Its always a mistake to ignore the consequence of political power based largely in the care and feeding of the MIC. President Eisenhower saw the dangers but Ike didn’t fully appreciate how seductive it would be to your average Congressperson nor how it would morph into the MIIC, my term for the Military Industrial Intelligence Complex. We discuss that evolution in Shadow Warfare – presenting a whole new set of risks that went along with the reward of creating such an entity. That was dangerous enough in the 60’s and 70’s, but it became even more so in the first decade of the 21st Century when budget games and outsourcing led to the emergence of the MIICC – Military Industrial and Intelligence Contracting Complex.
No we don’t actually use that term in the book…too many I’s and too many C’s, my editors were somewhat forgiving but only to a point. I do think we do the contracting element justice though, and the downside of the contracting in both the intelligence and military contracting was immense. I’m afraid it shows how truly compromised Congress has become that there have been no extensive and ongoing Congressional hearings on the level of fraud, government funds wastage and security compromise during the last decade – that’s the sort of thing that would have fueled intense party politics in earlier decades. Notice how the background check scandal faded after only a week or two; that has the implication and reach of some of the worst security breaches of the Cold War and Congress didn’t even touch it. My suspicion is that its lack illustrates that lobbyists have been truly effective at donating to both sides of the aisle.
However, my real point here is that the existence, and influence of a MIC is not at all limited to the United States. During the past few years it has become a major factor in Russian politics and particularly important as an element of Putin’s power base. I find the articles pondering whether U.S. intelligence was taken by surprise by Russian aggressiveness in the Ukraine and Crimea a bit humerous. First off, the Russians started moving in that direction in 2000, when they resumed Bear Bomber ferret flights around Alaska. There truly was no sane strategic reason for that at all and Russian reconnaissance and ferreting continued and escalated though the entire decade.
Beginning in 2012-1013 the Russians stepped it up considerably. A bit of internet searching will show you several instances in which they ran full scale bombing exercises targeting their Scandinavian neighbors, right up to their borders. Why in any sane universe would Russia be wasting money on doing that. The answer is that Putin has had money from Russia’s oil and gas production and one of the major places he’s been spending it is on the Russian Military Industrial Complex. Take a look at the equipment being used by the Special Forces he poured into the Crimea – its all new and all first class. Take a look at the number of new strategic and tactical missiles Russia is developing and the new mobile rocket units they have deployed – is Russia really going to roll west to France, not likely but it sure provides a boost to their military industrial complex. For that matter check out the article below – on their development of a new Mach 4 interceptor. Question is, what would it be intercepting, its totally out of synch with all of contemporary war fighting strategy – but it’s a direct fit with other news that they are developing totally redundant fighters from different aerospace companies – thereby sustaining their MIC base (which we are not by the way, but Putin doesn’t have to fight many budget battles).
Then look at the list of the number of Russian border territories where it has covertly or conventionally deployed military force. Why would anyone be surprised about the Ukraine. The MIC needs to be fed; Putin is paranoid and politically dependent. Case closed…. As to what to do about it, that’s at a higher pay grade than mine but I submit that a) the Soviet Union fell largely on economics and b) anybody who thinks economic warfare doesn’t work in a global economy needs to do some homework.
Oh, and on a final note, Shadow Warfare is now available at Amazon, at Borders and at a number of book sellers nationally. So I will be returning to it and hopefully readers will email me some things to discuss here. Larry