Military-industrial complex
Overview
Military–industrial complex (MIC), or Military–industrial-congressional complex (MICC) is a concept commonly used to refer to policy
Policy
A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol...

 and monetary relationships between legislator
Legislator
A legislator is a person who writes and passes laws, especially someone who is a member of a legislature. Legislators are usually politicians and are often elected by the people...

s, national armed forces
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

, and the industrial sector
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

 that supports them. These relationships include political contributions
Campaign finance in the United States
Campaign finance in the United States is the financing of electoral campaigns at the federal, state, and local levels.At the federal level, the primary source of campaign funds is individuals; political action committees are a distant second. Contributions from both are limited, and direct...

, political approval for defense spending, lobbying to support bureaucracies, and beneficial legislation and oversight of the industry.
Encyclopedia
Military–industrial complex (MIC), or Military–industrial-congressional complex (MICC) is a concept commonly used to refer to policy
Policy
A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome. The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done, this is normally referred to as either procedure or protocol...

 and monetary relationships between legislator
Legislator
A legislator is a person who writes and passes laws, especially someone who is a member of a legislature. Legislators are usually politicians and are often elected by the people...

s, national armed forces
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

, and the industrial sector
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

 that supports them. These relationships include political contributions
Campaign finance in the United States
Campaign finance in the United States is the financing of electoral campaigns at the federal, state, and local levels.At the federal level, the primary source of campaign funds is individuals; political action committees are a distant second. Contributions from both are limited, and direct...

, political approval for defense spending, lobbying to support bureaucracies, and beneficial legislation and oversight of the industry. It is a type of iron triangle.

The term is most often used in reference to the military of the United States
Military of the United States
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

, where it gained popularity after its use in the farewell address
Eisenhower's farewell address
Eisenhower's farewell address was the final public speech of Dwight D. Eisenhower as President of the United States, delivered in a television broadcast on January 17, 1961...

 of President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

, though the term is applicable to any country with a similarly developed infrastructure.

The term is sometimes used more broadly to include the entire network of contracts and flows of money and resources among individuals as well as institutions of the defense contractor
Defense contractor
A defense contractor is a business organization or individual that provides products or services to a military department of a government. Products typically include military aircraft, ships, vehicles, weaponry, and electronic systems...

s, The Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

, and the Congress and executive branch. This sector is intrinsically prone to principal–agent problem, moral hazard
Moral hazard
In economic theory, moral hazard refers to a situation in which a party makes a decision about how much risk to take, while another party bears the costs if things go badly, and the party insulated from risk behaves differently from how it would if it were fully exposed to the risk.Moral hazard...

, and rent seeking
Rent seeking
In economics, rent-seeking is an attempt to derive economic rent by manipulating the social or political environment in which economic activities occur, rather than by adding value...

. Cases of political corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

 have also surfaced with regularity.

A similar thesis was originally expressed by Daniel Guérin
Daniel Guérin
Daniel Guérin was a French libertarian and author, best known for his work Anarchism: From Theory to Practice, as well as his collection No Gods No Masters: An Anthology of Anarchism in which he collected writings on the idea and movement it inspired, from the first writings of Max Stirner in the...

, in his 1936 book Fascism and Big Business
Fascism and Big Business
Fascism and Big Business is a book first written in 1936 by the French historian and anarchist Daniel Guérin. The book, which was written before the Second World War broke out, examines the development of nazism in Germany and fascism in Italy and its relationship with the capitalist families there...

, about the fascist
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 government support to heavy industry. It can be defined as, "an informal and changing coalition of groups with vested psychological, moral, and material interests in the continuous development and maintenance of high levels of weaponry, in preservation of colonial markets and in military-strategic conceptions of internal affairs."

History

Technology has long been a part of war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

fare. Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 tools were used as weapons prior to recorded history. The bronze age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 and iron age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 saw the rise of complex industries in the manufacturing of weaponry. However, these industries also had practical peacetime
Peacetime
In politics, peacetime is defined as any period of time where there are no violent conflicts occurring. For example, the time after World War II is considered peacetime in Western Europe and the United States....

 applications. For example, industries making swords in times of war could make plowshares in times of peace. It was not until the late 19th to early 20th century that military weaponry became so complex as to require a large subset of industry dedicated solely to its procurement. Firearms, artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

, steamships, and later aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 and nuclear weapons were markedly different from their ancient predecessors.

