Military-Industrial Complex Essay

Question:

To what extent is the military-industrial complex still a threat to international peace and stability?

Answer:

Introduction

Military-industrial complexes are defined as the politico-economic system which are of the self-sustaining nature. These complexes make the process of continuous profitability possible in the industry related to the military supplies as well as the various de factos in most of the countries of the world (Armeson 2012). Generally, it is made of competing as well as collaborating units-the maintenance of which is financially profitable to all the parties concerned. The parties concerned with the process generally includes soldiers from the different nations, the owners as well as the managers of the industries which supply military equipments to the governmental officials and other related parties. The business aspirations of these complexes are enhanced by the modern technological advances as well as the desire of the world powers like United States of America, Italy, Russia, France, Germany, England and various others for more power as well as influence through the procurement of weapons (Giroux 2015). Another factor responsible for the promotion of these industrial complexes is the benefit or the profits that both the sides involved receive from the arrangement-one side paying the required money to acquire the arms as well as ammunitions which provides them with an apparent sense of security and the other side making profits simply by the supply of them. The term, is most commonly used in association with the system behind the military of the United States, where it is most commonly used and gained popularity after the use of the term by the American ex-President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell address on January 17, 1961 (Giroux 2015). Eisenhower warned: "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" (Giroux 2015). The present USA President Donald Trump articulated the need for the empowerment of the military-industrial complexs in the United States in his first “Joint Address to the Congress of United States”. He proposed that the nation could cut taxes for wealthy Americans and corporations, could rip billions of dollars out of domestic programs and that money could be used for the creation of the military-industrial complex. The concept gained popularity during the Second War World and was in much popular use even after the war especially during the Cold War era. However, the credit for formulating the concept of military-integrated complex belongs to C. Wright Mills (1956) (Gressel 2015).Traditionally, these complexes were used by the nations, for their purposes of defence as well as security. However, over the years the concept is now being seen as a threat to world peace in the light of the recent events like the attack on World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, the armed attack on the city of Boko Haram on July 29-30, 2009 and several others (Gressel 2015).

Discussion

There are various components of the military-industrial complex. They include military, corporations, government and the various think tanks (Castells 2014). The role of the military bodies in the promotion of the military-industrial complex is very important. Military glory has been emphasised by various authors in the Literatures of all ages. Even in the present age, the importance as well as the need for military glory as well as reputation has been emphasised by the various nations. However, the process gained paramount importance ever since the rise of Germany as a superpower during the Second World War under the dictatorship of Adolp Hitler (Gummett et al. 2012). In the present century itself, many countries end up spending millions of dollars every year in the name of national security and military glory. The US military, for example, at the present moment consists of 1,281,900 soldiers (Castells 2014). Therefore, the existence of the military-industrial complex becomes necessary in order to equip these soldiers with the required as well as adequate kinds of weapons. The turbulent state of the world order at the present moment makes it of paramount importance for the world powers like USA, Russia, China and others to maintain a large standing army as well as to equip them the required latest weapons (Cole 2012). It is in this military context that the existence of the military industrial complexes becomes very important.


The institutions are mostly sponsored by the governments of various countries or they can even be backed by the various private organisations. Every country generally maintains a large standing army at its disposal so as to fight against the threats of other nations as well as the various terrorist activities. The various military industrial complexes are very useful to the various governmental organisations as they help them to equip their soldiers with the required weapons to fight against the enemies. Countries like USA and Russia promote these complexes through the grants of the military fund aids to the third world countries like Nigeria, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel and various others (Cole 2012). The countries that receive these grants as well as aids are required to purchase the required arms as well as ammunitions from some particular military industrial complexes, which are patronised by the government of the country granting the aid or the grant. This policy is also followed by the other first world countries of the world. Even the present USA President Donald Trump has clearly stated his intention to patronise the various military industrial complexes. Therefore, it could be said that the role played by the various countries in the process of patronising the various military industrial complexes is a very important one.

