National security consists of economic and social well being at least as much as military strength.
The "military industrial complex" significantly shrunk in the early 1990s a few years after the collapse of the USSR. However, military spending has actually increased from the Cold War days, and much of that money still finds its way to local industries. We must continue converting military-dependent industries to economically and ecologically sound civilian production. Comprehensive planning is needed to minimize the affect on employment.
Excessive militarization of the economy during the Cold War drew much of our scientific and engineering talent away from commercial production. This decreased our commercial products' viability in world markets. Weapons production is capital and material intensive, resulting in a low ratio of jobs created to dollars invested. The world's general economic experience indicates that a peace economy is stronger than a military-dependent one.
The defense industry is selling less weaponry to the U.S. government these days. To compensate, sales to foreign governments has substantially increased. Exporting weapons, and arranging foreign loans for weapons purchases, in effect means that we are encouraging armed conflicts for our own profit. We are encouraging foreign countries to develop militarized economics with the same bad effects that we experienced. Eastern European countries are being pressured into joining NATO. But one of the requirements of NATO is that a country must devote a certain percentage of its budget to building armed forces. And, of course, they will be buying many of their weapons from U.S. companies. This dangerous trend perpetuates military solutions and diverts money away from social programs.
The Green Party supports a careful economic conversion plan:
Convert our economy to a peaceful basis, including the disposition of closed military sties. This should be planned and administered at local and regional levels. The peace dividend could help to fund these changes.
Conduct a survey of the resources and capabilities that are available, or potentially available, at facilities currently devoted to military production.
Conduct a survey of goods and services needed by society and match these with the capabilities of current military production facilities.
Forewarn employees of plant closures, and provide retraining for displaced workers.
Transfer the ownership of closed military bases to local communities for civilian use.