Left & Right Vs. the Military-Industrial Complex

‘”If the Iraq war has produced anything of value, it is to have brought the term ‘military industrial complex’ back into focus for an American public largely unaware of how and why their country is led to war,” writes Eugene Jarecki in his new book, The American Way of War. Jarecki explains just how difficult it is to combat this complex. Through “political engineering,” for instance, the Pentagon parcels out components to subcontractors in most states and key congressional districts — the F-22 fighter aircraft has subcontractors in 44 states — ensuring widespread continuous political support. With “front loading,” defense contractors overpromise results, underestimate costs, and profit from continuous, costly modifications. With systems like missile defense that are already experiencing considerable cost overruns, the industry has begun production without proper testing. The waste involved is considerable. With its dispersed base of support and a built-in mechanism for distributing profits, the military-industrial complex is a tough nut to crack. Both sides of the aisle are reluctant to challenge such a behemoth. Democrats are afraid that curtailing military waste will leave them open to accusations of being “soft on terrorism.” Most Republicans, meanwhile, are willing to subsidize the defense industry even as they oppose saving the auto industry. Still, there are ways to build a left-right alliance to tame the complex’ – John Basil Utley, Foreign Policy in Focus, 31 March 2009. Read the full article to see his 10-point plan to take on the military-industrial complex.

Barry Kavanagh writes fiction, and has made music, formerly with Dacianos.

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