A Constant Reminder to a Constant War: Militarism in American Society

Hits: 753

The wars in the Middle East continue to rage unabated. Over the weekend a Russian war plane was struck down by an Al Qaeda affiliated group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, and once again stoked fears of widening the struggle in Syria between US and Russian proxy forces. It is yet another reminder of the ongoing and seemingly endless wars being waged in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere around the globe.

Our transition into this never-ending war paradigm, fashioned out of the events of the post 9/11 era, seeks only to benefit and further cement the pre-existing alliance between the US military and the proliferating arms industries; collectively known as the military industrial complex. This partnership represents the systematic convergence of the capitalist system and the modern American military establishment that was formed after the world conflicts of the first half the 20th century.

Ironically enough – one of the greatest leaders to emerge out of the American military institution was also one of its greatest critics. That of the former Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during World War II and later President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

President Eisenhower’s farewell address in January 1961 first propagated the dire warning of the ills of the military industrial complex. In his address, Eisenhower indicated that due to the continuous nature of world conflicts and America’s participation therein, the US government had “been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry” resulting in more expenditure on “military security than the net income of all US corporations.” [1]
This notion of a permanent armaments industry was at the time new to the American experience. Eisenhower was in an unique position to not only witness its creation during the militarization period of World War II, but also to observe its everlasting foundation during the advent of the Cold War. Tensions between the US and the Soviet Union produced a decades long arms race unprecedented in the history of the world. During this time the convergence between the military establishment and the armaments industry changed the very facet of American society and imbued the nation in an insatiable fixation on war.

The collapse of the Soviet Union did very little to stem the tide of militarization as new wars in the 21st century reasserted the need to increase defense spending. Between 2002-2011, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, sales among the top 100 arms companies grew by 51%.[2] Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon, the worlds top three arms manufacturers in respect to net worth, had a combined annual revenue of over $95 billion USD in 2014 alone.[3]

Eisenhower fretted over the “unwarranted influence” potentially garnered by the military industrial complex leading to a disastrous path of “misplaced power” in the councils of government. This is explicitly evident in the intimate business dealings between the US Department of Defense (DoD) and the largest arms manufacturer, Lockheed Martin. By far its principal customer, US government military expenditures account for 60% of the $45Bn USD revenue it receives in a year.[4] Lockheed Martin’s contracts and influence within the US government is certainly perpetuated by its extensive lobbying, amounting to $241,738,668 USD between 1998-2017; according to opensecrets.org.[5]

As Eisenhower no doubtfully realized, America’s relationship with war making allowed it to better pursue its political and military objectives abroad in tandem to realizing its economic agenda at home. He spoke of the “prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by federal employment” along with the influence of money “to be gravely regarded.”[6] With America’s ever expanding military role, it comes to no surprise that the DoD became one of the country’s largest employer with nearly two million personnel.[7] Lockheed Martin, according to their official site, has either core factories or one of its many subsidiary companies in all 50 US states while touting to employ 115,000 people.[8] The so called “revolving door” phenomena, where government and private employment mix is also a deeply ingrained ritual. An article released by the Huffington Post in 2012 stated that upwards to 70% of retired US generals enter into contracts with arms manufacturers or defense related consultancies.[9]

Advances in technology also play a pivotal role in the sweeping changes in America’s industrial-military posture. Recent developments in aerodynamics, chip processing speed, automation, AI and machine learning along with expansions in telecommunications and the internet are spurred by massive R&D investments by the military establishment. The defense advance research projects agency or DARPA is one of the leading research institutes in the world and comprises renowned academics, private and governmental partners. Its sole mission is to “make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security.”[10] DARPA’s advances are often kept secret and its intentions are frequently debated by the public at large.

The incorporation of militarism into American society is staggering. From the onset of the post-war era, civilian life was forever transformed and molded to meet the growing demands of the military industrial complex. Its take over was systematic yet subtle, hidden behind the veil of democracy and American exceptionalism. Whether or not the state’s hijacking by the military establishment was deliberate or just a manifestation of empire building, the results become the same; a captive public policy by scientific-technological elites.

According to Eisenhower, “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.”[11]

In a world fraught with uncertainty – a constant reminder is needed for a society in constant war.

