Defense

The Military Industrial Complex is a term coined by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to describe the web of policies and monetary relationships between legislators, national armed forces, and the military industrial base. The articles in this category address the relationship between our legislators and the lucrative defense contract industry.

Feinstein Cares More about Appeasing Allied Governments than Standing Up for Americans’ Rights

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Ivan Eland: Senator Feinstein—who, as chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, is supposed to oversee and rein in spy agencies—is leading this charge in the wrong direction.

The CIA’s Memory Prison

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JP Sottile: Essentially, the memories of their treatment by the CIA have become the proprietary possession of the CIA. It is the ultimate application of “national security” as a legal fig leaf.

Big Brother’s Loyal Sister: How Dianne Feinstein Is Betraying Civil Liberties

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Norman Solomon: As chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein generates an abundance of fog, weasel words, anti-whistleblower slander and bogus notions of reform — while methodically stabbing civil liberties in the back.

What If Obamacare Were a Fighter Jet?

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JP Sotille: The Great American Outrage Machine has no interest in generating a scandal around the ultimate example of government failure: the F-35 fighter jet.

No More Spinning, Just Stop NSA Domestic Snooping

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Ivan Eland: Domestic surveillance should be eliminated, unless it falls strictly within the Constitution’s requirement of obtaining a search warrant only if “probable cause” exists that a suspect has committed a crime.

TSA: Ask the Fed for Relief…From the Fed?

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Ivan Eland: The government is using Americans’ tax money to create the misery of airport security, which is now generating even more government revenues from slightly alleviating our pre-boarding pain.

Terror Alert: Beware of Cold War Thinking

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JP Sotille: Perhaps the greatest irony is that this latest cocktail of fear and trust is being served at the same time the President criticizes Russia for “slipping back” into Cold War thinking.

Kill Wasteful Missile Defense Efforts

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Ivan Eland: This government “Star Wars” effort has been a boondoggle, but then huge costs and poor performance rarely cause any government program to be terminated—evidence of this effect is exhibited by the continued flow of money to the project despite three decades of failure.

Still Preparing for Nuclear War

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Lawrence Wittner: This administration unwillingness to discard the immensely dangerous, outdated nuclear policies of the past flies in the face of public support for abolishing nuclear weapons

Right-Wing Commentators Wish Snowden Had Just Followed Orders

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Norman Solomon: What a contrast between big-name journalists craven enough to toss the Fourth Amendment overboard and whistleblowers courageous enough to risk their lives for civil liberties.

The Frankendata Monster

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JP Sotille: So far, the biggest revelation of the NSA spying story is…that anyone actually thinks this story is a big revelation.

5 Ways Congress Is Trying to Curb Military Rapes

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Christie Thompson: Political momentum to address the problem has been building since the Pentagon released statistics last month showing that sexual assault increased by 35 percent between 2010 and 2012.

Lockheed Martin at the Trough

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Lawrence Wittner: At the very time when (thanks to sequestration) state governments are cutting back aid to low-income women and their children, the government of the State of Maryland seems en route to providing the Lockheed Martin Corporation with a handout worth millions of dollars.

Kerry, Powell, Hagel

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Brent Budowsky: The partial list of Republicans, career diplomats and nonpartisan military leaders that I emphasize here as Hagel supporters speaks volumes about the bipartisan security tradition that Colin Powell, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel represent.

Local Governments and National Security Policy

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Lawrence Wittner: Dozens of local jurisdictions have passed resolutions that call for ending the U.S. military role in Iraq and Afghanistan, reducing the Pentagon budget, and funding domestic programs.

Unlike Mitt Romney, Most Americans Want to Cut Military Spending

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Lawrence Wittner: In the context of severe budget cutting by Congress, popular domestic social programs are being sacrificed to support the U.S. military budget — so much so that it currently consumes more than half of the U.S. government’s discretionary spending.

From Moon Landings to the F-22: How War Profiteering Dulled American’s Technical Edge

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Tom Hall: If Lockheed Martin had been building boats at the time, the Pilgrims would never have reached Plymoth Rock on the Mayflower.

Fighting Religious Tyranny in the U.S. Military

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Sharon Kyle: Mikey Weinstein established The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, dedicated to ensuring that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.

War Nation: Military Keynesianism’s Iron Grip on Washington

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John R. Moffett: Our world-spanning military, paid for by American taxpayers, serves the interests of defense contractors and the government officials that funnel the money to them but it does not serve the American taxpayer.

Cut Carriers Now

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Ivan Eland: With yawning American budget deficits and a $15 trillion national debt, it would save significant amounts of money to reduce the number of carriers and carrier air wings well below the excessive 11 and 10, respectively.

Is Mitt Romney Ready for the World?

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Lawrence Wittner: Mitt Romney seems likely to become the Republican candidate and the next president, so we should carefully examine his first major foreign and military policy address

How to Save $250 Billion: Axe “Missile Defense”

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Lawrence Wittner: By scrapping plans for nuclear weapons “modernization” and for national missile defense—programs that are both useless and provocative—the United States would save $271 billion (well over a quarter of a trillion dollars) in the next ten years.

What the Debt Ceiling Deal Means for Foreign Policy

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Rebecca Griffin: Depending on whom you ask, the Pentagon either got a free ride or the deal decimates the military budget. Given the leverage that Republicans had in this debate, it’s not surprising that the Pentagon got off easy in the first round of cuts.

Geneva Conventions Redefined: The New U.S. Department of War

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Gary Corseri and Eric Shine: Today, the most disturbing sign of this take-over of all of the civilian commons by the military, at least in the U.S., comes in the form of a new, or reinvigorated, Department of War.

Confessions of a Minion of the Military-Industrial Complex

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Jonathan David Farley: How I learned to stop worrying about where my academic research funding came from and love Raytheon

Pentagon Torture of Manning Recalls Soviets Under Stalin

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Sherwood Ross: Whatever Manning has done, if anything, the Pentagon has no right to reduce him to a vegetative state. Yet that is what it is doing, using methods similar to those for punishing dissidents under Stalin.

On Wisconsin: End the War, Invest at Home

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Tom Hayden: It is time for our most prominent liberal economists to broaden their analysis of the domestic crisis to include spending for these unfunded wars. Only Joseph Stiglitz has done so.

Hiding Military Sexual Trauma

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John Lasker: The mysterious deaths of female soldiers coincide with an increase in reported sexual violence against women in the military.

When “Good” Dictators Go Bad

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Norman Solomon: And so, the secretary of state condemns awful Iran, invoking “our sense of human dignity, the rights that flow from it and the principles that ground it.” But don’t hold your breath for any such condemnation of, say, Saudi Arabia — surely an “awful” government that “routinely violates the rights of its people.”

Cut the Real Wasteful Government Spending

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Mark Dempsey: The U.S. currently spends more than the rest of the world combined on its military but less than 2% of its budget on humanitarian aid, even if clean water would do more to promote peace.

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