There are various corporations, which are responsible for the overall growth as the promotion of the military industrial complexes. As per a report, over the past eight years, more than trillions of dollars have been spent by the various governmental as well as the private organisations on the various military as well as homeland security companies. Therefore, the condition or the state of war is a very profitable situation for the companies, which are given contracts to supply the various equipments required during the process of war. According to Morgan Keegan, a capital as well as wealth management firm, the investments in various homeland security companies yielded a 12% annual growth through 2013-a growth rate that seems very high in comparison to other industries of the world in the present economic scenario (Dunne and Sk?ns 2014). Then there are the lobbyists, who sole purpose is to ensure that the various countries as well as the private organisations keep on granting exorbitant amount of funds for war as well as homeland security. One such example is the former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff who was instrumental in the process of purchase of the full body scanners which were heavily criticised by the general public and which are still at almost all the major airports of the world (Dunne and Sk?ns 2014). It is the influence of all these corporations as well as the various agencies that had made the various military-industrial complexes so profitable an enterprise.

The various think tanks of the world also play an important part in this context. The think tanks can be defined as the various companies or individuals who through effective propaganda create the various situations, where in the products as well as the services of the military industry complexes become of paramount necessity. An example of this is the aggressive as well as the dominant military strategy preferred by the USA towards the countries as well as the organization that threats its security. This particular theory was developed during the 1990s by a conglomeration of conservative think tanks who were backed by several corporate organisations (Dunne and Tian 2013). Even the strategy followed by the Bush government against the various terrorist activities was developed before the formation of the government by Bush. Therefore, the theories as well as the various policies developed by the various think tanks are of utmost importance during the various critical situations wherein strategic action by the various governmental as well as the private organizations require the presence of the various military industrial complexes and their resources.


Military industrial complexes have been instrumental in revolutionizing the way through which the wars are fought at the moment. The soldiers as well as the various military organization no longer fight with the traditional weapons used by our ancestors because of the technologically advanced weapons manufactured by the various military complexes. The various military industrial complexes, as a matter of fact have transformed the manner in which the combats as well as the various wars are carried out at the present moment. There are several other benefits that the various military industrial complexes provide. The first benefit that the military industrial complexes provide is the large number of employment opportunities, which they offer to the unemployed masses of the world, irrespective of the country or the culture to which they belong (Gummett et al. 2012). The military industrial complexes are one of the fastest expanding industries of the world with an annual growth rate of about twelve percent and hence, it becomes very important for the industry or the organization concerned to appoint a very substantial number of workers. This helps in reducing the problem of unemployment faced by the majority of the world population at the present moment. Every year, millions of people are recruited in the various branches of the military industry complexes like Homeland Security Services, in the various secret societies. According to report, the “black budget” of secret intelligence programmes alone was estimated at $52.6 billion for the year 2013 (Dunne and Tian 2013). According to another report, there are roughly around 16 spy agencies which hires about 107,035 employees from all different parts of the world (Unesdoc.unesco.org, 2017). Apart from this, there are more than one million people, who are employed by the military as well as the national security law enforcement agencies. There are several other sectors, which are related to the various complexes. These sectors include institutions like the various corporations, lobbyists as well as the agencies that provide employment opportunities to millions of people every year. The various complexes are help to maintain the power balance among the different countries of the world. The various military industrial complexes were initiated with the idea to cater to the various military needs of the various governmental organizations, which lack the proper means to manufacture the arms and the ammunitions to defend their nations. Therefore, it could be safely concluded that the various military complexes through their various products as well as services help to maintain the power balance among the major countries of the world. These complexes also help in the process of technological advancement of the countries concerned. The technology utilized by the various complexes for the manufacture of their arms, ammunitions and other devices are very innovative as well as sophisticated. These technologies can be modified subtly in various ways, so as to be beneficial to mankind. For example, the technology that is currently used to make electricity using the various nuclear reactors was the same technology that was utilized to manufacture the first nuclear bomb (Gummett et al. 2012). Therefore, it could be safely concluded that the various agencies or sectors of the military complexes actually have to some extent become successful in making the world a better place. According to a report, more than a million individuals from all over the world are recruited every year by the various spy as well as the intelligence agencies of the world (Dunne and Tian 2013). These spy as well as the intelligence agencies have proved to be successful in averting some of the major terrorist activities over the past few decades and thereby helped in saving millions of human lives as well as billions of worth of assets. These organizations have also been instrumental or helpful in arresting many notorious as well as dangerous criminals from different countries of the world and thereby helped in reducing the criminal activities.

