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61.

THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL
COMPLEX

This chapter explains how the US military, government and weapons manu-
facturers created an alliance of deadly importance to the world, and how
NATO and other alliances were used as a tool and the Cold War as their
ideological justification.

WHAT IT IS AND HOW IT WORKS


The concept “The Military-Industrial Complex” was introduced by US Presi-
dent Eisenhower in 1961 in his farewell speech to the American people after two
terms as president and serving as general for the American army.
Extracts from the speech:
“We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four
major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. De-
spite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and
most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-emi-
nence, we yet realize that America’s leadership and prestige depend, not merely
upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how
we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.”

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“A vital element in keeping the peace is


our military establishment. Our arms
must be mighty, ready for instant ac-
tion, so that no potential aggressor
may be tempted to risk his own de-
struction.
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
The concept “The Military-Industrial
Complex” was introduced by US President
War II or Korea.
Eisenhower in 1961 in his farewell speech Until the latest of our world conflicts,
to the American people. 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. Added to this, three and a half million men and
women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on
military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms indus-
try 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. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we
must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and live-
lihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwar-
ranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial com-
plex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will
persist.

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THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or
democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. 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.”
Before World War I, USA did not have a standing army, but maintained a small
military in times of peace and relied on a militia or reserves in the event of war.
After World War I, USA only kept a small army. During World War II, USA un-
derwent a total mobilization of all its resources to fight and win the war against
Nazi Germany and Japan. At the end of the war, Europe lay in shatters, East Asia
was gravely damaged, and USA and the Soviet Union stood as the world’s two
remaining superpowers, though the Soviet Union had suffered great losses, with
more than 20 million dead and its means of production destroyed in the indus-
trial centers. The military production and the war itself resulted in a growth of
the US economy never seen before, and it was in the interest of the big corpora-
tions and the political establishment to create a permanent army and continue
the huge military build-up.

The enemy
The military production – manufac-
turing arms, warships, fighter planes,
clothes, shoes, medicine and beer for
the forces – is paid for by the state, that
is with taxpayers’ money.
It would not matter to those who accu-
mulate profits on military production
whether the goods were thrown away
or used up in war maneuvers. But the The Berlin Wall divided East and West Ber-
endless chain of production, with its lin and became a symbol of the Cold War.

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HISTORY FRONT

high profits, of such expensive and


short-lived equipment, could only be
justified if it was meant for war.
The US economy was so strong after
World War II that USA could have
influenced and dominated the world,
economically and politically, without
military power, and conflicts between
nations could have been peacefully
resolved – if such policy had been
Nike missiles at Selfridge Air Force Base out-
followed. But the military-industrial side of Detroit, USA 1950. The missiles were
complex needed an enemy, an ene- considered the last line of defense against an
my dangerous enough to demand an attack by Soviet bombers during the Cold War.

endless flow of government money for a military production, and so the “com-
munist threat” with its 45 year long “Cold War” was created.
The Soviet Union became the new enemy. Two political and social systems were
positioned against each other.
The USA and Western Europe were the “free democracies”: People had “human
rights” and “constitutional rights”, they could think and feel like they wanted
to, they could believe in God, and express themselves freely. The state was a ser-
vant to the people, taking care of everybody’s welfare throughout life, with the
people electing their government in free elections. A precondition was a capital-
ist economy with privately owned means of production, the economy governed
by the free market, and with workers as satisfied consumers.
The Soviet Union was the “totalitarian” system: The “individual freedom” was
suppressed, the state “dictated” what you dared to think and feel, and there was
no religious freedom. Everything was owned by the state, controlled by “the
Party”, there was no free initiative, no free market, and everything was run by
“party apparatchiks”.

