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Military Complex Geography

Wherever the military industrial complex resides it co-opts those around it in many ways.  This release is mainly an analysis of the Fiscal Year 2015 Defense Spending by State published by the US Department of Defense compared with my own prior analyses of related matters.

Military Concentrations in America

Military concentrations by state always start out with the big four, Virginia, Hawaii, Alaska and the District of Columbia.  Then the rest of the top ten are usually Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Connecticut, Alabama and Arizona.  I have looked at 1980, 1984, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2015 over the years.  In 2015 these are all in the top 14, with Kentucky, Maine, and Rhode Island, rising to this top level.  Among the big eight population states, California, Texas, and Florida have consistently been in the high military category, while New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan have been consistently low military, a clear South versus North split.  Indeed, the nation as a whole tends to follow this North versus South split, with few and rare exceptions, except the coastal corners, Washington and New England.  In 1991 dividing the nation into 28 North states and 22 South states, the South had twice the military spending level of the North.  In 2015 the 22 high military spending states had half the US population comparable to the 28 low military spending states.  But the military spending was clearly split 70% in the high states to 30% in the low states.  The lowest military spending region is clearly the Great Lakes states including New York, Pennsylvania, and Iowa.  Other than the Eastern two, these are commonly called the industrial Midwest states.  This is a common pattern among all the states, where the military is high, the manufacturing is low and vice versa.  This is also the common pattern when the military budget is changing, the high military buildup states’ economies move in the opposite direction of the low military high manufacturing states.  This pattern is well understood in military states but rarely understood in manufacturing states. Manufacturing state economic volatility is greater than military states.

Most Militarized States in America

The 2015 report shows three clear high military spending counties in America.  Fairfax in Northern Virginia where the CIA and Pentagon are nearby, San Diego California where the Pacific fleet is based, and Tarrant County Texas where the F-35 aircraft is manufactured by number one defense contractor Lockheed Martin in the Fort Worth western suburb of Dallas.  Fort Worth is located in Texas Congressional District 12 of the chair of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee, while Texas District 13 adjacent to 12 has the chair of the House Armed Services Committee.  Former President Bush awarded the F-35 contract to his home state, a very common political practice.  But while the $15.3 Billion for San Diego, and the $13.6 Billion for Forth Worth’s County look very impressive, the Fairfax Virginia total of $17.0 Billion is just a part of the $25.7 Billion including adjacent Virginia Counties, and the $44.1 Billion in the DC metro area including ten entities in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.  No wonder the nation’s capital has seven of the nation’s richest counties located there, with various studies showing one third higher pay for military contractors:  white collar, blue collar, and engineers,  compared to other manufacturing.  Other studies show defense consultants making multiples of medical doctor pay.

