A look at the origins of military industrial complex

It frustrated the Army. He thought about it all the time. On January 17,three days before John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as his successor, Eisenhower delivered a farewell address in a TV broadcast from the Oval Office.

A look at the origins of military industrial complex

Get the latest updates straight to your inbox.

What is the Military-Industrial Complex?

The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. The vast economic and administrative apparatus for the creation and deployment of weapons took its enduring shape during the two years preceding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

It grew to gargantuan proportions during the war, then survived and flourished during the four decades of the Cold War. By the s, members of Congress had insinuated themselves into positions of power in the complex, so that one is well justified in calling it the military-industrial-congressional complex MICC during the past 40 years.

The powerful role played by the MICC in the second half of the twentieth century testifies to a fact that has seldom been faced squarely: World War II did not end in a victory for the forces of freedom; to an equal or greater extent, the defeat of Nazi Germany and its allies represented a victory for the forces of totalitarian oppression in the Soviet Union and, later, its surrogates around the world.

Hence, inwe merely traded one set of aggressive enemies for another. In reality, the war did not end until the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the degeneration of its armed forces in the early s.

Its antecedents hardly suggested how quickly and hugely the MICC would grow. Prewar military budgets were very small: In those days, military purchases were transacted according to rigidly specified legal procedures.

Normally, the military purchaser publicly advertised its demand for a definite quantity of a specific item, accepted sealed bids, and automatically awarded the contract to the lowest bidder. Moreover, few businessmen wanted military business or any dealings with the New Deal government.

With congressional authorization, the War and Navy departments switched from using mainly sealed-bid contracts to mainly negotiated contracts, often providing that the contractor be paid his full costs, however much they might be, plus a fixed fee. In these and other ways, military contracting was rendered less risky and more rewarding.

Large manufacturing firms enjoyed the bulk of the business. The top prime contractors received about two-thirds of the awards by value; the top 10 got about 30 percent; the leading contractor, General Motors, accounted for nearly eight percent.

The military research and development contracts with private corporations were even more concentrated. Besides bankrolling ammunition plants, the government built shipyards, steel and aluminum mills, chemical plants, and many other industrial facilities.

Most of the government-financed plants were operated not directly by the government but by a relatively small group of contractors. Just 26 firms enjoyed the use of half the value of all governmentally financed industrial facilities leased to private contractors as of June 30, The top contractors using such plants enjoyed the use of more than 83 percent of all such facilities by value.

Two Major Stock Market Lessons We Need To Take With Us Going Forward – Mike Swanson (11/23/2018)

This concentration had important implications for the character of the postwar industrial structure because the operator of a government-owned, contractor-operated facility usually held an option to buy it after the war, and many contractors did exercise their options.

The arrangements created in and refined during the next five years completely transformed the relations between the government and its military contractors. During the Cold War these relationships became institutionalized.

Transactions were not so much firm deals as ongoing joint enterprises among colleagues and friends in which military officials and businessmen cooperated to achieve a common goal not incompatible with, but rather highly facilitative of, the pursuit of their separate interests.

It was easy to forget who worked for whom. As General James P. This is a family affair among terribly interdependent parties. When Ruben Trevino and I made a study of the profitability of defense contracting published in Defence Economics,pageswe found that during the periodthe profit rates of the top 50 defense contractors substantially exceeded those of comparable non-defense companies.

We also found that investing in defense contractors was not significantly riskier than investing in comparable non-defense companies. In short, this business has been very good to those involved in it.

Even when companies got into trouble, they could expect to be bailed out. Congress, as usual, went where the money was. Defense-related jobs served as a major determinant of congressional defense decisions for both liberals and conservatives.

Members of Congress strove to steer contracts and subcontracts to favored constituents, who rewarded them in turn with lavish campaign contributions, votes, and other payoffs. Congressional micro-management of the defense program grew ever more elaborate as lawmakers grasped new opportunities to control the disposition of defense resources.

Resistance to base closures, in particular, prompted the most exquisite legislative maneuvers.Thus, the origins of the military-industrial complex and the national-security state lie not in the mid-twentieth century but in the decades before World War I.

A look at the origins of military industrial complex

Eisenhower, for all his alarm, may have been too sanguine. A complex brought into being by a particular war like World War II or the Cold War might be expected to end when the war ended.

Top Posts & Pages

The military industrial complex is really a creature of the Cold War. The United States has a long history of fighting in wars. The United States has a long history of fighting in wars.

In fact it came into being as a result of the war of independence the thirteen American colonies fought against the United Kingdom. Call it the "military-intellectual complex." Chapter 7 explores the development of military technology, especially high-tech weaponry, the purchase of which Koistinen believes "was driven more by political, economic, and power considerations than by those of national security" (p.

). On this day in , Dwight D. Eisenhower ends his presidential term by warning the nation about the increasing power of the military-industrial complex. His remarks, issued during a televised.

The Military Industrial Complex was a phrase used by outgoing President Dwight Eisenhower when warning of a close relationship between the government and its defense industry.

M ilitary-Industrial Complex is an unofficial phrase used to signify the "comfortable" relationship that can develop between government entities (namely defense) and. The military–industrial complex (MIC) is an informal alliance between a nation's military and the defense industry that supplies it, seen together as a vested interest which influences public policy.

Military–industrial complex - Wikipedia