In his farewell address in January 1961, Pres. Dwight Eisenhower famously cautioned the American public to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”
Today it’s routine for critics of wasteful military spending to cite Eisenhower’s warning. Unfortunately, Eisenhower did not warn us that the military-industrial complex would become increasingly malignant as it morphed into less obvious forms.
The “complex” is no longer just “military” and “industrial,” and it has extended far beyond just its congressional branch, which Eisenhower also intended to include.
It’s now deeply embedded in the fiber of the American political system, academia, the civilian leadership of the Defense Department and—increasingly—the White House itself.
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The military-industrial-complex was on display—but passed without wide notice—on Dec.