States Ranked by Large Military Complex

  1. Virginia (per capita #1) has the largest cluster with $25.7 billion in Northern Virginia with the CIA and Pentagon. It also has the second largest with $16.8 billion in Southern Virginia.for the Atlantic fleet. Virginia has three members sitting on the four key military committees, including the former vice presidential candidate Senator Kaine (D-VA). Senator Warner (D-VA) is ranking member on Intelligence, a key committee looking into the Russian election tampering.
  2. California (per capita #23) has the third largest cluster with $15.3 billion in the San Diego base of Pacific fleet. The Los Angeles metro cluster is $14.7 billion including the site of the San Bernadino terrorist attack and Santa Clara Sacramento worth $11.3 billion includes Silicon Valley. California has 10 members on the key four committees lead by Senator Feinstein (D-CA) on Defense Appropriations while Senator Boxer has just retired from Armed Services.
  3. Texas (per capita #20) has that famous Fort Worth aircraft factory $13.6 billion ($12.6 billion Lockheed Martin) that Kennedy was on the way to when he died. Johnson had the F-111 rebid twice before taking the bid from Boeing. House Speaker Wright came from that district when the Cold War ended. Texas has both House chairs of the four key military committees and eight members all told including Senator Cruz (R-TX) on Armed Services.
  4. Maryland (per capita #5) has $11.2 billion in four counties in the DC area, Lockheed Martin has $1.5 billion and John Hopkins University (foreign policy) has $0.7 billion, two House members on key military committees. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) ranking Foreign Relations.
  5. Missouri (per capita #10) has $7.6 billion in St. Louis, Boeing $6.4 billion, where the F-15 was built. Dick Gephart represented that district when he ran for president in1988 and won the Iowa Caucus. Back then St. Louis was the top military spending per capita large metro area in America. Republican House members Hartzler and Graves are on Armed Services, Senator McCaskill (D-MO) on Armed Services, and Senator Blount (R-MO) on Defense Appropriations.
  6. District of Columbia (per capita #6 if it were a state) has $7.2 billion. No Senators or voting congressperson, no statehood, Georgetown University #1 for CIA internships.
  7. Alabama (per capita #4) has Madison County with Huntsville Space Center $7.1 billion. Alabama has seven members on the four key committees, including a Senator on each key committee. Senator Shelby (R-AL) Defense Appropriations is also the chair of the all powerful Senate Rules Committee.
  8. Hawaii (per capita #2) has $6.8 billion spent in Honolulu. Four members serve on the key committees including a Senator on each one. Courageous Senator Hirono (D-HI) voted on the key Health Care bill even though she has stage four kidney cancer.
  9. Massachusetts (per capita #17) Middlesex County has $6.1 billion (Raytheon $3.9 billion, MIT $1.6 billion). Senator Warren and Congresspersons Tsongas (D-MA) and Moulton all sit on Armed Services. Warren (D-MA) and Moulton (D-MA) have presidential ambitions.
  10. Pennsylvania (per capita #27) Philadelphia Counties $6.0 billion, two House Armed Services.
  11. Connecticut (per capita #9) has $5.6 billion for United Technologies in Fairfield and Hartford. Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) and Congressperson Courtney sit on Armed Services.
  12. Ohio (per capita #35) belt of Southwest Counties $5.5 billion, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) ranking member on Banking, four House members, two each, on key military committees.
  13. Arizona (per capita #12) Puma County has $4.9 billion with Raytheon $4.2 billion of that. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is chair of Armed Services with four House members on Armed Services.
  14. Washington (per capita #14) King County $4.7 billion (Boeing $4.1 billion) has Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) former Budget chair sitting on Defense Appropriations with two House members on Armed Services. Research for drones is done principally in Washington.
  15. North Carolina (per capita #26) Cumberland County area (Fayetteville, Fort Bragg) $4.6 billion, Senator Tillis (R-NC) Armed Services Committee, Jones (R-NC) on House Armed Services.
  16. Colorado (per capita #15) has $4.3 billion spent in El Paso County, home of the Air Force Academy. Only two House members (R-CO) on Armed Services.
  17. Kentucky (per capita #8) has $4.2 billion in Jefferson County (Louisville) where Humana has $3.8 billion. Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) on Defense Appropriations with Rogers on House Defense Appropriations. No wonder Leader cares so much about Health Care.
  18. Florida (per capita #24), Orange County (Orlando) $3.9 billion, Lockheed Martin $2.5 billion, Senator Nelson (D-FL) sits on Armed Services and is ranking member on Science (Space), one House Defense Appropriations, and two House Armed Services.
