The Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex Defeats Tulsi Gabbard

The military-industrial-congressional complex (MIC) is the noxious alliance comprised of the Pentagon, the war industry, and Capitol Hill. U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard has spoken out against U.S. military interventions in such sovereign nations as Iraq, Syria, and Libya. While Gabbard’s public discussion of the costs of war rankles some within the MIC, she does not pose a threat to the status quo, even if she beats the odds and becomes President.

Gabbard spouts MIC pabulum (e.g. troops fight for freedom, and military deployments serve the country) and consistently votes for bloated military budgets. Gabbard says she is against regime change, not war. She has made clear time and time again that she’s in favor of using military forces to hunt down al-Qaeda and its affiliates. Such non-stop global war has led to millions of civilian deaths, more terrorism, and, yes, regime change wars; the MIC has used the war on terror to justify invading Iraq, Syria, and Libya. One cannot be pro-war on terror and anti-regime change, because GWOT and regime change are brothers in arms. If Gabbard enters the White House, all three sides of the military-industrial-congressional triangle will seize her support for GWOT and mold it into sustenance for ongoing imperial operations. Gabbard’s pro-war ways blend smoothly with the MIC’s modus operandi.

The war industry is comprised of the corporations and academic institutions that develop, market, and sell goods and services to the Pentagon and allied capitalist governments. The war industry is entrenched in Hawai‘i, Gabbard’s home state. War corporations fester right now in the Aloha State: AECOM contractors, Boeing cargo aircraft, CACI signals intelligence software, DynCorp technicians, ECS information technology, Fluor supervisors, General Dynamics submarines, Huntington Ingalls aircraft carriers, and InDyne launch control. Get the point? Through a comprehensive strategy (including funding think tanks and corporate media, lobbying, financing congressional campaigns, spreading factories across congressional districts, and rotating corporate executives into the Pentagon’s leadership), the U.S. war industry does its damnedest to push for and sustain a permanent war footing. This is what many supporters of Tulsi 2020 are up against.

U.S. military installations comprise roughly 25% of Hawai‘i. This is a larger percentage of territory than the Pentagon has in any other state, as made clear in the 2018 Base Structure Report (pdf). Major military facilities include Camp H.M. Smith, Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i, and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on O‘ahu; the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai; the Pōhakuloa Training Area on the island of Hawai‘i; and the High Performance Computing Center located at the Maui Research & Technology Park. Substantial military-intelligence facilities pockmark the colony, including NSA’s Hawai‘i Cryptologic Center on the island of O‘ahu. The military’s presence in Hawai‘i is expanding. Military construction is ongoing at all of the aforementioned sites. Notable projects include a communications facility at Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i, an electrical distribution facility at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, telecommunications infrastructure at Pōhakuloa Training Area, and warehouses at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Expansive military infrastructure forestalls any chance of peace.

No presidential candidate poses a genuine threat to the military-industrial-congressional triangle. Gabbard’s rhetoric and voting record complement military infrastructure and corporate products in Hawai‘i. In order for any peace candidate to be successful, there needs to be a grassroots movement demobilizing the U.S. Armed Forces and demilitarizing the economy. Demobilizing the Armed Forces requires a strenuous effort to bring the troops home, retrain them in non-militant fields, and offer them all the university education they desire. Demilitarizing the economy involves banning war profiteering, passing a constitutional amendment declaring corporations are not people, reversing the 2010 Citizens United decision, and methodically disassembling the biggest U.S. war corporations, liberating the scientists and engineers to pursue peaceful endeavors. Where will we get all the money to do this? There’s plenty of money to go around, starting with the annual $1.25 trillion “national security” budget and the coffers of war profiteers. If we do not demobilize the Armed Forces and demilitarize the economy then the wars will endure, and the MIC will continue to manufacture death at home and abroad.

Christian Sorensen is a novelist and independent journalist. His work focuses on the U.S. war industry. Read other articles by Christian, or visit Christian's website.