The Military Industrial Complex, Ctd

by Conor Friedersdorf

Here's Will Wilkinson commenting on former generals going to work for defense contractors:

America's drawn-out wars abroad are stupendously expensive. The stupendous expense of course attracts profit-seeking firms rather like sharks to blood. And the wars are so drawn out in part because, as Mr Fallows and Robert Gates suggest, there's nothing concrete at stake for most Americans. Like the hum of an air conditioner, after a while, one simply stops noticing the wars are there, much less that many billions of taxpayer dollars are thereby making some private citizens immensely rich.

However, I don't think we ought to overlook the extent to which the rise of military corporatism (or is it corporatist militarism?) has been helped by the public-relations victories of the ideological advocates of American supremacy at Fox News, the Weekly Standard, and the Washington Post op-ed page.

Among those victories is the close connection in the public mind between support for America's warsfor American military might in generaland American patriotism. That's why we don't much see putatively limited-government tea partiers decrying the relationship of symbiotic parasitism between arms makers and the war-making state. As the first of Glenn Beck's nine principles puts it, "America is good". So America's wars are ipso facto good wars. And, heck, if we need new armoured ground vehicles to win our good wars, don't we want experienced menold soldiers who really know what they're talking aboutlevelling the sales pitch to the officers who rose to fill their vacated combat boots?