Badirujjaman

Dwight Eisenhower, an ex-military Republican President of the USA, in his 1961 Farewell Address was the first to express concern about the impact of the ‘conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry’, which, he noted, was ‘new in American experience’.

 

He alerted councils of governments, saying that ‘we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex [MIC]. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.’

 

However, like many other concepts/terms in social sciences, Military Industrial Complex within of novel development of social scientists for better understand the behavior of interest groups within a national territory, remain very difficult in defining objectively.

 

MIC basically refers a correlation or coalition between interest industries and state for specific and confidential benefits. This coalition was expanded to include not only interests within the military establishment and the arms industry but also within the political organs .

 

Like Containment Policy and Domino Theory, the concept of Military Industrial Complex (MIC) was one of dominant factors of global study, which developed because of over emphasizing  on military power from both blocs in Cold War context.

 

After the collapse of Soviet, the situation was radically changed for MIC. Post-Cold War reductions in military expenditures and changes in military requirements and technology led to considerable changes in the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) and in the relations between the DIB, the military and the legislature .

 

 However, in this writing, we will try to understand the basic of MIC, how it has changed over the periods. And is it (MIC) remain still suitable or useful?

 

Military Industrial Complex (MIC) refers to those industries which are assigned to produce military machineries for state’s security.

 

 And this industries have a great linkage with state’s major political and military personnel, and through such lobby, these industries become able to influence over enhancement of military expenditure by the national government.

 

As I mentioned at very beginning the term “Military-Industrial-Complex” was first coined by US President was in doubt that MIC would fill up the interest of one particular groups, which have a very little connection to its society, and by increasing more on military spending, the government is going to serve the interests of those people, and, moreover, is going to create a strong lobby for those people in particular influence the state external policies, and at the very end the president believed that those policies promoted by MIC would not be in the country’s best interest, could undermine American democracy.

 

Eisenhower’s MIC has been helped to understand the very complex area of international and domestic policy making, about the funding, and about how this industries through funding become lobbyist and influence over political decisions.

 

Military forces have been funded overwhelmingly by national governments, which historically have been the target of lobbying efforts by bureaucrats in military-related ministries, by legislators from districts containing military bases or major military manufacturing plants, and by representatives of private firms involved in the production of weapons and munitions.

 

This create a “Iron Triangle” among government officials, legislators and Military Industrial Firms  . Therefore, we find it in some presidential manifesto that they set or the have to set their future ruling agendas based on expansion of military expenditures because they get much of funding from those firms, military industrial firms.

 

A radical shift was happened in international system where Post-Soviet states finished their formal relations both political and economic with the Soviet’s successor Russia, ended up their military dependency upon Soviet Military firms. This undermine the MIC’s position in Soviet Russia. And the left, the USA become the unipolar and major supplier of military weapons and technologies.

 

During the second half of twentieth century, both EU (NATO) and US became partner and militarily  allied- because they had a common threat- communism as ideology,  Soviet as military threat. That’s reason they both tried to focus upon weapon development and technologies. Thus MIC was boomed. But post-cold war transatlantic relations has been asymmetric.

 

Where America has been sought on Home Security from rogue states and ambiguous entities (terrorism), EU and NATO became involved in UN peacekeeping missions and Protect from nontraditional security threats. Moreover, the nature of threats are different from 20th to 21st century.

 

 Today, the concept of traditional warfare is almost gone- but hybrid warfare, digital security threat and cyber security threat have developed. Thus MIC need to change its course towards this technologies partially.

 

Collapse of Soviet Union fundamentally changed the perceptions of governments on military industry or spending on traditional security. During the Cold War industrial planning was undertaken through the Pentagon,; in 1993 a merger wave was stimulated by the ‘last supper’ were expected to result in cost savings- this policy ended when the process had resulted in a degree of concentration that was considered to be detrimental for competition and thus the cost trends that the DOD had sought to prevent, and a proposed merger between Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman was blocked in early 1997 .

 

In Europe, particularly France and Britain has been developed its ownership of distinguish brands in military industry. This put US in difficult position to boom again. Besides, China and Russia reemerge themselves which also compelled the USA to concentrate over traditional military industrial firms to digital ones.

 

Moreover, their (US’) main allies both EUROPEAN Union and Japan put much concentration over development of high-tech industry than defense industry. At the systems level in aerospace and electronics oligopolistic tendencies are emerging at the international level, while in other sectors industry remains nationally fragmented  .

 

Cold War military industrial complex was largely upon the control of states, but recently, they (MIC) have become privatized gradually. Today many private owning defense industry forced to work in accordance with corporate rules.

 

 This sector provide opportunity for outsourcing through securing the contracted private ownerships. Interestingly, these defense industries have created many defense depended communities, such as offshore Corporations, oilfields. As everything (global environment) is changing, so is defense industry. So, Today, MIC present with a new face, but remain same- as dominant as before.

 

The concept of military industrial complex has been suitable to understand the basic behavior between states and defense industry. How this particular bodies play a great role in influencing both external and domestic policies. Though, the world scenario has changed at post-soviet era, and defense industries come public to private ownership. But the essentiality of military industrial complex remain the same at anarchic international system.

 

 

 

Badirujjaman

IR, JU.

 

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