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Permanent War. The Domestic Economic Costs of Empire produced by Sheila Collins Professor of Political Science William Paterson University.

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permanent war

Permanent War

The Domestic Economic Costs of Empire

produced by

Sheila Collins

Professor of Political Science

William Paterson University


Figure 1 “I’m a war President. I make decisions here in the Oval Office on foreign policy matters with war on my mind . . . .”--George W. Bush

figure 9
Figure 9

“No rational country goes to war to help its economy, but neither should any country wage war without carefully weighing the costs and benefits of going or not going to war, an analysis that brings in a consideration of all the relevant scenarios.”

--Joseph E. Stiglitz, former Chair, Council of Economic Advisors


Figure 10

All of the “Relevant” Scenarios

The War on Terror


The “Regular” Military Budget


Other War and Empire-Related Costs


Unanticipated “Externalities” Not Included in Federal Budgets

figure 11 the war on terror
Figure 11The War on Terror
  • Fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the subsequent insurgency
  • Training troops in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Iraq and Afghan relief and reconstruction
  • Funding for the Iraq Provisional Authority
  • Compensation to victims in Iraq and Afghanistan for death, injury and damage to property
  • Costs of incarceration/deportation of political prisoners
  • Security for American and foreign personnel in Iraq
figure 13 the war on terror
Figure 13The War on Terror
  • Costs of increased intelligence operations – CIA, FBI, Military Intelligence, etc.
  • Covert operations
  • Potential blow-back effects
figure 14 the war on terror
Figure 14The War on Terror

Misplaced Priorities: Homeland Security Grants per capita

Wyoming - $28.22

New York - $4.07

  • Homeland Security:
    • protection of ports
    • borders
    • airlines
    • power and chemical plants
    • public health
figure 15 regular military budget
Figure 15“Regular” Military Budget
  • recruitment and training
  • maintenance of current troops and their families
  • base maintenance
  • death benefits to families of soldiers killed
  • procurement – research , development and deployment of new weapons systems
  • production of nuclear fuel and weapons
  • foreign military financing grants and loans
  • de-mining
  • non-proliferation and assessed contributions to peacekeeping
figure 16 regular military budget paying for past wars
Figure 16“Regular” Military Budget – Paying for Past Wars
  • veterans’ benefits
  • payments to military retirement and Social Security funds
  • payments to the radiation exposure compensation fund
  • payments to the health trust fund for post-1956 military service
  • cleanup costs of nuclear weapons facilities
figure 17 other war and empire related costs
Figure 17Other War and Empire-Related Costs
  • arms sales subsidies
  • embassy security, construction and maintenance
  • “defense related” activities of the FBI and other discretionary programs
  • the Andean counter-drug initiative
  • military and economic aid as incentives to gain “willing” coalition partners
  • war-related interest on the national debt
figure 18 externalities not anticipated in federal budgets
Figure 18Externalities Not Anticipated in Federal Budgets
  • destruction of fixed capital in “war zones” – and their cleanup and reconstruction
  • “collateral damage” – i.e. civilian deaths – victims’ compensation
  • chronic and unanticipated health effects from past and potential terrorist attacks – increased health costs
figure 19 externalities not anticipated in federal budgets
Figure 19Externalities Not Anticipated in Federal Budgets
  • Long-term environmental consequences:
  • Increase in greenhouse gases – acceleration of climate change
  • Environmental degradation from explosives, neglect due to war
figure 20 tertiary effects on u s economy and quality of life
Figure 20Tertiary effects on U.S. economy and quality of life
  • Reduced outlays for the “public welfare”

Daily Journal, IN Bush’s budget could threaten anti-drug efforts

Constitution for the United States of America

We, the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare . . .

The New York Times

Governors prepared to fight Medicaid cuts

The Advocate, Stamford, CTBudget cuts may imperil adult English Classes

KXX-TV – Waco, TX Centex Community Colleges may face budget cuts.

WLBZ-TV, Portland, ME

Report says budget cuts will lead to crime increase.

figure 24 the human costs of bush s proposed budget
Figure 24The Human Costs of Bush’s Proposed Budget
  • By 2010 . . .
  • Food stamps - 3,000,000
  • Nutritional assistance for pregnant women,

babies and children -670,000

  • Rental vouchers -370,000
  • Head Start and other social services -118,000
  • Child care assistance -300,000
  • Home energy assistance -360,000

Figure 25For every $1 billion spent on the military, up to three times as many civilian jobs could have been created with the same amount of money.

$ Military

$ Civilian

figure 26 tertiary effects on u s economy and quality of life signs of economic decline
Figure 26Tertiary effects on U.S. economy and quality of life: Signs of Economic Decline
  • Lost opportunity costs and lost revenues from national guard and reserve troops pulled from civilian jobs
  • Increased costs to families and communities for long-term care of the wounded
figure 27 signs of economic decline
Figure 27Signs of Economic Decline
  • Dangerously high deficits and debt that will burden future generations
  • the “hollowing out” of our domestic industrial capacity
  • largest trade deficit in history
  • Slowest job growth of any “recovery” since the end of World War II
  • Fiscal crisis of the states and cities
figure 28 tertiary effects on u s economy and quality of life
Figure 28Tertiary effects on U.S. economy and quality of life:
  • Accelerating inequality
  • $ 19,600average annual earnings of army private (including subsistence and extra combat pay)
  • $20,434,090annual pay of Lockheed Martin CEO, Vance Coffman


+$13,689,875unexercised stock options


figure 30 and the erosion of our democracy
Figure 30. . . And the Erosion of our Democracy

Defense Industry Campaign Contributions 2004

Lockheed Martin Campaign Contributions 2004 –

$1.8 million

Lockheed Martin Defense Contracts - $20.7 billion

Lockheed Martin Homeland Security Contracts - $513 million

figure 31 the real costs of war
Figure 31The REAL Costs of War

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.

It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.

--former general& President,Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953

figure 35 the real costs of war
Figure 35The REAL Costs of War

Homeless Needs Rise as U.S. Aid Declines

Pressed for Resources, Many Area Agencies Had to Turn Clients Away Report Says

By Mary Otto

Washington Post , February 16, 2005

figure 38 words to think about
Figure 38 Words to Think About
  • “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
  • “It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality.”

---Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • "Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind."

---President John F. Kennedy