Military Industrial Complex

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Military Industrial Complex and Foreign Policy

Abstract

In the documentary Why We Fight, by Eugene Jarecki, there is continual reference to an entity known as the Military Industrial Complex. Included is a warning about some of its deleterious effects on U.S. foreign policy given by none other than President Dwight D. Eisenhower as he left office in 1961. This paper hence looks keenly on the Military Industrial Complex on how it has been relevant in the course of analyzing the war in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as war on terror. The paper has been able to give the basic relationship that exists between the Military Industrial Complex and the five components that are traditionally thought of as central to American foreign policy.

            With many issues to be addressed in the world, different historical periods have been seeing engagements in wars, which have been aimed at giving solutions to some of these problems. In the documentary Why We Fight, which was released by Eugene Jarecki, there is continual reference to an entity known as the Military Industrial Complex, MIC, which has also been able to include a complex warning about some of the more deleterious effects of Military Industrial Complex on the United States. The Military Industrial Complex has been a reputable approach for a country like United Stares in engaging in a winning fight against terrorism and other problems in the world as part of its foreign policy in collaboration with its Foreign Policy. The foreign policy, which was given by none other than President Dwight D. Eisenhower as he left office in 1961, gave much impression on the Military Industrial Complex (Eisenhower, 2006). This paper will discuss the Military Industrial Complex and how relevant is has been in the course of analyzing the war in Afghanistan, Iraq as well as on the war against terrorism in general. As well, there is reconsideration on the relationship between the Military Industrial Complex and the five components that are traditionally thought of as central to American foreign policy.

            Leaving office, Dwight Eisenhower did warn the country in general on this issue of the Military Industrial Complex as a very damaging approach for its foreign policy. The Military-Industrial Complex, MIC, has been used as a concept, which refers to the external policy forces and the industrial sectors supporting such a move as well as the armed forces within a nation (Walt & Mearsheimer, 2007). During such interrelationships, the main approach has always been aimed at integrating the political aspects towards research work, improving and supporting the military operations within the country, having proper use of weapon and similar war engagement equipments and having a national defense accord and security policies. This has always been seen to form an Iron Triangle (Roland, 2001). With its origin in the United State, it has been known to deal much with the Congress, the Pentagon, and the Defense Contractors thus forming the so-called iron triangle. In the country, the main aim has been in coming up with intellectual weaponry in which there is preservation of a high level of industrial plays, which are aimed at enhancing weaponry in general. The government policies, the industrial sectors and the armed forces play a dynamic role for the Military Industrial Complex (Walt & Mearsheimer, 2007).

            With the MIC, three individual components have come together towards forming the triangle, although other periphery groups and stakeholders have been having an influential role altogether. The Congress comes in with the executive branch in which policies regarding the foreign policies and employment of weaponry has to be done whenever faced with a problem such as terrorism. The Congress thus comes in with the major role of policy making in maintaining the right interrelationship with the outside world. This has gone forth to relate with the Pentagon, which does the exploration and engagement in military activities whenever the need arises. This creates an important form of relationship, which has been playing a major role in the country (Snippet, 2005). As well, all other nations, which have similar arrangements, have also been having such relationships, which can promote external relations with other nations and by so doing fighting intrusion. The other important integral arm is the Defense industry, which dictates the resources, which have to be made at disposal in any kind of engagement for military purposes. These interrelationships have thus been able to give a better definition on what ought to be the Military Industrial Complex.

            With technological development and advancement, there was the need of engaging and employing all resources at disposal in safeguarding the territories of nations as well as in making sure that the other nations, which might hinder operations within the given nation, are kept at bay (Roland, 2001). This was adopted as an approach, which delimits the influences, and interferences, which might be faced from foreign attacks and intrusions. This arose during the times of the colonial periods and later during the beginning of the twentieth century and beyond. This would later develop and achieve a number of components, which had been aimed at improving the relationships for a better engagement and safeguarding own territories. Basically, in the United States, the term Military Industrial Complex has over the years been adopted to broadly include the contracts and networks which concern the flow of money as well as the resources among different stakeholder institutions within the defense functions, the Executive and the Congress, the Pentagon and other individuals within the operations for safety and effective foreign engagement (Snippet, 2005). However, such a sector has been known to be faced with rent seeking, moral hazards and agent problems as some of the hindering factors within its functions.

