Friday, May 13, 2016

Ted Galen Carpenter — The Creeping Miltiarization of American Culture

In his 1961 farewell address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the growing influence of the “military-industrial complex” on American politics and policy. Interestingly, Eisenhower’s original formulation of the menace was the even more accurate “military-industrial-congressional complex.” (Emphasis added). Seeing how that network of special interests has worked its tentacles into so many aspects of American political and economic life in the intervening decades indicates just how prescient was Eisenhower’s warning.
But there has been an even more subtle and pervasive militarization of American culture. It has been evident since World War II, but it has been accelerating markedly in recent years. Perhaps the most corrosive domestic effect of the global interventionist foreign policy that Washington adopted after World War II has been on national attitudes. Americans have come to accept intrusions in the name of “national security” that they would have strongly resisted in previous decades. The various provisions of the Patriot Act and the surveillance regime and its abuses epitomized by the NSA are a case in point.
The trend toward a more intrusive, militaristic state has become decidedly more pronounced since the September 11 attacks and the government’s response, but there were unmistakable signs even before that terrible day. My colleagues at the Cato Institute have done an excellent job documenting the gradual militarization of America’s police forces, beginning in the 1980s, with the proliferation of SWAT teams and the equipping of police units with ever more lethal military hardware.The terrorism threat simply provides the latest, most convenient justification to intensify a trend that was already well underway. Most SWAT raids in fact have nothing to do with terrorism; they are used to serve search or arrest warrants in low-level drug cases.…
Goes along with the gun culture and camo as style. USA, USA, USA!

The National Interest
The Creeping Miltiarization of American Culture
Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute


Dave said...

So the Cato Institute ( funded by the Kochs) is concerned about the militarization of American Culture? Me thinks they are more concerned that working class males are increasingly seeing their only option to be grabbing a gun and settling scores, or destroying their conservative movement by voting for their interests, misguided though they may be. They created this beast, now they want to distance themselves from it. Sorry, we know who is responsible.

Tom Hickey said...

Unintended consequences. The CIA calls it "blowback."

Dave said...

Blowback is exactly what it is.