Talk:Military–industrial complex

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New Evidence =[edit]


Early drafts thought lost were found recently. The statement that the term military-industrial complex was added late in the revision process is now thrown into doubt. The newly-discovered drafts include this term without editorial markup. The term, war-based industrial complex, is not found in these drafts. FixMacs (talk) 08:38, 11 December 2010 (UTC)


IMO the absence of any (that I could find) references to the fundamental concept of this article as stated in the opening paragraph, means that it is essentially simply founded upon the opinion of the author rather than on the solitary citation at the end of the second paragraph. The absence of references to it's firs usage are fundamental not incidental to the article's validity in my opinion. While there may or may not be arguments to be made for a label to describe various relationships between elements of the State and te economy this does not of itself predicae their existence. The term Military-Industrial-Complex has (or in my understanding has) a specific lineage originating to Eisenhower who used it to describe the way that US foreign policy was dictated by the industry suplying the armaments to fuel the wars that foreign policy advocated and that a substantial part of the US economy was built of the wealth created by this economic engine. This is the relevance of the solitary citation. To draw lines in history to identify various other raltionships and to then group all of these under the "plagiarised" term, now abbreviated to MIC, seems entirely out of keeping with Wikipedia. In a sense, using this definition, every state there has ever existed has been a MIC. The point of the term as Eisenhower used it was to describe a modern phenomenon within a modern social context. The etymology of the phrase seems critical to this piece if it is to be anything other than a political essay.

LookingGlass (talk) 20:38, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Much of ths article seems to be an essay and original research. Unless references are found this should be boiled down to Eisenhower's usage.Capitalismojo (talk) 14:41, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Exactly - months later, nothing's happened - this is all about a concept, vaguely defined by its originator, transformed by fiat into a subatantive reality, and then written about with historical references giving it a 500 year history as if it were a real thing. It is not. (talk) 20:40, 8 April 2010 (UTC) LookingGlass, you seemed to of added nothing but your own original work here in describing your 'feelings' of the article. To say we don't have a use for the article or disputing it's defintition would be silly. When you have the army in a foreign country with a military contractor serving food at $20/plate because the politicans back home have stock in the contractors the writing is on the wall and this is what he term was coined to warn against. It could also be seen differently now since we have contractors that actually engage in military style tactics and provide their own security at times outnumbering the military forces in some areas. That would also be seen as a complex, more towards the industrial side. Of course this is all going to be 'original research', do you need fox news or another outlet to define it for you? Is the color red not red or do you need a source for that too?Woods01 (talk) 22:48, 13 October 2010 (UTC)


This line: "it is difficult to estimate the degree of dependence of the U.S. economy on its military and defense spending, but it is clearly enormous," is wrong. It reflects thinking from the 1960s, when defense spending was much larger. Even then, it was a questionable assertion. It is possible to measure the 'dependence of the US economy. Spending on defense acquisitions and research is equal to 1.2% of the GDP. This is neither enormous nor dependence. You could equally ask if the US economy would be better off if it wasn't paying all this for defense. 13:43, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Slightly odd it's a '61 speech but attributed here to a '60 document. Coulda been written in '60 of course.

The text of Eisenhower's speech doesn't match with the audio of the speech. Listen to it. First he skips straight from "in the interests of world peace and human betterment" to "Crises there will continue to be," skipping a few whole paragraphs in between. This jumping around happens several times throughout the speech. What's going on there? Mr. Billion 07:56, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

After listening to and reading it again, I guess it was probably just to cut down on the size and length of the audio file. Although that's sort of crappy, since they cut him off in mid-sentence at one point. There's a full-length version out there, but it's too choppy, unfortunately. Mr. Billion 06:10, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

There's no need to add other paragraphs of the speech to explain the context for the term. The intro contextualises it quite well. Eisenhower was quite clear that the need for arms sprang up quickly but that the rapid growth should be kept in check but the intro actually does say this.Dr Zen 07:08, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Usually, yes, although I think that it is vital to explain Ike's view given that it was Ike's term or more likely his speech-writer Malcolm Moos, also a conservative. It helps us understand how while he coined the term he was probably a little surprised at being so frequently quoted by the peace movement. In fact the speechwriter went on to run a college at the time of the Vietnam protests. Strange planet we inhabit... Salazar 12:51, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

"but it is said that Eisenhower chose to strike the word congressional"
Said by whom? Juicy 02:17, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Juicycat: footnote attributes this to Lars Erik-Nelson, "Military-Industrial Man.", according to "Eisenhower's Warning: The Military-Industrial Complex Forty Years Later", William D. Hartung, WORLD POLICY JOURNAL, ARTICLE: Volume XVIII, No 1, SPRING 2001. I don't have access to either, but perhaps someone else can get this --ArtDent 03:28, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

