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(The New York Times)   Remember that Republican that had an issue with the military-industrial complex? Yeah, neither do they   (nytimes.com) divider line 40
    More: Ironic, Republican, military-industrial complexes, militarization, Support our troops, GPS navigation, Eisenhower, defense industry  
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2119 clicks; posted to Politics » on 05 Nov 2012 at 9:49 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-05 07:55:57 AM  
But they remember the good old days of rape and honey
 
2012-11-05 09:51:17 AM  
The GOP: We'll remember the 1950s for you, even if you are a minority / woman who had the good fortune of being born afte the 1950s.
 
2012-11-05 09:51:51 AM  

cretinbob: But they remember the good old days of rape and honey


Good old days of rape?
Wasn't that yesterday?

Might even be this morning, I haven't check the news yet.
 
2012-11-05 09:51:51 AM  
But, but...but canned goods for Sandy?
 
2012-11-05 09:55:47 AM  
But but but... trees... were... right... height.... Jersey?

I can haz Bain back?
 
2012-11-05 09:56:23 AM  
"United States spends....less than 5 percent of gross domestic product"
Bullshiat
"Defense-related research has not produced an ossified garrison state"
Bullshiat
"Nor has the private sector infected foreign policy"
Bullshiat
 
2012-11-05 10:00:00 AM  
Holy shiat! The first 4 paragraphs are so naive and inaccurate I couldn't finish that. the author has never been to university, never studied 20th century history or politics, and has no idea of daily US intervention in foreign economies. Someone should send them the picture of Wonka saying "You lose! You get nothing! Good day sir!" because this was one of the worst articles of the whole election cycle.
 
2012-11-05 10:06:36 AM  

Bennie Crabtree: Holy shiat! The first 4 paragraphs are so naive and inaccurate I couldn't finish that. the author has never been to university, never studied 20th century history or politics, and has no idea of daily US intervention in foreign economies. Someone should send them the picture of Wonka saying "You lose! You get nothing! Good day sir!" because this was one of the worst articles of the whole election cycle.


Interestingly, you're almost certain to agree with the points he made in the other three fourths of the article.

Also, suggesting that a history professor at the Naval Academy hasn't been to university and hasn't studied history is quite an amazing feat...
 
2012-11-05 10:06:55 AM  
 
2012-11-05 10:07:38 AM  
This BS belongs on the opinion page. Opinions are like assholes. Everybody's got one, and this one STINKS!.
 
2012-11-05 10:08:20 AM  
Were Eisenhower alive, he'd be aghast at our debt, deficits and still expanding military-industrial complex.

So vote Republican!
 
2012-11-05 10:08:58 AM  
No we haven't fought any unnecessary wars, none at all.

I've worked inside the "military industrial complex" for nearly two decades, the author of this opinion piece is either extremely naive or willfully ignorant.

/leaning toward the latter
 
2012-11-05 10:09:44 AM  

imontheinternet: It's hard to think of the US as a non-militarized nation, but I suppose that's what it was up until WW2 and the Cold War. Non-interventionalism was the cornerstone of US foreign policy from its founding. Like Eisenhower and the military-industrial complex, Washington set out a warning against foreign entanglements in his farewell address:

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities. 

/switch Europe with Israel


Meh, Isreal is a Europe problem. So is Afghanistan, Pakistan, Vietnam and half the post colonial world problems that US decided to inherit when Europe was done playing empire.
 
2012-11-05 10:10:00 AM  
We will always be at war with everybody.

Enjoy paying 800 million dollars for each stealth toilet.
 
2012-11-05 10:13:43 AM  
Interesting article. Although he is a little glib about some points. I think that his argument about militarization and pop culture is interesting. Stephen Walt wrote something along those lines a little while ago, talking about the volunteer military having the side-effect of creating a military caste. I agree with this. I think a good way to avoid a lot of these problems would be to have mandatory conscription for a year or two. Aside from highlighting the inefficiencies of the military and some of the more moribund bureaucracies within it, it would also make Americans pay more attention to foreign policy and would reduce the stranglehold of politicians who "support our troops" in words only. It may also save us money on extra-incentives to get volunteers. IIR, the Army was paying a lot of up-front signing bonuses for awhile.

