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News Link • Military Industrial Complex

Reflections on the Military/Industrial Complex

• Mike Endres

A little different subject for this article - still economics - but one that will probably have sufficient material in it to irritate almost everyone. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Navy veteran, served in destroyers of the Atlantic Fleet as an Electronic and Fire Control Technician working out of Norfolk, VA., to the Med, N. Europe, Caribbean and the Middle East during the middle 1950's. Further, I have a son-in-law who is a retired Navy Chief Fire Controlman who worked 20 years on various Fast Attack submarines in the Pacific, Atlantic and Polar waters. Two Grandsons are Marines. I have earned the right to my opinions whether anyone agrees with them or not.

Dwight Eisenhower, one of this countries most talented and brilliant military and political leaders (better military than political but he did his best), long ago warned us of the dangers of the Military/Industrial Complex - meaning the unholy marriage of government, the military and the vast and numerous industries that supplies the military with everything from toys to tools to stealth bombers and ballistic missiles. On January 17, 1961, in his parting speech to the American people, President Eisenhower specifically warned of the dangers and "grave implications" of the alliance between government and the military/industrial complex (he coined the phrase). He knew exactly what he was talking about.
 
The soldier above is our modern, equipped and armed ground pounder - a Marine or Army soldier with full pack and weapon, ready to hike out from a base camp to patrol or fight, whatever his assignment. He or she has to be in really good physical condition as that pack weighs in at half his or her weight (over 100 pounds!) not counting weapons.
 

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