Since its birth, the United States has shifted its defense strategy from defensive (protecting our home for freedom), to an offensive strategy (becoming the big brother of the world). The major shift transpired during the period of WWII, where the United States began to mesh the military with the private industry, creating the largest Arms Industry in the world. The 2006 Documentary Why We Fight, describes the rise and maintenance of the “military-industrial complex” (coined by President Eisenhower), over the past 70 years.
In the film, President Eisenhower’s last speech warned the American Public that the new arms industry the U.S. created could be devastating if left and lead by the wrong hands. His biggest fear was the U.S. would shift from a primarily defensive position of maintaining freedom on the home front, to an imperialistic society like Rome, and become primarily offensive and become an enforcer of freedom. The film proposes and shows endless evidence that the U.S. has done exactly what President Eisenhower has warned against. Since WWII, the U.S. in the name of freedom has increased its military footprint worldwide and has created a perpetual moneymaking cycle, between Congress, private industry and the Department of Defense called the Iron Triangle. This iron triangle according to the documentary has used the media to invoke fear in the public, allowing it to successfully create six wars in the past 70 years in order to keep the demand for arms high and the cycle of cash flowing.
For clarity, there is a scene in Kung Fu Panda, where Master Oogway tells Master Shifu that one often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it. The United States has taken a road of fear, created from Pearl Harbor, to avoid ever being taken over or comprising its freedom and peace at home. What is interesting is the number of wars and enemies it has created in the process, which has driven peace farther from it and enemies closer to it. By using hindsight, one can observe great empires like Rome and Great Britain who bought into the same ideology and attempted the same strategies currently being pursued by the U.S. If history repeats itself, one can only wonder what will transpire in the coming years for the U.S., if it continues on the same path.