Blistering charges of misplaced power and a morally bankrupt culture in the nation’s “military-industrial complex” are rarely leveled by one of the defense establishment’s own.
But that is exactly what an instructor of the military’s rising stars lobbed on Tuesday when he very purposely engaged in friendly fire at a defense budget conference co-hosted by the Cambridge-based Project on Defense Alternatives.
Gregory D. Foster, a former Army officer and West Point graduate who now teaches national security studies at the National Defense University in Washington, seemed unconcerned about collateral damage when he went after the top brass, political leaders, and defense company executives.
He accused them of allowing the nearly sacrosanct principle of civilian control of the military—an early building block of American democracy—to be turned on its head. How? By virtually never questioning the key assumptions of military planning and allowing a largely unchecked, destructive and highly militarized foreign policy to pose as a “properly subordinated military industrial complex.