It is true that the several military complexes are very essential for the maintenance of world power equation. However, there are certain disadvantages as well that are attached to the various complexes. The first disadvantage that can be said to stem from the various complexes is the easy availability of weapons of mass destruction that the various complexes have made available to the various nations as well as private organizations. The easy access, that the various governmental as well as the private organizations have at the moment to the weapons of mass destruction, threats the world peace. The common examples of this disadvantages are the various terrorist attacks like the ones at the World Trade Center and the ones recently in France. Then there are various nations like Korea, Pakistan and several others, which threaten to destroy the world peace through the use of nuclear (Hayes 2012). The money that is spent on the various military complexes every year also forms an area of concern for the various governmental authorities. According to a study, in the fiscal year 2016, the Pentagon spent about $304 billion on the various military complexes alone (Unesdoc.unesco.org, 2017). The majority of the money spent on these complexes comes solely from the pockets of the tax payers. Therefore, many people consider this, to be a gross misappropriation of the tax payer’s hard earned money. American President Dwight D. Eisenhower (Steve Weissman, 2017) was right when he said that,


“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final….. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

The operations of the various military industrial complexes as well as the different wars are beneficial only for the individuals who are in power. According to former Republican politician, Ron Paul, “war is never economically beneficial except for those in position to profit from war expenditures”. This perhaps sums up the nature of war: huge corporations benefiting from the top, whilst the people suffer below. In 2010, CEO of Northrop Grumman, Wesley Bush, made $22.84 million whilst CEO of Lockheed Martin, Robert Stevens, made $21.89 million himself (Unesdoc.unesco.org, 2017). Therefore, many individuals consider the activities related to these complexes to mere facades for the purpose of making profits. The effect of all this is that every year many individuals end up losing their lives because of the easy availability of the arms, that has been made possible by the emergence of the various complexes. The economic factors notwithstanding, there is another major disadvantage that the process has. A large percentage of the soldiers recruited in the war activities belong to the younger age group and hence, the death of these younger soldiers is a matter of great loss not only to their respective families but to the concerned nations as well. The loss these lives adversely affects the growth as well as the development of the nation concerned. For example, it was observed that during and after the Second World War the economic growth rate of the various nations involved in the war slowed down after the loss of the numerous lives in the war (Sudbury 2014). Another disadvantage that the existence of the various complexes causes is the economic drainage that they cause. According to a study, the various military complexes of the United States alone account for nearly 10% of the gross national product, as well as about 15% of the employed labor force (Unesdoc.unesco.org, 2017). As per the same report, about 50% of the industrial research as well as development and about one-fourth of all pure research that is performed in the country is sponsored by the military programs (Unesdoc.unesco.org, 2017). Therefore, many people have developed the misconception that the growth as well as the development of the nation depends on the overall growth as well as the development of its various military industrial complexes. It is because of this misconception that the people have shut their eyes to the signs of the economic troubles that are on the horizon and have sought unrealistic answers to the succession of international defeats that the nations have suffered as well as the defeats that are partly economic in character. If a look at the ancient world is taken then it will be revealed that during that time the various military complexes were of paramount importance as the stability of the empire used to depend on the military strength of the empire but in the present day world of democracy where the sovereignty of the state rests with the people there is not much use for the various military complexes (Richelson 2015). Throughout the ancient times the popular myth was that the spending on various military complexes actually boasts the economy but of the country or the nation concerned however over the past few decades that myth has lost some of its sheen. The excessive amount of money that is bein g spent on the various components by the various governmental as well as the private organizations not only causes economic drain but also affects the growth as the development of the nations by bringing down the GDP of the concerned nation (Picciano and Spring 2013). Therefore, it could be safely said that the process not only affects the economic system of the concerned nation but the economy of the entire world. It is often seen that the countries which focus too much on the growth as well as the development of the various military complexes end up lagging behind in the field of other industries which are very vital for the overall growth as well as the development of the concerned nation. Germany, for example, during the First as well as the Second World War patronized only the military complexes and became neglectful of the other important industries which were vital for its growth as well as development. (Picciano and Spring 2013). The end result of this was that a rapid decline in the economy of the country was noticed after the war which was responsible for the slow growth rate of the nation after the war. During the two Wars, the entire focus of the technological advancement was directed towards the manufacture as well as the improvement of the weapons of mass destruction (Lowenthal 2016). Therefore, a decrease in the growth rate of the other industries was noticed, as the technology that was needed for their advancement was not made available to them. This formed one of the major reasons for the rapid decrease in the growth rate of the various industries just after the war era.

