US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

Harper's Magazine


»http://harpers.org«

15.05.2019

"The Military-Industrial Virus - How bloated defense budgets gut our armed forces"

https://harpers.org/archive/2019/06/the-pentagon-syndrome/

Andrew Cockburn wirft in seinem Essay einen Blick auf die "gigantische Militärmaschine" der USA und weist darauf hin, dass sich die Streitkräfte des Landes trotz der hohen Ausgaben oft in schlechtem Zustand befänden. Der militärisch-industrielle Komplex (MIC) sei primär nicht an der Sicherheit des Landes, sondern vor allem am Selbsterhalt und am stetig wachsenden Zufluss von Steuergeldern interessiert. "(...) if we understand that the MIC exists purely to sustain itself and grow, it becomes easier to make sense of the corruption, mismanagement, and war, and understand why, despite warnings over allegedly looming threats, we remain in reality so poorly defended. (...) we’ve been left with a very poor fighting force for our money. The evidence for this is depressingly clear, starting with our bulging arsenal of weapons systems incapable of performing as advertised and bought at extraordinary cost. (...) the MIC has a compulsion to demand and receive more of our money every year. Contrary to common belief, this imperative does not mean that the budget is propelled by foreign wars. Rather, the wars are a consequence of the quest for bigger budgets. Recently, the Pentagon even proposed a war budget that won’t be spent on a war. (...) We’re left with a fighting force that needs to rely on loved ones for vital needs such as armor and night-­vision goggles, while we throw hundreds of millions of dollars at exotic contraptions such as the Compass Call N­OVA, a completely dysfunctional aircraft tasked with detecting I.E.D.s. (...) In other words, it’s all about the Benjamins. Understanding this fundamental fact makes it easier to understand the decisions underlying our defense policy."

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15.12.2018

"Donald Trump Is a Good President"

https://harpers.org/archive/2019/01/donald-trump-is-a-good-president/

Der französische Autor Michel Houellebecq begründet in diesem Beitrag für Harper's Magazine, warum er Donald Trump aus seiner nichtamerikanischen Perspektive keineswegs für einen schlechten US-Präsidenten hält. "Trump is pursuing and amplifying the policy of disengagement initiated by Obama; this is very good news for the rest of the world. The Americans are getting off our backs. The Americans are letting us exist. The Americans have stopped trying to spread democracy to the four corners of the globe. (...) what’s most remarkable about the new American policies is certainly the country’s position on trade, and there Trump has been like a healthy breath of fresh air; you’ve really done well to elect a president with origins in what is called 'civil society.' (...) Unlike free-market liberals (who are, in their way, as fanatical as communists), President Trump doesn’t consider global free trade the be-all and end-all of human progress. (...) It seems that President Trump recently declared, 'You know what I am? I’m a nationalist!' Me too, precisely so. Nationalists can talk to one another; with internationalists, oddly enough, talking doesn’t work so well. (...) You have to get used to the idea, worthy American people: in the final analysis, maybe Donald Trump will have been a necessary ordeal for you. And you’ll always be welcome as tourists."

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07.07.2014

"On the endemic corruption of the global oil industry"

http://harpers.org/blog/2014/07/ken-silversteins-the-secret-world-of-oil/

Hardy Calvert hat sich mit Ken Silverstein unterhalten, der in seinem neuen Buch "The Secret World of Oil" die "weit verbreitete Korruption" in der globalen Ölindustrie untersucht hat. "Calvert: 'Oil companies, as you note, say that they do business with dictators because that’s where the oil happens to be, and that they would be just as happy to partner with non-authoritarian governments. Yet their business interests are served in other ways, too, by dealing with autocrats. Do oil companies hold a certain amount of blame for perpetuating dictatorships?' Silverstein: 'A large share of blame. They probably don’t like paying bribes, and they probably don’t like having to deal with crooks who are constantly asking them for money. One executive who worked for Mobil in Angola said he spent 99 percent of his waking hours trying to figure how not to technically violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. But in the end, they choose to deal with these people, and in some ways it’s very advantageous.'"

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