Dwight Eisenhower, US President, former five star general and liberator of Europe, famously warned on January 17, 1961 that: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.” Eisenhower was prescient as the US, goaded by an arms race with Russia, developed a military and weapons industry that dwarfs that of the rest of the world combined. Andrew Bacevich, in “War for the Greater Middle East”, notes how the presence of American military forces in Europe, released from relevance by the collapse of the Soviet Union, almost inevitably found their way into use in American adventurism in Iraq.
Now Mr. Trump wants to “rebuild” that military, claims the US leadership has been soft, and wants to reestablish American dominance. To help him reach those goals, he has appointed former military officers to key cabinet positions – James “Mad Dog” Mattis to defense, Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor, John Kelly to Homeland Security. His Secretary of State, Exxon’s Rex Tillerson, is well connected with many of the world’s dictators and strongmen. It is no overstatement to suggest that Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex has arrived. The dangers to our future should be self-evident. The question is whether anyone is watching or cares. Come on Congressmen out there. You have children and grandchildren too.