These newer, more complex weapons required highly specialized labor, knowledge and machinery to produce. The time and supporting industry necessary to construct weapon system
Weapon system
Weapon System is a United States military term that designated, along with a weapon system number , military experimental systems prior to official naming Weapon System is a United States military term that designated, along with a weapon system number (e.g., WS-110), military experimental (MX)...

s of increasing complexity
Complexity
In general usage, complexity tends to be used to characterize something with many parts in intricate arrangement. The study of these complex linkages is the main goal of complex systems theory. In science there are at this time a number of approaches to characterizing complexity, many of which are...

 and massive integration, made it no longer feasible to create assets only in times of war. Instead, nations dedicated portions of their economies for the full time production of war assets. The increasing reliance of military on industry gave rise to a stable partnership—the military–industrial complex.

The first modern MICs arose in Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 in the 1880s and 1890s as part of the increasing need to defend their respective empires both on the ground and at sea. The naval rivalry between Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and their revenge sentiment against the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 that followed the Franco-Prussian war
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

, was significant in the inception, growth and development of these MICs. Arguably, the existence of these three nations' respective MICs may have only fueled their military tensions.. Similar MICs soon followed in other nations, including Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and the United States.

Admiral Jackie Fisher was influential in the shift toward faster integration of technology into military usage, resulting in strengthening relationships between the military, and innovative private companies. Noteworthy industrialists involved in the expanding arms industry of the time included Alfred Krupp, Samuel Colt
Samuel Colt
Samuel Colt was an American inventor and industrialist. He was the founder of Colt's Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company , and is widely credited with popularizing the revolver. Colt's innovative contributions to the weapons industry have been described by arms historian James E...

, William G. Armstrong
William George Armstrong, 1st Baron Armstrong
William George Armstrong, 1st Baron Armstrong CB, FRS was an effective Tyneside industrialist who founded the Armstrong Whitworth manufacturing empire.-Early life:...

, Alfred Nobel
Alfred Nobel
Alfred Bernhard Nobel was a Swedish chemist, engineer, innovator, and armaments manufacturer. He is the inventor of dynamite. Nobel also owned Bofors, which he had redirected from its previous role as primarily an iron and steel producer to a major manufacturer of cannon and other armaments...

, and Joseph Whitworth
Joseph Whitworth
Sir Joseph Whitworth, 1st Baronet was an English engineer, entrepreneur, inventor and philanthropist. In 1841, he devised the British Standard Whitworth system, which created an accepted standard for screw threads...

.

The term, military–industrial complex, is often used in reference of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, where it came into the public's general lexicon
Lexicon
In linguistics, the lexicon of a language is its vocabulary, including its words and expressions. A lexicon is also a synonym of the word thesaurus. More formally, it is a language's inventory of lexemes. Coined in English 1603, the word "lexicon" derives from the Greek "λεξικόν" , neut...

, following its introduction by President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Dwight Eisenhower in his "Farewell Address". This may be attributed to the relative dollar expenditure of the United States as compared to other nations. Currently, the annual military expenditure of the United States accounts for about 47% of the world's total arms expenditures. In contrast, prior to World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the U.S. maintained a relatively small peacetime military as compared to other nations. In times of war it relied on militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 or, in later years, reserves
Military reserve
A military reserve, tactical reserve, or strategic reserve is a group of military personnel or units which are initially not committed to a battle by their commander so that they are available to address unforeseen situations or exploit suddenly developing...

.

Following World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the United States never completely demobilized. Standing forces were maintained to an even greater extent in the years that followed. World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 was influential in the change of the United States' previous historical pattern of a small peacetime military. During the Second World War, the United States underwent total mobilization of all available national resources to fight and win, alongside its allies, a total war
Total war
Total war is a war in which a belligerent engages in the complete mobilization of fully available resources and population.In the mid-19th century, "total war" was identified by scholars as a separate class of warfare...

 against Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and Imperial Japan. This mobilization of resources exceeded the combined history of all conflicts the nation had previously encountered. By the war's end, East Asia was gravely damaged, and Europe was devastated. The United States and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 stood as the two remaining great powers.

Still faced with a potential threat immediately following the Second World War, the U.S. never demobilized. The two remaining powers, the United States and the Soviet Union, grew suspicious and hostile toward one another in a period known as the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. This 45-year period of low-intensity, unconventional conflict between the two superpowers, overshadowed by the constant threat of a potential nuclear conflict reinforced the need for constant procurement of military goods and services including large naval, air, and land forces. Thus was born the military industrial complex in the United States.

