The military-industrial complex is a key driver of capitalist accumulation

Raiana, the daughter of hospital bombing victim Baynazar Mohammad Nazar, stands in the family’s shared yard, holding a workbook for school. (Photo:

By Leonard Zorfass, Red Phoenix correspondent, New Jersey.

The tragic events that unfolded in the early hours of October 3, 2015, in Kunduz, Afghanistan, illustrate the brutal and inhumane nature of imperialism in its current form. The airstrike that resulted in the destruction of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital and the deaths of at least 42 people, including patients and medical staff, was not merely an unfortunate accident but a manifestation of the ruthless logic of finance capital. The event happened after the celebrated “pull out” of the American military from Afghanistan.

Imperialism is often associated with military occupation and territorial expansion. However, this conventional understanding fails to grasp the essence of contemporary imperialism, which is characterized by the domination of finance capital over the economies and societies of, since the over throw of the Soviet Union, nearly the entire globe.. As Lenin observed a century ago, imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism, where the accumulation of capital is no longer confined within national borders but extends to the whole world through the control of finance, technology, and resources.

The bombing of the MSF hospital in Kunduz is a tragic consequence of this global system of exploitation and domination. It was not an isolated event but part of a broader pattern of military aggression and intervention that serves the interests of the military-industrial complex and its shareholders. As the renowned scholar of imperialism, David Harvey, has argued, the military-industrial complex is a key driver of capitalist accumulation, as it consumes vast amounts of surplus capital and generates profits through the production and sale of weapons and other military equipment (“The New Imperialism,” 2005).

According to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), global military expenditure reached $1.8 trillion in 2018, with the United States being the largest spender, accounting for 36 percent of the total. This enormous spending is not driven by any genuine security needs or humanitarian concerns, but by the demands of capital accumulation and profit-making.

This is supported by the fact that the US military spent over $700 billion on weapons and war in 2019, accounting for more than half of the federal discretionary budget. The US military, as the main enforcer of  the western imperialist sphere, must constantly justify its existence and expand its reach through military interventions and wars, regardless of their human cost and political consequences.

The bombing of the MSF hospital in Kunduz must be seen in this context of imperialist violence and plunder. The hospital was a symbol of hope and solidarity in a war-torn country, providing vital medical care and support to the Afghan people. Its destruction was not an accident but a deliberate act of aggression against the values of human dignity and compassion. As the MSF president Joanne Liu declared, “This was not just an attack on our hospital. It was an attack on the Geneva Conventions. This cannot be tolerated.”

Therefore, the struggle against imperialism is not only a moral imperative but also a political necessity for the liberation of humanity from the chains of exploitation and domination. This struggle requires the unity and solidarity of all the oppressed and exploited classes and nations, including the workers, peasants, students, intellectuals, and anti-colonial movements. As Lenin famously said, “Imperialism is the eve of the socialist revolution.”

Historian Eric Hobsbawm has noted that the imperialist system is inherently unstable and prone to crises, which offer opportunities for revolutionary change (“The Age of Empire,” 1989). The crisis of imperialism today, characterized by growing inequality, ecological destruction, and political turmoil, presents a historic moment for the working class to seize power and build a new society based on the principles of socialism.

The Kunduz hospital bombing is a stark reminder of the brutality and inhumanity of imperialism in its current form. It is not simply about military occupation but is rooted in the economic interests of finance capital, which seeks to dominate and exploit weaker nations. The struggle against imperialism requires an exposure and attack at the roots of the system in the domination of finance capital and builds a socialist alternative based on solidarity, collectivism, and human dignity.

Categories: Afghanistan, Anti-War, Editorials, Imperialism, Imperialist War, International, U.S. Military, U.S. News, United States History

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