Notes:

[1] Eisenhower, Dwight. Farewell Radio and Television Address to the American People, January 17th 1961. Speech transcript. https://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/all_about_ike/speeches/farewell_address.pdf

[2] Weigley, Samuel. 10 Companies Profiting Most from the War. USA Today. March 10th 2013, updated March 10th 2013 https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/03/10/10-companies-profiting-most-from-war/1970997/

[3] Pai, Priyanka. Top 10 Largest Weapons Manufacturing Companies in the World. Tharawat Magazine. July 14th, 2015. https://www.tharawat-magazine.com/facts/top-10-largest-weapons-manufacturing-companies/#gs.Boff2MI

[4] King, Nicholas. Lockheed Martin Corp. Corporate Philanthropy. April 29th, 2014.http://www.corporatephilanthropyreport.com/m-article-detail/lockheed-martin-corp.aspx

[5] Top Spenders. Open Secrets, Center for Responsive Politics. https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?showYear=a&indexType=s

[6] Eisenhower, Dwight. Farewell Radio and Television Address to the American People, January 17th 1961. Speech transcript. https://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/all_about_ike/speeches/farewell_address.pdf

[7] United States Department of Defense (Official Website). Modified January 27th,2017. https://www.defense.gov/About/

[8] Who We Are. Lockheed Martin Official Website. https://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/who-we-are.html

[9] Johnson, Luke. Report: 70% of Retired Generals Took Jobs with Defense Contractors or Consultancies. Huffington Post. November 19th, 2012. Last updated November 20th, 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/defense-contractors-generals_n_2160771

[10] About DARPA. DARPA Official Webpage. https://www.darpa.mil/about-us/about-darpa

[11] Eisenhower, Dwight. Farewell Radio and Television Address to the American People, January 17th 1961. Speech transcript. https://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/all_about_ike/speeches/farewell_address.pdf


Originally published on 2018-02-10

About the author: Andre Bermont is the Editor-in-Chief for cuibononews.com, a news aggregation and content website.

