Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Military Industrial Complex Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words

Military Industrial Complex - Essay Example The Military Industrial Complex is more than just a weapons supply system. It is a unique partnership that continues to exert substantial power and influence, has sustained America's arms superiority, and reshaped the American landscape as well as its economy. The beginnings of the expansion of the MIC can be attributed to Captain A.T. Mahan and his book The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783 (Liu 2). The book, published in 1890, was a series of lectures that Mahan had given at the Naval War College. Mahan's book initiated the beginnings of an expanded civilian shipbuilding business to supply the Navy with warships. Subsequent to the publication of Mahan's book, the first US battleship was built in 1893. Under the leadership of President Theodore Roosevelt 1901-1909, an advocate of Mahan's theories, American civilian shipbuilders built 129 battleships under his administration (Liu 10). This major military buildup is generally viewed as the beginning of the MIC. World War II and its reliance upon the MIC had a profound effect on America both demographically and economically. During World War II, the Department of Defense spent in excess of $70 billion on civilian aerospace and defense contracts of which most were directed into California and the Southwest ("The Rise of the Sunbelt"). This increased spending in the region gave rise to the areas massive migration and sowed the seeds of the decline in the 'Rustbelt'. With the reliance on new technology, the military depends on civilian contractors for research and production. The nuclear buildup of the Cold War was an example of the MIC at work. It has been estimated that during the Cold War, the MIC employed 1 out of 3 research scientists and engineers in the US and spent 60% of the research and development dollars available (Cypher 37). This spending in the civilian sector by the Pentagon forms the backbone of the modern MIC and fuels the powerful influence it holds and creates the anxiety that it generates. The MIC is often viewed as a partnership that was formed during the Cold War in an effort to maintain "...peacetime defense spending to 'wartime' levels" (Bruntin). The fear through the Cold War and Vietnam was that this self-interested group would promote their own agenda at the public's expense. Reports of corruption, bribery, and fraud have served to maintain this image in the minds of many Americans (Bruntin). As the Cold War wound down the public anticipated a peace dividend that never arrived. The MIC has been subsequently put to use against new international enemies and the war on terror. The MIC is a cooperative effort between the military, industry, and the government. Sometimes called the iron triangle, the alliance between these groups is a necessary factor in America's arm superiority. The military has the motivation to keep an ongoing civilian supply of weapons research and development, even in periods of peace. The contractors have a need to continue to receive tax dollars to maintain their revenue stream. Politicians have an interest in maintaining a strong military, and contract dollars are fought for as politicians seek to

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