In 1977, following the Vietnam war
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, U.S. President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 began his presidency with what historian Michael Sherry
Michael S. Sherry
Michael S. Sherry is an American historian, and professor of history at Northwestern University.-Life:He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis summa cum laude, and from Yale University with an MA and Ph.D. in 1975.-External links:*...

 has called "a determination to break from America's militarized past." However, increased defense spending in the era of President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 was seen by some to have brought the MIC back into prominence.

Origin of the term

President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 (and former General of the Army
General of the Army
General of the Army is a military rank used in some countries to denote a senior military leader, usually a General in command of a nation's Army. It may also be the title given to a General who commands an Army in the field....

) Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 used the term in his Farewell Address to the Nation
Eisenhower's farewell address
Eisenhower's farewell address was the final public speech of Dwight D. Eisenhower as President of the United States, delivered in a television broadcast on January 17, 1961...

 on January 17, 1961:
The phrase was thought to have been "war-based" industrial complex before becoming "military" in later drafts of Eisenhower's speech, a claim passed on only by oral history. Geoffrey Perret
Geoffrey Perret
Geoffrey Perrett is an American historian, currently living in England, whose work focuses primarily upon the political dynamics that influence strategic and tactical military decisions, as well as broader political themes. He has published over thirteen books dealing with a variety of topics,...

, in his biography of Eisenhower, claims that a draft of the speech the phrase was "military-industrial-congressional complex", indicating the essential role that the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 plays in the propagation of the military industry, but that the third term was dropped from the final version to placate politicians. James Ledbetter
James Ledbetter
For the Welsh rugby union player of a similar name see James LeadbeaterJames Ledbetter is an author and editor based in New York City. In 2008, he joined online magazine Slate, where he will oversee an upcoming business news Web site called The Big Money . Prior to joining Slate, he was at...

 calls this a "stubborn misconception" not supported by any evidence; likewise a claim by Douglas Brinkley
Douglas Brinkley
Douglas Brinkley is an American author, professor of history at Rice University and a fellow at the James Baker Institute for Public Policy. Brinkley is the history commentator for CBS News and a contributing editor to the magazine Vanity Fair...

 that it was originally "military-industrial-scientific complex". Additionally, Henry Giroux
Henry Giroux
Henry Giroux, born September 18, 1943, in Providence, Rhode Island, is an American cultural critic. One of the founding theorists of critical pedagogy in the United States, he is best known for his pioneering work in public pedagogy, cultural studies, youth studies, higher education, media studies,...

 claims that it was originally "military-industrial-academic complex". The actual authors of the speech were Eisenhower's speechwriters Ralph E. Williams
Ralph E. Williams
Ralph E. Williams was born at Pecos, Texas and earned a B.B.A. at the University of Texas in 1938.In June 1941 Williams was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy Reserve but would transfer to the regular active duty Navy in 1943. For the duration of World War II, Williams served in the...

 and Malcolm Moos
Malcolm Moos
Malcolm Charles Moos was an American political scientist.He received his bachelors and masters degrees in political science from the University of Minnesota. He went on to receive his doctorate, also in political science, from the University of California, Los Angeles. After receiving his Ph.D...

.

Attempts to conceptualize something similar to a modern "military-industrial complex" existed before Eisenhower's address. Ledbetter finds the precise term used in 1947 in close to its later meaning in an article in Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs is an American magazine and website on international relations and U.S. foreign policy published since 1922 by the Council on Foreign Relations six times annually...

 by Winfield W. Riefler. In 1956, sociologist C. Wright Mills
C. Wright Mills
Charles Wright Mills was an American sociologist. Mills is best remembered for his 1959 book The Sociological Imagination in which he lays out a view of the proper relationship between biography and history, theory and method in sociological scholarship...

 had claimed in his book The Power Elite
The Power Elite
The Power Elite is a book written by the sociologist, C. Wright Mills, in 1956. In it Mills calls attention to the interwoven interests of the leaders of the military, corporate, and political elements of society and suggests that the ordinary citizen is a relatively powerless subject of...

 that a class of military, business, and political leaders, driven by mutual interests, were the real leaders of the state, and were effectively beyond democratic control. Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich August Hayek CH , born in Austria-Hungary as Friedrich August von Hayek, was an economist and philosopher best known for his defense of classical liberalism and free-market capitalism against socialist and collectivist thought...

 mentions in his 1944 book The Road to Serfdom
The Road to Serfdom
The Road to Serfdom is a book written by the Austrian-born economist and philosopher Friedrich von Hayek between 1940–1943, in which he "warned of the danger of tyranny that inevitably results from government control of economic decision-making through central planning," and in which he argues...

 the danger of a support of monopolistic organisation of industry from WWII political remnants:
Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

-era activists, such as Seymour Melman
Seymour Melman
Seymour Melman was an American professor emeritus of industrial engineering and operations research at Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science....

