In his final address as the president of the United States in 1961, Dwight D Eisenhower of a looming peril that could have devastating consequences if left unchecked.
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex,” he warned. “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”
The US military-industrial complex is an unholy alliance of the myriad branches of its government, arms dealers, mercenaries. This wealthy and powerful coalition and their cronies profiteer from wars, so they persuade US governments to enter optional wars and then to protract the conflicts in perpetuity.
The current mess in Afghanistan and an of the proves Eisenhower’s words prophetic.
The US waged a war in from 1954 to1975, and in the in 1965. In the 1980s, it was engaged in conflicts in Lebanon, Grenada, Panama. In the 1990s it launched wars in , and was involved in conflicts in , Haiti, , and Kosovo.
In 2001, the US Afghanistan, ostensibly to avenge the 9/11 attacks and stayed put for nearly 20 years. It also went to war in from 2003 to 2010, and in the last decade has been involved in conflicts in and .
Then there are its arms sales to warring factions and covert operations elsewhere.
Most of these conflicts were unnecessary and could have been resolved by surgical strikes and diplomacy. The United Nations usually was a helpless spectator to these wars.
The following is an attempt to decode the lifecycle of a US invasion. The entire lifecycle is only followed for audacious prolonged interventions. For relatively minor conflicts, there’s an abbreviated version of this lifecycle applied.
The first stage involves the selection of a country to invade. The first criterion is that the country should have a dictatorial or theocratic regime with a dubious record on human rights and governance. The second criterion is that it has to be rich in which can be after the US military has brought “liberation” to the natives.
The second stage is selling the “cause”. The news is deployed to whip up paranoia among the citizenry. These warmongers care little about what the public thinks but understand that a conflict with public support gives their actions the veneer of virtuousness and legitimacy. The media endlessly broadcast stories and pictures of the citizens of the country to be invaded being subjugated, persecuted, and by the dictatorial regime. It is stated that the US has a moral obligation to intervene and facilitate and freedom. But freedom and democracy by their very definitions have to be desired and not forced upon the public. But that irony is lost on the warmongers and their cohort.
At times, groups are called intrepid freedom fighters who need to be . Years later, when the public memory fades, the same groups are deemed who needed to be annihilated. Certain are regarded as worthy of support and business is conducted. When the regimes become non-cooperative they are denounced as and deserving of being .
and top-ranking officials from the armed forces claims and presentations of imminent terror threats and the presence of weapons of mass destruction. At times, leaders define a that should not be crossed, else a war is inevitable.
The relentless propaganda through the media causes enough fear to sway public support since most people are casual consumers of news or mere headline readers. There’s nothing that focuses the mind better than the prospect of death. Once they convince the citizenry of the presence of villains who are going to murder them, earning to defeat the “bad guys” is easy.
The third stage is the invasion. The media gleefully carries footage of dark with missiles and explosions. In time, the US is declared to be triumphing over their “enemies”. Once the evil regime or terror group has been dethroned, a point is made to broadcast celebrations on the streets and declare that their .
Rarely are we told about the consequences of invasion such as the devastation of property, killing of citizens and human rights abuses. This instability and destruction is a fertile ground for radicalization of the youth. But this radicalization is a blessing for the military-industrial complex, as it offers them an excuse to prolong the conflict.
A new glossary of euphemistic terms is invented: mercenaries became defence contractors, civilian casualties became collateral damage and torture becames enhanced interrogation techniques.
The fourth stage is the . The economist John Maynard Keynes proposed that to revive a , governments should hire the unemployed to dig ditches and fill them up again. It appears that the military-industrial complex has applied this principle to countries: first destroy them and then attempt to them. The contracts of reconstruction are given to their cronies in the industry. Calamitous consequences of these wars hardly matter.
The fifth stage is the installation of a “liberal”, “forward thinking”, “pro-democracy” puppet regime. ”Elections” are conducted and if the desired pliable candidate doesn’t win, the results are . This is for all intents and purposes an obsequious agent of the US and has no connection to the citizens he is supposed to lead.
The final stage is ignominious withdrawal, which often involves a shameful betrayal of the allies – an inglorious tradition of the US warmongers.
The invasion began when a CIA-backed group of Cuban refugees landed on the Cuban shores to topple Fidel Castro’s communist government. The plan immediately fell apart when the landing force met with unexpected counterattacks by Castro’s military. The US refrained from providing further support, and the uprising never happened. Over a hundred of the attackers were killed and more than 1,100 were captured.
Something similar in 1991, when the US government implicitly urged Shia and Kurdish rebels to overthrow Saddam Hussein. When the actual rebellion was attempted, the US negotiated a ceasefire deal with Saddam without including the rebels. Consequently, the rebels were massacred and the US did nothing to help them.
The most recent has occurred in Afghanistan where US personnel left their without informing their local allies. Afghan nationals who supported the Americans in the hope of building a modern nation woke up to discover that they had been abandoned and were at the the Taliban.
By the end of the entire cycle, hundreds of billions of dollars are spent, arms dealers, corrupt puppet regime leaders, and cronies are . The are almost always the whose country has been turned upside down and armed personnel who have or have been or have to live with debilitating .
Radical Islamist groups such as , and the that have slaughtered thousands of innocent civilians are rightly described as terrorists to be wiped off the face of the earth.
But what does one call the US-led military-industrial complex that takes relatively stable countries and unilaterally destroys them. They have blood on their hands as much as the terrorists but will rarely face the consequences of their crimes against humanity.