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Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's
war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars"
defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make
the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an
application of science be successful? Is a militarized space
inevitable, necessary or impossible?
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(162 previous messages)
- 04:20pm Mar 3, 2002 EST (#163
Good comment, almarst . . . I think that with enough
understood by influentials, a lot could get better. I wrote this
before seeing your posting, but think it fits:
The NYT lead editorial today The Uses of American Power http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/03/opinion/03SUN1.html
ends with this:
"The power of American arms, impressive as it is,
has limits. Military action is only part of the foreign policy
equation, as current developments in Afghanistan illustrate.
Washington still expects other nations to participate in such
vital tasks as economic reconstruction and peacekeeping and to
help confer diplomatic and political legitimacy on governments
secured by American military action. For those practical reasons,
the interests of other countries cannot be ignored. A stable world
order must be built on a broad international consensus, not
American military action alone.
For "diplomatic and political legitimacy" there has to be an
international consensus, and it is essential, if this is to be a
sensible one, for there to be a distinction between the
interests, ideas, and ideals of the military-industrial complex, and
those of the American people.
To make the point clear, facts need to be checked, and the most
fundamental question about checking possible was set out clearly in
Believe It or Not By TODD S. PURDUM
"How would we know it was closed?" asked the
satirist Al Franken. "How do we know it was ever open? How do we
( Almarst also asked how we'd know it closed. )
How do we know anything? We do so by matching processes -
by constructing consistency relationships, by making connections, by
comparing things side by side - by considering them in different
ways, until a coherent set of ideas can be constructed, and matched
to the case. For any "happy ending" to some of our current
problems, some key facts and relationships have to be understood by
leaders and populations that matter.
The PEACEFUL remedy is quite possible -- and for a real happy
ending, it has to be in the interest of the United States, as well.
It can be. The US military-industrial complex distorts things
because it looks for reasons for its own existence. But it is not in
the business of taking resources from other countries, very much.
This is a different situation from previous ones in
history. A very strange one. But one where information is
particularly important, in a world where information technology has
advanced quickly, changing balances.
- 04:23pm Mar 3, 2002 EST (#164
"The "military industrial complex" May be
Today its a "military-industrial-political"
That's true, and that "iron triangle" is powerful - but also
includes plenty of people who are looking for employment . .
not agression. They need to be redeployed. That would take
leadership -- and a stripping away of lies and evasions that make
some really counterproductive fraud-farces, such as "missile
defense" -- go on and on.
- 04:24pm Mar 3, 2002 EST (#165
The "military industrial complex"
May be outdated.
Today its a "military-industrial-political" compleax.
There reasons are:
1. Growing dependence of US economy at large on the foreign
traid. The interests are not just limited to the arms-production.
Its more and more the politico-economical influence, vast markets,
cheap labor and natural resources - the OIL in particular. There was
a truth, as cinical as it is, in T. Friedman's words for the
dependency between MacDonald Duglas and McDonald.
2. The political process become more and more expensive by
relying primerely on the TV media 30 sec. shots. The $ plays ever
greater role in the voting results. The $ comes from the big
international corporations directly affected by the US foreign
3. As US military-economical power grew disproportionally and the
need for unified front against Soviets diapeared - the constrains by
aliases came to be just a background noise.
4. And finaly, the "human factor". The US President's power at
home is very limited. While left olmost unchecked and unrestrained
abroad, except by US alias. Which became less and less strategically
importand. So you get a small guy with overgrown EGO came to the top
of the World's power just to find out how limited what he can do at
home and how "creative" can he be abroad to live a desired "legacy".
The PEACEFUL remedy may be only in a consolidated power of
foreign nations. Or accepted domination of US.
The non-peaceful ASSIMETRIC response already discussed here, is
- 04:30pm Mar 3, 2002 EST (#166
Suppose I grant your 1-4 above.
Is that such an insoluble set of problems?
- 06:21pm Mar 3, 2002 EST (#167
almarst , I said "suppose I grant you . . "
and I agree that the situation is ugly, and serious. But I don't
think the situation is corrupt in quite the sense you say.
But it seems to me that other countries have a lot of
power, if they work together. They have, for example, an enormous
amount of economic power, administratively, and under the rule of
You've made a number of very good comments, especially in the
last few weeks, and I'm trying to think about them. It seems to me
that if you understood more about how our
"military-industrial-political complex" works, you'd see things
somewhat differently from the way you do -- and more hopefully.
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