Why is the U.S. refusing to call a halt to the Ukraine madness? Why can’t an era of “Peaceful Coexistence” in Europe and the world be declared or at least sought? How about détente with Russia? With Russia and China? What is wrong with that?
We’ll start peeling the onion by looking at the U.S. military-industrial complex.
Of course, President Eisenhower warned us against the MIC over 60 years ago in his “Farewell Address” of January 20, 1961. Among other remarks he said:
“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.”
Today about 2.1 million people are employed by the defense industry. According to Acara Solutions, a major MIC recruiting firm, their average annual salary is $106,700, 40 percent higher than the national average. The companies they work for produced revenues in 2022 of $741 billion. How much of their production is high-priced junk, no one knows. The performance of U.S.-produced armaments in the Ukraine conflict does not seem impressive. No modern U.S. weapons have ever been tested in an industrial-type war against an equal adversary.
The MIC also includes active-duty uniformed personnel of 1.37 million and reserves of 849,000. There are 750 U.S. military bases in more than 80 countries outside of the U.S. More than 100,000 U.S. military personnel are stationed in Europe. Annual salary and benefits of the military are currently $146 billion per year, escalating with COLAs compounded at two to three percent annually, sometimes more. Some former U.S. military personnel are assumed to be fighting in Ukraine as mercenaries or helping direct the fighting from safe locations like Kiev or Lvov.
Then there are the civilian employees. According to the DoD, it employs more than 700,000 civilians “in an array of critical positions worldwide,” with compensation totaling about $70 billion. According to the Government Accountability Office, we may also add 560,000 contractor employees, whose compensation is typically higher than the career workforce.
We can also add hundreds of thousands of executives, managers, employees and contractors of the three-letter Deep State agencies, such as the CIA, NSA, DEA, FBI, and now DHS, etc., who interface with the MIC day in and day out and are part of the same fabric of state-sanctioned force and enemy identification and interdiction.
Added to the above are members of Congress who vote on military budgets and make the laws that protect the MIC from accountability, lobbyists who pressure those members to cast votes favorable to their MIC clients, private sector financial service employees who handle the retirement accounts of the MIC multitude, foreigners who are employed at overseas bases, and various scoundrels and hangers-on. I would include in the latter category the multitude of MIC cheerleaders from Hollywood who produce trashy spectacles like Top Gun.
On top of everything else, there are millions of retirees drawing annuities in excess of what most working-class Americans earn, many of these retirees double- or triple-dipping with lucrative jobs in business or government.
Each of the above individuals supports multiple family members, workers, and vendors within the civilian economy who, with the ripple effect and velocity of money, keep entire towns, cities, states, regions, and industries afloat. An example is building the F-35 that has workers assembling it in 350 congressional districts. It is probably no exaggeration to say that given the vast exiting of civilian U.S. factories and jobs over the last half-century to cheap-labor countries abroad, the MIC is probably the principal economic engine of the U.S. as a whole.
So are we going to tell what adds up to tens of millions of people, sorry, your services are no longer needed? Good luck with that. And isn’t it obvious that all these people, especially the higher echelons, are going to do everything within their power to persuade us that their jobs are so essential that without them we will shortly be overwhelmed and eaten alive by every “enemy” on the planet?
If you doubt what I am saying, ask any retired colonel or general who has hired himself out as a talking head to CNN or MSNBC. It’s also why DoD has formally declared Russia and China our two “adversaries,” because, after all, you have to point the finger at someone and blame them for your own dysfunctional society.
But as I witnessed personally in my NASA days, many MIC personnel never do a lick of honest work, or are mainly occupied with paper shuffling or other busywork, especially with work-at-home now the vogue, with many spending their days surfing the internet, or worse, while drawing a level of pay that puts most civilian workers in the shade.
Not to mention stay-at-home mothers, teachers and caregivers, first responders, law enforcement personnel, food service employees, or the unemployed, underemployed, or homeless. Yet many of these people, while working hard for low pay, if any, have a sense of fulfillment and self-worth that surpasses the swarms of MIC bureaucrats who can’t help but feel degraded in their superfluous and often pointless vocational stagnation.
Is all this enough to create an imperative for World War III? You tell me. It certainly has to be a contributing factor. Plus it saps the nation’s natural strength. We could even say that the U.S. war machine is a cancerous tumor that has metastasized throughout the entirety of American society, polluting and corrupting every aspect of life, including the body politic, the environment, the entertainment industry, the mass media, education, scientific research, etc.
It was the military, for example, that supported planning for the U.S. lockdowns during the COVID so-called pandemic, as documented by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., in his monumental indictment of Big Pharma/MIC collusion in his book The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health.
A subset of the question whether the MIC could drive us to war for its own selfish reasons is whether a president, a political party, or the Deep State itself could use the MIC to generate a war to save their own sorry asses at a time of scandal or possible election loss, along the lines of the movie Wag the Dog?
We’ll leave that an open question for now. At least Tucker Carlson seems to think so in his forecast that the Biden administration will spark a hot war with Russia before the 2024 election. Of course, we can’t know what they are really planning, because they hide behind billions of classified documents and imprison those who dare to lift the veil of secrecy. We are vaguely aware that the top dogs have their own “continuity of government” plans with hidden bunkers, an “underground Pentagon,” caches of MREs that can last decades, etc. Just don’t ask to see any of this.
Every war the U.S. has fought since Korea, including the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, has been an MIC bonanza. Then there’s the simple fact that if you are an individual possessing a weapon of any kind, whether a military pistol or an ICBM, despite the protocols that govern their use, you still fantasize about using that weapon on somebody. This alone creates a societal imperative towards war. Plus I have had the wife of an MIC worker tell me straight up that she favored war because otherwise how would their family eat?
Another way to look at it is that we have a deeply entrenched system of military socialism. I happen to think it’s very corrupt, very inefficient, and very dangerous.