The Militarization of U.S. Police Departments

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Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “An injustice anywhere is a threat to just everywhere.” We should all be cognizant of King’s quote. In the 20th and 21rst centuries, U.S. policies around the world, both economically and militarily, have been questionable at best. They started with the Philippines in the beginning of the 20th century up to the Middle East today. These policies, more often incredibly violent, are coming back to haunt us. An example of this includes the U.S. international policy of “Low-Intensity Conflict” (LIC).

The U.S. launched LIC at the beginning of the century in its Philippine colony in 1901 with the creation of the Philippine Constabulary. The Philippine Constabulary is, even today, a national police organization created principally to protect American and Filipino elite interests. The legacy of this policy is that it now serves as a model for a militarized policing system in our 21rst century domestic American life.

The U.S. government and its elite tend to try out policies internationally before introducing them into the U.S. I generally define the “elite” as neoconservative and neoliberal economic proponents along with their corporate capitalist supporters and colleagues. As in the Philippines, these U.S. elite want to control Americans. They don’t want opposition to their policies, pure and simple.

Often the U.S. elite are constrained in implementing the policies domestically, due to laws that prevent this. They then will try to circumvent the restricting laws or attempt to overturn them.  There has been a similar pattern with economic policies as with structural adjustment economic initiatives internationally by the IMF and World Bank and now neoliberal privatization in the U.S. itself. This is mostly thanks to Congress overturning, for example, the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 (Crawford) and politicians and government agencies allowing for the privatization of many of our formerly “public” institutions (Gray).

Read the full article here.

Vince Perfetto

Vince adds diverse experience to the Foundation with a background in broadcasting, accounting, and telecommunications. He loves living in the freest state in America, New Hampshire. With a “Live Free or Die” attitude and a strong independent streak, Vince feels right at home among his fellow N.H. citizens. He was raised to respect others and to work hard to achieve his goals, and thus takes pride in saying he has “the best parents, ever.” When Vince isn’t working on the Foundation, he enjoys hiking, reading, and relaxing with a great New England micro brew.

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