As President Eisenhower left office on January, 1961, he warned us about the Military-Industrial Complex. This was a man to pay certain attention to as he reached the pinnacle of power not only as our countries' two-term president, but also previously as our Supreme Allied Commander and 5-star General in World War II. President Eisenhower had a unique and truly inside knowledge about the power and dangers of our Military-Industrial complex and warned us presciently. Here are a few choice remarks taken from his speech:
"Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry."
"We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations."
"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."
Since his speech in 1961, things have gotten much worst, and the Military-Industrial complex has never been stronger. Upon the changing of the guard in 2008, with the election of President Obama, virtually all the protests over our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan came to a standstill, but since that time has the Military-Industrial complex been weaken? Unfortunately, not at all. The NY Times reports:
"Mr. Obama decimated Al Qaeda’s leadership. He overthrew the Libyan dictator. He ramped up drone attacks in Pakistan, waged effective covert wars in Yemen and Somalia and authorized a threefold increase in the number of American troops in Afghanistan. He became the first president to authorize the assassination of a United States citizen."
Now, President Obama is trying to make the case to attack Syria. None of this makes a lot of sense considering that you're talking about the man who previously won the Nobel Peace Prize, but it does make plenty of sense if the Military-Industrial complex is in fact the de facto arbiter of what does and does not happen in regards to our military activities. Not only that, the Military-Industrial complex now recognizes for acertainty that business with a Democratic President is even better than under a Republican because with Obama in office, virtually all the protests have evaporated. This is an example of partisan politics at its worst and total hypocrisy. If a war is considered wrong or unjust, shouldn't that be decided on the actual merits for said war as compared to the political label of our President?
The Military-Industrial complex is unelected, unsupervisedand undemocratic, yet they control billions upon billions of dollars and have their tentacles into virtually every facet of American life of consequence. But their influence spans far beyond our borders and affects the world at large for better or for worst. Our so-called Defense expenditures are excessively high and place obligations and debts onto future generations not yet born to face enemies that do not exist. Spending money on armaments for a proper defense of one's sovereign nation has its place, but there is no place for unnecessary aggrandizement for selfish reasons under the guise of a false moral superiority.