One thing that really bothers me, though, is that a lot of guys I served with really didn't have many options. The military was a good job compared to where they came from, and it was the only thing they were really qualified to do. 30 years ago they would have been going to factories that are now outsourced, etc. That is a really big problem with our changing economy, because we cannot afford to have the military fill in the employment gap. First of all, while the military serves a useful purpose, the fact is that it is very limited. War isn't that frequent, and once you get past the fear of terrorists, we probably don't need nearly as many people as we have. To add to this you must also consider that it is highly unproductive- tanks don't serve a greater role in the economy once they are built. They don't spawn new industries, or advance medical technology, etc. They sit there as a sunk cost, and require lots of maintenance. Second, when you have a large amount of military personnel sitting around collecting paychecks, sooner or later, you need to justify that. While I don't think that it will directly make politicians attack country X, I think that it will make them be more aggressive generally (because we have sooo much power, we have Y divisions and therefore can take on any challenge).
 
2012-11-05 10:15:17 AM  

Dahnkster: This BS belongs on the opinion page. Opinions are like assholes. Everybody's got one, and this one STINKS!.


Ahem.
i.imgur.com
 
2012-11-05 10:15:57 AM  
On a side note, I tend to loathe the way we are now full on fellating anything having to do with troops or military. It's a step backwards to a more peaceful world. I always hope these young people that join up come home as undamaged as possible, but for the love of god stop voluntarily signing up for wars that are unjust. That is not something to be applauded.

Voluntarily deciding to pick up a weapon and kill strangers thousands of miles away for reasons not fully understood is not an act of heroism, it's an act of unfathomable naiveté.
 
2012-11-05 10:19:40 AM  

MurphyMurphy: "United States spends....less than 5 percent of gross domestic product"
Bullshiat


The actual number is 4.06%. That number does not, however, include veterans affairs and pensions, FBI and DOE expenditures, or a few other things. Those together do bump the number to about 6%, but his number is correct for the actual DOD.

"Defense-related research has not produced an ossified garrison state"
Bullshiat


Defense research itself hasn't. Horrible security policies adopted after 11 September 2001 have done so. We weren't a garrison state before then.

"Nor has the private sector infected foreign policy"
Bullshiat


This one's touchy, as it's difficult to separate the interests of the private-sector military contractors from actual foreign policy. I tend to agree that this argument is wrong, though.

Dahnkster: This BS belongs on the opinion page. Opinions are like assholes. Everybody's got one, and this one STINKS!.


"Op-Ed Contributor." You're right, it does belong on the Opinion page.

----

Did no one else read past the first quarter of the article? Because the last three-fourths go into things even GAT would agree with: i.e. we spend too much time glorifying the military while not talking about other problems; the military has become a third rail; no one is allowed to criticize the military without being called a radical.
 
2012-11-05 10:24:58 AM  

imontheinternet: It's hard to think of the US as a non-militarized nation, but I suppose that's what it was up until WW2 and the Cold War. Non-interventionalism was the cornerstone of US foreign policy from its founding. Like Eisenhower and the military-industrial complex, Washington set out a warning against foreign entanglements in his farewell address:

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities. 

/switch Europe with Israel


Because the world is exactly as interconnected today as it was in 1948, and exactly as it was in 1789.

// plus, the US has been "interventionalism"-ing all over the world since at least 1900
// and if you count Native Americans and the Confederacy (whose lands were not part of the US at the time) as "foreign countries", we've been at war with foreign entities over half the country's existence
 
2012-11-05 10:39:03 AM  
It's sad that we tie military spending to GDP. Tying it to receipts would be much more responsible.
 
2012-11-05 10:45:25 AM  

Dr Dreidel: Because the world is exactly as interconnected today as it was in 1948, and exactly as it was in 1789.


The argument that you should throw away every old idea because the world has changed is attractive until you realize that non-interventionalism would have kept the US out of most, if not all of the wars that later proved to be tragic mistakes, like Iraq and Vietnam. The policy would also keep us out of the impending disastrous war with and occupation of Iran.

