It is not surprising then that not many people are willing to oppose the continuing rise in the Pentagon budget—even if they might philosophically be opposed to militarism and large military spending. Because of the widespread presence of military installations and production sites nationwide, few politicians can afford not to support a continued rise in military spending lest that should hurt their communities or constituencies economically.
This helps explain the vicious and spiraling circle of war, international political convulsions, and military spending: Major Pentagon contractors and other powerful beneficiaries of war dividends are dependent on continued war and militarism in order to maintain and expand hefty profits.
This dependence has, in turn, created a secondary (or derived) dependence; it is the dependence of millions of Americans on military spending as the source of their livelihood, which then plays into the hands of war profiteers in their perennial quest for ever newer enemies, newer wars, and bigger appropriations for the Pentagon—hence the addiction to and the vicious circle of war profiteering, international political tension, war, and military spending.
[The author, Ismael Hossein-zadeh, is an economics professor at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa. This excerpt above draws upon his recently published book, The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism ]