Military-Industrial Complex

The term military-industrial complex refers to the loose political alliance of industrial and military interests that has contributed to the growth and persistence of the welfare-warfare state. The term was popularized in President Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell address of January 17, 1961, when he warned his countrymen to be on guard “against the acquisition of unwarranted influence … by the military-industrial complex.”

Scholars who have studied the workings of this alliance between industry and the military have concluded that this intimate relationship did not originate in the mid-20th century. Many trace the development of interlocking political and economic interests among the military and leading industrialists to World War I, when the Council of National Defense and its successor, the War Industries Board (WIB), mobilized billions of ...

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