Upon leaving the White House in 1961, President Eisenhower famously warned Americans about the dangers of a "military industrial complex," and was clearly worried about the destabilizing effects of a national economy based on outsized investments in military spending. As more and more Americans fall into poverty and the global economy spirals downward, the United States is spending more on the military than ever before. What are the consequences and what can be done?
Melvin A. Goodman, a twenty-four-year veteran of the CIA, brings peerless authority to his argument that US military spending is indeed making Americans poorer and less secure while undermining our political standing in the world. Drawing from his firsthand experience with war planners and intelligence strategists, Goodman offers an insider's critique of the US military economy from President's Eisenhower's farewell warning to Barack Obama's expansion of the military's power. He outlines a much needed vision for how to alter our military policy, practices, and spending in order to better position the United States globally and enhance prosperity and security at home.
Melvin A. Goodman is the Director of the National Security Project at the Center for International Policy. A former professor of international security at the National War College and an intelligence adviser to strategic disarmament talks in the 1970s, he is the author of several books, including the critically acclaimed The Failure of Intelligence.
- ISBN-13: 9780872865891
- ISBN-10: 0872865894
- Publisher: City Lights Books
- Publish Date: March 2013
- Page Count: 461
- Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-11-12
- Reviewer: Staff
In this impassioned exposé of the astronomical costs of America’s defense policy, former CIA analyst Goodman (Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA) demonstrates how post–cold war neoconservatives, energized by the recent dissolution of the U.S.S.R. and the United States’ unrivaled position as the world’s premier superpower, promoted a pugnacious militarism that has led to a string of foreign policy debacles and unprecedented levels of military spending. Kicked into high gear by Reagan, expenditures slowed during the 1990s under Bush and Clinton, but skyrocketed after the 9/11 attacks and during the second Bush’s “ultra-expensive and un-winnable wars.” Obama, having inherited “a national security state that violate civil rights at home and human rights abroad,” promised reforms, but has been reluctant (or unable) to actively reduce military expenditures. The military-industrial complex, presciently denounced decades earlier by Eisenhower, rumbles on. The obligatory how-to-fix-it chapter contains much bipartisan, cost-cutting rhetoric, but it’s clear that the majority of both parties in Congress consider the defense budget sacrosanct, or at least immutable. Few will finish this precisely argued polemic without the uneasy feeling that military spending is out of control. (Jan. 15)