Director Roland Emmerich’s latest action movie, White House Down, is about a takeover of the White House by right-wing paramilitary forces receiving funds from the defense industry. True to life it isn’t, but it got me thinking about why the defense industry has a bad rep in many quarters. After all, U.S. military contractors produce world-class weapons that win wars and are in demand around the globe. Why do so many people believe the worst about their motivations and behavior? Partly it’s because of the nature of war itself and partly it’s because the industry is funded by taxpayers, but there are other reasons too such as secrecy and the way America’s political culture functions. I have written a commentary for Forbes on why people don’t trust the defense industry, which you can read here.
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