Perpetual War, Anyone?

In his January 1961 farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned us of the military/industrial complex. It was the first time I had heard the term; I think it was for most people. I had no idea who they were or what they did for a living. I still don’t, but I have sixty years of their influence to look back on, including two years of active-duty military experience.

Eisenhower was referring to the defense necessities that sprang from World War II and the subsequent Cold War. According to History.com, ”he was gravely concerned about ‘the acquisition of unwarranted influence…by the military-industrial complex.’ In particular, he asked the American people to guard against the ‘danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.’”

What was to follow is discussed in my prior OpsLens article “Presidents and One-Car Funerals –You Voted for Them,” a review of conflicts in the Middle East and the Far East which have cost us trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives to no benefit for the people of the United States. Great financial benefits accrued to the people who make the tanks, guns, airplanes and all the rest of the things that are used to kill people in large numbers.

For the military/industrial complex (MIC), peace is recession and their self-interest is served by using their considerable influence to promote military intervention, wherever the opportunity presents. President Trump has expressed sentiments against military involvement with other countries, which adds to the “deep state” frustration with his administration.

In March 2019, just as it was looking grim for MIC prosperity, the U.S. Senate introduced senate bill S.727. What more could MIC ask for than a global hunting license and potentially more lucrative than W.’s crusade to democratize the Middle East?

From the first part of senate bill 727:


March 7, 2019

Mr. Coons (for himself, Mr. Graham, Mr. Merkley, Mr. Rubio, and Mr. Young) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


To combat international extremism by addressing global fragility and violence and stabilizing conflict-affected areas, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the “Global Fragility Act of 2019.”

Further on down, it continues:



  • Strategy.—The President, in coordination with the Secretary of State, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Secretary of Defense, and the heads of other relevant Federal agencies, shall establish a comprehensive, integrated, ten-year strategy, to be referred to as the “Global Fragility Strategy,” to contribute to the stabilization of conflict-affected areas, address global fragility, and strengthen the capacity of the United States to be an effective leader of international efforts to prevent extremism and violent conflict. The strategy shall focus on addressing long-term causes of fragility and violence, and shall…”

What comes after trillion? Quadrillion!

As we read through the bill, we find:

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report setting forth the strategy described in subsection (a), which shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex if necessary.

(2) in a manner that ensures that not fewer than five countries are selected, and such countries are in the areas of responsibility of at least three geographic bureaus of the Department of State.”

It gets better:


The President, in coordination with the Secretary of State, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and the Secretary of Defense, and in consultation with the appropriate congressional committees, shall select certain countries as “priority countries” for the purpose of implementing the strategy required under section 101(a)…”

It becomes obvious that world peace is not an option.

S. 727 concludes with:


In addition to any other funds authorized to be appropriated for multilateral or bilateral programs related to conflict prevention, countering violent extremism, stabilization, or economic development, there is authorized to be appropriated to the Department of State such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2020 through 2022 for contributions to the Partnership.”

And So…

We can only hope that China prospers enough to loan us the dollars needed to comply with this legislation.

The Global Fragility Act of 2019 is the most outrageous piece of special interest legislation I can possibly imagine. Sponsors are Republican Senator Graham of South Carolina, Senator Young of Indiana and Senator Rubio of Florida, joined by Democrats Coons of Delaware and Merkley of Oregon. Only those who prosper from the misery of war and the politicians they have bought can think it has any redeeming value. It will make the U.S. the world’s policeman.

We tend to forget who we are and our unique origins that make democracy work for us. It’s not for everybody.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Wayne McLaughlin

Wayne McLaughlin is an OpsLens Contributor and US Army Veteran.

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