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And the worst was: The Soviet Union wanted total and undisputed power of the
world, and the communist party worked to infiltrate the Western world and the
developing world through workers unions and political parties.
Against this background, the NATO Alliance, a military alliance between USA
and Western Europe, was created in 1949 in order to militarily defend the “free
world” against the Soviet Union.
In order to keep the threat alive and to keep the American people in line, not
daring to question the continued military spending, actions from the military-
industrial complex have been many.
The scare of “enemies within”, that is communists working together with the
Soviet Union to take over the American state, was exploited throughout the
1950s. Government employees, union leaders, teachers and people from the en-
tertainment industry were questioned in publicly broadcasted hearings, accused
of being Soviet spies.
The scare of “nuclear war” was exploited in the 1960s with school children and
workers training how to protect themselves in the event of a nuclear attack.
Families built protection chambers
and stocked canned food, and new,
more forceful, nuclear bombs and
anti-nuclear missiles were devel-
oped.
The scare of communist controlled
takeovers of countries in South East
Asia and Latin America, threatening
the “free world”, with communism
Joseph McCarthy’s political hearings against
and socialism inching in on USA, members of The Communist Party, against
were enough explanation for Ameri- union leaders, journalists, teachers and artists
can staged coup d’états and wars for resulted in imprisonment, exclusion or exile.
Also Charlie Chaplin, here seen in the film
45 years. “The Great Dictator”, went into exile.

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The latest development


In general, military spending in USA has declined since World War II, with
huge increases during the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
During Ronald Reagan’s presidency from 1980-1988, military spending went
up, with money invested in nuclear weapons and anti-nuclear missile systems
placed in space.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union during the beginning of the 1990s, and
during the presidency of Bill Clinton from 1993-2001, military spending
dropped to its lowest since World War II, to approximately US$ 300 billion.
The military-industrial complex needed a new type of enemy and a new type of
war.
In September 2000, the Pentagon issued a strategy document, produced by one
of the neo-conservative think-tanks, with the title: Rebuilding America’s De-
fenses. In order to transform the military, the authors, among them the defense
secretary Donald Rumsfeld and vice president Dick Cheney, wrote that “some
catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbour” was needed to sell
the plan to the American public.
The terrorist attack in the USA on 9/11, 2001 was exactly that.
Military spending boomed after 9/11. Contracts for the top 10 weapons con-
tractors went up with 75% from 2001-2003. The 5 biggest “defense contrac-
tors”, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and
Raytheon have increased their sales with 10% per year since 2001.

THE MILITARYINDUSTRIAL COMPLEX TODAY

Economic main figures


In 2008, USA has a military-industrial complex that accounts for 48% of the
total world military expenditure of US$ 1.5 trillion (1.500.000.000.000) .
In 2008, US military spending has been US$ 700 billion.

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US SPENDING ON IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN BY MONTH, WEEK,


DAY, HOUR, MINUTE, & SECOND IN 2008
(based on adjusted DOD FY 2007 obligations)

Iraq Afghanistan Total


Per Month $10.3 billion $2 billion $12.3 billion
Per Week $2.4 billion $469 million $2.9 billion
Per Day $343 million $67 million $410 million
Per Hour $14 million $2.8 million $17 million
Per Minute $238,425 $46,296 $284,722
Per Second $3,973 $771 $4,745

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TOTAL IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN SUPPLEMENTAL WAR


FUNDING TO DATE
(Budget Authority in Billions of Dollars)

FY01 FY03 FY04 FY05 FY06 FY07 FY08 FY09 Total


& (To (To
FY02 Date) Date)
Iraq 0 53.0 75.9 85.5 101.7 133.6 158.0 53.4 661.1
Afghanistan 20.8 14.7 14.5 20.0 19.0 36.9 36.5 15.1 177.5
Enhanced 13.0 8.0 3.7 2.1 0.8 0.4 0.5 0 28.5
Base Security
Subtotal 33.8 81.2 94.1 107.6 121.5 170.9 195.0 68.5 872.6

SOURCE AND NOTES: Analysis of Congressional Research Service data.


Budget authority totals include war-related funding for DOD, the State
Department, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Enhanced Base Security
signifies upgrades at US military bases and other homeland security projects
after September 11. FY03 subtotal of $81.2 billion includes $5.5 billion in
funding that CRS cannot allocate. FY08 funding includes $16.8 billion
for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles in the first FY08 continuing
resolution and FY08 DOD Appropriations Bill.

