Countries like Russia and China can’t be countered by hoping for the best or unilateral disarmament. If the Western world wishes to remain free, military spending is a must.
Elements of both the left and the right increasingly criticize the “military-industrial complex.”
Often, this criticism is levelled amid a broader distaste for Western support for Ukraine through weapon shipments.
That support, and the military-industrial complex that makes it possible, is often attacked as “warmongering.”
Those attacks are disingenuous and dishonest of course, because they come from people who strangely always seem to leave out the fact that Russia started the war in Ukraine, and that Russia are the “warmongers” in this situation.
Further, critics of Western military assistance to Ukraine often hide behind the label of ‘supporters of peace,’ yet what they really support is Ukraine being defeated by Russia, since they never call on Russia to stop sending weapons into the warzone.
On the bigger point, what we are seeing is the growth of a dangerously naïve attitude towards the realities of the modern world from people in countries that have been insulated from war on their own territories.
For a wealthy modern nation to remain free, it must be able to dissuade external threats and support its allies. Given how intricate modern weapons have become, there’s no way to accomplish this without having an advanced industry to build tanks, planes, guns, ships, missiles, and more – or rely upon an ally that has the ability to produce those things in large numbers.
If your opponents have a military industry, you need one too
Funny thing, those who criticize the Western military-industrial complex don’t say the same about Russia or China.
Yet, Russia doesn’t hesitate to brag about their weapons production:
Visiting a weapons factory in January of this year, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin claimed Russia would succeed due to “the unity and cohesion of the Russian and multinational Russian people, the courage and heroism of our fighters … and of course the work of the military-industrial complex and factories like yours and people like you,” said Putin.”
If a dictator like Putin is determined to build up the military-industrial complex of Russia, then Western countries must build up our military industry as well.
The military-industrial complex is a good thing, because freedom isn’t free
We have been lucky to avoid large scale war for quite a while. Most recent wars have been of our ‘choosing,’ in that the United States and Canada are relatively secure on the North American landmass and can thus choose whether or not to intervene overseas.
However, there is no guarantee that will continue. Peace in the past is no guarantee of peace in the future. Russia is seeking to rebuild the Russian Empire/Soviet sphere of influence. China may attack Taiwan, which would throw the global economy into chaos. Our allies in Europe are waking up – belatedly – to the fact that military power is still necessary.
It may be a cliché, but freedom isn’t free. It’s gained and held at a significant cost. Some countries and some leaders can’t be reasoned with through dialogue, and only understand force. The German fascists couldn’t have been stopped without massive military power. The Soviet Union couldn’t have been contained without NATO and the military-industrial complex supporting the free nations of Western Europe. And in today’s world, China and Russia won’t be contained by kind words or wishful thinking.
For this reason, the military-industrial complex in the West is a good thing, because it is a guarantor of our freedom, and a check on the power of potentially hostile nations.
Who benefits from weakening the Western military-industrial complex?
There’s a reason both the far-left and the far-right are trying to turn the public against the military-industrial complex in the West. Who do you think benefits from that?
China and Russia.
China tends to exploit left-leaning views in the West, while Russia tends to exploit right-leaning views. But in both cases, they seek to convince people in the West to lower their military spending, which would make it easier for China and Russia to grab land and intimidate other nations without facing as much resistance.
The fact is that while it would be nice if we lived in a world where advanced weapons weren’t necessary, we don’t live in that world.
And so, if we want to remain free and dissuade authoritarian states from attacking our interests, a strong military-industrial complex is a must.
Photo – YouTube