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The use of military equipment against Americans protesting police brutality demonstrates the link between militarization abroad and at home. The War on Drugs, the War on Terror, the bloated Pentagon budget, pork barrel politics of Members of Congress, have all led to systematic militarized violence against Americans. If police see themselves as soldiers, and the neighborhoods they patrol as battle space, then ordinary American citizens are the enemy.
On Thursday, July 2nd 1-2 PM ET, the Quincy Institute will host a virtual panel, “America’s endless wars come home: the militarization of the police” to discuss how we got to this point, and how to reduce the militarization of the police moving forward.
Andrew Bacevich, President of the Quincy Institute, will discuss the implications of militarized police for the civil-military relationship, and the impact of endless war on our domestic situation.
Bill Hartung, of the Center for International Policy, will discuss why the Pentagon has so much excess military equipment that ends up in the hands of police departments, and whether reform must begin with the Department of Defense or Congress.
Wayne McElrath, of the Project on Government Oversight, will explain the vulnerabilities of the 1033 program, and efforts to curtail the flow of equipment.
Sara DuBois, of the Pentagon Budget Campaign, will serve as moderator.
Andrew Bacevich is the President of the Quincy Institute. He grew up in Indiana, graduated from West Point and Princeton, served in the army, became an academic, and is now a writer. He is the author, co-author, or editor of more than a dozen books, most recently The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory (January 2020).
Wayne McElrath is a Senior Investigative Advisor to the Project on Government Oversight (POGO). He's also the president and CEO of XGE Consulting, and a government, private sector, and nonprofit consultant and international speaker. Wayne is the former Director of Forensic Investigations with the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
William Hartung is director of the Arms and Security Program at the Center for International Policy. He has also served as a Senior Research Fellow in the New America Foundation's American Strategy Program, and is former director of the Arms Trade Resource Center at the World Policy Institute.
Sara DuBois is a DC-based communications consultant with the bipartisan Pentagon Budget Campaign to reduce Pentagon spending. She has previously worked at Amnesty International USA at National Security Network, focusing on the intersection of politics, national security and domestic and international justice, including how militarism comes home through policing.