Of US total Federal spending, “national defense” has since 2003 accounted for
25%, but for over 50% of the US discretionary budget (the part of the budget
that the president/administration and congress controls). In 2008, 52% of this
budget was used for national defense, 6.3% for education and 5.3% for health
care. On top of the 52% in 2008 an extra US$ 195 billion was granted for the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As a comparison, the combined profits of the US Fortune 100 companies in
2008 was approximately US$ 700 billion.

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THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

During the 1990s, arms suppliers and


military contracting firms merged at an
unprecedented rate, more intense than
in any other sector of business outside
banking.
In less than a decade, what had been
more than 50 US major arms suppliers
had been consolidated into only 5-6
dominant firms. After a bombing attack in Baghdad, Iraq.
Rescue workers and survivors bring wound-
Only a dozen or so companies around ed and dead people out of the rubbles.
the world account for the majority of
international “defense” revenues, and the consolidation has strengthened the
power of the few individuals at the core of these companies.

THE “DEFENSE CONTRACTORS”


The top worldwide defense contractors, 2007 according to defense revenue in
billion US$ (NOT total revenue).

No Name Country Defense Total net People


revenue income employed
1 Lockheed Martin USA 42 3 140,000
2 Boeing USA 33 (50% civil) 4 163,000
3 Northrop Grumman USA 32 1,8 122,000
4 BAE Systems UK 25 1,8 98,000
5 General Dynamics USA 19 (25% civil) 2 83,000
6 Raytheon USA 19 2,5 72,000
7 Honeywell USA 18 (50% civil) 2,4 122,000
8 L-3 Communications USA 13 (20% civil) 0,8 64,000
9 EADS EU 13 (75% civil) -0,6 116,000
10 United Tech. USA 12 (85% civil) 4,2 222,000

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As mentioned before, military spending boomed after 9/11, 2001. Contracts


for the top 10 weapons contractors went up by 75% between 2001-2003, and
the 5 biggest in USA, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Gen-
eral Dynamics and Raytheon have increased their sales by 10% every year since
2001. They are followed by Honeywell, Halliburton, and thousands of smaller
weapons companies and contractors.
While some of the contracts were related to the war in Iraq and the war against
terror, many are related to projects that are continued from the Cold War, like
F-22 combat aircrafts or nuclear submarines. The biggest military contractors
have won most on the military build-up after 9/11.

* Lockheed Martin:
The world’s largest defense contractor, Lockheed Martin increased its sales by
50% from 14.7 billion US$ in 2001 to 21.9 billion US$ in 2003, and reported
a 41% profit increase from 2001 to 2003. In 2007, the company’s revenue had
increased to 42 billion US$, 60% of which was sales to the Pentagon. It has
landed multi-year contracts with the National Archives, the Justice Department,
Homeland Security, the Exchange Commission and the Health Department.
Lockheed Martin produces ballistic
missiles, munitions, fighter aircraft,
transport aircraft, satellites, radars,
spacecraft, defense systems, and it has
a growing information and security
technology business.

* Northrop Grumman: Northrop Grumman is the world’s largest


builder of naval vessels. Due to its politi-
Northrop Grumman also increased cal and military connections the company
contracts by 50% from US$ 5.2 billion increased its contracts with Pentagon 50%
in 2001 to US$ 11.1 billion in 2003, from 2001 to 2003.

