Nick Turse is an historian, essayist, investigative journalist, the associate editor of TomDispatch.com, and currently a fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute. His latest book is The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan (Verso Books). He is also the author of The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives.
Giant weapon makers are not the only ones cashing in on US wars. Unbeknownst to the public, the companies behind some the most familiar household name brands constitute the backbone of what has mushroomed into a military-corporate complex of "civilian" firms, which rake in huge profits while helping the Pentagon to carry out its wars and foreign occupations. Unsurprisingly, at least five of these companies have seen their contracts with the Defense Department skyrocket since 9/11.
The United States boasts hundreds of military bases around the world, perhaps even thousands, constituting a planetary military deployment of a sort never before seen in history. Yet no one knows exactly how many. Everywhere it has a military base, the U.S. is able to swing the necessary political, economic and coercive power to impose its will. But, predicts Nick Turse, as the U.S. economy shrinks so will, inevitably, its military footprint spread-eagled across the globe.
U.S. Defense Departments documents, scrutinized by TomDispatch, reveal that as far back as the 1990s the United States has been supplying vast quantities of military equipment to Bahraini security forces, which have currently unleashed a bloody repression against thousands of peaceful demonstrators demanding an end to the corrupt Al-Khalifa dynasty.
Does the Pentagon Really Have 1,180 Foreign Bases?
How the tiny kingdom of Bahrain strong-armed the President of the United States
The militarization of the civilian economy