War with China in two years, 90 seconds to midnight, fighter jets to Ukraine. The climate of war is brewing around the world. It is seen flashed across the news, felt by those in close proximity to warzones and sustained by the corporations funding it. Yet, there is no major opposition force, no peace movement and no urgency to move towards diplomacy.
Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and writer William J. Astore discusses his latest essay, “Can the Military-Industrial Complex Be Tamed?” with host Robert Scheer on this episode of Scheer Intelligence. Coming from a long career in the military, Astore shares his perspective on the current state of the conflict and how it is both unique and reminiscent of the past, how the reach of the military industrial complex is deeper than ever and how indifferent the population feels.
“We need to act together as citizens to be that vital check on the military industrial congressional complex, which is why I think there are so many forces in our society today that are actually trying to keep us, I mean I say non alert…and isolated from the real impact of war,” Astore says.
Astore speaks of the rot within the business of war and how despite military officers not necessarily earning a lot of money, a “revolving door” of power and wealth exists with companies like Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Raytheon post-retirement. “To paraphrase Condoleezza Rice, we can't let the golden idol become a mushroom cloud. And I think, unfortunately, we're heading in that direction,” he says.
When it comes to the outlook of ordinary people, the normalization of war and conflict has created a docile and callous population. “I think people have this illusion…that somehow that escalation is something that can be modulated and that simply isn't the case. History shows us this. We got very lucky with the Cuban Missile Crisis, that it didn't escalate into nuclear war. We may not be that lucky again.”