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and in 2007 its revenue had increased


to US$ 32 billion.
This company is the world’s largest
builder of naval vessels. It builds air-
craft carriers, military aircraft, military
vessels, missile defense systems, satel-
lites and, makes information technol-
ogy and advanced electronic systems. F-15 fighter jets of the Israeli Air Force
supplied by Boeing, which is one of the big-
* Boeing: gest “defense” contractors in the world with
50% of its profits derived from military
Boeing’s defense contracts went up production and 50% from civil aviation.
from US$ 13.3 billion in 2001 to US$
17.3 billion in 2003, and Boeing reported a net income growth of 78% . It won
a US$ 17 billion contract from Pentagon to build tankers, and it has recently
won a US$ 2.5 billion contract to construct a “fence” at the border between
Mexico and the USA. In 2007, Boeing’s defense related revenue was US$ 33
billion, 50% of total revenue.
The company produces commercial airlines, military aircraft, space systems,
rockets, munition and computer systems. A subsidiary, Jeppesen Travel, has ar-
ranged the secret transport of so called “war prisoners” from Afghanistan, Iraq
and USA and Guantanamo to secret US prisons around the world.
Some smaller military contractors have grown significantly since 9/11:

* Halliburton:
One of the big winners to date is Halliburton, where Dick Cheney was chair-
man before he became vice president, and where he is a major shareholder. Hal-
liburton went from being a smaller Pentagon contractor in 2001 with US$ 400
million in contracts to among the 20 biggest in 2003 with US$ 3.9 billion
in contracts. And that was just the beginning. The company got contracts for

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Iraqi rebuilding and Pentagon logistics, and Halliburton’s work now includes
everything from rebuilding Iraq’s oil infrastructure and building military bases
to providing meals, doing laundry and maintaining military vehicles. Whenever
and wherever the US Army has to deploy, Halliburton is there.

* Computer Science Corporation:


CSC, which does missile defense work, and also owns Dyncorp, tripled its con-
tracts with the Pentagon between 2002 and 2003, from US$ 800 million to
US$ 2.5 billion. Dyncorp is engaged in everything from reforming the Iraqi
justice system to providing private security guards to Afghan president, Hamid
Karzai, to combating narco-traffickers and guerrillas in Columbia.

* Science Application International Corporation:


Another fast-growing contractor in 2003 was SAIC, which saw its contracts in-
crease from US$ 2.1 billion in 2002 to US$ 2.6 billion in 2003. SAIC does ev-
erything from intelligence gathering to missile defense studies to Iraqi rebuilding
related work for the Pentagon. The company also served as the location for 150
pre-selected Iraqi exiles that the Pentagon had decided to “drop in” to key Iraqi
ministries after the invasion of Iraq.

The personal connections


An important part of the military-industrial complex is the personal and eco-
nomic connection between the biggest weapons producers and contractors, the
military, and the government. A phenomenon well-known and extensively de-
scribed through the years, called the “revolving door”.
Influences from the military on American politics, as well as on European poli-
tics, have been evident for many years.
The military trains and educates its leaders at a few prestigious military acad-
emies, the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, the US Military Academy at West

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THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Point, and the US Air Force Academy.


From these few institutions, generals,
admirals and the highest command-
ers of the Army, Navy and Airforce are
graduated. These academies have been
forming the future elite of the US mili-
tary for 200 years. They have since the
start of the Cold War trained a number
of future officers from other countries,
increasingly so since the early 1990s.
These military leaders know each Modern warfare will to a large extent be
fought with unmanned weapons and fighter
other well, they share the same tradi- jets. Here is a robotic weapon, which is be-
tions and values, they are in charge of ing used in the war in Iraq.
a mighty force and a network covering the whole country and to a large extent
the world.
From a military career, the door is open to high government positions as presi-
dent, secretary of defence, secretary of state, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff,
national security advisor, chairman of committees, etc.
The door is also open to important positions in big corporations, especially in
the military industry.
Likewise the influence from big corporations on American, as well as on Euro-
pean politics, is well known.
The CEOs, CFOs, chairmen, board members and advisors of big corporations
studied at the same universities, as did members of government, like the presi-
dent or vice president, different members of the administration, senators and
congressmen, governors, judges and advisors.
They share the same traditions, speak the same language, and they know each
other well.

