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The Military Industrial Complex Post the Cold War Era Instructor Pacas.

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1 The Military Industrial Complex Post the Cold War Era Instructor Pacas

2 Military Industrial Complex Military Industrial Complex-The marriage between corporations, the military and government with the intention to maintain a larger military budget that would benefit all three interests involved and to justify the spending to the population by a threat real or imagined. During the Cold War that threat real or imagined was represented by the USSR.

3 Effects of MIC on the population The Military Industrial Complex created many jobs in the weapons development industry. The major benefits went to corporations. But enough jobs were created for people who had formerly been unemployed. This helped to restore a certain degree of faith in government by some percent of the population.

4 Contd Thus there existed a further vested interests for the population to validate the MIC. MIC set up shops in towns and became main fountain of jobs in these places. State Representatives had a vested interests in keeping these corporations happy. These corporations (ex. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, etc.) main creators of jobs and thus the towns depended on them. De facto popular support for MIC.


6 MIC Effects During the Cold War It is believed that a mutual antagonism and fear of possible military strikes forced the USSR to follow a similar prospect as the U.S. i.e. military build-up. This military build-up drained the meager resources of the USSR. It also made the USSR concentrate its major efforts on their military.

7 Fall of Eastern Block Fall of Berlin Wall Russians waiting in line to eat Mc Donalds

8 Reagan in History Historians sympathetic to Reagan credit his military spending and the effect this had on the USSR as the factor that finally over-taxed the Russians and led to the fall of the Soviet Union. The USSR fell under the Presidency of George Bush (Sr.) in 1989.

9 Bitter Sweet Victory Although the fall of the Soviet Union and soon to follow the Eastern Block (USSR satellite states) was received as a victory by the Western powers it was in actuality a bitter sweet victory. In order to maintain the MIC and feed the war time economy, a new threat (real or imagined) to the U.S. needed to be created.

10 The Military Industrial Complex (MIC)

11 Panama First of many bad men to come was Noriega the military dictator of the Central American nation of Panama. Although initially a U.S. supported dictator guilty of many human rights violations which U.S. sanctioned- he had become involved with the Colombian Drug Cartels. The money that Noriega was making with his involvement with drugs put him at odds with U.S. interests since Noriega now began to act too independently without U.S. green light.


13 Contd Military operations were conducted against Noriega in 1989. U.S. troops captured Noriega forcing him to stand trial for crimes that had actually been committed during the period of his close ties with the U.S. He was found guilty and forced to serve a prison sentence.

14 The Cost It has been estimated that the U.S. invasion force of Panama was 26,000 strong. It was responsible for destroying many civilian neighborhoods and the deaths and casualties on Panamanian population are still a subject of debate some estimating deaths at the hundreds while others at the thousands.

15 Possible Testing Grounds for New Weapons Technology Some survivors of the invasion have disclosed to international reporters and some historians argue that the invasion also served the purpose for the U.S. military to test out new military weapons technology.

16 Need for the Invasion Some historians believe that the invasion of Panama was a means by which the U.S. who had suffered quite a few set- backs in Latin America (Cuba, Nicaragua, and INRMs in El Salvador) could demonstrate to the region that it was still a potent force in the area.

17 Former Friend New Enemy The next region to feel the sting of the need to maintain the Military Industrial Complex was the Middle East. The once former friend of the U.S., Saddam Hussein who during the 80s had been supplied with weapons and money was now branded a thug and a dictator.


19 While Saddam had been at war with Iran, who was a U.S. enemy, the U.S. had been happy to count Saddam as one of its allies in this region. Since Saddam was expanding his power base it was believed that if he expanded unchecked it would seriously jeopardize U.S., European and Israels interests in the region.

20 The Threat to Global Interests of the West The power vacuum left by a much weakened Egypt in pan-Arab affairs was seen as a ripe time by Hussein to expand his influence on the Arab world. This in turn was viewed as a threat to western interests in the area as well as a threat to Israel.

21 Contd Pan-Arabism – If a strong individual could coalesce the Arab nations into a Block to exercise influence in the U.N. or OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) it could threaten CIC nations and Israels interests severely.

22 Contd Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait which was an oil rich independent state. If Saddam tapped into the oil from Kuwait it could throw the balance of power in the region. Many of our European allies depended on favorable oil competition in the Middle East between oil producing nations. If one nation had the possession of the majority of the oil reserves the Western Powers could be jeopardized.

23 Contd Husseins government was secular but it did demonstrate some hostility towards Israels role in the Middle East. Israel by this time had become a very powerful ally of the U.S. (Israel was responsible for training and supplying paramilitary forces in many Latin American expeditions of counter- insurgence funded by the U.S.), plus usually voted as a block along Britain and U.S. in U.N. Israels military is and has been one of the better trained in the entire world.

24 Manufacturing Popular Support for War Saddam Husseins Iraq was portrayed by the media as a ruthless dictatorship hell bent on mass territorial acquisition in the region and able and willing to engage in hostilities against Israel. The voice of protest against war did not receive much airtime a clear indication that under President Bush (Sr.) the former policy of the Reagan administration would still be employed.

25 The War The war lasted roughly six weeks and by the time it was over Baghdad had been ravaged by U.S. fire power. Civilian deaths were high. Saddam Hussein was left in power but severely chastised by the power that had assumed the reins of global police. The groups in Iraq who were against Saddams regime were left high n dry by the quick end of the war. Leaving Saddam Hussein able to ruthlessly deal with this opposition to his regime. Ethnic Kurds and Iraqis opposed to Saddam suffered cruel retribution…perhaps serving as a pretext to maintain a presence in region???

26 Former National Security Advisers Comment Zbigniew Brezinski former National Security Adviser under Carter gave an accurate assessment of the reasons why the U.S. engaged in a small war with its former ally in Iraq, First, a blatant act of aggression was rebuffed and punished… Second, U.S. military power is henceforth likely to be taken more seriously… Third, The Middle East and Persian Gulf region is now clearly an American sphere of preponderance.

27 U.S. as Global Police Judging from the comment above it was viewed as a politically shrewd move on the part of government in order to exercise its hegemony in the region and send a clear message that the U.S. was still a force to contend with for those nations not willing to fall in line.

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