            The United States has a foreign policy, which has been establishing the relationship of the country with the outside world. In real sense, the United States as a nation has been very influential in the world and that is the reason why it has been necessary to come up with a reputable foreign policy. This policy for the nation has thus helped in creating a more secure, prosperous and a democratic organ, which is able to benefit the people of the country and help them from the problems, which they may face from the international world or community. Some of the major propositions, which have always been associated with the country’s foreign policy, have been in ensuring there is no production of nuclear weapons, having nuclear hardware as well as having better interrelations with the other world (Raddleman, 2003). In addition, there has been the need of fostering proper international understanding and having all the people from the country in abroad being given the necessary protection. However, the foreign policy of the country has been always faced with a number of criticisms and debates as well as praises both from abroad and inside the country (Pillar, 2004).

            In the country, its foreign policy has been able to come up with a number of components, which have been of great relevance all along in ensuring that there has been proper cohesion with the country and the people from the outside world. This has been done through making sure that there are no compromised performances and violations of the rights, which have been given to the people of the country (Raddleman, 2003). For instance, the major components, which have been known to endorse this policy, include the aspect of democracy, which has a great relevance in the nation. There has also been the concise for the respect of all human rights and especially from the country. As well, non-partisan engagement, which fights for the right, has also been another influential component, which has been used in defining the foreign policy of the country all along. The American dream is also an elemental part of the foreign policy of the country together with the American identity, which has all along been used in defining and establishing the missions, which have to be proposed with the country’s foreign policy. The relationship with neighbors has been something of great importance when trying to understand the country’s foreign policy (Pillar, 2004). This has been known as the most important component because the policy has been geared in ensuring that all the people in the country have been put in good relationship with all the other people across borders and far beyond seas and oceans (Lens, 1990).

            While these components have been of great importance for the country in establishing proper relations with the world in particular, there has also been a number of other important components which revolve around the conflict involvements with the country and the outside world, the foreign aid operations in an effort of realizing a peaceful world and also engaging in alliance global behaviors which are in the special interests for all the people across the globe. This has been something very important which is able to give a better definition of the foreign policy of United States in particular (Matthew, 2006). These components have always been aligned in place depending on the foreign issue at hand and which has to be given a sharp and sudden redress depending on the problem faced. The above components have always been given first hand consideration during discussions whenever arriving at the appropriate rules and procedures of engagement during fostering of international understanding and relations (Koistinen, 1980).

            However, in the country, it has to be noted that the Military Industrial Complex has been greatly streamlined in the relevant relationships whenever engaged in discussions on the country’s foreign policy. For instance, the work of this kind of relationship has always been absent during the mainstream discussions due to the fact that one of its main roles is in execution of the decisions which have been passed across by the policy makers and proponents. This is a movement and practice, which has been passed all along from the past years. However, the MIC might have been greatly absent during such policy decisions and its role in determining how the country does associate with the outside has been something quite important and influential (Koistinen, 1980). In that case, the Congress and other judicial systems based on political decisions have been having a greater share in making such decisions and holding discussions on the external missions and relationships with the outside world. Generally, the foreign policies have always been left in the hands of foreign policy developers and initiators before eventually engaging the role of the MIC, which comes in during peak, or critical periods of discussions. The belief held has been in that the engagement with the other policy makers can strike greater deals and thus putting many houses in order.

            From a realist point of view, there has been the need of having the foreign policy in the country, which has some connection with the Military Industrial Complex in order to have proper relations with the outside world. This makes sure that the whole world is in peace with United States and also ensuring there has been proper treatment of its people when across borders. As well, the country has been keen in making sure that all people within the country from other countries have been given the necessary respect, care and observed in order to make sure they do not compromise the peace of the citizens in any manner. Over the years, the need for security has become a reality and in ensuring that the entire world has been left in peace (Matthew, 2006). This is being done by ensuring that all nations in the world abide by the relegations, which have been set by the United Nations so that not a single course of action or activity undertaken by any given nation might end up compromising the global peace.