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The revolving door between big corporations and government has been known
since the late 1800s. The owner and chairman of General Motors was advisor
to the government during World War II, and became secretary of defense in
the 1950s. Robert McNamara was president of Ford Motor Company before
he became secretary of defense. Kissinger was secretary of defense 30 years ago.
He has been advisor to several administrations since, and at the same time he
represents many big corporations; as shareholder, board member or consultant.
The Bush family’s interests in oil are well documented, and so are many other
connections.
But never before did the government witness such influx from big corporations,
especially from defense contractors, to the highest civilian posts in USA, than
when G.W. Bush took office in 2001. The Bush administration appointed 32
executives, paid consultants, or major shareholders of weapons contractors to
top policymaking positions in the Pentagon, the National Security Council,
the Department of Energy (involved in nuclear weapons development), and the
State Department.
A good example is former Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, who sold di-
rectly owned shares in Lockheed Martin and Boeing worth more than US$
50 million just before he took office. He declined to sell his shares in some of
the most profitable pharmaceutical companies, like Gilead Sciences (produces
Tamiflu against bird flu and AIDS medicine), and in biotech investments funds.
He was and is a board member of ASEA Brown Boveri (ABB), a Swiss company
that sold nuclear technology to North Korea in 2000. He is also a board member
of Searle Pharmaceuticals, Sears, and Kellogg.
On Lockheed Martin’s board you will find: The former undersecretary of de-
fense, E.C. Peter Aldridge; the former commander, strategic command, admi-
ral, James O. Ellis; the former deputy secretary of homeland security and coast
guard admiral, James Loy; former supreme allied commander in Europe and
vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Joseph Ralston.

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Boeing is also a “civil” company and not so heavily laden with military presen-
tation, but the board includes General Jim Jones, former US supreme allied
commander in Europe, as well as a former White House chief of staff, a former
commerce secretary and a former assistant secretary of state.

The privatization of the military


There are approximately 150,000 US troops on the ground in Iraq. Less well
known is the fact that there are another 180,000 trained contractors, many
armed mercenaries, doing jobs traditionally allocated to the US national mili-
tary. They are typically former military personnel, but they have moved over to
a rapidly growing industry, that of private military firms or PMFs.
PMFs are private companies, hired by governments, to provide a wide range of
military and security services. These include servicing of advanced weapons, fa-
cility protection and personnel security, translation, interrogation, and training
for military and police forces; they usually exclude actual combat.
PMFs have been around for many years. In the 1950s, United Kingdom and
South Africa created similar groups of mercenaries to train and fight in South-
ern Africa, the Middle East, and Sierra
Leone. The USA also hired private
contractors to train Vietnamese mili-
tary and police forces in the 1960s and
1970s.
There are now about 35 major PMFs
in the USA, including names such as
Kellogg, Brown and Root (formerly
Blackwater mercenaries arriving at the
part of Halliburton), DynCorp, Black- scene. Blackwater’s private army consists of
water and Trident. These firms often former soldiers and commanders from the
US army, as well as former mercenaries
have ties to larger defense conglomer- from death squads and private armies in
ates. The big weapons producers and Latin America, Africa and Asia.

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contractors have had several PMF subsidiaries for years, specialized in all kinds
of military and security “production”. Northrop Grumman owns Vinnell Cor-
poration, for instance. Vinnell was founded by retired military officials and has
primarily been operating in Saudi Arabia for 30 years. Its primary responsibility
has been to train the Saudi National Guard, a force of 100,000 men who pro-
tect the monarchy from attack, even from the standing army. During the last
few years, Vinnell has constructed, run and staffed 5 Saudi military academies,
7 shooting ranges, a health care system, as well as trained and equipped 4 Saudi
mechanized brigades and 5 infantry brigades.
Blackwater, owned and run by the ultra-conservative Erik Prince, has come from
nearly nothing to winning security contracts with the state department and the
Pentagon worth billions of US$ just over the last few years. Blackwater’s employ-
ees include a number of top former Pentagon and CIA officials.
Blackwater has personnel in 9 countries worldwide, a fleet of more than 20 air-
craft, and a database of more than 20,000 additional troops on standby. As of
now, Blackwater is investing in the development of a new generation of armored
vehicles together with one of the big car companies.
If PMFs are going to represent “the new business face of warfare”, governments’
earlier monopoly on violence will be further eroded, and state power greatly
undermined.
Private firms are also exempt from
legislative or public oversight. Paul
Bremer, the former US administrator
in Iraq, decreed that individual con-
tractors could not be prosecuted for
actions in Iraq. This allows leaders to
British soldiers in Afghanistan. Many short-circuit government control by
soldiers seek employment in private military
and security firms, where the wages are turning over important policy tasks to
much higher that in the national armies. outside, unaccountable companies.

