What, Exactly, Is the Military Industrial Complex?

When President Dwight David Eisenhower left the stage as president of the United States in 1961, he warned of the military-industrial complex he was leaving behind. Sounds ominous, right? And that complex has had 60 years to harden in place since Eisenhower’s farewell address.


But what is the military-industrial complex? Is it a war-mongering machine out to kill us all at a profit? Is it a bunch of old boys networking to sell $700 hammers to the Pentagon through no-bid deals? Was Eisenhower overstating a problem that only he could see?


We spoke with Emma Salisbury, who just finished a Ph.D. thesis on the subject. As with virtually everything on Angry Planet, the truth was more complicated than you might think.


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