Monday, January 17, 2011

50 Years Ago Today

Marks the anniversary of Dwight D. Eisenhower's Military-Industrial Complex Speech in 1961. Ironically, though I am a critic of what we can now term the Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex, I am part of the machine.

Read a good analysis of that speech and the current status of his illustration:

Ike was right all along: The danger of the military-industrial complex

 In completely related news:

From the Pentagon to the private sector

In large numbers, and with few rules, retiring generals are taking lucrative defense-firm jobs

In almost any other realm it would seem a clear conflict of interest — pitting his duty to the US military against the interests of his employer — not to mention a revolving-door sprint from uniformed responsibilities to private paid advocacy.
But this is the Pentagon where, a Globe review has found, such apparent conflicts are a routine fact of life at the lucrative nexus between the defense procurement system, which spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and the industry that feasts on those riches. And almost nothing is ever done about it.
The Globe analyzed the career paths of 750 of the highest ranking generals and admirals who retired during the last two decades and found that, for most, moving into what many in Washington call the “rent-a-general’’ business is all but irresistible.
From 2004 through 2008, 80 percent of retiring three- and four-star officers went to work as consultants or defense executives, according to the Globe analysis. That compares with less than 50 percent who followed that path a decade earlier, from 1994 to 1998.
In some years, the move from general staff to industry is a virtual clean sweep. Thirty-four out of 39 three- and four-star generals and admirals who retired in 2007 are now working in defense roles — nearly 90 percent.

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