            In United States, it has become a very significant mandate for the Departments of Defense and State to come up with legislations and progressions, which promote global peace and understanding as well as ensure that the country is in good terms with the other nations across the globe. The role of Departments of Defense and The State has been in ensuring that all tools of engagement are at disposal always in order to ensure that a good fight is always fought in safeguarding the people of the country and elsewhere as well. However, while this has been greatly appraised by very many nations across the world in an attempt of fighting impunity and also having good global cohesion, some of the other nations have always been objecting such a move by saying that it is a classical form of neoconservative and global class which should not be exercised in this time of development (Gimlin, 2009). The country has all the same failed to relent in ensuring that the world is in total peace and all other nations and persons have been made questionable and responsible for their courses of action. Anything, which violates lives of others, has to be addressed in order to ensure the entire world is at a common peace.

            With the Military Industrial Complex, the issue of fostering and engaging actively the foreign policies has been of great importance. This is the approach in ensuring that some of the global problems faced both from the country and by other people or countries beyond borders have been addressed (Matthew, 2006). The Defense Industry has always been keen in making sure that the security of the people has been given a top most priority. It should be agreed that, since the terrorist attack of September 11, the country has become a favorite target for terrorism with majority of the countries from the East and Beyond labeling United States as a bitter enemy, and hence proper foreign policies and the engagement of the defense operations has been something important for the country if it has to maintain its global standing while at the same time advocating for global peace and cohesions whereby all the human rights have been safeguarded without any single hitch (Gimlin, 2009). The department of defense and the defense industry has been able to play a dynamic role with the country’s engagement in foreign activities and as well making sure that different people across the world, both from the country and elsewhere, have always had their rights addressed and granted. This has been maintained as a matter of the greatest reality (Koistinen, 1980).

            The above kind of argument leads one to the idealistic view in which the whole progressions within the world have always been aimed at. It is the greatest ideal in having a world which is at peace and which respects all the rights for all. It can therefore be agreed that the missions which have been undertaken in the country through its Military Industrial Sector in association with the foreign policy is something necessary which has been able to place the country at a critical observation point through which all aspects of the nations have to be addressed, and especially on how it interacts with the outside world, and how other nations promote the idealism towards a commonplace global peace and addressing human rights in general (Matthew, 2006). From a very critical point of view, it should be agreed that the progression, which has been undertaken by the country over the years, has been worth. According to a number of experts, the arguments has been for a much worse situation for some of the countries and their people if foreign polices and interventions have never in the least been employed (Gimlin, 2009). This has been the bottom line piece of explanation explaining involvement of the United States in global issue in which peace and human rights appear being compromised. The role of the country has been significant for the globe, and especially in some of the countries, which have been under dictatorial regimes.

            The United States has been engaged in overseas conflicts due to a number of capabilities, which have been based entirely on the fortune, which is part of the country due to the availability of resources and technological developments. As well, some trigger effects have always been faced in the country thus making it possible or forcing the country to intervene with the processes and operations, which are undertaken by the other nations around the world (Koistinen, 1980). The Military Industrial Complex has been a very important element or tool which has been able to give the greatest relevance when it comes to the analysis of the wars which have been fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, and being able to end up in success. With the involvement of well thought foreign policies, the country on the backbone of the United Nations has been keen in making sure that it promotes global peace as well as engaging the globe in non-proliferation of nuclear warheads which have been known to cause a very big threat to the world if unaddressed within the shortest time possible (Matthew, 2006).

            As we have seen about the Military Industrial Complex, it has been able to dispense all resources in an operation, which is usually guided by the specific bodies, and stakeholders, which describe the courses of action, which have to be undertaken. For instance, the Congress has been coming up with politically oriented policies on foreign issues, which have to be passed down and executed by the relevant departments (Koistinen, 1980). After that, the outside world has to be engaged in dialogue, which will give a hint on the final discussions and opinions, which have to be reached. Once that has been arrived at in the country, it becomes the role of the pentagon to execute the operations with the support of the defense industry as a whole. In that case, it should be noted that the function of the Military Industrial Complex is something, which has different players whose role and decision is very important in fostering foreign relations.