  19. Illinois (per capita #42) Cook Lake DuPage $3.7 billion, Senator Dick Durbin ranking member Armed Services only military committee.
  20. Georgia (per capita #19), Cobb Fulton Counties (Marietta, Atlanta suburb, Kennesaw State) $3.4 billion, Lockheed Martin $2.6 billion, long gone are the Senator Nunn days for Georgia, today only three people sit on the four key military committees. Senator Perdue (R-GA) sits on Armed Services, House has Graves on Defense Appropriation and Scott on Armed Services.
  21. Minnesota (per capita #32), Hennepin County area (Minneapolis) $4.0 billion, United Health Group $2.8 billion, McCollum (D-MN) on House Defense Appropriations, only military.
  22. New Jersey (per capita #36), Burlington County area $3.0 billion, $1.6 billion Lockheed Martin, Lobiando (R-NJ) Norcross (D-NJ) both on House Armed Services.
  23. New York (per capita #49), Long Island Counties $2.9 billion, Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) and two House members all three on Armed Services.
  24. Oklahoma (per capita #18), $2.7 billion in Oklahoma County area, Senator Inhofe (R-OK) sits on Armed Services, with three in the House: Cole on Defense Appropriations; Bridenstine and Russell on Armed Services.
  25. Mississippi (per capita #6), Jackson County (Pascagoula) $2.5 billion, HuntingtonIngalls $2.0 billion, Senator Cockran (R-MS) chairs Defense Appropriations, Senator Wicker (R-MS) on Armed Services, and House Kelly (R-MS) sits on Armed Services.
  1. Utah (per capita #22), Salt Lake area $2.2 billion, Bishop (R-UT) House Armed Services.
  2. Alaska (per capita #3) Anchorage Borough $2.0 billion, Senator Murkowski (R-AK) on Appropriations and Senator Sullivan (R-AK) on Armed Services, none on House Committees.
  3. Rhode Island (per capita #11), Five Counties $1.9 billion, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is the ranking member of Armed Services and also on Senate Defense Appropriations combines with the state’s only congressperson Langevin (D-RI) on House Armed Services.
  4. Michigan (per capita #48), Detroit Counties $1.8 billion, Senator Peters (D-MI) Armed Services.
  5. New Mexico (per capita #13), Bernalillo County (Albuquerque) $1.7 billion, Senators Udall (D-NM) Defense Appropriations, Senator Heinrich (D-NM) Armed Services (Emerging Threats ranking member), none from House.
  6. Louisiana (per capita #29), Orleans Parish area $1.7 billion, Abraham (R-LA) House Armed Services
  7. South Carolina (per capita #16), Charleston County $1.6 billion, Senator Graham on both Armed Services and Defense Appropriations, Wilson on House Armed Services.
  8. Indiana (per capita #33), Marion County $1.4 billion, Senator Donnelly (R-IN) & House Banks (R-IN) Armed Services, Visclosky (D-IN) ranking member House Defense Appropriations.
  9. Nebraska (per capita #31), Omaha area $1.3 billion, Fisher (R-NE) and Sasse (R-NE) on Senate Armed Services, Bacon (R-NE) House Armed Services.
  10. New Hampshire (per capita #25), Hillsborough Rockingham $1.3 billion, Senator Shaheen (D-NH) Armed Services, House Shea-Porter Armed Services.
  11. Nevada (per capita #28), Clark County $1.2 billion, Rosen (D-NV) House Armed Services.
  12. Kansas (per capita #21), Sedgwick (Wichita) $1.1 billion, Geary (Fort Riley) $1.1 billion, Boeing $0.3 billion, Raytheon $0.2 billion, Senator Moran (R-KS) Defense Appropriations.
  13. Maine (per capita #7), Sagadahoc County $1.1 billion, General Dynamics $1.1 billion, Senators Collins (R-ME) on Defense Appropriations and King (I-ME) on Armed Services, no House.
  14. Wisconsin (per capita #45), Winnebago County $1 billion, Oshkosh Truck $1 billion, Senator Baldwin (D-WI) on Defense Appropriations, Gallagher (R-WI) on House Armed Services.
  15. Arkansas (per capita #34), Pulaski County area $0.8 billion, Senator Cotton (R-AR) Armed Services, Womack (R-AR) House Defense Appropriations.
  16. Iowa (per capita #44), Linn County (Cedar Rapids) $0.8 billion, Senator Ernst (R-IA) chairs the Armed Services subcommittee on Threats.
  17. Oregon (per capita #50), Portland area $0.8 billion, Nobody on military committees.
  18. Tennessee (per capita #46), Coffee area $0.7 billion, Senator Alexander (R-TN) and Two Members on House Armed Services.
  19. North Dakota (per capita #30), Ward County $0.4 billion, Nobody on key military committees.
  20. Delaware (per capita #38), Kent County $0.4 billion, Nobody on key military committees
  21. Idaho (per capita #41), Elmore County area $0.4 billion, Nobody on key military committees.
  22. Montana (per capita #37), Cascade County $0.3 billion, Daines (R-MT) Tester (D-MT) Senate Defense Appropriations.
  23. South Dakota (per capita #39), Pennington County area $0.3 billion, Senator Rounds (R-SD) on Armed Services
  24. Wyoming (per capita #43), Laramie $0.3 billion, Cheney (R-WY) House Armed Services
  25. Vermont (per capita #40), Chittenden County area $0.2 billion, Senator Leahy (D-VT) Defense Appropriations
  26. West Virginia (per capita #47), Kanawha County $0.2 billion, Nobody on military committees