Source: Global Research

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

READ MORE!
NATO Doesn’t Care that Montenegro is a Haven for Crime and Corruption
There was international jubilation when Montenegro seceded from its union with Serbia in 2006 after a controversial referendum. The Referendum Law prevented Montenegrins living and registered in Serbia from voting in the referendum, ensuring that tens of thousands of Montenegrins, in a country of only 622,000, who would have voted to remain the union could not vote in favour of maintaining it.It must be remembered that state-paid workers like teachers and police were told by the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) leader Miodrag Vuković before the referendum May 2006, that someone “cannot work for the state and vote against it,” something objectively ...
READ MORE
The Biggest Threat to US National Security is the US Government
A dictatorship does not represent the public but only the aristocracy that, behind the scenes, controls the government. Jonathan H. Adler, Professor at Case Western University School of Law, noted, regarding George W. Bush’s secret policy for the NSA to access everyone’s phone-records, that “The metadata collection program is constitutional (at least according to Judge Kavanaugh),” and he presented Judge Kavanaugh’s entire published opinion on that. Kavanaugh’s opinion stated that the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution could be shoved aside because he thinks that the ‘national security’ of the United States is more important than the Constitution. Kavanaugh wrote: The Government’s program for bulk collection ...
READ MORE
The Nobel Peace Prize in Support of War
Norway is a member of NATO and has close ties to the United States and Great Britain. The political, economic and bureaucratic elites are firmly integrated in transatlantic networks, a nexus of economic connections, think tanks, international institutions, media and a thousand other ties that bind. They tend to identify with the liberal wing of the empire, (i.e. the Democrats, not the Republicans), but will work with any US administration. The members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee are selected by the Norwegian parliament, and the Committee is nominally independent.Despite being considered – and where the population considers itself – a ...
READ MORE
Remembering Edward Herman: Explains the Role of Media Propaganda in Justifying War
On November 11, distinguished scholar, political economist, media analyst/critic, peace champion Ed Herman passed away at age 92.It was fittingly on the 99th anniversary of WW I’s end. Endless wars followed “the war to end all wars” – a legacy of mass slaughter and destruction Herman deplored, championing elusive world peace.Along with his friends and family, I mourn his passing, a valued friend and colleague, a contributor to my 2014 book, titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks World War III.”He and other distinguished contributors made the book successful, published in Russia and France.Ed Herman’s writing ...
READ MORE
Déjà Vu in the Balkans
An eerily familiar sense of regional unease has crept over all the former republics of Yugoslavia. Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar echoed the Balkan zeitgeist when he warned at a press conference this week that: “If the migrant crisis is not adequately controlled as agreed at the summit in Brussels there is a possibility of conflict situations between the states of the Western Balkans. It is possible that a small conflict would initiate a wider reaction because of the very difficult recent history (of the region), which is why it is very important that we solve this crisis together as no country can solve this problem by itself.” It seems like everybody knows that ...
READ MORE
A Clinton Presidency: Humanity’s Worst Nightmare. Hillary’s “Rage for War”
Since Soviet Russia’s 1991 dissolution, successive US administrations governed increasingly lawlessly and recklessly – Bill Clinton worse than his predecessors, Bush worse than him, Obama worst of all, at war with multiple invented enemies throughout his tenure – from inaugural day to the present. A neocon Hillary Clinton presidency succeeding him risks the unthinkable – possible WW III. America’s rage for dominance, its wanting planet earth colonized, and increasing belligerence toward Russia and China points to eventual confrontation. Unknown is to what extent, but when conflicts begin, they take on a life of their own. Starting them is easy, resolving them another ...
READ MORE
The Origins of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Nations
"The main part of the population of Baltic cities up to the 19th century consisted of ethnic Germans, and also Poles and Jews, but not at all Baltic people. In fact, the “old” (pre-revolutionary) Baltic region was completely built by Germans. Baltic cities were German cities – with German architecture, culture, and system of municipal management. ... in the cities of the Baltic region there were almost no Estonians and Latvians." Now, the Baltic states consist of three countries – Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, which received sovereignty in the course of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Each of these states position themselves, respectively, ...
READ MORE
When the Cowboy-Actor Star Brings Democracy: The 1983 Grenada Case
Grenada is an independent state, a member of the U.N., located in the southern portion of the Caribbean Sea very close to the mainland of the South America (Venezuela). The state is composed by southernmost of the Windward Islands combined with several small islands which belong to the Grenadines Archipelago, populated by almost 110,000 people of whom 82% are the blacks (2012 estimations). The state of Grenada is physically mostly forested mountains’ area (of volcanic origin) with some crater lakes and springs. In the valleys are bananas, spices and sugar cane grown. The country is out of any natural wealth ...
READ MORE
The Lost Journalistic Standards of Russia-gate
A danger in both journalism and intelligence is to allow an unproven or seriously disputed fact to become part of the accepted narrative where it gets widely repeated and thus misleads policymakers and citizens alike, such as happened during the run-up to war with Iraq and is now recurring amid the frenzy over Russia-gate.For instance, in a Russia-gate story on Saturday, The New York Times reported as flat fact that a Kremlin intermediary “told a Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, that the Russians had ‘dirt’ on Mr. Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton, in the form of ‘thousands of emails.’” The Times ...
READ MORE
Kosovo and Systematic Persecution by KLA
The former Yugoslavia was engulfed by many conflicts and ethnic and religious differences tore away at the very fabric of this nation. Like all wars, atrocities took place on all sides but the mass media in general focused on Serbian atrocities, while neglecting brutal crimes committed against the Serbian community. This certainly applies to the glossing over of war crimes done by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). However, more and more evidence is coming to light about brutal KLA death camps and killing people for organs. Therefore, will former KLA members be charged with war crimes and will the “real truth” ...
READ MORE
Drama at the UN Security Council: Israel’s Illegal Settlements
“The United States has been sending a message that the settlements must stop privately and publicly for nearly five decades.” Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the UN Christians following the Gregorian calendar are getting busy to celebrate Christmas, but the business of diplomacy continued in the United Nations.  In the Security Council, anticipation about a particular resolution was greater than usual. On Friday, interest was piqued by what the Obama administration’s representative, Samantha Power, would do about a particular resolution that had riled Israeli politicians, US president-elect Donald Trump, and various members of the US Congress. Resolution 2334, as worded, demanded that Israel “immediately ...
