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Old 04-10-2003, 06:54 PM   #1
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Who coined "Military Industrial Complex?

And warned of the power of that complex? Well a General of WWII and former President.

Good evening, my fellow Americans: First, I should like to express my gratitude to the radio and television networks for the opportunity they have given me over the years to bring reports and messages to our nation. My special thanks go to them for the opportunity of addressing you this evening.
Three days from now, after a half century of service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.

This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.

Like every other citizen, I wish the new President, and all who will labor with him, Godspeed. I pray that the coming years will be blessed with peace and prosperity for all.

Our people expect their President and the Congress to find essential agreement on questions of great moment, the wise resolution of which will better shape the future of the nation.

My own relations with Congress, which began on a remote and tenuous basis when, long ago, a member of the Senate appointed me to West Point, have since ranged to the intimate during the war and immediate post-war period, and finally to the mutually interdependent during these past eight years.

In this final relationship, the Congress and the Administration have, on most vital issues, cooperated well, to serve the nation well rather than mere partisanship, and so have assured that the business of the nation should go forward. So my official relationship with Congress ends in a feeling on my part, of gratitude that we have been able to do so much together.

We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

Throughout America's adventure in free government, such basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among peoples and among nations.

To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people.

Any failure traceable to arrogance or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us a grievous hurt, both at home and abroad.

Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle-with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties, A huge increase in the newer elements of our defenses; development of unrealistic programs to cure very ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research-these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

But each proposal must be weighed in light of a broader consideration; the need to maintain balance in and among national programs-balance between the private and the public economy, balance between the cost and hoped for advantages-balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between the actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their Government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well in the face of threat and stress.

But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise.

Of these, I mention two only.

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual---is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present-and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system-ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we-you and I, and our government-must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war-as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years-I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.

Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road.

So-in this my last good night to you as your President-I thank you for the many opportunities you have given me for public service in war and peace. I trust that in that service you find some things worthy; as for the rest of it, I know you will find ways to improve performance in the future.

You and I-my fellow citizens-need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nations' great goals.

To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America's prayerful and continuing aspiration:

We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.

Now, on Friday noon, I am to become a private citizen. I am proud to do so. I look forward to it.

Thank you, and, good night.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"During the years of my Presidency, and especially the latter years, I began to feel more and more uneasiness about the effect on the nation of tremendous peacetime military expenditures. [...] The idea, then, of making a final address as President to the nation seemed to call on me to warn the nation, again, of the danger in these developments. I could think of no better way to emphasize this than to include a sobering message in what might otherwise have been a farewell of pleasantries."

Dwight Eisenhower, memoirs
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Old 04-10-2003, 07:22 PM   #2
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I disagree with this term which has been used by some to lable people in the military and those that build our weapons. I'm sorry but there is no conspiracy and at a time like this, our soldiers and others in the defense industry deserve our praise.
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Old 04-10-2003, 07:27 PM   #3
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Yea! I just edited my last post to ask you to join us.

I wasn't hinting at conspiracy. I thought his comments were timely given they were spoken that many years ago. I especially thought the comments on the situation of the world haven't changed much.

I do support our soldiers and want them home safe.
Again glad you joined us again. I miss your thoughtful posts, even if I disagree with them.
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Old 04-10-2003, 07:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
I disagree with this term which has been used by some to lable people in the military and those that build our weapons. I'm sorry but there is no conspiracy and at a time like this, our soldiers and others in the defense industry deserve our praise.
Military-industrial complex is an academic term, used worldwide. I don´t see how anyone could oppose that term. And who spoke of a conspiracy? Did I hear the word conspiracy?

I agree, there is no conspiracy. The large sums the U.S. administration - any U.S. admin. - pumps into the defense sector (ignoring constant misuses btw) is totally official, no need for a conspiracy.

I think a President like Roosevelt deserves American praise. I generally (not personally) think its unpatriotic to not praise this great speech of an American President.
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Old 04-10-2003, 08:21 PM   #5
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I disagree with the use of the term because it suggest that the military and defense industries are together to make money which is false. Most members of the military are underpayed for the work they do. Certainly people that work for private defense firms make good money but thats capitalism. Its helped to produce some of the best weapons the world has every seen. Without modern precision weapons, 1 to 2 million people would be dead in Baghdad right now.

By the way, the president who made that speach was not Roosevelt.
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Old 04-10-2003, 08:26 PM   #6
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He was a World War II Gereral.

He knew what he was talking about.
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Old 04-10-2003, 08:27 PM   #7
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I know it was Eisenhower. A retired WWII General.
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Old 04-10-2003, 08:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2

By the way, the president who made that speach was not Roosevelt.
Ok, you got me there, the spe-e-ch was by Eisenhower.

I don´t think the term military-industrial complex suggests that military and defense industries work together to make money.

It is a fate of people who work in security worldwide that they should be treated better by those who employ them. In my country, some policemen are underpaid, whereas some politicians who support the defense industry are "overpaid", to say it mildly.

In my opinion, the term suggests that there are connections. One of the connections is that if the weapons which the industry constructs were not used occasionally in conflicts or wars, there wouldn´t be any need to develop new weapons, and therefore those industries wouldn´t make enough profit in their opinion. In the long run, the defense industry couldn´t survive without attacks, and those attacks are executed by the military.
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Old 04-10-2003, 08:48 PM   #9
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Eisenhower certainly knew what he was talking about in World War II and his first Presidential Adminstration. But I have some sharp disagreements with him over technical aspects of military policy especially in his second administration.
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Old 04-10-2003, 08:54 PM   #10
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"In my opinion, the term suggests that there is are connections. One of the connections is that if the weapons which the industry constructs were not used occasionally in conflicts or wars, there wouldn´t be any need to develop new weapons, and therefore those industries wouldn´t make enough profit in their opinion. In the long run, the defense industry couldn´t survive without attacks."

You do not have to have a wars to have a need for weapons. Hundreds of Billions of dollars are spent every year on defense without a war. Its part of the reason why there have been less wars in key area's of the world and that World War III never happened. A friend of mine who is an engineer may be working on Nuclear Weapon designs soon, but there has never been a nuclear war. In fact Nuclear weapons have not been used since 1945. The fact is, as long as there are threats to security, there will be a defense industry with many talented engineers like some of my friends.
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Old 04-10-2003, 09:20 PM   #11
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But he was saying that there is a need to expend these stockpiles so the corporations that make can make more. And the military needs to justify itself for that huge budget.

Do I think it is a concentrated conspiracy - no. But I do think that each side works it's propoganda magic in times of crisis or supposed crisis to further there existence.

I think every advance to protect our troops is a good thing, but at the same time somehow I'm concerned over the video game effect of war, especially to the soldiers that drop the bombs that can kill thousands, not so much the ground troops. But then if our missles from Abrams tanks incinerate even they don't see the devastation they caused.

A few facts:
Lt. Gen Barry McCaffrey & Col. Wayne Downing - NBC military experts- are on the advisory board for Committee for the Liberation of Iraq , a lobby group to drum up support for a war. McCaffrey is also on the board of Mitretek, Veritas Capital, Raytheon Aerospace, & Integrated Defense Technologies - all have multi-million dollar defense contracts. That's why he is always extolling the virtues of Abrams & Bradley machinery.

Downing is on board of directors at Metal Storm Ltd. - ballastics technology - experts in urban warfare.

On Fox - Lt Col. Bill Cowan & Maj Rovert Beveacqua are CEO & Vice-President respectivaly of wv3 Group, a defense consulting firm that helps arms companies sell their wares to the military.

Maj. Gen Vallely - Fox- pioneered a concept he called MindWar, a strategy that uses electronic media - "tv & radio" in the "deliberate, aggressive convincing of all participants in a war that we will win that war". Not that we didn't know that this time.

Taken from The Nation by Daniel Benaim, Vishesh Kumar, & Priyanka Motaparthy
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Old 04-10-2003, 09:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
You do not have to have a wars to have a need for weapons.
So, if for the next one hundred years there wasn´t any war, you´d think the defense budget would still be that high? No way.

but go ahead, answer Scarletwine´s post first. I didn´t know that many Lts. actually worked in the defense industry. That makes the picture a little clearer.

While we´re at it, do you know the old joke...

Jack and Joe meet up after a long time.

Joe to Jack "Hey man whats up"

Jack to Joe "Hey man I gotta great new job"

Joe to Jack "So what is it?"

Jack to Joe "I polish the nukes"

Joe to Jack "Oh man, don´t you fear one of them explodes?"

Jack to Joe "Why? After all they´re not mine"
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Old 04-10-2003, 09:52 PM   #13
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It is very normal for retired military to work for defense contractors. It is 30 and out. What that means is that, for example, my dad entered the military at 18. He served 30 yrs and retired on a whole military pension at 48 as a computer analyst. Then he's too young to sit at home so he goes to work for a defense contractor, basically doing the same thing for another 17 years. Now he get medicare and social security plus pension. This is real life and a good thing for my dad. Luckily he was between wars, too old for Nam (he was in support) and to young for Korea by a few months.
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Old 04-10-2003, 10:06 PM   #14
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Thats great for your dad!

It just supports my view that there are not only industrial military connections in terms of creation and usage of material, but also in terms of people.
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Old 04-10-2003, 10:18 PM   #15
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HIPHOP,

The largest defense budgets(adjusted for inflation) in the USA since the Vietnam war were during the 1980s. How many wars did the USA fight during the 1980s? None.

Scarletwine,

The military has one mission in mind, defending the USA and its interest. 1/3 to 1/2 of the USA military budget goes to simply paying US soldiers, most of whom are underpayed for the work they do. A lot of it also goes to training. Only around 1/3 to 40% actually goes to Research and Development and the procurement of new weapons.

In addition, the military trains and so uses these weapons ammunition in a training environment. So the idea that the military needs a war to expend its supplies is a false one. The military is constantly training and expending supplies as if there is a war. Its this realistic training that saves lives in combat.

I assure, no one out there knows more about the devastation that weapons and war causes than the soldiers! Abrams tanks easily see the effects as one of the rounds rip through a Soviet made Iraqi T-72 tank. US soldiers see the dead bodies the charred remains of vehicles and enemy tanks that many people do not see.

A Few Facts:

Retired Lt General Barry McCaffery is an honorable man that has served his country for most of his life including fighting for his country in the Vietnam and 1991 Persian Gulf Wars! He has two childern in the Army that are currently in Iraq. He has been a soldier for most of his life and yes does advise people because of his experience on matters of weapons technology to help and guide engineers that are trying to develop better weapons to better help the Army and its needs into the 21st century.

By the way, he is exstolling the virtues of the Abrams tank because he is an Armour officer and has worked with tanks all his life. The Abrams tank is built by General Dynamics that bought the production of the tank from Chrysler car company. Dr. Phillip Lett built and designed the Abrams tank for the Chrysler car company back in the late 1970s. I don't see General Dynamics listed there.

These generals are experts in their field. They are all retired and yes they do advise people in their particular area's of expertise so as to provide the best weapons possible for todays soldiers. This is not a bad thing but a very good thing! These are very experienced and knowledgable people.

Lt General Barry McCaffery is retired and has every right to join any political organization that he wants to.

Would you have a problem if my father who is a retired Colonel went to work for one of the companies that specializes in building weapons in his particular branch of the military?

My friends and family are not involved in propaganda and the only thing they want is to further the existance of freedom and democracy.

If your concerned about Propaganda, the NATION is a better example.
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