THere was a typo in your url. I just fixed it. GangofOne 03:54, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

what's with the blanks at the beginning of a few of the source listings?[edit]

I have tried to add a section with further documentation of the military-industrial complex and said in editing the article that the section would be updated once I received approval from Joel Andreas the auther of Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism. I have received permission from Joel Andreas to quote his work and reference his work, however, my contribution to the article has been deleted. I realize that the information that I am trying to convey may challenge people, but, I believe it is in everyone's best interest that the full truth be out there. If someone has a problem with the truth about this topic, I recommend that you go to another site. I consider the act of deleting my entry equivalent to spreading dissinformation.--DC Peaches 05:19, 27 June 2006 (UTC) (June 27, 2006)

(know enough about citing sources but I don't know why the blanks are there, so I'm not the one to fix it. anyone concerned please let me know if I can help. thanks, dzznologic2 17:41, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

This article now exists in Czech[edit]

Can anyone add the link to the czech version please?


Forgive me if there's a link in the article, but can anyone point me to a link for audio or video of Eisenhower's speech?—thegreentrilby 17:17, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

There is a link at MSU web page:

I have it on YouTube. Two parts -


This page needs a change in scope. Right now it's focused entirely on recent years and entirely on the United States, and that's too narrow on both counts. The military-industrial complex did not originate in the United States, nor is it the only country that has one. And just as importantly, the symbiosis of industry and military began long before Eisenhower coined a term for it. It was "new in the American experience", as Eisenhower put it, but it wasn't new in human experience.

I'll make a first attempt to add some context. Isomorphic 00:38, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Exactly what I was thinking. The European context certaintly has to be expanded since the economies of continental Europe have long been established along corporatist foundations (the co-ordinated market economy); meaning close relationships between governments, business and society. Furthermore, Europe does have an artisan manufacturing culture - MIC at a micro-level. Htra0497 04:15, 24 October 2006 (AET)

“Origin of the Term” contradicts itself[edit]

“The first public use of the term was by the Union of Democratic Control, formed by Sir Charles Trevelyan in the United Kingdom on 5 August 1914. --- “Although the term was originally coined to describe U.S. circumstances,…” A slight clarification on the latter point is needed. Changing “coined to describe” to “made popular as a description of” or similar, perhaps? -Ahruman 14:58, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

That's a good idea. – Quadell (talk) (random) 05:56, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
I've shortened the paragraph to a sentence, essentially it was saying the term can be, and has been used outside the 'mainstream' us application. It seemed a clumsy way of trying to saying that.Zaq12wsx 00:20, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Requesting comment on revision of the opening paragraph.[edit]


The term military-industrial complex (MIC) refers to a close and symbiotic relationship among a nation's armed forces, its private industry, and associated political and commercial interests. In such a system, the military is dependent on industry to supply material and other support, while the defense industry depends on government for a steady revenue stream.

The term is most often used in reference to the United States, where it gained popularity after its use in the farewell address of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. As pejorative terms, the "MIC" or the "iron triangle" refer to an institutionalised collusion among defense contractors (industry), The Pentagon (military), and the United States government (Congress, Executive branch), as a cartel that works against the public interest, and whose motivation is profiteering. The extent and the character of this corruption is a subject of debate.

-- COMMENT: seems biased and ungrounded to me. MIC is an acronym- It is not a pejorative. It is not a collusion. It is not a relationship. The characterization as cartel would require explanation. The "military complex" is a sector of the economy. MAY I SUGGEST THE FOLLOWING REVISED TEXT:

A military-industrial complex (MIC) is composed of a nation's armed forces, its suppliers of weapons systems, supplies and services, and its civil government.

The term "MIC" is most often used in reference to the United States, where it gained popularity after its use in the farewell address of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It is sometime 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 contractors, The Pentagon, and the (Congress and Executive branch). This sector is intrinsically prone to Principal-agent problem, moral hazard, and rent seeking. Cases of political corruption have also surfaced with regularity.

