The military is not a diplomatic tool

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
February 28, 2011

On January 20th 1961 president Dwight Eisenhower was giving his farewell address as he prepared to leave office. The speech touched many aspects of his presidency; ranging from the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the social changes that where sweeping the country. There was however one thing that the outgoing president mentioned which has not garnered the attention that it deserved. This was the ex-generals warning to “fear any influence sought or unsought by the military industrial complex”. Now in a time where the United States is engaged in two wars (No we have not left Iraq; thousands of “non-combat” troops still remain there although they are all fully armed and “ready to respond at the request of the Iraq government”) which have been heavily directed by large cooperate players I wish that we had heeded his warning.




In 2005 the pentagon office for public information released a report vaguely titled “The Base structure report for 2005”. The report is designed to provide information about the pentagons ownership of land in foreign countries and more importantly the military bases that sit on top of it. The report details around 700 military bases in countries ranging from Japan too Poland. Many contended that these bases are small and/or insignificant. This claim is simply untrue; in fact many of the bases are as large as small cities with complete with dedicated bus systems and fast food restaurants.

Sadly the limits of American power extend far beyond the boundaries of what the pentagon would call “base structures”. Over recent years the roll of these private contractors has grown significantly, in fact 30% of the funding for the 2003 invasion of Iraq went directly too military contractors; contractors which face none of the weak regulations that the military does. The state department now funds companies such as Blackwater and the army itself directing funds towards companies such as Kellogg and Brown and Root to provide numerous services which where once provided by the military itself. These moves to privatization do not benefit the American people as they make the activities of the pentagon more opaque than they already are by allowing it to mask its activities behind closed doors and through cooperate bank accounts.

The United States does not have a good record when it comes to political interference in our various “host” countries. An early example of this behavior occurred in 1953 when the United States and Great Britain orchestrated a coop de etat which destroyed the democratic and secular government that had been established by the Iranian people (after the coop we installed a dictator who would reign until 1983). Sadly this was only the beginning of Americas involvement in the middle east and the rest of the world. After this activity the US government would make its agenda clear as various other coops would blossom around our military bases; ruining our countries image while benefiting few of our citizens. During the same decade America made another mistake when we encouraged the Spanish to make attempts to “regain”their holding in Vietnam. This would spark a conflict that would split a country, causing one half of it to ally itself with soviet Russia. These two events would turn out to be nothing more than firsts among many. As this kind of behavior has survived in New Millennium and even thrived under the supposedly “liberal” President Obama. Information leaked in cable-gate proved that United States had taken an active role in the illegal coup de tat which removed the Democratic elected president of Honduras on July 28th 2008. It is no wonder that so many countries want to rid themselves of our military bases.




The evils of the military industrial complex cannot be understated. It brings young Americans out into the battle fields where they are killed, while destroying the environment as poorly regulated weapons factory’s are allowed to pollute the biosphere with their wastes. Further more the money dumped into the complex does not in fact benefit most American citizens, instead it empowers mega- cooperation’s which are supported by the system while incurring tremendous amounts of public debt.

In 2004 I traveled to Germany for one week; while I was their I quickly stopped introducing myself as an American because of how unpopular our country had become. No country wants to be friends with a super power that chooses to use conquest in place diplomacy and reason. By reducing our military involvement throughout the world perhaps we would be taking the first steps to become a true leader of the free world that will actually make Earth a better place.


Works Cited
"America's Empire of Bases." Home | Common Dreams. Web. 15 Feb. 2011. <http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0115-08.htm>.
"BBC News | The Company File | From Anglo-Persian Oil to BP Amoco." BBC News - Home. Web. 15 Feb. 2011. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/149259.stm>.
"U.S. Intervention in the Middle East." INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE. NEWS, COMMENTARY & INSIGHT. Web. 15 Feb. 2011. <http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6308.htm>.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback