Beginnings of an arms race...
Before and During World War One (>10000 BC - November 11th 1918)
This is the period of time before the Military Industrial Complex took over countries and before business realized how profitable warfare could be to an economy. This was also the time period before people realized what modern warfare meant compared to the 'honourable' wars fought before this and how gruesome warfare was going to be for soldiers and civilians.
-A very complete guide to early weaponry from as early as 10,000BC to as new as 1991 during the Gulf War. It most accurately covers the weaponry used leading up to the explosion of modern-era weaponry that came before and during
the first World War.
-Brief history of the explosion in the naval arms race between Germany and Britain, covering everything from the development of the HMS Dreadnought and the repercussions from there to the eventual heavy price on the people of these countries. Has a heavy bias in favour of Britain, especially in terms of Kaiser Wilhelm.
-This statistical page shows the direct human cost of this early arms race to soldiers mobilized. The page doesn't factor in the deaths of civilians but the percentages of soldiers killed in this war are still staggering.
The arms race becomes a permanent fixture...
During World War Two (1939 - 1945)
World War Two, many have argued, was the last 'good' war in modern history. No logical and humane person would argue that the Third Reich wasn't evil, but the impact they left on militarism could arguably be even greater than the legacy they left behind from the Holocaust. This war lead to standing armies being created wholesale, the first rockets created for military use being developed, and finally to ex-President Dwight D. Eisenhower identifying the problem that has overtaken the world; the Military Industrial Complex.
-An information-heavy article that, when compared to some of the weaponry-based information above, shows how far we as a world have come in terms of warfare. Pre-World War One there were a few poorly made weapons that were difficult to move and even worse to use, with more physical weapons such as swords and axes being a more effective choice in medium to short range conflicts. This page shows how these physical weapons have been swept away completely to make room for warfare built around guns and technology. Every country listed here has weapons now stated under pistols, sub-machine guns, rifles, or large scale vehicles of warfare such as planes and tanks and have made steel blades obsolete since they lack the killing potential of new age weaponry.
-This is a time line of the development of German rocket program which culminated in the V-2 rocket which Germany used to deadly efficiency against London and Paris.The reason this time line is significant is because these missiles were the precursor the ICBM's and eventually nuclear armed ICBM's.
-Though heavily pro military and pro-America, this website offers a very interesting insight into how militarism affected the United States during the Second World War. According to the author, the war essentially 'pulled the United States out of the depression' which is very much true. War was very profitable to the United States but it was also very costly to the budget of other sectors of government, as seen by the very startling graph a quarter of the way down the page. It shows what has become of the US's military spending, with it taking up almost 90% of government federal spending at the height of the war. These numbers are very telling of the future of military spending in this world superpower.
Taking things to the extreme...
Cold War Era (1945-1991)
The 'Cold War' was the era after the Second World War right up to the day the Berlin Wall fell uniting Western and Eastern Europe. This era was called the 'Cold War' because the United States and the USSR (United Soviet Socialist Republics) were always on the brink of declaring war with one another, each of them being a world superpower with equally opposing political ideologies, and if that war had been declared, there was a good chance the world would have been destroyed beyond recognition.
-This is a video of the farewell address of President Eisenhower who was President of America during the Cold War. Though the video is heavily biased against the military with its foreboding music and images, this portion of his Eisenhower's farewell address perfectly surmises Militarism as we know it today, where it once was exclusively used during wartime and armies were created then disbanded purely for the purpose of war, now nations the world over have a standing army at the ready. This army has, as Eisenhower states, now had a lasting impact on the 'economic, political, and even spiritual' levels of our society and even in some cases overtakes the authority of our elected officials, which Eisenhower has clearly realized firsthand.
-This website accurately depicts the ridiculous amount of nuclear weaponry at the fingertips of both superpowers which could be unleashed at the push of a button. The graphs and charts depicting the growth of weaponry, for example the amount of warheads for nuclear weaponry the US had and how it nearly doubles from 1964 to 1982. It also tells of the growing insanity and zealotry between both nations against the other and the amount of hatred that steadily grew over the years.
A detailed account of what occurred during the Vietnam war. Vietnam by itself was not a very significant war but because it happened during the cold war the Vietnam war brought with it the chance that World War III could potentially happen and this site is aware of that. It's written from a US point of view and therefore has a bias in favor of the United States in the events that happened during this war, and this war is relative to militarism because this war almost ended the world, and it brought a certain level of reality to the extreme that militarism pushed the armies of the USSR and the United States.
War gets messier...
Current Era
-One of the most pro-war biased websites on the internet, Lockheed Martin is one of the main suppliers of weaponry to the American military, and has been advocating for all military intervention the United States has been involved in, for obvious reasons. On a more factual basis, they also show the huge progression in weaponry from what started out with machine guns and artillery to fighter jets and ICBM's.
-Not only is this video comedic because it shows whats become of a democracy that used to be totally transparent and has now become totally opaque, but it's also explains in some detail within the young woman's question a dangerous new development in modern militarism. As the world becomes more pro free-market, it seems military's have followed suit, with an army based not of soldiers accountable to a specific country but instead of private military soldiers from any part of the world acting as contractors with zero accountability for their actions. Not only are weapons and soldiers getting more and more deadly, they're getting even more secretive.
-Most people know Michael Moore for his various films, and are already aware without even clicking on the link that he is heavily biased towards the liberal, Liberal, and Socialist ideologies. How he is significant however is the commentary his very existence offers to the state of government control and intervention over military affairs. Government monitoring of not only its own divisions such as the CIA, FBI, and Homeland Security but also of paramilitary groups like Blackwater has gotten so sloppy and corrupt that civilians have to take it upon themselves to monitor their own government groups since it can't do it itself. Michael Moore also overs a different opinion to the prevalent pro-war jingoism present in the United States today.
Step Four
There are several reasons why militarism is a world issue. One is many have argued that it is the reason behind the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq; an excuse to wage more war and create more weaponry. The more wars the United States gets involved in, the more weaponry they can create, therefore the more money they can make on creating and exporting weaponry to other countries. It is also a world issue because Militarism is the mindset that allows the US to continue dominating the rest of the world since it no longer has competition from the USSR after its collapse in 1991.
The death of the USSR is also one of the ways the issue has evolved. During the Cold War the US had to watch its actions because it always had the Soviets breathing down its neck, and when invading a supposed threat had to weigh the potential for Russian intervention. With their eventual economic collapse, the United States now has carte blanche to invade whatever country it wants with it's vastly superior weaponry and tactics. This unfortunately has led to a new type of war to counter the out of control military might of the United States; Terrorist War.
Militarism has created a divide between cultures, between those who support this new massive army and those who want to see their rights and freedoms preserved. This has led to Liberals and Socialists working against Conservatives or Republicans in the United States, because of their opposing viewpoints to the extent to which countries should spend on military might and how powerful those armies should be. It has also divided the world between those who don't have strong armies and have something the US wants, and the US, who wants something.
There are three important parts of the interconnected web of Militarism. The most important is the political impact of Militarism. One political impact of this issue if the Army gaining control over democracy, either directly such as was seen in The Siege, or indirectly by superseding government authority and going around rules and regulations to accomplish their goals and maintain 'security'. A great example of militarism going over top of democracy is with the enactment of the 'Patriot Act' after 9/11 which essentially suspends democratic rights to United States citizens until the US wins a war against an emotion. Another part of Militarism's interconnected web is the economic impact. There is a positive impact to militarism in relation to the economy; it creates jobs for the citizenry, it grows a countries exports by giving them weaponry to export, and when these countries become better armed and more stabilized it gives corporations more markets to expand into. Unfortunately there is also a dark side to the economic impacts which can be seen in the Middle East, where the US has essentially destroyed another countries' economy purely to exploit it and to protect their own. Finally, Militarism has a staggering effect on resources. It uses up technology that could be better used to better the standard of living of not only the country the research is being done in but also to better the lives of people living in lesser-developed countries, instead of pumping it all into creative ways to kill one another. Militarism and the need for a huge military also drags the workforce away from more practical jobs such as infrastructure, these people being a potential resource to create a happier, healthier country with less enemies and more exports if they were allocated correctly. One of the worst impacts of militarism is the amount of natural resources it wastes. Tonnes of steel is used to create tanks and airplanes and massive bombs, most of which sit on a run way as a 'just in case' weapon mostly used to intimidate other countries. It also uses up precious fossil fuels which our world is starting to run short of in the powering of it's war machines. Tanks and aircraft use up tremendous amounts of fuel to move compared to a modern automobile, not even considering the amount of oils and plastics that go into the machines just to build and maintain them. The final resource it impacts is money; namely the budget of countries. If one considers how much the US has tied up with military and security spending, mostly to defend against enemies its massive army made in the first place, and then considers what else that wealth could be used for, it becomes apparent that the United States could be a very happy and peaceful place, and by relation the world, if it wasn't so wrapped up in its own militarism.