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President Eisenhower first popularized the concept of the military–industrial complex at the height of the Cold War. The military–industrial complex is a configuration of government, academic, and industrial networks and policy settings that first emerged during World War II. Critics from both the center and the left of American politics have argued that the emergence of the military–industrial complex has had a negative impact.

The term was first coined in the mid-1950s by the sociologist Charles Mills, who pointed to the manner in which the military–industrial complex that had emerged during World War II had not dissolved following the end of the war. In fact, it was argued that the military–industrial complex had begun to transform American society. This entry describes the key characteristics of ...

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