The Militarization of our Everyday Lives

Over the past several decades—particularly after the widespread public opposition to the U.S.’s intervention in Vietnam—the Pentagon has methodically worked to embed the ‘military-industrial complex’ in every congressional district around the country. Today, there is nary a representative in Congress whose district isn’t an economic beneficiary of the Department of Defense’s ‘gravy train.’

Here in Nebraska, U.S. Strategic Command, according to the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, annually contributes $2.5 billion to the local economy. In the 1st Congressional District (which includes Lincoln), the Pentagon has close ties with the University of Nebraska—specifically its new “Space and Telecom Law Program”—as well as contracts with private firms. And in the 3rd District, the entire Panhandle is dotted with ICBM missile silos affiliated with Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne.

The steady infusion of Defense dollars into local economies has made it increasingly difficult for legislators to separate military and foreign policy decisions from their home district’s economic interests. So deep have the Pentagon’s tentacles reached into our nation’s 435 congressional districts that every military expenditure, every foreign intervention, is now invariably a ‘jobs issue’ for some Congressmember somewhere.

Since 9/11 however, with the rampant privatization of military services—from Blackwater Xe mercenaries hired to provide security to the Halliburton-connected KBR supplying everything from food service operations in the war zone to military base construction—the expansion of the military-industrial complex into the civilian economy has reached almost unfathomable levels.

As the following article from the website “Alternet” details, the military-industrial complex is now firmly embedded into the fiber of our daily lives. We are fast becoming a fully militarized state. The necessity for extracting ourselves from this monstrous condition is simultaneously now more difficult—and urgent—than ever before.

FedEx and Pepsi Are Top Defense Contractors? 5 Corporate Brands Making a Killing on America’s Wars

Learn which "civilian" companies are making big bucks on today's wars.

By Nick Turse
September 3, 2011

Chances are, if you’ve ever sent a package overnight, bought a PC or a can of soda, you’ve paid your hard-earned money to a major Pentagon contractor. While large defense corporations that make fighter jets and armored vehicles garner the most attention, tens of thousands of “civilian” companies, from multi-national corporations hawking toothpaste and shampoo to big oil behemoths and even local restaurants scattered across the United States, all supply the Pentagon with the necessities used to carry on day-to-day operations and wage America’s wars. And they’ve made a killing doing it since 9/11.


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