The Origins of the Military Industrial Complex and Its Historically Pernicious Influence on US War and Foreign Policy

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    • #435553
      Passionate Progressive
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      • Total Posts: 3,583

      In 1864, President Lincoln expressed profound concern over the rise of corporations that had resulted from the Civil War and what it portended for the political and economic future of the country. Eventually, advancements in industrialization led to more mechanized and phenomenally more destructive warfare in the 20th century, with the outcomes increasingly dependent upon material production and technology. As a result, major corporations would emerge to provide the material of war and, in the process, became incentivized to keep wars and war budgets in place.

      In World War I, military officers still played a critical role in the decisions to wage war which were based on previous strategies that were soon rendered outmoded due to a lack of technological expertise and inability to manage the more complicated industrial economics crucial to sustaining modern warfare. For expediency, government allowed responsibility for the war economy to be transferred from the Army to private industrialists who controlled the terms of war organization and procurement through the War Industries Board (WIB), a body composed primarily of corporate executives and bankers.

      Once this arrangement was established it was difficult to put the genie back in the bottle. Many of the major anti-competitive trusts running the war economy through the WIB had long desired a relationship with the state that would facilitate public subsidy of their interests. The war effort had proven a convenient means to this end.

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      The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.....Martin Luther King '63

      It takes all the technical proficiency our system can provide to make up for the woeful lack of popular support and political savvy of most of the regimes that the West has thus far sought to prop up.........Bernard Fall

    • #435565
      gordyfl
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      • Total Posts: 1,790

      The defense industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars through lobbying and/or funding the campaigns of politicians in order to get budget allocations and contracts worth billions. According to an Open Secrets report from February of this year:

      Defense companies spend millions every year lobbying politicians and donating to their campaigns. In the past two decades, their extensive network of lobbyists and donors ha directed $285 million in campaign contributions and $2.5 billion in lobbying spending to influence defense policy. To further these goals they hired more than 200 lobbyists who have worked in the same government that regulates and decides funding for the industry.

      The Biden 2020 presidential campaign, for example, received $447,277 from Lockheed Martin and $236,614 from General Dynamics.

       

    • #435567
      Earthartist
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      • Total Posts: 1,523

      The largest green house emitter in the world and the enviros say nothing about this. I think it has really made mean cynical

      Earthartist

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