“Watch every tendency towards militarism, for we know that preparation for war leads to war.”
– William Mulock
Unwarranted Influence – Military Industrial Complex Short Documentary
Understanding the Military Industrial Complex is essential to an understanding of militarism. As he was leaving office, President Eisenhower, a WWII general, warned the country of the unprecedented buildup of arms driven by the profit motive. Whenever war is being waged, there is profit to be made. This short documentary is a good introduction to the behind-the-scenes influence that pushes the U.S. toward more and more aggression.
Veterans for Peace – No Drones
The Veterans for Peace leaflet on drones is a quick-and-to-the-point look at some of the main objections to the U.S.’ use of drones overseas. The huge cost and large rate of loss are some of the problems, as is the number of civilians who are considered collateral damage. Weaponized drone strikes are “targeted killing” according to the U.S. Special Rapporteur, and therefore illegal under International Law.
From Console to Trigger: How Pentagon “Exploits” Video Game Culture to Wire Youth for War
The military is finding that youth who are proficient at video games have the skills they need to be drone pilots. Recruiters have been targeting these youth for a decade, according to Tonje Schei, director of the documentary Drone. There’s one big difference that gamers realize, once they join: as drone operators, what is on the screen is very real; your targets are fellow human beings.
The Militarization of U.S. Police: Finally Dragged into the Light by the Horrors of Ferguson
From New York Times reporter Matt Apuzzo: “…during the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.” Apuzzo notes that: “The equipment has been added to the armories of police departments that already look and act like military units.” The American Civil Liberties Union takes the position that this “excessive militarism… escalates the risk of violence, threatens individual liberties, and unfairly impacts people of color.”
Dangerous Nukes in Space Push Returns
Most of us can barely wrap our minds around nuclear threats from the ground, let alone the prospect of plutonium dust raining down from space. In 1997, the Cassini space probe was launched carrying 72.3 pounds of plutonium. “If the probe had made an “inadverent reentry” into the Earth’s atmosphere during the fly-by, it would have broken up… In this case, plutonium would have been released and – in NASA’s words “approximately 5 billion of the…world population at the time…could receive 99 percent or more of the radiation exposure.” Cassini was launched on a Titan 4, which had a 1 in 12 failure rate. Today, NASA continues plans for using plutonium as fuel, resulting in many instances of worker and environmental contamination.
Moving Away From Militarism
Read/watch this recap of an American Friends Service Committee webinar. AFSC staffers connect the dots among many forms of militarism, including militarization at the U.S.- Mexico border, the absence of rhetoric on peaceful approaches, and militarization of the police, which has resulted in numerous killings in African-American neighborhoods. An excellent resource for understanding the “big picture”.
Resources on Militarism – print version pdf