The So-Called Threat of Terrorism

In reply to M.D. Harkins’ piece on ISIS, the Military Industrial Congressional Complex (MICC) has long been the driving force of defense spending. Because of the control over Congress they exert (every district profits through jobs), the only hope of change is to find things other than offensive weaponry to spend taxpayer money on. Global climate change and the threat it represents makes this possible.

Currently the MICC is using the “threat of terrorism” as the excuse for continued spending. When looked at objectively, this has been a monumental failure. Weapons held by al-Qaeda and ISIS alike are U.S. weapons paid for under this errant policy. There is a Ferguson connection. The need to make new weapons all the time to profit leads the MICC to release old weapons to local police forces.

Peace organizations should be working to change the mission, not condemning either side in any conflict. Defense spending could be made genuine defense spending instead of offense spending as it currently is. Efforts to transform the military may not be successful, but at least they are an effort that embraces the reality we find ourselves in. We have all seen the predictions — by environmentalists and the Pentagon — that global warming and climate chaos will increase conflict and displacement of people. The gist is that military activity is going to increase, whether we endorse it or oppose it.

R. Bucky Fuller reflected on his career in the Navy and the conversion of defense spending from weaponry to livingry. He liked to point out that refrigeration, transistors, and the Internet all came from defense spending. I think that we can oppose the use of war as an instrument of foreign policy and that we can embrace the good that our military — and likely only our military — can accomplish in an era of increased global conflict and instability.


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