Friday, November 14, 2008

The Military-Industrial Complex

The Military-Industrial Complex is mentioned in a song written and performed by Gil-Scott-Heron –Work for Peace. In his last speech to the American people before leaving office President Dwight Eisenhower warned America of the dangers associated with the forming of a military-industrial complex. So what is a military-industrial complex and how does it affect our lives? Why would the President warn of impending danger when he, as the most powerful man in the civilized world, could just as easily have ordered someone to eradicate it like they eradicated two cities in Japan? I mean, if it was that much of a danger, use your most lethal weapon to stop it once and for all.

Unfortunately, the military-industrial complex was much more than that. In fact, the danger of the military-industrial complex has evolved into the threat to life that President Eisenhower envisioned and warned us about without much detail. It is alive and thriving… automatic weaponry, the smart bomb, the stealth fighter plane, and the sleek ‘run silent-run deep’ submarine that carries enough fire-power to destroy the world in less than sixty seconds flat. The military-industrial complex is so vast, encompassing, and so entrenched that it is the means by which countries measure their influence in the world. Every buyer wants the best that money can buy and we make the best.

Dwight Eisenhower alludes to the idea that the diverting of the manufacturing abilities of the United States away from plowshares to tanks would; in the long run, create major economical problems for the United States. He knew more than he cared to mention and America was not smart enough at the time to realize what he was saying. The American economy was developed with manufacturing as its base. The conversion to a wartime manufacturing military-complex was instrumental to our winning World War II. The continued production of instruments of war has taken America out of the commercial manufacturing arena, creating a vacuum that others have rushed to fill.

On the list of global arms suppliers by nation, the United States leads in sales by a volume of thirty-eight percent. Russia is second at nineteen percent. The United States supplies most of the free world – Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc., while Russian weapons find their way into the hands of most third world countries and terrorist groups. The fighting in the Congo, Sudan, and the other hot spots on the continent of Africa are supplied by Russian and Chinese weaponry. Not surprisingly, the weapon manufacturing business is very lucrative – gross global production returns over one trillion dollars each year.

Why didn’t Eisenhower speak plainly?

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