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Was the military-industrial complex right?

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posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 10:17 AM
For many years, many, including myself, have criticized the U.S. power elite of rampant military spending, much of it on items that we do not really seem to have much need for in the postmodern era (post-Cold War). After all, in an era of subnational threats, insurgencies, and non-state actors such as guerrillas, and whatnot, what good are F-22s, Virginia-class SSNs, and a whole host of other high-tech air, naval, and space-based platforms in peacekeeping situations and humanitarian missions? It seemed as if those who advocated spending on such items were simply trying to make the big bucks at the expense of the well-being of the rest of society

However, military sociologist John Allen Williams pointed out something rather interesting. He noted that after the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. military would have to be forced to adopt a new type of military force, one he calls the hybrid. The hybrid is quite similar to the postmodern military, but rather than just facing subnational threats and carrying out mainly non-military missions, the U.S. military now has to deal with transnational threats such as terrorists and, lo and behold, international threats, such as Russia (and later China).

How does this validate the point made by the power elite? Well, it gives credence to their "full-spectrum" philosophy. Clearly, Russia's invasion of Georgia points out that whoever stated the days of interstate warfare were over was wrong. While interstate warfare may no longer be industrial and the war involve a more complex series of major participants ranging from transnational entities (i.e., the European Union, NATO) to guerrilla (the Chechens) and the individual state (in this case Russia), as Stratfor stated in a recent report, the 21st century is really no different from any other century. The U.S. military cannot count on being just focused on violent insurgents in Iraq, starving children, and terrorists, they must be ready for the big fight as well.

It also gives some credence to the idea that the peace dividence is largely a pipedream for America. In order for the U.S. to maintain its superpower status in the 21st century, the U.S. will undoubtedly have to spend more on its military than we previously realized. Less defense spending will make our economy bloom, but there's no point in having such a prosperous economy if we cannot protect our interests. One can only try to imagine such a wealthy and vibrant economy such as that of the United Arab Emirates having protect itself. It cannot do that very well. Therefore, the U.S. cannot get away with having just a small professional military like we tried having in the 1990s. Does this military need to be as big as the militaries of the modern era? No, but it has to be of substantial size in order to meet all commitments in the short and long term.

Preparing for the full-spectrum of operations as well as increasing the size of the military means a diverse range of equipment as well. Soft skills may be important against insurgencies, but we may very well need that F-22 in the face of Russia's MiG-29s and Su-35s. The beleaguered KC-45 program may also pay off in the end, as we do not want our Air Force relying on an old fleet of KC-135s in the face of high-tempo operations. Also if we are to maintain some sort of functioning civilian economy, then contracting out to organizations like Blackwater Worldwide, CACI, and DynCorp may actually be a smart idea. The unfortunate side-effect of preventing militarism in American society is that we'd have to resort to neo-militarism in turn. Pick your poison.

I still have a very negative view of the power elite and the military-industrial complex. However, the research, as well as current events, show that these crooks may not have been entirely wrong when they proclaimed a need for seemingly useless high-tech systems. As Stratfor says, George H.W. Bush spoke of the New World Order when the Cold War ended, but on August 8, 2008, Russia introduced us to the Real World Order.

posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 10:43 AM
Very interesting idea!

Although it was not the Russian invasion of Georgia that showed that interstate warfare is alive and well so much as the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

But that's probably another discussion...

The other point I'd like to make is the degree to which the MIC controls world-wide events, as opposed to reacting to them.

Most MIC entities are international and have contacts around the world, so can conceivably create situations such as US-Iraq or Russia-Georgia. And lo and behold, we now all of a sudden have "justification" for all those big-ticket, high-profit items.

When there is plenty of evidence that the real people around the world have really had about enough of it all.

So for the moment at least, I think my opinion is that these items are now 'justified' because the MIC has created conditions that appear to justify them... and too many people merely buy the headlines about it.

posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 11:19 AM
I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist, so I don't really buy into the sort of "manipulation" theory. However, it is a fact that the individual powers around the world do exert influence on events that cause certain things to occur. But we must remember that their actions are not guaranteed success.

To me the issue was never a matter of control vs. reaction, but a matter of where that power is centralized on. And it is clear to me that the defense industry is where that power is centered on in America. And unfortunately, it appears as if they may have been right about a great many things.

posted on Jul, 9 2009 @ 07:29 AM
reply to post by sweatmonicaIdo

In short because its after midnight peacekeepers such as the New Zealand PRT team have taken on the role of what was called Civil Affairs programs in the Vietnam era . The best peacekeepers don't have that hard edge that comes with experienced combat troops hence the Kiwi PRT team good reputation . The Korean War aside the US and its allies are fighting the same style of warfare they did during the Cold War only with a differnt enemy . Ergonomically the US cant afford to prepare for a global or limited convental war and counter insurgency wars .

posted on Jul, 9 2009 @ 07:04 PM
Arrgh the above post should read Economically the US .. . Basically the Military Industrial Complex hates the proven counter insurgency model as laid out by Sir Robert Thompson . You see the last thing the Military Industrial Complex can do is admit that there is a stlye of warfare that renders there equipment that the US tax payer folks out for useless . Take the most recent example of Iraq the security situation over there improved when US troops started to patrol the streets rather then just responding to the enemy threats on his terms . Fifteen Billion dollar bits of equipment were not involved in the success of the Surge .

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