Eisenhower Warned of Today’s Military-Industrial Complex
As Eisenhower left office January 17, 1961, he gave a warning to the American public that has echoed for over 50 years.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.
The warning was a speech Eisenhower had very much wanted to make for over 2 years, but waited until he was leaving office.
Many believe that less than 3 years later John F. Kennedy was assassinated by the very military-industrial complex Eisenhower was warning about in his farewell address. (Far from being a crazy conspiracy theory, LBJ’s own lawyer Barr McClellan and his mistress Madeleine Duncan Brown claim, among others in the know, that LBJ was involved. Washington insider Roger Stone has even written a Best Selling Book about this. This will be detailed in a future article.)
How prophetic Eisenhower’s warning has been. This short documentary covering the military-industrial complex is also worth a look.
The U.S. military indeed spends more on defense than the next 14 nations combined.
Keeping the Machine in Motion
It goes without saying defense spending is necessary in any nation, and Eisenhower also alluded to the important of a strong defense in his prescient farewell speech:
A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.
But with spending that high and warnings from 50 years ago that only ring truer with time, is this about defense, or is it about empire?
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