January 7, 2011

The New Pentagon: Soldiers of Fortune 500

On the surface, this new Businessweek (excuse me, Bloomberg Businessweek) cover is intriguing enough. It seems the military is not just in the war business anymore. Instead, in a classic pro-Empire/Shock Doctrine move, the Pentagon has fully integrated the corporate commercial interests of the U.S. into its agenda through its “Task Force for Business & Stability Operations.” As a result, America can not only occupy a country and level its industrial capacity, it can now, as a combined war machine and colonial Chamber of Commerce, actually pave the way for US companies to move on in.

What I really like about this photo-illustration, though, in sketching out the possibilities in Afghanistan, is how the suggestion works with the background image. On one hand, you could say the cover imagines the most productive outcome out of a situation that is the most inflamed.  If you think about the handtruck in the hands of the guy with the rifle, and particularly, the proximity of the smoke to the smokestacks, however, the real lure here, in appealing to gun shy U.S. companies (especially if there’s that much industry to begin with), might be the prospect of setting up U.S./Pentagon-approved dirty factories using dirt cheap labor in a fabulous new third-world industrial zone.

Backstory: Afghanistan: Land of War and Opportunity (Businessweek)

(photo-illustration by @JenniferDaniel with a study here.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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