READ MORE
Israel’s Story: Lies from Top to Bottom
A study by a Toronto-based consulting and research company has revealed that over the past fifty years mainstream reporting about Israel has been distorted to portray the Jewish state in positive terms while ignoring the plight of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation. The media study, based on a computer analysis of 50 years of data, found that major U.S. newspapers have provided consistently skewed, pro-Israel reporting on Israel-Palestine. The slanting in news coverage included subtle manipulations like using word associations favorable to Israel and derogatory to Palestinians as well as persistent publication of stories praising Israel while also avoiding reporting anything ...
READ MORE
US Elections: Neither Free nor Fair
Media across the world are literally transfixed by the spectacle of US elections. The Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton, Republicans vs. Democrats battle is captivating enough to distract public attention from other issues. Democracy promotion has been a centerpiece of US foreign policy for over half a century since the days when President Woodrow Wilson crafted a new foreign policy that involved active democracy promotion. The implementation of the «beacon on the hill» concept presupposes that the United States would act as a model of excellence for others to follow is analogous to contemporary soft-power democracy promotion efforts. Lecturing on democracy is a ...
READ MORE
The Continued Conflict in Kosovo: The Outright “Criminalization” of the Pristina Government
Since the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the nineties, its former constituent republics have been mired in a state of perpetual conflict.Nowhere is this more apparent than the contested state of Kosovo.In 1998, Albanian separatists in the Serbian province of Kosovo i Metohija began a campaign of attacks, with the express objective of creating a unified, ethnically homogenous, Greater Albanian state. Spearheaded by an organization known as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which is widely regarded by many nations, including the United States, as a terrorist organization, ethnic Albanian militants attacked Serbian security forces, and terrorized civilians in a brutally violent ...
READ MORE
Serbia’s Sovereignty as a Nation State: Serbia does not need a ‘Dialogue’ on Kosovo
“Now that the global circumstances have changed, and when the United States and NATO are losing their influence, and while the powers that are in favor of preserving Kosovo and Metohija – such as Russia and China – are strengthening, we are nevertheless pursuing a policy of complete surrender.” The aim of the internal dialogue conducted by the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, should be to distribute responsibilities and to be the cover for the final surrender of Kosovo and Metohija. The government constantly assures us that it will never recognize Kosovo as an independent State, but here we must point out the ...
READ MORE
1897. Public Record Office. --- Image by © Heritage Images/Corbis
‘Blowing from a Gun’ depicted by Vasily Vereshchagin in his painting ‘Suppression of the Indian Revolt by the English’ on the rebellion of 1857. Queen Victoria’s agent bought this painting, in an attempt to suppress it. ‘Blowing from the Gun’ was a means of execution where the prisoner is tied to the muzzle of a cannon, which is then fired, popping the victim’s head about 15 meters (50 feet) into the air, apparently a sort of juvenile entertainment for the colonizers. Following colonization, along came ‘decolonization’ and what do you suppose happened with colonial borders? They mostly remained as laid down ...
READ MORE
Bellamy Salute in the U.S.
The Bellamy salute is the salute described by Francis Bellamy, Christian socialist minister and author, to accompany the American Pledge of Allegiance, which he had authored. During the period when it was used with the Pledge of Allegiance, it was sometimes known as the "flag salute". Later, during the 1920s and 1930s, Italian fascists and Nazis adopted a salute which had a similar form, and which was derived from the so-called Roman salute. This resulted in controversy over the use of the Bellamy salute in the United States. It was officially replaced by the hand-over-heart salute when Congress amended the ...
READ MORE
Close Bonsteel in Kosovo and Metohija!
Rising tensions in the global relations and hot beds of old and new crisis call for unity and efforts of all peace forces for closing foreign military bases, particularly U.S. and NATO foreign military bases, around the globe. The peace forces are obligated to send clear message that U.S. and NATO foreign military bases represent the tools of hegemonism, aggression, occupation, and that as such must be closed. Peace and inclusive development, elimination of hunger and misery require redistribution of spending for maintence of military bases in favor of development needs, education and heath services. After the end of the Cold ...
READ MORE
“Putinism” in American History
Many articles in the US press have speculated at length in an attempt to define a new ideology called “Putinism.” The pieces serve as an attempt to fit Putin into an outdated Cold War narrative, as if some new ideology in the Russian Federation is playing the role that Marxism-Leninism once played in the Soviet Union, though the current Russian constitution forbids this. The notable leaders of history are rarely ideologues. History judges people mainly by what they achieve, not what they write or say. As Chinese President Xi Jinping recently put it: “The worth of any plan is in its ...
READ MORE
Donetsk People’s Republic – Story Untold by Western Media
My refusal to believe ongoing Western media reports of “Russian aggression” makes me a “Kremlin troll”. My punishment for not towing the “party line” – simple, effective “shunning” by Western media – has not, however, diminished my ongoing commitment to seeing the other side. Having previously investigated the Crimean reunification with Russia, this May I turned my attention to the birth of two new government formations in Eastern Ukraine, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR).  Americans only hear either what Kiev “reports”, or the US propaganda machine puts out – these are puppet regimes born of ...
READ MORE
NATO Doesn’t Care that Montenegro is a Haven for Crime and Corruption
The Biggest Threat to US National Security is the US Government
The Nobel Peace Prize in Support of War
Remembering Edward Herman: Explains the Role of Media Propaganda in Justifying War
Déjà Vu in the Balkans
A Clinton Presidency: Humanity’s Worst Nightmare. Hillary’s “Rage for War”
The Origins of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Nations
When the Cowboy-Actor Star Brings Democracy: The 1983 Grenada Case
The Lost Journalistic Standards of Russia-gate
Kosovo and Systematic Persecution by KLA
Drama at the UN Security Council: Israel’s Illegal Settlements
Israel’s Story: Lies from Top to Bottom
US Elections: Neither Free nor Fair
The Continued Conflict in Kosovo: The Outright “Criminalization” of the Pristina Government
Serbia’s Sovereignty as a Nation State: Serbia does not need a ‘Dialogue’ on Kosovo
The Western World’s Joke: Decolonization
Bellamy Salute in the U.S.
Close Bonsteel in Kosovo and Metohija!
“Putinism” in American History
Donetsk People’s Republic – Story Untold by Western Media
Global-Politics.eu

Written by Global-Politics.eu

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu