The Military-Industrial-Think Tank Complex

Corporate Think Tanks and the
Doctrine of Aggressive MilitarismBy William Hartung and Michelle Ciarrocca
The aggressive first-strike military strategy now animating U.S. policy toward Iraq was developed during the 1990s by a network of corporate-backed conservative think tanks.

Each major element of the Bush administration’s national security strategy — from the doctrines of preemptive strikes and “regime change” in Iraq, to its aggressive nuclear posture and commitment to deploying a Star Wars-style missile defense system — was developed and refined before the Bush administration took office, at corporate-backed conservative think tanks like the Center for Security Policy, the National Institute for Public Policy and the Project for a New American Century.

Unilateralist ideologues formerly affiliated with these think tanks, along with the 32 major administration appointees who are former executives with, consultants for, or significant shareholders of top defense contractors, are driving U.S. foreign and military policy.

The arms lobby is exerting more influence over policymaking than at any time since President Dwight D. Eisenhower first warned of the dangers of the military-industrial complex over 40 years ago.

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