Let’s do away immediately with the euphemisms “defense industry” and “Department of Defense,” and call them pejoratively but correctly what they really are, the “war industry” (and related spy business) and the “Department of War.” The latter, in case you didn’t know, had that official name until 1949. Can you just imagine some PR consultant having been hired who asked the Grand Poohbahs “do you think the fast food industry would ever sell dead cow burgers?”
Going inside the war industry to take a look at it, the intent of this article, must be like trying to find all the stars and black holes in the universe. Try as I might, I could not pin down just how many there are of merchants of death (i.e., weapons and ammunitions makers), makers of various and sundry war and spy supplies, and the multitudinous contractors with their hired hands on foreign soil doing all sorts of clandestine and open dirty work, all of which are done in our name and out of our pockets.
But simply knowing the war “galaxy” is too big to count is telling us enough. Moreover, the government can’t even count it, or itself, for that matter. While it is infamous for its sloppy, lackadaisical bookkeeping, I seriously doubt that even five-star accounting firms not on the take could keep the books with any degree of certainty. Let’s just sum it up by saying that the US has the largest military budget and force than most nations have even if strung together.