, referred frequently to the concept, and use continued throughout the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

: George F. Kennan
George F. Kennan
George Frost Kennan was an American adviser, diplomat, political scientist and historian, best known as "the father of containment" and as a key figure in the emergence of the Cold War...

 wrote in his preface to Norman Cousins
Norman Cousins
Norman Cousins was an American political journalist, author, professor, and world peace advocate.-Early life and education:...

's 1987 book The Pathology of Power, "Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial complex would have to remain, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy."

In the late 1990s James Kurth
James Kurth
James Kurth is the Claude Smith Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College, where he teaches defense policy, foreign policy, and international politics. In 2004 Kurth also became the editor of Orbis, a professional journal on international relations and U.S...

 asserted, "[b]y the mid-1980s the term had largely fallen out of public discussion... whatever the power of arguments about the influence of the military–industrial complex on weapons procurement during the Cold War, they are much less relevant to the current era."

Contemporary students and critics of American militarism
Militarism
Militarism is defined as: the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests....

 continue to refer to and employ the term, however. For example, historian Chalmers Johnson
Chalmers Johnson
Chalmers Ashby Johnson was an American author and professor emeritus of the University of California, San Diego. He served in the Korean War, was a consultant for the CIA from 1967–1973, and chaired the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley from 1967 to 1972...

 uses words from the second, third, and fourth paragraphs quoted above from Eisenhower's address as an epigraph
Epigraph (literature)
In literature, an epigraph is a phrase, quotation, or poem that is set at the beginning of a document or component. The epigraph may serve as a preface, as a summary, as a counter-example, or to link the work to a wider literary canon, either to invite comparison or to enlist a conventional...

 to Chapter Two ("The Roots of American Militarism") of a recent volume on this subject. P. W. Singer's book concerning private military companies
Private military company
A private military company or provides military and security services. These combatants are commonly known as mercenaries, though modern-day PMCs refer to their staff as security contractors, private military contractors or private security contractors, and refer to themselves as private military...

 illustrates contemporary ways in which industry, particularly an information-based one, still interacts with the U.S. Government and the Pentagon.
The expressions permanent war economy
Permanent war economy
The concept of permanent war economy originated in 1944 with an article by Ed Sard , Walter S. Oakes and T.N. Vance, a Third Camp Socialist, who predicted a post-war arms race...

 and war corporatism are related concepts that have also been used in association with this term. The term is also used to describe comparable collusion in other political entities such as the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 (prior to and through the first world war), Britain, France and (post-Soviet) Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

.

Linguist Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

 has suggested that "military-industrial complex" is a misnomer because (as he considers it) the phenomenon in question "is not specifically military." He claims, "There is no military-industrial complex: it's just the industrial system operating under one or another pretext (defense was a pretext for a long time)." Though this might be true, the problem is that different forms of power are extended by real, exaggerated or imagined crises, and in the state military-capitalist society, there is a hierarchy between political (state) and economic (market) power, where state capitalists have directive power in orchestrating crises. In other words, the power of the military machine is somewhat autonomous from corporate-sponsored politicians, and this autonomy is used to reproduce the system through a differential and superior ability to generate crises. Furthermore, the autonomy is supported by economic exchanges in which the military state bureaucracy extends power by producing commodities. The military-industrial complex thesis is part of a series of related concepts which address state military bureaucratic autonomy (from both generic capitalism and citizen control), i.e. the key issue is how military decisions are driven by alliances between the state and industry or conducted in a fashion somewhat autonomous from citizen control. One argument on the left attempts to normalize the military-industrial complex or war system as normally functioning capitalism, a position debunked by Seymour Melman, among others. Although, it’s difficult to assess the notion of military state bureaucracy 'autonomy' since the political institutions exhibit similar feature with respect to the public influence of policies.

Current applications

According to SIPRI
SIPRI
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament...

