The military industrial complex is massive. It hangs like a moon in the skies over Washington DC. Its political gravitational pull is unrivaled. Its presence always felt.
We run this video (the distilled version) once a year or so and this seems an appropriate time to run it again. Below is perhaps one of the most important speeches ever given by a president. Eisenhower, the former General of the Army, addresses the danger of the Military Industrial Complex in his farewell to the American people.
According to the Center for Public Integrity’s review of Federal Election Commission data,
As I’ve written many times before, I grew up around the military industrial complex. I am a Navy brat and am still a Navy Football fan. (Pretty much the only team I care about these days.) I know the squeal of an F-14 as it banks in at sunset to land with its wings open. I can practically recite Top Gun to you. At one point I thought I might want to be a navy SEAL. My mother used to take us to the beach and we’d watch the giant hovercrafts ramp over the dunes.
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.
I love that Politico says that we are in “at least 5” wars. You know, because maybe 1 or 2 aren’t really wars technically, or the American public doesn’t really know about them, whatever. At least 5.
Some within the GOP will always want more military spending. Whether in peace or during times of war their bias is always toward MORE. This disposition is not good for the Republic as President Eisenhower in his farewell speech explained.
Remember, this guy led our forces in World War II as a five star general, was a Republican president, and has an aircraft carrier named for him.
A few weeks ago we wrote about the “mandarin class” which populates official and think tank Washington DC. We argued that many of the people making important policy decisions are dangerously out of touch with the real “blood” of America, the grit, the nuts and bolts. Many of this group of folks come from the same northeastern schools and have similar political dispositions (which is to say establishment liberal). This wonky concentration has only increased over the years.
As I have said many times, I grew up a Navy brat. I have great respect for the military and its culture. The sound of an F-14 screeching as it comes in for a landing is deeply ingrained in my subconscious and in my heart. I am a Navy Football fan. But conservatives (at least modern conservatives and of course neoconservatives – who are not really conservatives) give the military far too much credit, literally.
This place is hemorrhaging tax dollars and has for decades. Your money.
Well that’s great. The question is how useful will this audit actually be, and how truthful? In the 3 years since the birth of this site we have chronicled plenty of examples of waste in the military. It is PERVASIVE. The level of waste speaks frankly to a culture of accounting negligence at the Pentagon which is perhaps only rivaled by the chicanery at the Federal Reserve. Heads (and many many heads at all levels) should have rolled long ago.
The Department of Defense has been given a free ride pretty much since World War II. The Military Industrial Complex which President Eisenhower warned about in his farewell address (former 5 star general Eisenhower) is very real and it has grown and grown taking up ever more of the American economy. The contractors and the services are awash in taxpayer money. Your money. And much of this money isn’t being used wisely. It is going to hyper expensive parts procurement (see above),
Remember, this guy was a 5 star general before becoming president. Maybe he knew what he was talking about.
I don’t agree with McCain on much but he’s probably dead on here. The Senator even references Eisenhower’s warning to America of the Military Industrial Complex. I include a part of the warning below. Every American should hear it at least once.
Well I guess the $1 trillion omnibus bill was the last gasp for this Military Industrial Complex advocate.
It’s a rhetorical question of course. We know the answer. Just look at the vote in the House 2 days ago. The taxpayer doesn’t have anything on the contractors.
You know the Military Industrial Complex has spun out of control when the founder of Blackwater has a change of heart. I’m not letting this guy off the hook, he should have been saying this stuff in 2006, but I am pleased that he is at least saying something now.