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"Is the National Security Complex Too Big to Fail?" --Tom Englehardt

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 03:29 PM
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"Is the National Security Complex Too Big to Fail?" --Tom Englehardt
Is the National Security Complex Too Big to Fail?
TARPing War
By Tom Engelhardt

An Insurance Policy for the National Security Complex

Imagine for a second that, at the height of the Cold War, someone had told you of a future in which the U.S. faced no armed great power (not one!) and at most a few thousand terrorists scattered across the planet, as well as modestly armed minority insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Imagine that person making this prediction as well: in budget and size, the National Security Complex of that moment would put its Cold War predecessor in the shade.

Without a doubt, you would have dismissed him as a madman. If someone had proposed such a future to those running the Cold War back then, they would have called it victory. And yet thats exactly our reality today, while victory itself has become the rarest of vintages, no longer stocked anywhere in our American world.

The dimensions of the National Security Complex now beggar the imagination. In fact, everything about it should make it the global yardstick for too big to fail. The Pentagon budget is, for instance, about 50% higher today than the Cold War average and accounts for nearly half of all military expenditures globally. And yet it has kept right on growing; and if bailed-out bankers continue to take home their bonuses as thanks for practically sinking the country, top Pentagon types continue to take home their golden pensions with future revolving-door opportunities in the military-industrial complex always available.

If you really want to grasp the enormity of the National Security Complex, just consider this stat: today, 4.2 million federal workers and employees of private contractors have security clearances -- about, that is, the population of New Zealand or Lebanon.

Whatever Washington turned over to the banks, the Complex has it so much easier. After all, its managers essentially pay themselves more or less what they desire in the name of supporting the troops and promoting American safety. Yes, our congressional representatives officially dole out the money, but they have little choice when it comes to offering less than whats asked of them. And presidential election campaigns always lock candidates into yet more of the same.

More (and a good read with some new info) at"

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175456/tomgram%3A_engel...
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 07:43 PM
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1. It's an interesting read for those who like "diversity." n/t
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 09:21 PM
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2. I wish more DU'ers would read this or even Bookmark for weekend reading...Tom is a Treasure..
and he's an interesting read...not something one has to squint eyes or cough down esoteric language. He does tell it as he sees it.. So I'll do a kick for my own post...hoping that more will read it..
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