A mind-boggling investigation of the allpervasive, constantly morphing presence of the Pentagon in daily life—a real-world Matrix come alive
Here is the new, hip, high-tech military-industrial complex—an omnipresent, hidden-in-plain-sight system of systems that penetrates all our lives.
From iPods to Starbucks to Oakley sunglasses, historian Nick Turse explores the Pentagon's little-noticed contacts (and contracts) with the products and companies that now form the fabric of America. Turse investigates the remarkable range of military incursions into the civilian world: the Pentagon's collaborations with Hollywood filmmakers; its outlandish schemes to weaponize the wild kingdom; its joint ventures with the World Wrestling Federation and NASCAR. He shows the inventive ways the military, desperate for new recruits, now targets children and young adults, tapping into the "culture of cool" by making "friends" on MySpace.
A striking vision of this brave new world of remote-controlled rats and super-soldiers who need no sleep, The Complex will change our understanding of the militarization of America. We are a long way from Eisenhower's military-industrial complex: this is the essential book for understanding its twenty-first-century progeny.
In his exhaustively researched first book concerning the extent to which the "military industrial complex" has infiltrated the life of the average American, journalist Turse starts off by documenting how many times supposedly innocent consumer choices support major Pentagon contractors then covers similar ground in greater detail. Turse has up-to-date information on a previously well-covered subject and casts a wide net, including the movie industry, video gaming and military recruitment tactics in his analysis. Many of Turse's facts are purely economic, but some of them are astonishing. Who knew, for example, that in 2005, the Department of Defense spent $1.2 million on donuts in Kuwait? Or that Harvard received over $300 million in DoD funds in 2002, after being pressured, despite concerns about discrimination, to allow military recruiters access to its law school students? Though Turse offers plenty of interesting information, ultimately this book would have been more convincing if, instead of simply amassing and condensing such information, he had built a stronger argument about what it all means.