  

Summary

High military states lead 80 to 42 in holding key military committee assignments and have about the same share of military spending.  Many large Northern states have little or no representation on the key military committees, thinking the defense budget doesn’t affect their state.  Nothing could be further from the truth as huge amounts of research and capital are drained from manufacturing in the low military states during military buildups.  Likewise, upper Midwest industrial states prosper greatly when the military is lowered.  But this is the best kept secret around, as few peace studies programs study regional economics.  The low military half of America lost three times as many jobs as the high military states in the two years after 9-11-01. Construction was twice as strong in the industrial Midwest states three years after the Cold War ended in 1994. The “Hole in the Donut” nature of military spending is essential to understand how the military economy can boost some local economies while depleting other (mainly inland) regions, depleting all other manufacturing, and slowing the national economy.  Here is the link to that story:

https://www.academia.edu/5740273/MIDWEST_and_the_Military_3_pages_2005

Dr. Peace, Professor Robert Reuschlein, Real Economy Institute

Nominated Vetted 2016,                                                                                                                    and one of 76 Given Odds (tied for 31st) for the Nobel Peace Prize 2017
contact: bobreuschlein@gmail.com, info: www.realeconomy.com

Senate Power Republicans

Friday three Republican Senators stepped up to stop the massive tax cuts for the rich that would provide loss of health care to 16 million or more middle class Americans.  These heroes were uniquely powerful members of the key Armed Services and Defense Appropriations Committees.  Lesser Senators were intimidated by the power structure.  When half the discretionary budget goes to one agency, the Pentagon, members of those two Senate Committees are uniquely powerful in the whole Congress, including their counterparts in the same two House Committees.  Here is the rest of the story of how those four key committees and people from the high military spending states have come to dominate national politics like no one else.  Senate legend John McCain was chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee from the 13th ranked military state, Arizona.  Lisa Murkowski of third military ranked Alaska and Sue Collins of ninth military ranked Maine, are sixth and fifth ranked Republicans on the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee.  Armed Services can favor weapons systems, but ultimately Appropriations funds them.  Arguably, the 122 members of the House and Senate Armed Services and Defense Appropriations Committees are the most powerful in Congress, other than the overall Leadership like Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell.  Among the overall leadership, McConnell of seventh ranked Kentucky is second ranked Republican on Defense Appropriations and Senate Assistant Minority Leader Dick Durbin of lowly 43rd ranked military state Illinois is Ranking Member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee.

Power from the Military Down

Seventy two years after the epic hegemonic Second World War, all three branches of the American government are dominated by the military budget.  All presidents elected during the Cold War came from “above average military spending per capita” states.  Based on the 1984 data it looks like two term presidents come from states about twice the military average and one term presidents came from states about the military average.  Today that power level has subsided only slightly, but still about 75% of the cabinet (78% for Clinton), Supreme Court, and congressional leadership positions come from the half of the country that is high military spending by state.  And the military level tends to rise higher among parties in power and drop a little lower among parties out of power.  The general rule seems to be, the closer to the top, the more direct the military money connection.  The key is not your states total military spending, it is your states per capita military spending that indicates the mutual dependency between the politician and the military.  Democrats who tend to oppose military spending and wars, tend to do so only somewhat, often leaving claims about military spending out of their websites and campaign materials.  Even Obama who opposed the Iraq War had to triple troop levels in Afghanistan to compensate.  Bernie Sanders opposed wars easily but made no mention of cutting the military budget to fund his 14 budget proposals on the campaign website.  Jesse Jackson took 14 issues to the 1988 Democratic Convention, each had some accommodation except the 10% military freeze cut.  Democrats tend to cut weapons funding but not military payroll.  This kind of bowing to the military god goes on and on, leaving many in the peace movement angry at Democrats despite their 90% voting record in congress on small cuts in the military budget.