Non-interventionalism keeps all the commercial aspects of foreign relations in place, while minimizing both the county's exposure to internal and regional conflicts of other nations and the country's role as "world police," with all the horrid unintended consequences that always seem to follow from taking that role.

As Jefferson said, "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none."
 
2012-11-05 10:52:44 AM  
too much money to be made in war (DoD contracts be sweet) for the America/Pentagon to ever lose its taste for war. war is just plain good for business.

and they use fear to keep americans scared of the big bad world so americans won't mind dumping 1 Trillion/year into the Pentagon.

not too good for the middle/working class kids who do the bleeding and the tax payer who does the paying, but great for the Congressional Military Industrial Complex.
 
2012-11-05 10:52:53 AM  

spelletrader: No we haven't fought any unnecessary wars, none at all.

I've worked inside the "military industrial complex" for nearly two decades, the author of this opinion piece is either extremely naive or willfully ignorant.

/leaning toward the latter


I went to Iraq twice. We only went there in the first place because the Bush admin wanted it so badly that they trumped up intelligence saying that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in 9/11, and they deliberately half-assed Afghanistan from the get-go so that they'd be able to go all-in in Iraq.

For these reasons, I must dispute your claim of the US not having fought any unnecessary wars.
 
2012-11-05 10:58:14 AM  
Remember that Republican that had an issue with the military-industrial complex?

You mean that RINO, peacenik Eisenhower?
 
2012-11-05 11:03:36 AM  

imontheinternet: Dr Dreidel: Because the world is exactly as interconnected today as it was in 1948, and exactly as it was in 1789.

The argument that you should throw away every old idea because the world has changed is attractive until you realize that non-interventionalism would have kept the US out of most, if not all of the wars that later proved to be tragic mistakes, like Iraq and Vietnam. The policy would also keep us out of the impending disastrous war with and occupation of Iran.

Non-interventionalism keeps all the commercial aspects of foreign relations in place, while minimizing both the county's exposure to internal and regional conflicts of other nations and the country's role as "world police," with all the horrid unintended consequences that always seem to follow from taking that role.

As Jefferson said, "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none."


It also would have kept us out of Kosovo, Sudan, Panama, Haiti, Libya, (and that's off the top of my head in the last 20 years) all of our disaster relief efforts and would have nixed The Marshall Plan (even though we helped blow up Europe, nothing but our integrity forced us to help them rebuild). Unless you want to make the argument that every single geopolitical problem extant in the modern world traces back to American intervention (and bear in mind, our lack of intervention is no guarantee that they'd have played nice), you have to believe that a blanket "non-intervention" policy is as stupid as recklessly committing blood and treasure anywhere we damn well want to (the Bush doctrine, the "World Police" problem).

Non-interventionalism is the zero-tolerance of foreign policy. Sometimes, our geopolitical interests (i.e. things that serve America's interests in a secondary or tertiary way) or even simple humanity demand we intervene. I think Jefferson, with an understanding of the interconnected modern world, would see it that way as well.

// think of it this way: when the American Revolution started, it took at least a month for news to reach England
// how would the modern world be, if news from overseas took a month or more to get to us?
// how would Vietnam have looked? Iraq? 9/11? Libya (and Benghazi-gate)?
 
2012-11-05 11:03:58 AM  

King Something: spelletrader: No we haven't fought any unnecessary wars, none at all.

I've worked inside the "military industrial complex" for nearly two decades, the author of this opinion piece is either extremely naive or willfully ignorant.

/leaning toward the latter

I went to Iraq twice. We only went there in the first place because the Bush admin wanted it so badly that they trumped up intelligence saying that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in 9/11, and they deliberately half-assed Afghanistan from the get-go so that they'd be able to go all-in in Iraq.

For these reasons, I must dispute your claim of the US not having fought any unnecessary wars.


I think he was being sarcastic with that statement.
 
2012-11-05 11:08:06 AM  

King Something: spelletrader: No we haven't fought any unnecessary wars, none at all.

I've worked inside the "military industrial complex" for nearly two decades, the author of this opinion piece is either extremely naive or willfully ignorant.

