Here is a very important article at Small Wars Journal written by William J Olson titled The Slow Motion Coup: Militarization and the Implications of Eisenhower’s Prescience. The gist — our focus on military spending during the Cold War and in the Terror War has subverted the ability of the government to make rational choices on the military budget. Having tied the war industry into local and state economies throughout the country, we have unwillingly (if you want to be kind) handed over foreign policy and budgetary policy to this industry, which can use their importance as a jobs source, an income source to local and state governments, their funding to public universities to push perpetual war on the people.
I would suggest that by trying (and succeeding) in extending military weapons and tactics to policing, and now in trying to insert the military directly into civilian law enforcement, the war industry is attempting to shore up their profit margins for when the conflict in Afghanistan eventually subsides into another historical footnote on why you stay the hell out of Afghanistan. It also means they will have more and more say in the new police and surveillance state being created by the federal government. Our bought and paid-for politicians will merrily go along with the expansion of their powers to your detriment, so long as the money keeps flowing into their reelection coffers.
Local and state governments, desperate to make up the shortfall from their reckless spending, have been embracing the evil of asset forfeiture, and now the DoD’s Criminal investigations Service is looking to get into the business of stealing from suspects with “Equitable Sharing” policy. Consider the implications for a military force policing your streets armed with the power to arrest and indefinitely detain you without due process, and the motivation to enhance their revenue stream or simple collect new stuff from the public.