When I was a kid I once asked my Dad why we kept preparing for war when we weren’t (then) at war. He told me that though R&D starts in the military, it overflows into beneficial civilian applications.
Though I didn’t say anything at the time, I wondered even then why we couldn’t just go ahead and do “beneficial civilian applications” without first doing the military ones.
Today I’m curious to know how much “our” nearby military center, NSWC (for Naval Surface Warfare Center) Crane, known locally as “Crane,” powers the local economy; how many jobs it creates, how big it is and how it overflows elsewhere. Here’s wikipedia on the subject:
Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division is the principal tenant command located at Naval Support Activity Crane. NSA Crane is a United States Navy installation located approximately 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Bloomington, Indiana and predominantly located in Martin County, but small parts also extend into Greene and Lawrence counties. It was originally established in 1941 under the Bureau of Ordnance as the Naval Ammunition Depot for production, testing, and storage of ordnance under the first supplemental Defense Appropriation Act. The base is named after William M. Crane. The base is the third largest naval installation in the world by geographic area and employs approximately 3300 people. [My emphasis. Ye gods!]
I’m also interested to know how NSWC Crane interfaces with Indiana Univerisity. Aha! Take a look at this! A press release from September 28, 2011:
From that release:
“The partnership, made official during a signing ceremony at Crane, is expected to result in a wide range of collaborative efforts in several key areas, including informatics and computing, cybersecurity, technology transfer, kinesiology, optics, intellectual property research and regional economic development.
“This agreement marks the continued development of what we hope will be a long-term, collaborative relationship between IU and Crane,” McRobbie said. “It unites IU’s renowned teaching, research and development resources with initiatives here at Crane that are critical to the defense, protection and security of Indiana and the nation, and it extends our existing partnerships.”
IU is building a gigantic new “Research Technology Park” within a half mile of where I live. And just today the local paper says that IU has just bought the corner strip mall across the street from the Tech Park for $4.6 million. Where does all this money for all these building projects and their associated services come from?
IU was very much in favor of the contentious widening of the Bypass road, now in progress, and running adjacent to this new Technology Park. I imagine IU was also behind the extremely contentious I 69 construction from Texas to Canada; it’s now about to plow through the western edge of Bloomington. And, wouldn’t you know, that interstate runs close to Crane! Are we surprised?
In order to widen the bypass, the first thing INDOT did was take down 500 trees. The I69 project is ruining untold acres of meadows, woodlands, streams, small farms, etc.
The continuous ruination of the environment and expansion of car culture are “externalities”, “collateral damage” byproducts of our continuing inability to think beyond the militarization of our economy, where at least 50% of our personal tax dollars go to war and warmongering and corporations get off scott-free.
The point is, what would happen if we actually looked at the idea of transforming our unsustainable, ruinous military/industrial corporatized economy to a sustainable civilian cooperative economy? I’ve published Ellen Brown on the subject.
Here’s another article which tackles that question, and strives to be so reasonable and gradual that even Republicans might buy into it. I pull one graph from this article to place here. Originally published in The Nation. Thanks to common dreams.org.