/leaning toward the latter

I went to Iraq twice. We only went there in the first place because the Bush admin wanted it so badly that they trumped up intelligence saying that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in 9/11, and they deliberately half-assed Afghanistan from the get-go so that they'd be able to go all-in in Iraq.

For these reasons, I must dispute your claim of the US not having fought any unnecessary wars.


Recalibrate your sarcasm meter.
 
2012-11-05 11:11:41 AM  

squidgod2000: It's sad that we tie military spending to GDP. Tying it to receipts would be much more responsible.


But but but, you know we have fewer ships today than we had in 1916. It is all about the numbers, right?
 
2012-11-05 11:14:26 AM  
i235.photobucket.com
 
2012-11-05 11:14:35 AM  
Worship of the military is a defining characteristic of fascism.
 
2012-11-05 11:16:30 AM  

King Something: spelletrader: No we haven't fought any unnecessary wars, none at all.

I've worked inside the "military industrial complex" for nearly two decades, the author of this opinion piece is either extremely naive or willfully ignorant.

/leaning toward the latter

I went to Iraq twice. We only went there in the first place because the Bush admin wanted it so badly that they trumped up intelligence saying that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in 9/11, and they deliberately half-assed Afghanistan from the get-go so that they'd be able to go all-in in Iraq.

For these reasons, I must dispute your claim of the US not having fought any unnecessary wars.


I'm sorry, my sarcasm wasn't clear enough in that first remark.

I meant that the author isn't being critical enough on the military industrial complex, not defending it.
 
2012-11-05 11:20:37 AM  

LazarusLong42: Interestingly, you're almost certain to agree with the points he made in the other three fourths of the article.


That's what so infuriating about it. There's nothing like watching someone argue a position that you agree with--poorly.
 
2012-11-05 11:29:21 AM  

Dr Dreidel: It also would have kept us out of Kosovo, Sudan, Panama, Haiti, Libya, (and that's off the top of my head in the last 20 years) all of our disaster relief efforts and would have nixed The Marshall Plan (even though we helped blow up Europe, nothing but our integrity forced us to help them rebuild). Unless you want to make the argument that every single geopolitical problem extant in the modern world traces back to American intervention (and bear in mind, our lack of intervention is no guarantee that they'd have played nice), you have to believe that a blanket "non-intervention" policy is as stupid as recklessly committing blood and treasure anywhere we damn well want to (the Bush doctrine, the "World Police" problem).

Non-interventionalism is the zero-tolerance of foreign policy. Sometimes, our geopolitical interests (i.e. things that serve America's interests in a secondary or tertiary way) or even simple humanity demand we intervene. I think Jefferson, with an understanding of the interconnected modern world, would see it that way as well.


First, the Marshall Plan was in place to rebuild the economy of Europe, a goal which would be entirely consistent with the friendly commercial relations envisioned in non-interventionalism. In fact, a strong argument could be made that a non-interventionalist policy in WWI would have led to a watering down of the Treaty of Versailles and a possible avoidance of WWII altogether, but theoretical arguments like that one and your "even if we didn't install the shah, Iran would have become a theocracy" should be given little weight in such discussions.

I'm sympathetic to the humanitarian intervention arguments, but those interventions have always been conducted in a selective, hypocritical way. Africa is by far the region most in need of humanitarian intervention, yet countries with oil are given priority. Qaddafi in oil-rich North Africa is a target, in spite of the fact that he had bowed to western pressure for years, while the warlords in Sudan are more or less ignored.

Plus, the simple fact is that one nation cannot heal all the ills of the world through military intervention in regional and local conflicts. Friendly relations with non-belligerent nations and perhaps even financial assistance to peacekeeping entities like the African Union would do much to accomplish the goal without overextending US forces or getting bogged down in regional conflicts, some of which have roots in tribal or religious conflicts that are centuries old.

That said, I would agree that the modern world requires compromise and that rigid dogmatic approaches to problems are rarely the right answer. However, I also think they we should be starting from the position that non-interventionalism is the correct approach more often than not, and that entanglements in local and regional conflicts of other nations are something that should generally be avoided.
 
