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cory777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 03:08 AM
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The Danger of the military-industrial complex
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Edited on Mon Jan-17-11 03:14 AM by cory777
Source: Belfast Telegraph

Exactly 50 years ago, on January 17 1961, Eisenhower delivered one of the most celebrated farewell speeches in American history, whose fame has only increased over the decades, eclipsed not even by JFK's inspirational inaugural that followed three days later. Kennedy might have projected the dynamism of youth. But the old soldier won the prize for prescience.

In his speech, Eisenhower warned about the growth of a 'military-industrial complex,' and the risks it could pose. "The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power," Ike said, "exists and will persist." His anxieties back then were prompted by the ten-fold expansion of the US military after two world wars, and by the development of a "permanent arms industry of vast proportions". Today, the proportions of both the military and the industry that serves it are vaster than ever.

Adjusted for inflation, US national security spending has more than doubled since Eisenhower left office. Year after year, the defence budget seems to rise irrespective of whether the country is actually fighting major wars, regardless of the fact that the Soviet Union, the country's former global adversary, has ceased to be, and no matter which party controls the White House and Congress.

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The true tragedy is not quite the one that Eisenhower imagined. The US by itself accounts for roughly half of military spending worldwide. How much better if some of that money would be used to improve the country's education and infrastructure, or provide health care for all, or increase foreign aid, rather than on protecting America from threats that geography alone renders illusory.





Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/the-danger-of-the-militaryindustrial-complex-15056246.html



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