Women and the Military

When you look at the four key committee 122 military power positions in congress, 29 are filled by women, about 24% of the total, very close to their overall percentage in the congress.  But a closer look reveals the glass ceiling operates similar to the overall discrimination against those from low military states.  For example, when the Senate Republicans crafted health care bills in secret recently, no women participated.  When you break down the percentage of women on the big four committees from high military states versus low military states, 21% are from high military and 29% from low military states.  Military state Republicans are 13% women, while nonmilitary state Republicans are 17% women.  Military state Democrats are 31% women, low military state Democrats are 44% women.  Joni Ernst of Iowa overcame these obstacles to be a powerful woman Republican in the Senate, but it took her being a lifetime member of the Army Reserve or Guard rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel while five of the six states she served in were high military.  That’s how you overcome coming from the 46th ranked military state of Iowa to sit on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Military Economic Changes

The biggest change in military state rank from 2010 with the Democrats in power to 2015 with the Republicans in power was Mississippi rising 23 places from 29th to 6th place.  You can thank the Senate Appropriation Committee Chairman and Defense Appropriations Committee Chairman Republican Thad Cochran for that spectacular move.  The big move for a Democrat is Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, who is ranking member of Armed Services and also sits on Defense Appropriations, so Rhode Island went up 16 places from 26th to 12th.  Maine had bipartisan teamwork going for it as it rose 14 places from 23rd to 9th.  Republican Senator Sue Collins is on Defense Appropriations while Independent (who caucuses with the Democrats) Senator Angus King is on Armed Services.  In the other direction, Wisconsin is a spectacular falling 23 places from 21st to 44th, where Senator Tammy Baldwin seeks to reverse that collapse of the popular Iraq war IUD proof truck sales from Wisconsin manufacturer “Oshkosh Truck”.  She has moved over from Budget to Defense Appropriations.  Typical Democrat, she is shy about the move with no mention on her website, as Madison Truax field will soon be adding F-35s.  She mentions Agriculture Appropriations on her website, her other subcommittee on Appropriations.  She wants more Wisconsin contracts without angering her liberal base as a member of the Progressive Caucus, a tough juggling act.  Health care has always been her top priority and a committee assignment, but coming from the Dairy State, Agriculture Appropriations is also very important for the upcoming 2018 re-election bid.

Summary

While the 22 high military states have equal population to the low military states, they have 70% of the military budget compared to 30% for the low military states.  The representation on the four key military committees in congress is also split about the same, 66% from high military and 34% from the low military states.  It has the appearance of all of them being proportionately representative of the military money.  When the White House threatens to punish Alaska for Murkowski’s vote on health care, the threat rings hollow because she not only sits on Defense Appropriations, but the other Senator from Alaska, Sullivan, sits on Armed Services, just like the situation in Maine with Sue Collins.  Alaska will continue it’s long standing position among the top three with Virginia and Hawaii long after the current President is gone.  Another powerful Senate tandem is Feinstein of California and Murray of Washington who represent drone production and research respectively, and both sit on the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.  California military rank has risen 9 places from 26th to 17th from 2010 to 2015.  California has a total of ten members on the key four committees, while Washington has three.

For further reading, here is the detailed link to my very popular peer reviewed entry on the “Political Economy of War” in the SAGE Encyclopedia of War:

https://www.academia.edu/28849523/SAGE_POLITICAL_ECONOMY_OF_WAR_2016_6p

Dr. Peace, Professor Robert Reuschlein, Real Economy Institute

Nominated Vetted 2016, and one of 76 Given Odds (tied for 31st)                                         for the Nobel Peace Prize 2017
contact: bobreuschlein@gmail.com, info: www.realeconomy.com

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