2012-11-05 11:48:11 AM  

imontheinternet: I would agree that the modern world requires compromise and that rigid dogmatic approaches to problems are rarely the right answer. However, I also think they we should be starting from the position that non-interventionalism is the correct approach more often than not, and that entanglements in local and regional conflicts of other nations are something that should generally be avoided.


Well, that's why we have NATO - so that action doesn't have to be unilateral, and NATO intervention presumes that member states "want" to intervene. That falls under the "alliances" part of Jeffersonian "non-intervention" (though it implies a stronger, longer term alliance).

I actually want more NATO involvement for humanitarian/regional conflicts. Instead of one country imposing its will on a region, we would have a consortium, and "by-committee" solutions to the underlying problems rather than a solution dictated by a single power. Not that such a NATO regime would be free of problems, but it'd be far better than letting regional actors take control over regional fiefdoms (so long as they don't threaten the hegemony outside the region).

As more and more of the world modernizes and allies together, increasingly, the only conflicts left are regional - Greece/Turkey, India/Pakistan, Israel/Palestine (or Iran/Israel), Russia/Georgia - largely because the enemy of your friend (like, in the US' case, China) still contributes to your GDP.
 
2012-11-05 12:24:13 PM  

Dr Dreidel: imontheinternet: I would agree that the modern world requires compromise and that rigid dogmatic approaches to problems are rarely the right answer. However, I also think they we should be starting from the position that non-interventionalism is the correct approach more often than not, and that entanglements in local and regional conflicts of other nations are something that should generally be avoided.

Well, that's why we have NATO - so that action doesn't have to be unilateral, and NATO intervention presumes that member states "want" to intervene. That falls under the "alliances" part of Jeffersonian "non-intervention" (though it implies a stronger, longer term alliance).

I actually want more NATO involvement for humanitarian/regional conflicts. Instead of one country imposing its will on a region, we would have a consortium, and "by-committee" solutions to the underlying problems rather than a solution dictated by a single power. Not that such a NATO regime would be free of problems, but it'd be far better than letting regional actors take control over regional fiefdoms (so long as they don't threaten the hegemony outside the region).

As more and more of the world modernizes and allies together, increasingly, the only conflicts left are regional - Greece/Turkey, India/Pakistan, Israel/Palestine (or Iran/Israel), Russia/Georgia - largely because the enemy of your friend (like, in the US' case, China) still contributes to your GDP.


It' hard to argue that NATO hasn't been a good thing for the past several decades, and I would agree that mutual defense treaties can be advantageous, even necessary in the modern world.. However, the problem is that other NATO countries have more of a non-interventionalist streak than the US. Most conflicts, with the exception of Kosovo, involve the US trying to drag its allies into war. Foreign policy would be much better served if the US took the default position of non-interventionalism and only intervened under the most dire of circumstances.

The First Gulf War strikes me as a balanced approach. A friendly country is invaded, the belligerent forces are driven out by unified outside intervention, then the foreign armies pack up and go home without a "regime change" or occupation. Peace is restored, the oil keeps flowing, and it's done at a minimal loss of life.

Besides, as I said earlier in the thread, US membership in NATO is much less a cause for concern that its bizarre, one-sided relationship with Israel.
 
2012-11-05 12:51:43 PM  
How fitting, I just saw this little flick last night:
Pentagon Wars - Bradley Fighting Vehicle

But, of course, government inefficiencies only occur with foodstamps, not with the military budget.
 
2012-11-05 01:05:31 PM  

hinten: How fitting, I just saw this little flick last night:
Pentagon Wars - Bradley Fighting Vehicle

But, of course, government inefficiencies only occur with foodstamps, not with the military budget.


See new thread that just popped up with Generals endorsing Rmoney.
 
2012-11-05 02:15:59 PM  

cretinbob: But they remember the good old days of rape and honey


1990?
 
2012-11-05 06:27:19 PM  
How about the other half of his farewell speech that warned us of the growing group of academic elites that would decide what was best for everyone based on their expert opinions.
 
2012-11-05 08:22:36 PM  
farm8.staticflickr.com
 
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