, total world spending on military expenses in 2009 was $1.531 trillion US dollars. 46.5% of this total, roughly $712 billion US dollars, was spent by the United States. The privatization of the production and invention of military technology also leads to a complicated relationship with significant research and development of many technologies.

The Military budget of the United States
Military budget of the United States
The military budget is that portion of the United States discretionary federal budget that is allocated to the Department of Defense, or more broadly, the portion of the budget that goes to any defense-related expenditures...

 for the 2009 fiscal year was $515.4 billion. Adding emergency discretionary spending and supplemental spending brings the sum to $651.2 billion. This does not include many military-related items that are outside of the Defense Department budget. Overall the United States government is spending about $1 trillion annually on defense-related purposes.

The defense industry tends to contribute heavily to incumbent members of Congress.
Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
William Oliver Stone is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Stone became well known in the late 1980s and the early 1990s for directing a series of films about the Vietnam War, for which he had previously participated as an infantry soldier. His work frequently focuses on...

 said that Néstor Kirchner
Néstor Kirchner
Néstor Carlos Kirchner was an Argentine politician who served as the 54th President of Argentina from 25 May 2003 until 10 December 2007. Previously, he was Governor of Santa Cruz Province since 10 December 1991. He briefly served as Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations ...

, the former President of Argentina
President of Argentina
The President of the Argentine Nation , usually known as the President of Argentina, is the head of state of Argentina. Under the national Constitution, the President is also the chief executive of the federal government and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.Through Argentine history, the...

, told him former US President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 told Kirchner "The best way to revitalize the economy is war, and the U.S. has grown stronger with war."

See also

  • Arms industry
    Arms industry
    The arms industry is a global industry and business which manufactures and sells weapons and military technology and equipment. It comprises government and commercial industry involved in research, development, production, and service of military material, equipment and facilities...

  • Blue Sky Tribe
    Blue Sky Tribe
    Blue Sky Tribe is a term coined by David Beers' in his 1997 autobiographical memoir Blue Sky Dream. He describes a group of people with a common set of beliefs as a tribe....

  • Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities
    Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities
    Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities is a nonprofit organization composed of 700 business leaders. In late 2008 the organization became a project of the Center for American Progress and was put under the direction of Krisila Benson...

  • The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives
    The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives
    The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives is a book about the United States military, written by journalist Nick Turse. It was published in 2008 in hardcover format by Metropolitan Books. The book describes the vast changes in the industrial complex of the U.S. military from the days...

  • Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
    Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
    Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is a book written by John Perkins and published in 2004. It provides Perkins' account of his career with consulting firm Chas. T. Main in Boston. Before employment with the firm, he interviewed for a job with the National Security Agency...

     by John Perkins
  • Corporatism
    Corporatism
    Corporatism, also known as corporativism, is a system of economic, political, or social organization that involves association of the people of society into corporate groups, such as agricultural, business, ethnic, labor, military, patronage, or scientific affiliations, on the basis of common...

  • Constitutionalism
    Constitutionalism
    Constitutionalism has a variety of meanings. Most generally, it is "a complex of ideas, attitudes, and patterns of behavior elaborating the principle that the authority of government derives from and is limited by a body of fundamental law"....

  • Constitutional economics
    Constitutional economics
    Constitutional economics is a research program in economics and constitutionalism that has been described as extending beyond the definition of 'the economic analysis of constitutional law' in explaining the choice "of alternative sets of legal-institutional-constitutional rules that constrain the...

  • C. Wright Mills
    C. Wright Mills
    Charles Wright Mills was an American sociologist. Mills is best remembered for his 1959 book The Sociological Imagination in which he lays out a view of the proper relationship between biography and history, theory and method in sociological scholarship...

  • Erik Prince
    Erik Prince
    Erik Dean Prince is the founder and formerly the sole owner of the private military company Xe Services LLC, formerly Blackwater Worldwide. On March 2, 2009, Prince announced that he was stepping down as CEO of Xe. He is currently living abroad in the United Arab Emirates, where he is creating a...

     and Blackwater USA
    Blackwater USA
    Xe Services LLC, better known by its former names, Blackwater USA and Blackwater Worldwide, is a private military company founded in 1997 by Erik Prince and Al Clark.. Xe is currently the largest of the U.S. State Department's three private security contractors...

  • Federal Reserve
  • Government contractor
    Government contractor
    A government contractor is a private company that produces goods or services under contract for the government. Often the terms of the contract specify cost plus – i.e., the contractor gets paid for its costs, plus a specified profit margin. Laws often require governments to award contracts...

