Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

How the Narcotic of Defense Spending Undermines a Sensible Grand Strategy, 

MARCH 2, 2022, How the Narcotic of Defense Spending Undermines a Sensible Grand Strategy,   CounterPunch, BY FRANKLIN SPINNEY   The Military-Industrial-Congressional-Complex’s (MICC) grand-strategic chickens are coming home to roost big time. While war is bad, the Russo-Ukrainian War has the champagne corks quietly popping in the Pentagon, on K Street, in the defense industry, and throughout the halls of Congress.  Taxpayers are going to be paying for their party for a long time.  

It is no accident that the United States is on the cusp of the Second Cold War.

Future historians may well view the last 30 years as a case study in the institutional survival of the American Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex (MICC), together with its supporting blob now saturating the media, think tanks, academia, and the intelligence community.  Perhaps, these future historians will come also to view the Global War on Terror (GWOT) as the bridging operation that greased the transition to Cold War II by keeping defense budgets at Cold War levels after Cold War I ended.  Also, 9-11 may have re-acclimated the American people to the climate of fear now needed to sustain Cold War II for the remainder of the 21st Century.

The First Cold War’s 40-year climate of fear was something Mikhail Gorbachev tried to end.  But Presidents Clinton and Bush (the 2nd) were busy planting the seed money for a new generation of cold-war inspired weapons.  These weapons required massive future defense budgets that would require a climate of fear to sustain (especially for the across-the-board nuclear modernization program).  President Obama then locked in these programs, and won a Nobel Peace Prize to boot.  President Trump and the Dems in Congress worked overtime to ice the Pentagon’s budget cake by incestuously amplifying the growing Russophobia

No one wants war, but rising tension and the politics of fear … and their bedfellow: demonization … had to be magnified to justify the huge bow wave of defense spending looming in the budgetary offing, particularly the trillion+ dollars to pay for the nuclear modernization program.  This “chicken” takes us back to the “egg” laid in the 1990s.

As it gradually sank in that the First Cold War had indeed ended when the Soviet threat evaporated in 1991, the titans in the defense industry understood their comfortable market for new hi-tech, high-cost weapons could dry up. 

At the same time, the defense industrialists recognized that market diversification was necessary.  So, it was no accident that a lobbying operation named the Committee to Expand NATO emerged in the early 1990s and was headed by a vice president of Lockheed Martin — see also Why is US Foreign Policy a Shambles?.  At the very least, in the mid-1990s, it seemed that expanding NATO implied dramatically increased requirements for what is known in NATO jargon as weapons interoperability……………..

 the Pentagon’s strategy of maximizing its budget has created a growing dependency on defense spending in the American political economy.  This grotesque distortion was first recognized by President Eisenhower in 1961.  In 1987, George Kennan, forty years after he fathered the dominant US policy of “Containment” for the entire First Cold War, summed up the narcotic of defense spending, saying prophetically:

“Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial complex would have to remain, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy,” …………..

Understanding the internal political-economic causes of the American addiction to the narcotic of defense spending is at the heart of the problem.  This understanding is essential to reforming the foreign policy mess exacerbated by NATO expansion.  …….

Franklin “Chuck” Spinney is a former military analyst for the Pentagon and a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. He be reached at chuck_spinney@mac.com    https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/03/02/how-the-narcotic-of-defense-spending-undermines-a-sensible-grand-strategy/

March 5, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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