Military Industrial Complex

By: Arnie Alpert on April 4, 2016

From October 2014 to the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary 16 months later, AFSC trained more than 1200 people to talk with the presidential candidatesquestions about the excessive influence of Pentagon contractors, the for-profit prison industry, and a corrupt system that enables powerful corporations to drive American policy toward their own interests.  Together, we asked the candidates more than 400 questions and documented many of them on this website.  These "bird dogging" efforts, combined with the use of our giant banners and other educational activities, helped turn the political discourse toward urgent issues that might have otherwise been ignored.

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By: Kevin Rutledge on February 10, 2016
Within a few hours before the Iowa Caucus, we talked with three candidates in Des Moines. Martin O’Malley called for openness, transparency and accountability in the Defense Department. Rick Santorum learned more about the immigrant detention quota and for-profit prisons. Jeb Bush wants to modernize the nuclear triad with an aspiration of reducing nuclear armaments.
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By: Judy Elliott on February 8, 2016
Reversing his endorsement of de-alerting February 2, Gov. Kasich told me he doesn't believe U.S. nuclear missiles are on hair-trigger alert. He needs to read up.
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By: Judy Elliott on February 7, 2016
On February 7 in Bedford, Senator Marco Rubio echoed his earlier statement endorsing the Pentagon’s plans to transfer massive amounts of money into nuclear weapons spending.
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By: Betsy on February 3, 2016
By: Olivia Zink on February 3, 2016
In response to a question about the proposed nuclear weapons build up an Eisenhower's military-industrial-complex warning, Marco Rubio said times are different than in Eisenhower's day, when he thinks the Soviet Union had a strategic nuclear advantage of the USA. Now, he said, we are in danger of falling behind the Russians and Chinese and need to build more weapons, including nuclear weapons. He said there is a need for more competition among weapons suppliers to the Pentagon and other procurement reforms.
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By: Olivia Zink on February 2, 2016
Ted Cruz likes to emphasize his opposition to the "Washington Cartel." Olivia asked him if that includes the military-industrial-complex, to which Cruz responded by opposing "wasteful projects."
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By: Will Thomas on February 2, 2016
When Will suggested investment in cybersecurity, infrastructure, diplomacy, and even conventional forces would be better than spending a trillion dollars on a new generation of nuclear weapons, Chris Christie made vague references to diplomacy and non-proliferation, then said his nuclear weapons priority is the Ohio-class submarine replacement program.
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By: Sally on February 2, 2016
When Sally told Chris Christie we could repair our infrastructure with funds from cancelling the F-35 program if it weren't for the power of the military-industrial-congressional complex, the NJ governor said he would evaluate all federal programs. He also said he would fund infrastructure improvements by repatriating funds now held offshore.
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By: Austin Henshaw on February 1, 2016
Carly Fiorina was asked about corporate cronyism and the one trillion dollar nuclear weapons plan. She said we need to reform bureaucracy and pork in the Department of Defense saying, "there is a lot of fat and pork and corruption and greed in Pentagon contracts," but didn't address specifics on how to do this.
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By: David Erikson on February 1, 2016
Asked about intervention, arms merchants and campaign finance reform, John Kasich said "faulty intelligence" was to blame in Iraq war vote. Democrats were at fault in Libya. And arms merchants don't influence congress. He doesn't like big money in politics.
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