Would someone please yank the budget from the psychopaths and replace them with people who are committed to a sustainable peace?
Alex Emmons, “Obama’s Russian Rationale for $1 Trillion Nuke Plan Signals New Arms Race,” The Intercept, February 23, 2016, https://theintercept.com/2016/02/23/obamas-new-rationale-for-1-trillion-nuclear-program-augurs-a-new-arms-race-with-russia/The Obama administration has historically insisted that its massive $1 trillion nuclear weapons modernization program does not represent a return to Cold War-era nuclear rivalry between Russia and the United States…. But President Obama’s defense budget request for 2017 includes language that makes it clear that nuclear “modernization” really is about Russia after all. The budget request explicitly cites Russian aggression, saying, “We are countering Russia’s aggressive policies through investments in a broad range of capabilities … [including] our nuclear arsenal.”…. Contracts are already being signed. In October, the Pentagon awarded Northrop Grumman the contract for the new long-range bomber. The total cost is secret, but expected to exceed $100 billion.
The military-industrial complex is expediting nuclear Armageddon, clearly not content to allow failed and failing nuclear power plants to finish us off first. Here is what Dwight D. Eisenhower had to say about the complex in his Farewell Address:David Ignatius, The exotic new weapons the Pentagon wants to deter Russia and China. The Washington Post February 23, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-exotic-new-weapons-the-pentagon-wants-to-deter-russia-and-china/2016/02/23/b2621602-da7a-11e5-925f-1d10062cc82d_story.html?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_headlinesLittle noticed amid the daily news bulletins about the Islamic State and Syria, the Pentagon has begun a push for exotic new weapons that can deter Russia and China.
Pentagon officials have started talking openly about using the latest tools of artificial intelligence and machine learning to create robot weapons, “human-machine teams” and enhanced, super-powered soldiers…. Within the Pentagon, this high-tech approach is known by the dull phrase “third offset strategy,” emulating two earlier “offsets” that checked Russian military advances during the Cold War. The first offset was tactical nuclear weapons; the second was precision-guided conventional weapons. The latest version assumes that smart, robot weapons can help restore deterrence that has been eroded by Russian and Chinese progress.
…. Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea. Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions….[i]
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government…[ii]
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist…. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. WE MUST NEVER let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.[iii]
…. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together….[iv]
The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.[v]
Eisenhower described and warned against the rise of an interlocking complex of private contractors and government “defense” organizations that threaten democracy with consolidated power and control over research, national policy, and public opinion.
Eisenhower’s concerns about the rise of the military industrial complex were echoed by many other observers of the time, but his comments are especially relevant given the unique vantage points offered by his biographical experiences in the US military and executive branch. The greatest risk to liberal democracy is endogenous, internal to the institutional structures founding liberal societies.
[i] Eisenhower’s Farewell Address. Reading copy of the speech [DDE’s Papers as President, Speech Series, Box 38, Final TV Talk (1); NAID #594599]. Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Presidential Home, Abilene Kansas. Accessed October 6, 2015, http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/research/online_documents/farewell_address/Reading_Copy.pdf. P.11-2.
[ii] Ibid, 14.
[iii] Ibid, 15.
[iv] Ibid, 16.
[v] Ibid, 18.
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