Originally posted on November 15, 2018.
At The American Conservative, Gareth Porter, explains that the military-industrial-complex, called out by President Eisenhower in his farewell address, “has become a much more serious menace to the security of the American people than even Eisenhower could have anticipated.” Porter writes (abridged):
What President Dwight D. Eisenhower dubbed the “military-industrial complex” has been constantly evolving over the decades, adjusting to shifts in the economic and political system as well as international events. The result today is a “permanent-war complex,” which is now engaged in conflicts in at least eight countries across the globe, none of which are intended to be temporary.
This new complex has justified its enhanced power and control over the country’s resources primarily by citing threats to U.S. security posed by Islamic terrorists.
it is … rooted in the evolving relationship between the national security institutions themselves and the private arms contractors allied with them.
The first phase of this transformation was a far-reaching privatization of U.S. military and intelligence institutions in the two decades after the Cold War
The second phase began with the global “war on terrorism,” which quickly turned into a permanent war.
In the new permanent-war complex the interests of the arms contractors have increasingly dominated over the interests of the civilian Pentagon and the military services, and dominance has became a new driving force for continued war.
Eisenhower was prophetic in his warning about the threat of the original complex (which he had planned to call the military-industrial-congressional complex) to American democracy. But that original complex, organized merely to maximize the production of arms to enhance the power and resources of both the Pentagon and their contractor allies, has become a much more serious menace to the security of the American people than even Eisenhower could have anticipated. Now it is a system of war that powerful arms contractors and their bureaucratic allies may have the ability to maintain indefinitely.
Read more here.