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U.S. Iran Policy Irks Senior Commanders: The Military vs. Militaristic Civilian Leadership

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By the same token, the incestuous relationship between war beneficiaries and war makers goes some way to explain the increasing tensions between the military and civilian militarists in and around the Bush administration, especially in the context of the administration's plans to bomb Iran. When contemplating war plans, military commanders make some critically important decisions that seem to be of no or very little significance to civilian leaders. Not only the military will have to face direct combat, death, and destruction, but perhaps more importantly, the commanders will have to think very carefully about the outcome of the war and the chances of victory, that is, the of honor and pride of the military.

By contrast, the primary concern and the measure of success for civilian militarists lie in the mere act or continuation of war, as this would ensure increased military spending and higher dividends for military industries and war-induced businesses. In other words, the standard of success for corporate beneficiaries of war, which operate from behind the fa├žade of neoconservative forces in and around the Bush administration, is based more on business profitability than on the conventional military success on the battle field. This is a clear indication of the fact that, for example, while from a military point of view the war on Iraq has been a fiasco, from the standpoint of the powerful beneficiaries of the Pentagon budget it has been a boon and a huge success. This explains, perhaps more than anything ales, the ongoing tensions between the military and militaristic civilian leaders, or chicken hawks.


1. Seymour M. Hersh, "The military's problem with the President's Iran policy," The New Yorker (July 10, 2006): http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060710fa_fact
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Alfred Vagts, A History of Militarism: Civilian and Military (London: Hollis & Carter, 1959), P. 463.
5. Greg Palast, "Adventure Capitalism," TomPaine.com (October 26, 2004): http://www.tompaine.com/articles/adventure_capitalism.php
6. William Hartung and Michelle Ciarrocca, "The Military-Industrial-Think Tank Complex," International Monitor (January-February 2003): http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2003/03jan-feb/jan-feb03corp2.html#name
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Ismael Hossein-zadeh is a professor of economics at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa. He is the author of the newly published book, The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism His Web page is http://www.cbpa.drake.edu/hossein-zadeh

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In present day DC, its the military civilians (Neo... by Amanda Lang on Monday, Jul 24, 2006 at 5:41:40 PM