Australians who already think that Big Government working hand-in-hand with Big Corporations is a danger to freedom and liberty will be absolutely alarmed by news that the powerful military-industrial complex could take control of their nation’s defence force and nation security agencies.
With recent reforms proposed by the Albanese Labor government, this possibility is quickly becoming reality with international weapons companies set to become further embedded in the nation’s armed forces and security agencies.
Today’s report by Michelle Fahey of Undue Influence details just how the military-industrial complex could gain a foothold in both the Australian Defence Force and the Australian national security apparatus under those Albanese Labor government reforms.
Ms Fahey outlines that:
… the reform initiatives foreshadow a more deeply integrated involvement by the globally dominant US arms industry in Australia’s defence and national security establishment, including military operations, especially in the modern ‘warfighting’ domains of cyber and space.
What exactly is the military-industrial complex?
Most people consider the military-industrial complex to be a shadowy cabal of colluding corporate defence contractors, and corrupt government officials who operate just inside the letter of law, but certainly not within the spirit of the law.
Coincidentally, a lot of those government officials end up getting jobs with the corporate defence contractors once they leave the public sector. Funny that!
This cabal takes advantage of sovereign nations — predominantly the United States — and erstwhile sovereign national defence and national security systems.
By promoting ‘forever wars’ (which are conflicts that seem to be without end and/or clear outcome such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Ukraine), they then get to peddle weapons of mass destruction to the highest bidder.
They literally get rich off of the death and destruction that they manufacture… ridiculously rich; and all the while the taxpayer foots the bill and their children — young men and women — are sent into harm’s way to engage in their ‘forever wars’.
It was former United States President Ike Eisenhower who spoke of the threat that the military-industrial complex poses to democracy.
In his farewell speech, Ike ominously warned the American people that the:
… conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience.
The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government.
We recognize the imperative need for this development.
Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications.
Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.
The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.
We should take nothing for granted.
Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
With that age-old warning in mind, it is clear that Australians must not let the military-industrial complex take over (or even get a greater foothold in) the nation’s defence and security apparatus and agenda.
Fundamental freedoms and privacy are under threat if such a situation comes to pass; not only will these embedded corporations break traditional line-of-command principles but they will also have the potential to exercise an undue influence over Australia’s defence strategy and decision-making.
We only have to look to the USA to how is easy it is for a propaganda war to be waged by the military-industrial complex and vested political interests to lead the citizenry into thinking that conservatives, libertarians and those concerned about Big Government are potential ‘domestic terrorists’ who need to be monitored.
The military-industrial complex will then, of course, make the money from the sales of high tech spyware for said monitoring, and the additional arms required by national security agencies to deal with these so-called ‘domestic terrorists’ should they ever get too rowdy.
Ultimately, to preserve liberty and privacy, Australians must recognise the danger posed by allowing global arms manufacturers embedded access to its defence and national security agencies, and restrict their involvement in any way possible.
Michelle Fahey of Undue Influence asks the pointed question of what the public might think “about the deeper integration of profit-making multinational weapons companies into Australian military operations” and points to the Reforming Defence Legislation consultation paper and the fact the submissions in response to that paper need to be lodged by 21 April.
George Christensen was a Member of Parliament from 2010 - 2022 who popularly represented the federal electorate of Dawson in north Queensland for the LNP, part of the Government coalition. He explores both the big philosophical questions of our time and current events from a conservative worldview. He comes from a farming family and his background is in journalism and business.
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