  • List of countries by military expenditures
  • List of NASA contractors
  • Militarism
    Militarism
    Militarism is defined as: the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests....

  • Military funding of science
    Military funding of science
    The military funding of science has had a powerful transformative effect on the practice and products of scientific research since the early 20th century...

  • Military Industrial Media Complex
    Military Industrial Media Complex
    The military industrial media complex is an offshoot of the military industrial complex. Organizations like Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting have accused the military industrial media complex of using their media resources to promote militarism, which, according to Fairness and Accuracy in...

  • Military Keynesianism
    Military Keynesianism
    Military Keynesianism is the accusation that John Maynard Keynes advocated government economic policy in which the government devotes large amounts of spending to the military in an effort to increase economic growth. In fact, the English economist John Maynard Keynes advocated that government...


  • Money loop
  • Permanent war economy
    Permanent war economy
    The concept of permanent war economy originated in 1944 with an article by Ed Sard , Walter S. Oakes and T.N. Vance, a Third Camp Socialist, who predicted a post-war arms race...

  • Petrodollar warfare
    Petrodollar warfare
    The phrase petrodollar warfare refers to a hypothesis that one of the unknown, driving forces of United States foreign policy over recent decades has been the status of the United States dollar as the world's dominant reserve currency and as the currency in which oil is priced. The term was coined...

  • Politico-media complex
    Politico-media complex
    The politico-media complex is a name that has been given to the close, systematized, symbiotic-like network of relationships between a state's political and ruling classes, its media industry, and any interactions with or dependencies upon interest groups with other domains and agencies, such as...

  • Power Elite
    Power elite
    A power elite or The Grand Elite, in political and sociological theory, is a small group of people who control a disproportionate amount of wealth, privilege, and access to decision-making of global consequence. The term was coined by C...

  • The Power Elite
    The Power Elite
    The Power Elite is a book written by the sociologist, C. Wright Mills, in 1956. In it Mills calls attention to the interwoven interests of the leaders of the military, corporate, and political elements of society and suggests that the ordinary citizen is a relatively powerless subject of...

     by C. Wright Mills
    C. Wright Mills
    Charles Wright Mills was an American sociologist. Mills is best remembered for his 1959 book The Sociological Imagination in which he lays out a view of the proper relationship between biography and history, theory and method in sociological scholarship...

  • Prison-industrial complex
    Prison-industrial complex
    "Prison–industrial complex" is a term used to attribute the rapid expansion of the US inmate population to the political influence of private prison companies and businesses that supply goods and services to government prison agencies. The term is analogous to the military–industrial complex that...

  • Private Military Company
    Private military company
    A private military company or provides military and security services. These combatants are commonly known as mercenaries, though modern-day PMCs refer to their staff as security contractors, private military contractors or private security contractors, and refer to themselves as private military...

  • Project for the New American Century
    Project for the New American Century
    The Project for the New American Century was an American think tank based in Washington, D.C. that lasted from 1997 to 2006. It was co-founded as a non-profit educational organization by neoconservatives William Kristol and Robert Kagan...

  • Rosoboronexport State Corporation
    Rosoboronexport State Corporation
    JSC Rosoboronexport is the sole state intermediary agency for Russia's exports/imports of defense-related and dual use products, technologies and services...

  • Roerich Pact
  • Rule according to higher law
    Rule according to higher law
    The rule according to a higher law means that no written law may be enforced by the government unless it conforms with certain unwritten, universal principles of fairness, morality, and justice...

  • Ultra-imperialism
    Ultra-imperialism
    Ultra-imperialism, or occasionally hyperimperialism and formerly super-imperialism, is a potential, comparatively peaceful phase of capitalism, meaning "after" or "beyond" imperialism. It was described mainly by Karl Kautsky...

  • Upward Spiral
    Upward Spiral
    Upward Spiral is a term used by Paul Kennedy in his book The Rise and Fall of Great Powers to describe the continually rising cost of military equipment relative to civilian manufactured goods. According to Kennedy there is an upward spiral at work in "all areas" of military production which is...

  • US/Saudi AWACS Sale
    US/Saudi AWACS Sale
    The sale of AWACS surveillance planes to Saudi Arabia by the United States administration of President Ronald Reagan was a controversial part of what was then the largest foreign arms sale in US history...

