Military-industrial complex

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by the_almighty_spoon, Mar 6, 2009.

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  1. first of all i havent the foggiest where to put this, this bit seemed the right place, please move it if its required.

    ive just had a rather heated debate with my friend who has suddenly decided to turn into a veggy eco-warrior and started preaching about how eating meat is killing the planet and such crap,

    now i merely made the statment that i would rather help a armed forces charity than save the orphan donkies in africa, which then steered the discussion into the all squaddies are the devil and wars are bad

    after alot of twoing and froing (or who ever you spell it) my friend ended their argument with Military-industrial complex look it up as if it would explain why hm forces are in afghanistan

    so firstly what is Military-industrial complex as wikipedia lies and doesnt put things in laymans terms

    and secondly how does it enter into a debate about forces in afghanistan

    maybe a bone topic but id quite like an answer before it gets holed

  2. The Military-Industrial Complex is all about mutual benefit between the military and industry; ie, you scrub our back, we'll scrub yours. Often political, military and industrial objectives are far removed from one-another; compromise must be sought to optimise interaction, sometimes this involves unusual policies and issuing of incentives. Defence industry is a specilist niche, it comes with its own unusual risks that are therefore scary to board members.
  3. The military always likes shiny new toys, the government hypes up (often with the help of the military) the threat from prospective opponents so as to justify upping the defence budget to design and buy shiny new stuff, the military contractors make obscene amounts of money doing this and then turn around and bung the politicians various payments/political contributions and non-executive directorships after they retire to keep the whole thing going. Repeat ad nauseam.
  4. Your swampy-like pal isn't the only one worried about it. Here's what one man with a reputation as an arch-conservative had to say about it.
  5. Flight

    Flight LE Book Reviewer

    It was a term first used by Eisenhower to warn against and describe the foisting of expensive and un-needed kit onto the armed forces purely for profit. It's usually called pork barrel politics in the US. For instance USS hulls are named after states partly to secure votes from those states for their construction. Congressional members will lobby for various bits of ikit because they provide employment in their districts etc.

    Eisenhower's speeches were littered with references to proportionality in defence spending. Whether he was trying too hard to divorce himself from his military past isn't entirely clear.

    In modern usage MIC is the conspiracy theorists last refuge. Any foreign war can be explained away as a plot by the mysterious MIC, lusting after profits at the expense of servicemens lives. In actual fact the military and industry have no direct control over the events that the MIC usually suggests. The actual decisions are taken by the elected members of the two congressional houses, who of course suffer the same vices as all politicians.

    Saying that a quick look at procurement decisions taken by our own dear incompetents makes one wish there were shadowy influences in the background. At least then you would be able to attach some logic or reasoning behind the farce.
  6. Agreed - the theory of un-needed kit didn't even stand up in the Bush years - two programs that in the MIC conspiracy theory would have gotten through had the plug pulled - the Commanchie helecopter and the Crusader gun. The corruption at the heart of the first K-135 replacement deal was also exposed and the deal pulled. It doesn't work in the sense that the MIC promotes war either - the real cash for most defence companies isn't in war, it's in preparing for it.
  7. Flight

    Flight LE Book Reviewer

    There also seems to be more than a tinge of socialist outrage behind the term nowadays. Money is evil, war is evil therefore money used for war must be very evil indeed.

    Your friend has certainly chosen the wrong war to accociate with the MIC. Afghanistan is very much an infantryman's battle where attrition of hardware isn't a major factor. The thousands of helicopters used and lost in Vietnam, as an opposite example, were cited by many conspiracy theorists as the reason for the war i.e. Bell and co profitting by replacing combat losses. I'm sure your friend would be shocked to discover how many whirlybirds we actually have over there...

    Anyway she sounds like a mong and almost certainly doesn't wash so unless you have similar tastes to Napolean I'd give her a miss. If you do poke her then make sure you report back.
  8. thanks for all the replies

    Flight i passed on your comments about the infantry mans battle and vietnam losses

    and got back

    yes but they still have to provide ammo and blah blah blah and america has to be permentaly at war, so that there capitalist culture continues making money. did u know that america's military budget is higher than all other budgets put toghther! even eisenhower warned aginist it and it is now a reality

    so me thinks that shes just got home from a college lesson and is just parroting it back

    pointed out that we wernt talking about the US and was infact talking about the britsh army
    and got back

    its the same thing we are pretty much the 51st state

    its her birthday soon might make her a foil hat
  9. Tell him the Military Industrial Complex is just a crypto fascist conspiracy.
  10. edited cause i atauly re read it and shook my head
  11. god thats abit long i do apologise :lol:
  12. Flight

    Flight LE Book Reviewer

    I hope she's hot. :)

    Seriously though theres little point arguing over politics unless its going to help you to get into her knickers. Quite frankly she sounds annoying and would have to fcuk like a belt fed mortar to be worth the hassle.

    Let her win the argument and then slip her one.
  13. i suppose your right Flight

    and yes its worth it... no theres no pictures :lol:
  14. Flight

    Flight LE Book Reviewer

    Camera phones are only useful for one thing... :)
  15. Point out to him that even countries that haven't been to war for over a century still tend to have militaries.
    Even the left-leaning liberal ones.

    But if they've decided that eating meat is evil, you probably aren't going to get very far trying to argue about international politics in a level-headed and logical manner.