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Influence on society as such


In 2006, the US Department
of Defense employed more
than 2,150,000 people, and
the estimate was that private
defense contractors employed
3,600,000 workers – a total
of 5.7 million, or 3.8% of the
total US workforce employed
in direct defense-related jobs.
In addition, there are 26.5
million veterans in the USA.
Therefore, 30 million Ameri-
cans and their families receive
The US Army National Guard (ARNG) and the US
checks that originate directly Army Reserve (USAR) are stationed all over USA.
or indirectly from the US The map shows the coverage in the state of Georgia.
These “citizen-soldiers” are ready for deployment, at
military budget. This means home and abroad.
at least 60 million voters who
have a stake in the American military establishment. It also means that there is
a network covering every district and county in USA that supports the military
and is controlled by the military.

PENTAGONISM

The concept “Pentagonism” was first used by Juan Bosch as the title of his book
in 1967. Juan Bosch was President of the Dominican Republic when the gov-
ernment was overthrown by a US military coup in 1965.
Though Juan Bosch defined and explained the nature, the organization and the
means of Pentagonism 40 years ago, and though the concept does not encom-

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HISTORY FRONT

pass and explain the causes of all wars


and military actions from the 1970s
until now, it may add clarity to our un-
derstanding of the military-industrial
complex to know the essence of Pen-
tagonism – as seen by Juan Bosch:
Many of us still believe that American
foreign policy can be characterized as Ex-president of the Dominican Republic
Juan Bosch returning from 2 years of exile
“imperialism” gone global. But it is not denounces the USA. Santo Domingo 1965.
so. He was the first to use the concept “Pentago-
A more developed form of capitalism nism” in his book from 1967.

and exploitation has taken the place of imperialism, and it is “pentagonism”.


* The purpose of the old form of colonialism was that of extracting raw
materials and primary products out of the colonies, where wages and prices were
kept low and the populations were kept under control with cross and sword.
Both the colonial states as well as the big companies gained from colonialism.
The purpose of wars was to conquer a colony and keep it as a dependent terri-
tory.
* Imperialism was a more developed form of exploitation, where the for-
mer colonies continued to deliver raw materials and basic products at low prices,
but also functioned as a market for the multinational companies, where they
could sell their surplus production and invest their surplus capital. The colonies
were controlled indirectly by military force, often through national armies and
police, and influenced politically, socially and culturally to change their ways
and traditions to fit that of the imperialist power. A former colony was both a
zone in which capital was invested and a zone in which profits accumulated.
The purpose of wars was that of securing resources and markets and transferring
profits to multinational companies, and to keep the colonies as dependent ter-
ritories.

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THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

* Between World War I and World War II the capitalist production devel-
oped radically, because scientific technology was applied at a new level, and a
new form of “artificial” raw materials and new products were invented – which
to a certain degree made the capitalist centers less dependent on the former
colonies – and the productivity level and the production of capital reached new
highs. This was about to peak when World War II started, and the military pro-
duction during the war accelerated this economic development. It can be called
an “overdeveloped” capitalism after World War II, with an economic mass-pro-
duction system so profitable and so effective that it could pay very high wages to
its workers, who became consumers and taxpayers.
* The military-industrial complex and pentagonism are products of overdevel-
oped capitalism and the military production of World War II.