  • War Is a Racket
    War is a Racket
    War Is a Racket is the title of two works, a speech and a booklet, by retired U.S. Marine Major General Smedley D. Butler. In them, Butler frankly discusses from his experience as a career military officer how business interests commercially benefit from warfare.After he retired from the Marine...

     (1935 book by Smedley Butler
    Smedley Butler
    Smedley Darlington Butler was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps, an outspoken critic of U.S. military adventurism, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S...

    )
  • Why We Fight
    Why We Fight (2005 film)
    Why We Fight, directed by Eugene Jarecki, is a 2006 documentary film about the military–industrial complex. The title refers to the World War II-era eponymous propaganda movies commissioned by the U.S...

     (2005 documentary film by Eugene Jarecki
    Eugene Jarecki
    Eugene Jarecki is an author and a dramatic and documentary filmmaker based in New York.His works include Why We Fight, which won the 2005 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, The Trials of Henry Kissinger, Reagan, Freakonomics , Quest of the Carib Canoe, and Season of the...

    )


Further reading

  • Adams, Gordon, The Iron Triangle: The Politics of Defense Contracting, 1981.
  • Andreas, Joel, Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism, ISBN 1-904859-01-1.
  • Cochran, Thomas B., William M. Arkin, Robert S. Norris, Milton M. Hoenig, U.S. Nuclear Warhead Production Harper and Row, 1987, ISBN 0-88730-125-8
  • Colby, Gerard, DuPont Dynasty, 1984, Lyle Stuart, ISBN 0-8184-0352-7
  • Friedman, George and Meredith, The Future of War: Power, Technology and American World Dominance in the 21st Century, Crown, 1996, ISBN 0-517-70403-X
  • Hossein-Zadeh, Ismael, The Political Economy of US Militarism, Palgrave MacMillan, 2006, ISBN 978-1-4039-7285-9
  • Keller, William W., Arm in Arm: The Political Economy of the Global Arms Trade Basic Books, 1995.
  • Kelly, Brian, Adventures in Porkland: How Washington Wastes Your Money and Why They Won't Stop, Villard, 1992, ISBN 0-679-40656-5
  • McDougall, Walter A., ...The Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age, Basic Books, 1985, (Pulitzer Prize
    Pulitzer Prize
    The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

     for History) ISBN 0-8018-5748-1
  • Melman, Seymour, Pentagon Capitalism: The Political Economy of War, McGraw Hill, 1970
  • Melman, Seymour, (ed.) The War Economy of the United States: Readings in Military Industry and Economy, New York: St. Martin's Press
    St. Martin's Press
    St. Martin's Press is a book publisher headquartered in the Flatiron Building in New York City. Currently, St. Martin's Press is one of the United States' largest publishers, bringing to the public some 700 titles a year under eight imprints, which include St. Martin's Press , St...

    , 1971.
  • Mills, C Wright, The Power Elite,New York, 1956.
  • Mollenhoff, Clark R., The Pentagon: Politics, Profits and Plunder, GP Putnam's Sons, 1967
  • Patterson, Walter C., The Plutonium Business and the Spread of the Bomb, Sierra Club, 1984, ISBN 0-87156-837-3
  • Pasztor, Andy, When the Pentagon Was for Sale: Inside America's Biggest Defense Scandal, Scribner, 1995, ISBN 0-684-19516-X
  • Pierre, Andrew J., The Global Politics
    Global politics
    Global politics is the discipline that studies the political and economical patterns of the world. It studies the relationships between cities, nation-states, shell-states, multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations and international organizations.It has been argued that global...

     of Arms Sales, Princeton, 1982, ISBN 0-691-02207-0
  • Sampson, Anthony, The Arms Bazaar: From Lebanon to Lockheed, Bantam, 1977.
  • St. Clair, Jeffery, Grand Theft Pentagon: Tales of Corruption and Profiteering in the War on Terror, Common Courage Press (July 1, 2005).
  • Sweetman, Bill, "In search of the Pentagon's billion dollar hidden budgets - how the US keeps its R&D spending under wraps", from Jane's International Defence Review
    Jane's Defence Weekly
    Jane's Defence Weekly is a weekly magazine reporting on military and corporate affairs, edited by Peter Felstead. It is one of a number of military-related publications named after John F. T. Jane, an Englishman who first published Jane's All the World's Fighting Ships in 1898...

    , online
  • Weinberger, Sharon. Imaginary Weapons. New York: Nation Books, 2006.

External links

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