American anti-war activists are turning their sights on the big
businesses that are behind their country's military machine. They say
that so long as conflict creates cash, there will be no end to US
involvement in wars.
In Washington DC the anti-war movement is sick of America's wars
overseas. They blame it on the force of the military industrial
complex: by definition a system of perpetual war fueled by profit and
In his farewell address to the nation, the 34th president of the
United States Dwight D, Eisenhower - a decorated military general
himself - gave an infamous warning about the dangers of war nearly half
a century ago on January 17, 1961. He said, "We have been
compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.
Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly
engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military
security more than the net income of all United States corporations."
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the
acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by
the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise
of misplaced power exists and will persist," Eisenhower said back then.
Today, Eisenhower's chilling message is the reality of America's ongoing military operations worldwide.
War is big bucks, especially for civilian, defense and private
security contractors - the vital organs of today's military apparatus.
"Right now on the ground of Afghanistan the US has 140,000 people that are called contractors," Jeremy Scahill, investigative journalist and author, estimated. "Many
of them are mercenaries just on the Department of Defense payroll. The
State Department has another 14,000. [Barack] Obama during his
presidency has doubled the number of armed contractors in Afghanistan.
So, what we see is a radical outsourcing of war," Scahill noted.
To put figures into perspective, government records show nearly 70%
of the military budget is spent on contractors. Multinational
corporations like Boeing Company, Raytheon Company and NorthRup Grumman
Corporation, to name a few, are making a killing off of war.
"The whole system is the US addiction to privatized warfare," Jeremy Scahill elaborated.
As a result of the sheer expense of privatized warfare on the US
taxpayer, it has driven protestors to demand Congress to pass the "Stop
Outsourcing Security Act" - a bill that would drastically downsize the
use of corporate contractors in war zones.
It would appear that the anti-war activists are up against an
unbeatable force, but most hope that, by holding public teachings, the
warning Eisenhower echoed on his last day in office will finally be
considered by politicians and the Pentagon.