkle! Eisenhower told us all about it 47 years ago."

More Defense Buck for the Bang


In apparent response to Defense Secretary Robert Gates's complaint that the Air Force isn't providing Central Command with enough unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the Navy is working on a developmental version of the discontinued Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) that it's calling the Naval Unmanned Combat Air System (N-UCAS). What makes N-UCAS different and far more special than J-UCAS is that N-UCAS can operate from aircraft carriers, which the Navy has and the Air Force doesn't.

There's no special reason that any version of the UCAS needs to operate from an aircraft carrier, but that's no never mind. The money's in the pipeline to develop N-UCAS; so damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead!