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Encyclopedia of Social Problems

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Encyclopedia of Social Problems

Vincent N. Parrillo

Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Military-Industrial Complex

Paul A. Swanson

In his 1961 farewell address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the dangers of the military-industrial complex. While arguing for its necessity, he also stated that we must guard against its potential dangers to our democratic processes and liberties. This was not the first use of the term military-industrial complex. Charles Trevelyan of the United Kingdom first used it in 1914, but with Eisenhower's warning it became part of general political discourse. The military-industrial complex refers to the combination of two powerful entities in U.S. society. The first is the military establishment. The federal government spends billions of dollars annually keeping millions of men and women working to ensure national security. Since World War II, a permanent arms industry has complemented this military establishment. With this massive private industrial might symbioti-cally working with the government's military in times of war or peace, the U.S. government no longer needs to The ...

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