General-turned-president Dwight D. Eisenhower warned the American people of the perfidious influence of what he dubbed “The Military-Industrial Complex” (MIC) in his 1960 farewell address. He’d originally wanted to add “Congressional” to the term, and could just as easily included “Media.”
Even Eisenhower might be shocked by the contemporary influence of the MIC — how entrenched and pervasive it is in all aspects of American life. The sacred sentiment of “one man, one vote” is belied by a profitable war industry that fuels itself through obscene infusions of cash into the policymakers and influencers within and outside government. As a result, war, proxy war, and Cold War gathers an inertia and life of its own — a “self-licking ice cream cone,” as the military executors of the resultant wars would say.
Active warfare, whether through direct U.S. military involvement or via proxy — as well as intractable “New” Cold Wars — is highly profitable for some, and a drain on blood and treasure for most others, American and foreign alike. No or limited bid contracts to fuel overseas conflicts line the pockets of those in the corporate defense industry, creating a highly toxic and dangerous scenario whereby endless war is a boon for business. That windfall then twists and distorts the political and media process through campaign contributions. Thus, despite super-majorities of citizens and soldiers being long opposed to U.S. military policy and interventionism, Congress and the executive branch stay out of step with their constituents. This is inherently undemocratic and threatens the health of the republic.