The decisions, which tend to be arrived at, tend to be worth in order to engage in win-win operations, which results in the well being of the greatest majority (Gimlin, 2009). This has been the exact guideline and procedure, which has been undertaken in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Looking at these two engagements, there had been a common good, which had been desired. This had been in making sure the Iraq was involved in production of nuclear weapons, which have a great effect on the life of man. As well, the influence in Afghanistan had been an agenda aimed at stopping the terrorism activities of the Taliban, which had been becoming something significant and of great threat to the entire globe in general.

            For instance, it should be agreed that terrorism is an operation and serious engagement, which has the capability of damaging global peace and threatening the lives of the greatest majority (Raddleman, 2003). In that case, the need to have peace in the world and a globe free from terrorism has been the reason why the country has always been embarking on the hand of the Military Industrial Complex in order to ensure that the fight has to be overcome the enemy. This has thus been a better approach, which has been able to promote the global peace and as well making sure that the American citizens are safe everywhere they are. However, while this has been the ultimate goal of the United States, many nations have been against the move saying that it has been compromising the peace and security of the people whom the US has to be helping (Gimlin, 2009).

            In order to have peaceful engagement in the global foreign affairs, the five components that have been quite central to the American Foreign Policy have been having a great deal of relationship in the manner in which decisions and execution of ideas has been done in the country all along in ensuring proper global understanding and fostering a stronger US influence in the globe (Raddleman, 2003). Although it might appear to majority of the people that there has been no relationship, it has to be noted that it is through such MIC and its prowess that human rights have been achieved in the country and far beyond borders. This kind of relationship does exist in order to achieve better progressions with its foreign policy. All the elements revolving around foreign policy are what defines the other and vice versa.

            With many views from different persons and experts, it has been very hard to think and understand why the United States has been fighting overseas. However, the need of better human understanding and progression of human rights has been the exact thing, which has been seeing the country engaged in fighting. There has been the need of ensuring that human peace is maintained and as well have all human rights taken care of. In the world which has been having increased terrorism, there has to be strict intervention so that it may be possible to have such problems addressed (Raddleman, 2003). This is so because there have been very many problems which have been affecting man across the world. Without such engagement, different people faced with terrorism and other intrusions such as that of Israel and Palestine have been necessary. Such intervention and engagement has been an approach, which fosters global understanding and peace in particular. In addition, the problem of nuclear proliferation and production by a number of nations such as North Korea and Iran has been a greater threat to the world peace, the reason the country has been so much concerned, and hence engaging in foreign policies, which addresses the issue.

            From the above discussion, it should be agreed that the Military Industrial Complex has not been the main reason why the country of United States has always been engaged in fights overseas and so on. Analyzing it from a critical point of view, it shall be agreed that, while the country has been having resources at disposal and a well organized Military Industrial Complex, human peace and security appears to be given a top most priority in an attempt of making sure that no human beings whose lives are compromised (Walt & Mearsheimer, 2007). This has been the case for both the individuals from the country as well as the ones from abroad. This has thus been a better move, which promotes an integration of the country’s foreign policy with that of the outside world. Therefore, it would be necessary to have better engagements in ensuring that there are genuine and good relations with the foreign policies from different nations in the world. In that case, we may not necessarily be able to overlook the influence of the Military Industrial Complex in the foreign fights by United States.

References

Eisenhower, D. (2006). The Military-Industrial Complex: with an introduction by Jesse Smith. New York: New Press.

Gimlin, H. (2009). U.S. foreign policy: future directions. New York: Oxford University Press.

Koistinen, P. (1980). The Military-industrial complex: a historical perspective. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Lens, S. (1990). The Military-Industrial Complex. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Matthew, K. (2006). U.S. foreign policy: the imprint. Cengage: Cengage Learning.

Pillar, P. (2004). Terrorism and U.S. foreign policy. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Raddleman, M. (2003). U.S. Foreign Policy. New York: Longman.

Roland, A. (2001). The Military-Industrial Complex. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Snippet, V. (2005). U.S. Foreign Policy: shield of the republic. New York: New Press.

Walt, M. & Mearsheimer, J. (2007). The Israel lobby and U.S. foreign policy. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

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