The concept of the complexes under discussion is very much relevant today, despite the various advantages as well as disadvantages of it and the warnings or future forecast as regards to its future given by the various global leaders. During the 20th century, there was an ardent insistence on the part of some of the nations like United States Of America, Russia and others for the growth as well as the development of the these complexes (Hayes 2012). Even the present American President Donald Trump in one of his recent speech indirectly declared his intention to go ahead with the empowerment of these complexes in a bid to safeguard the security of USA as well as to help the third world countries fight against the destructive effects of terrorism (Kellner 2017). The impact of all this, is that there is a growing threat that the world faces because of the rapid growth of the various military industrial complexes. The easy as well as the cheap availability of the technologically advanced arms and other weapons available to the various nations as well as the terrorist organizations have resulted in some of the incidents like the attack on the World Trade Center, the attack on the streets of Paris, the war in Israel, the war between North Korea and South Korea, the current military condition in the nation of Pakistan a well as various other which threatens the world peace (Hayes 2012). The most disheartening fact is that the first world countries rather than taking the onus of resolving the issues that threaten the world peace are finding it as an opportunity to promote as well as increase the business of the various military industrial complexes which are related to them. Even the author George Orwell wrote against the process of armament in his 1984 where he gives a fleeting picture of the world which is dominated by the process of autocracy and militant rule (Huber 2015).The line says,


“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever”

Therefore, it becomes clear that the presence of the various military industrial complexes instead of providing a sense of peace as well as security to the various nations of world have become a threat to them, which needs to be addressed quickly as it is very important for the survival of the entire world itself.

In the light of all these events as well as arguments it becomes important that the various military industrial complexes should be regulated efficiently in order to maintain the peace as well as the security of the world. The concept of the military industry complexes was initiated keeping in mind the purpose of national security as well as integrity, which is very important even in the present world scenario. However, over the years the concept somehow lost its original purpose for which it was initially developed. In the present world scenario, the sole purpose of the various military industrial complexes is to provide arms, ammunitions as well as other weapons of mass destruction to any country or organization that is willing to pay the requisite amount of money for them. The concept of righteous or the reason for which the various organizations or the nations are purchasing the various goods as well as the services provided by the various complexes does not matter to them. The machinery is at present used for the sole purpose of making money. This should not be the case. The various military industrial complexes should take into account the purpose for which the various nations as well as the organizations are purchasing the weapons from them. The dictum that was given by the United Nations for the process of Disarmament should be followed by the different nations and organizations ardently (Unchronicle.un.org, 2017). The dictum says,

"to cause all armed vessels of the United States on the lakes to be sold or laid up, except such as he may deem necessary to enforce proper execution of revenue laws."

This dictum given by the United Nations is not only applicable to the United States but to all the nations of the world so that the world peace as well as security can be maintained (Unchronicle.un.org, 2017).Moreover, steps needs to taken as regards the amount as well as the quality of the products manufactured by the various military industrial complexes. The activities of all these complexes should be regulated by a body or organization, which would consist of members or representatives from almost all the countries of the world. The first world countries should give up the policy of armament in a bid to inspire the other countries of the world to do the same.

Conclusion

Therefore, the essay makes it apparent, that the various military complexes are an essential feature of the various nations as well as the different organizations of the world. They are very important for the security as well as the well being of the different nations as they help in providing a sense of security to the nation concerned. However, the disadvantages of the existence of the various military industrial complexes far outweigh the advantages provided by them. The various military industrial complexes have the availability of the arms, ammunitions as well as the weapons destruction very easy to almost all the nations of the world as well as the various private and terrorist organizations. These private and terrorist organizations from various parts of the world use the products as well as the services provided by the various military industrial complexes in a very unscrupulous way, which is the reason why the entire machinery of the various military industrial complexes have become a threat to world peace and order. Therefore, proper steps needs to taken in order to reduce the activities of the various military industrial complexes in a bid to secure the world peace as well as security.

References

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