The nature of Pentagonism


Pentagonism differs from imperialism in that it does not share its most char-
acteristic feature: military conquest of colonial territories and their subsequent
economic exploitation. Pentagonism does not exploit colonies. It exploits its
own people.
What is being sought is access to the big economic resources being allocated
for industrial war production, profits where arms are being manufactured, not
where they are being employed – and this profit is being obtained in the pen-
tagonist mother country, not in the country that is being attacked. A contract
for fighter jets brings in several times more profit, in a much shorter time, than
the conquest of the richest mining territory. These sums come out of the pockets
of the pentagonized people, who are at the same time the mother country and
the seat of the pentagonist power.
Out of what USA spends in a year inside its own country on manufacturing
arms, warships, fighter planes, armored vehicles, uniforms, etc. for the forces
in combat, the pentagonists get what is necessary to keep their industrial plants

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and companies working and to pay the


highest salaries in the world, which are
in turn transformed to increased buy-
ing power and tax payments – all with
the result of ultra-rapid formation of
capital through profit.
Pentagonism does not operate on the
basis of capital invested in a colonial War of aggression is a crime according to
international standards, so the pentagonists
territory like imperialism did. Pentag- invented a new kind of war: a defensive
onism operates military methods simi- war outside of the country – a type of war
that had never existed before.
lar to those used by imperialism, but
its purpose is different. The territory going to be attacked is the final depository
of goods that have already been produced and sold and paid for by the mother
country. It would not matter to those who accumulate profits on military pro-
duction whether these goods were thrown into the sea or used for war. But the
pentagonized people would not be willing to spend their tax dollars if the high
defense budgets were not justified by war.
After World War II, according to the Nuremberg Process which convicted lead-
ers of Nazi Germany for their crimes and according to the charter of the United
Nations, war of aggression has been defined as a crime. So the pentagonists in-
vented a new kind of war: a defensive war outside the country – a type of war,
that had never existed before.
Pentagonism has two main advantages over imperialism. One is economic, the
other is moral. The first is that pentagonism provides the most rapid and safest
means of capitalization conceivable in the world of business. The second advan-
tage – the moral one – lies in the fact that pentagonism leaves the pentagonist
country morally intact, because it can say to the world and to its own people
that it is not making war to conquer colonies, it is not acting out of imperialist
motives. This again is used as an instrument of propaganda, as the pentagonized

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THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

people and the soldiers are led to believe that they are going to war to help the
attacked country, to save it from evil.
This helps to hide a more important truth: That a small group of industrialists,
bankers, businessmen, generals, and politicians are going to war to obtain rapid
and generous profits, which again are invested to make even more profits.
In USA, during the beginning of the 1950s, federal military spending took over
civil spending, and during the 1960s the military became a stronger political
force than the civil government. The pentagonists took control over US foreign
policy, and since then the civil government has only been in charge of the na-
tional policy. When the state is not in economic control of the political system,
it has no political power.
Pentagonism will not take over civil government in the nation-state if it guaran-
tees political and social peace and stability; if not, Pentagonism has to take over.
Not by means of a coup d’état, if it can be avoided. Rather gradually, according
to a long term strategy, by taking over effective command structures of non-
military administration that earlier belonged to federal authorities.
Before Pentagonism, the society was a individualist society. The Constitution,
all organizations, laws, and institutions were based on the individual’s rights and
responsibilities.
Pentagonism could not exist before USA became a mass society. A mass society
can only be influenced by great displays of strength and massive means of infor-
mation, be it when support is needed for war spending or as consumers.
It is Juan Bosch’s conclusion that the pentagonized people are influenced by the
military-industrial complex, since the whole society is geared towards war, and
since so many people are directly or indirectly employed by the military.
Even when they see children being burned by napalm bombs, they do not react.
Even when they see the gravest atrocities, they do not react. They have been told
the pentagonist truth, that war is for the good of the attacked country, and that
their army is there to secure freedom for the people.

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HISTORY FRONT

The Americans have become indifferent. They have lost their human sense of
proportion; they have lost their moral conscience, their intellect has been cor-
rupted.

WHAT WILL THE FUTURE BRING?

