Dwight David Eisenhower was the first 5 star general our country ever had. In 1953, he was the first Republican president since Herbert Hoover. That had been a twenty year hiatus for the Republicans. Eisenhower warned our country against the industrial military complex (IMC). Very knowledgeable in military matters, Eisenhower did not want to see the IMC taking over our country. It's been many years since he served. Today most of us probably don't even recognize his name. But his warning against the IMC should not have been ignored. Realize that the IMC spending is a huge part of our government's longtime yearly budget. It is deceitfully called defense spending.
Since the end of the World War II, our only military actions have been wars we started ourselves, or willingly joined in. Yes, the USSR was a potential military antagonist. President Ronald Reagan caused Russia to implode by expanding our military. No one will face up to what that arming cost our country. We purchased our arms only by borrowing money, mostly from Japan. In actuality, it was that our credit was better then the USSR's. The USSR couldn't borrow the necessary funds to match our expanding military, so it gave up. The trouble is that someday our grandchildren or great-grandchildren will have to pay for all these weapons. This certainly includes our present squandering of money for weapons which hopefully will never be used. This time it is mainly China financing our so-called defense budget.
There is absolutely no country on earth that can really threaten us. An invasion with ground troops is the only real threat. What county can mount an invasion? Yes, more 9/11s are probable. Wouldn't it make very good sense to take much of the IMC money and spend it on protection against terrorists? Instead our government is spending meager dollars for this effort and using the money in silly ways. The inspector general of our Homeland Security Department complained about how money for port security has been spread around to very small harbors, even inland harbors which, under the wildest dreams will never be attacked. No efforts have been undertaken yet to protect chemical plants, nuclear plants, for major port security where most shipping occurs, for hazardous waste transfer or on bioterrorism. These shortcomings have been reported by the press. Yet, money and effort has been spent on hardening in every government building in Washington, DC, but against terrorist acts. Hey, what about the rest of the country?
Still the U.S, builds aircraft carriers, submarines and extremely expensive fighter planes. Our army is lobbying for bigger and faster field guns. Typically, our military arms emphasis results mostly from the last wars. I can't even think of any of our many wars after Korea that these armaments could have been employed, except maybe that first phony Gulf War against Saddam. Before that war, Saddam hadn't even won the war he had started against Iran. Perhaps these weapons were applicable in the standoff with the USSR. The major trouble now is that when our leaders see any trouble, with all these weapons around, our country will have to use them. We will start wars as we just did in Iraq or have wars like Kosovo. Otherwise these weapons will just rot or rust. Yes, someday, not too far off, a country like China may rise up to challenge us. But by then all our current weapons will be old hat in military and the IMC's terms. They will all then be labeled outdated, so they will have to be replaced than.
Chester P. Soling / 2005-02-24