Military Industrial Complex Case Study

Document Type:Case Study

Subject Area:Politics

Document 1

Broadly, the phrase describes a form of collaboration between an arms industry and a national government so as to supply weapons of war. In essence, the above collaboration has been criticized since it promotes the financial interests of a few suppliers who own ammunition firms, with legislators being coerced by monetary rewards to lobby for more capital to maintain the MIC. Case Study Topic Summary President Eisenhower’s remarks about, ‘military industrial complex’ was intentional. It was made in reference to American practice just after 1950, when the country had made military expenditure that was 10% of the nation’s GDP1. Just after the cold war, the US was again on the spot for spending huge funds towards the Vietnam war in the 1960s and 70s. Hence, it becomes manifest that the US failed to adhere to the warnings of president Eisenhower, considering that the budget of the armed forces was still immense during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Major issues Analysts consider that MIC has the power to undermine the American democracy. For instance, it became evident that a heavy investment in military equipment would cause the country to participate in the nuclear arms race. Hence, MIC had the potency to create bureaucrats within critical ministries which could influence the acquisition of military equipment by the government. Fundamentally, legislators who come from districts that contain military bases of big manufacturing firms are often influenced by private interests of the firms2. Therefore, the legislators and the ammunition firms often develop a mutual relationship that can curtail the tenets of democracy.

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Legislators can receive campaign funding from firms that manufacture ammunition so that when they win, they can vote to award capital to projects of the election financiers. In this regard, lobby groups have the power to advance the interests of a few capitalists who are only interested in making money at the expense of the nation’s defense. When Americans vote for their preferred legislators, an impression is often created that the winners would advance national interests. However, the existence of military industrial complex is evidence enough to illustrate that the politicians are only interested in helping their financiers to get military tenders to supply ammunition. Based on history, analysts consider that the cold war ideology was false and exaggerated so as to create sufficient reason to enrich ammunition firms. In essence, those who advanced the cold war ideology were keen to make the public to believe that the nation was acting for the good of national interests, only for them to advance their selfish goals of enriching themselves3.

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Hence, such form of capitalism has been considered as working against public interests. In the mind of president Eisenhower, arms spending would actually become a security threat rather than assuring the nation of safety. Hence the greatest issue surrounding the MIC is that a concept of war can be created so as to keep the business of buying and selling of ammunition a live. A majority of Americans often prefer to work for the MIC due to the attractive payment they receive. Although pundits agree that military spending reduced with the collapse of the Soviet Union during the cold war era, there is indication that new threats such as terrorism can become sufficient reason for subsequent increase in budgetary allocations6. A Review of Pro and Con Views on the Issue There exists those who support the existence of a military industrial complex.

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For instance, it may be argued that money invested in the complex is never wasted since it is still used at the domestic level. Most of the firms that benefit from the funds are domestic, and that the money is reinvested back to the economy. In addition, there exists an argument to the effect that the military industrial complex benefits so many people financially, and this makes it difficult to be removed. Those who are opposed to the existence of MIC believe that it contradicts the ideals of the founding fathers. The fact that a section of the wars that America has fought in history have never been approved by Congress makes them unconstitutional. Besides, the continued existence of MIC symbolizes that the country is more interested about foreign issues than domestic ones.

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The belief that the country is spending more funds in fighting foreigners against investing in domestic affairs has made MIC to be unpopular with many citizens. Having invested heavily in the war, the advanced weapons used by the American fighters were countered by simple guerrilla tactics from the Vietnamese10. Hence, the failure in Vietnam indicated that a military industrial complex cannot assure victory. Besides, the Iraq invasion was not valuable to the interest of Americans. The inability to convince Congress that war can become beneficial to the interests of Americans indicates that it is only a few businessmen who own ammunition firms can profit. It is important to note that Americans exposed their dissatisfaction with the heavy investment by government in military equipment when they rejected a republican candidate to replace George Bush in the 2008 presidential election.

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Conclusion The military industrial complex(MIC) has become big business for owners of ammunition firms, to the extent that they influence politicians to lobby for them to gain tenders to supply the government with weapons of war. Unfortunately, MIC cannot thrive in peacetime, and this is the reason as to why American has experienced a situation in which false reasons have been created in order to justify attacks to apparent enemies. Hence, American taxpayers have consistently been funding a capitalistic military system that has not assured them of any safety. After the 9/11, Americans within and outside the country felt unsafe. Despite supporters of MIC believing that it has fostered economic growth, critics believe that it has weakened the US dollar, while at the same time working against the constitution, specifically in an environment in which Congress declines to approve military attacks on perceived enemies.

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S. Army, 1945–1960. Isis 160 (1): 94–120. Pavelec, Sterling Michael. The military-industrial complex and American society.

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