The military-industrial complex has been in a transition period during the 1990s,
redefining war and developing the military production.
Since the end of the Soviet Union, the Pentagon, the US government, the big
defense contractors, and conservative think-tanks have worked to develop a new
strategy for the US Army.
9/11 was a welcome start of a new military era.
The Pentagon and the US Army envision the future in this way:
* Wars will be fought around the globe in order to defend or bring about “dem-
ocratic peace and stability”.
* “The Long War”, another name for the “War on Terror”, will be fought con-
tinuously for the years to come, inside the US and in the rich countries, as
well as in countries supporting terrorists.
* Building up the military’s nuclear force as a deterrent against an emerging
new power, China, and the “evil” regimes.
* Building up a “space force” to secure that no foreign power can threaten USA
or its allies from space, and so that future wars can be fought from space.
* The US Army network working coherently and under the same command on
a local, national and federal level in USA will be used in the US Homeland
Security to fight terrorism, for municipal policing, to respond to natural or
man-made disasters, for relief and reconstruction work.
* The US Army will be organized in smaller and more flexible and mobile
combat units, which can be deployed independently at home or abroad, or

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as part of a bigger operation. These


small combat units will be equipped
with state of the art weaponry.
The big military contractors have been
positioning themselves for a new era
by diversifying their production and
investments through the last years,
mainly by mergers. They have been
adding new divisions and have extend- The new US$133 million military su-
ed their reach especially within com- percomputer, Roadrunner, developed by
IBM and the military is a technical break-
puting technology, intelligence, sur-
through. It can perform more than 1,026
veillance, unmanned warfare, avionics, quadrillion calculations per second. It is
aerospace technology, pharmaceuticals, meant to solve classified military problems.

and nano-technology, they have acquired the defense divisions from Chrysler,
General Motors, Ford and other companies, and they have acquired companies
and extended their divisions working as private military contractors. Lockheed
for example now considers itself a “global security company”, as opposed to be-
ing just a defense contractor.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war on terror with its consequences of
“Homeland Security” in USA, the creation of the “axis of evil”, the creation of
the threat of “Islamic fundamentalism” – all with live pictures of the bombing of
Bagdad, the results of suicide bombings, bombing of trains, hostage taking in 5
star hotels – are all parts of a cohesive whole to justify present-day wars. So the
taxpayers in USA and Europe will accept the huge military spendings, and all
the weapons can be used, so there is a reason to produce more.
The “defense” contractors have already received their pay before the weapons
were used. They are occupied with new business: developing new fighter jets,
unmanned armored vehicles, constructing 2 new Navy submarines worth US$
50 billion, building rockets for NASA-missions, and working with new security

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HISTORY FRONT

contracts for Homeland Security. Besides, they are using their technologies in
all parts of civil society: training aviation control personnel, installing security
systems in airports, training the army and immigration officers, building IT
systems for national health care, running electricity supply, running systems for
counting votes, renovating banking security systems, etc.
It seems nearly insurmountable to stop war with such an adversary.
We want to stop war with its murder, human suffering, destruction, people in
misery, bombed back to decades ago, their homes destroyed, with crops, work-
places, schools, hospitals, roads and bridges, all gone, leaving scarred souls who
dare not sleep at night.
Like all right-minded human beings, we want to stop war.
But we are up against a powerful system.
Anyway, the only thing that can stop war is the power of the people. When more
and more people stop believing in the lies about fellow human beings in other
countries and the Western powers’ right to impose their political system and way
of life on all other people, and when they fire presidents and governments who
act as puppets for the military establishment, and when they stop accepting that
their tax money is used for war, then we will be heard.
The military-industrial complex would fight back. They would avoid a coup
d’état if possible, trying to isolate the “dissidents” from the people, but if nec-
essary they would demand that the President impose martial law. They would
easily round up few opponents, but if it was a really broad movement, it would
be unstoppable.
So, there is only one thing to do: March against war. Speak out against war.
Write poems against war. Teach against war. Sing against war. Sit down against
war. On your feet against war. Unite against war. Tell the truth about war. Show
the true face of war. Show the true face of the merchants of war. Help the victims
of war. Unite with other people against war. And in the meantime, until we can
stop the war, unite with other people to build the future.

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