World military expenditure is estimated to have reached $1739 billion in 2017, the highest level since the end of the cold war.
In 2015, according to Special Operations Command spokesman Ken McGraw, U.S. Special Operations forces deployed to a record-shattering 147 countries — 75% of the nations on the planet, which represents a jump of 145% since the waning days of the Bush administration. On any day of the year, in fact, America's most elite troops can be found in 70 to 90 nations.
Since 1990, each large-scale U.S. intervention has left behind a string of new U.S. military bases in a region where the U.S. had never before had a foothold. The U.S. military is inserting itself into strategic areas of the world, and anchoring U.S. geopolitical influence in these areas, at a very critical time in history. It has been projecting that military dominance into new strategic regions as a future counterweight to its economic competitors, to create a military-backed "dollar bloc" as a wedge geographically situated between its major competitors (Euro, Yen)... The goal is not to end "terror" or encourage "democracy," and Bush will not accomplish either of these claimed goals. The short-term goal is to station U.S. military forces in regions where local nationalists had evicted them. The long-term goal is to increase U.S. corporate control over the oil needed by Europe and East Asia.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
The arms trade is surrounded by great controversy. The nature of arms and the possibility to hold governments accountable for irresponsible trades makes the issue politically charged. In recent years, the propensity of many democratic governments to sell arms to autocracies and human-rights violators has stirred great public discontent.
The fact that military activities may become a profitable enterprise leads to the realization that peace is the main enemy of the military-industrial complex. A simple metaphor can illustrate this problem. Grape growers, the wine industry and wine marketers would be completely out of business if people stopped drinking wine. In a similar way, the military-industrial complex would be put out of business by lasting peaceful conditions because the development, production, marketing and use of military equipment would be not needed.