As the U.S. continues to bomb Iraq and is poised for possible air strikes against Serbia, we take a look at the U.S. military complex, and at plans to increase military spending. In his first radio address of 1999, President Clinton announced the largest increase in military spending since the Reagan years–$112 billion over the next six years for what he called "military readiness." This was followed by increased bidding from the Senate Armed Services Committee, which requested a $150 billion increase.
The Pentagon is already receiving almost $300 billion a year–and many are questioning the motivating force behind this new spending frenzy. This past week, Defense Secretary William Cohen attempted to link military spending to economic prosperity, when he spoke to technology workers at a Microsoft conference and urged them to remember that America’s military might makes their prosperity possible.
- Bill Hartung, Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute at the New School, and author of The Military Industrial Complex Revisited (Policy in Focus).