I run this clip periodically because I think it is one of the most important presidential speeches caught on tape. It is of president Eisenhower, who was the commander of American forces during World War 2 warning of the emergence of a powerful armaments industry in the United States, and the danger of such an industry. It was his farewell address to the nation.
I am a navy brat. My father is/was a Cold Warrior. I’ve spent a good part of my life around the Military Industrial Complex and I believe Eisenhower’s warning was dismissed and continues to be dismissed simply because so many people make money in the war machine. People go into the military, retire on a pension and then enter the military contracting game. It’s a very complicated works program which is championed by supposedly small government “conservatives.” (They aren’t really conservatives.) It’s a shame actually. Our military should be much smaller and much smarter.
Every time I post this video somebody gets upset and explains to me why it is that we should have a military apparatus which spans the globe. This time the rule is – anyone can make the same argument – but only if they’ve never gotten a dime from the Military Industrial Complex.
Explaining why we need to reduce the size of the military to some is like trying to explain to a UAW guy why GM should have died in 2008.