The Iron Triangle of America
“We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.” — President Eisenhower
Not surprisingly, everything has gotten so much worse than Eisenhower ever warned us against. In the 21st century, high-ranking military officers are effortlessly promoted to the employment of the defense contractors, while high-priced CEOs are given jobs at the Pentagon. Nowadays, it’s impossible to know where the offices of the Secretary of State end and that of Halliburton begin.
The exceptionalist ideological rhetoric of American superiority through global dominance is gobbled up by politicians. From his ivory tower, Obama took this mindset to a whole new level. In the early days, Washington got his hands dirty, riding a horse into battle alongside his men. Today, the Commander-in-chief has nuclear weapons and drones to wield and teams of special forces to deploy, and the whole thing is all determined by the military-industrial complex.
In the United States, this is a policy-making alliance between congressional committees, bureaucratic agencies, and special interest groups, often referred to as the “iron triangle”. As part of this, different agencies within the government seek to create and consolidate their own power base, by way of a constituency. However, since the vast majority of Americans are poor and uneducated, and tend not to vote, citizens are not seen as constituents.
In contrast to this, special interest groups are well-organized and have more than enough resources to go around. These groups are very active in political affairs. The people in these powerful institutions vote, contribute, lobby, and even propose legislation. This is why bureaucrats, especially within the military-industrial complex, often turn their backs on those who they are officially-designated to serve. Instead, they choose to swear their allegiance to those who will really make a difference in their lives.
As an example, the CIA carefully selects a clientele of constituents that will aid in the acquisition of more political influence for that particular intelligence community. By aligning itself with selected constituencies in this way, the CIA is then able to affect policy outcomes directly in committees and subcommittees within Congress. This gives the CIA more and more control of everything as time goes on. This is also how and why our own government can feud with itself, like when the CIA armed militias fought the Pentagon armed militias in Syria recently.
To break it all down. Powerful interest groups influence votes in their favor. In return, the groups then influence the re-election of those politicians. At the same time, the members of Congress seek to align themselves with a constituency for political and electoral support. So, Senators and Representatives pass legislation to further the agendas of the interest groups to which they are beholden. Meanwhile, the bureaucrats are pressured by the powerful interest groups, and the whole thing comes full circle.
This corrupt triad forms a deep state sub-government, because of its impregnability and influence, with little to no oversight to regulate what it does. That’s why, in the current scenario, the interests of the agency’s actual constituency are met, while the needs of the general public are not. The military-industrial complex exists outside of the wants and needs of everyday people. So, the Department of Defense and others spend billions and billions of dollars on things that don’t benefit the citizenry. When in reality, our defense budget should go toward things like disease and disaster aid.
Think about it. The largest interest group in America is that of the weapons manufacturers. This is the most important part of the military-industrial complex. You see, by threatening national security through violence at home and abroad, with evermore dangerous guns and bombs, the iron triangle is able to perpetuate continuous conflict worldwide. In this way, groups like Lockheed Martin are able to prevent the UN from ever establishing world peace, all while making a huge profit.
It’s all so crazy, and it makes me sick. I live in Massachusetts and this state gets so much funding for military innovations. This is how all the futuristic gadgets get designed here. More importantly, this is why Elizabeth Warren bites her tongue and looks the other way when dealing with people like “Mad Dog” Mattis. The so-called defense establishment is nothing more than an instigator of bloodshed, fueled by greed and fear. It’s all wrong. The world needs a genuine disarmament coalition. Unfortunately, we may never get one, all thanks to things like the NRA and the NSA.