Toddboyle 04:40, 7 April 2007 (UTC)Toddboyle

The 'Origin of term' para. lacks the original reference - "The first public use of the term was by the Union of Democratic Control, formed by Sir Charles Trevelyan in the United Kingdom on 5 August 1914. Point Four of their pacifist manifesto declared:

4. National armaments should be limited by mutual agreement, and the pressures of the military-industrial complex regulated by the nationalisation of armaments firms and control over the arms trade. -- page 144, DeGroot, Gerard J. Blighty: British Society in the Era of the Great War, London & New York: Longman, 1996." There is no reference to the US at all. (talk) 20:55, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Charles Trevelyan's organization originated the phrase in 1914 in the UK - why the claim that the first use was in the US and 40 years later ? (talk) 19:28, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

I can't find any substantiation for the claim that the Union of Democratic Control originated this phrase. Nor can I find any source for the text given above for point 4 of their manifesto. Instead I find this:
"4. Great Britain shall propose, as part of the Peace Settlement, a plan for the drastic reduction, by consent, of the armaments of all the belligerent Powers, and to facilitate that policy shall attempt to secure the general nationalization of the manufacture of armaments and the control of the export of armaments by one country to another."
MrDemeanour (talk) 09:57, 14 December 2010 (UTC)


The article says "Reagan cloaked the nation and its national security state in the mantle of the Protestant covenant theology in a way that has become since the 1980s a shibboleth of the Republican Party—and of large parts of the Democratic Party as well."

I apologize for not having an official policy to point to, but I'm under the impression that Wikipedia's goal is to be accessible and informative. I have no idea what a "shibboleth" is, and while I'm sure that it's a popular word among English professors, I suspect that most people are left in the dark. I believe that large sections of this article would benefit from being rewritten in a more direct, less literary style. ("Cloaked in a mantle of Protestant theology" is too difficult to decipher if you're trying to quickly absorb an encyclopedic fact.)

Comrade4·2 17:13, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

I fully agree. My first school language (and thus the first language I learned to read and write) was English, and I learned it in the US. I recited "Four score and seven years ago" by the age of five, and even though I have lived in Europe for most of my life, I keep in touch with my sister, aunt and cousins in the US. I read news about US politics in English every week, and at least 2-3 books about the US society every year (usually more), those also in English. Despite of all this I can not understand the paragraph which contains the word "shibboleth" - in my honest opinion that paragraph is not encyclopedic English. Can someone please fix the language - and while you are at it, a few cited sources would not hurt, either. Yours, rather exasperated (because this is an article about an important concept, and should therefore be easy to understand) --Ronja 12:00, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

I removed that sentence; it was POV or at least original research. I also commented out the rest of the paragraph, since it is also vaguely OR. Benandorsqueaks (talk) 01:54, 29 November 2007 (UTC)\

"Shibboleth" has it's own article in wikipedia. It is a Biblical reference. Covenant theology has to do with Israel being God's favored nation. --Anonine (talk) 14:23, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

East India Company[edit]

The Honorable East India Company should qualify as the earliest MIC - it was single handedly responsible for adding many colonies and lands to the British Empire. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:43, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Military Industrial News/Media Complex[edit]

I've heard the phrase military-industrial-news complex, and also military-industrial-media complex used before. Anyone else hear this new addition, and should it at least get a mention on the page? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Talldean (talkcontribs) 19:40, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Eisenhower certainly popularized it, but go ahead and be WP:Bold and add in the info. with cirations ofcourse. Lihaas (talk) 23:33, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

I recall an X-Files episode where Mulder mentioned the "Military-Industrial-Entertainment" complex to some author. This was an episode where he was a bit more paranoid, in some ways, than usual.--T. Anthony (talk) 15:41, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

From the classic X-Files episode, "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space' " . . .

MULDER: . . . I also know that your publishing house is owned by Warden White, Incorporated... a subsidiary of MacDougall-Kesler, which makes me suspect a covert agenda for your book on the part of the military-industrial-entertainment complex. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Banchang (talkcontribs) 16:32, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Weapons create the most jobs[edit]

Can you add that making weapons creates the most jobs and thus, ends some poverty, but in a negative way; people who hate wars & weapons are forced to take the only jobs available making weapons? Starting wars also 'creates jobs' for people to join military. And only recently women could join military for a job rather than starve, marry for an income (from husband), be forced into prostitution, etc. Stars4change (talk) 18:05, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Paying people to create new kinds of paperwork and fill it out then throw it in the trash would also create jobs and end some poverty (as you said about jobs making weapons), and it has the added benefit of less people dieing. Is there a weapons shortage? I've heard of "terrorists" having problems getting enough weapons, but don't most others have enough? You talk about jobs as if paying money for something useless is ok. BenRayfield (talk) 13:17, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

"But in a negative way" implies NPOV, which is prohibited in Wikipedia. Want POV? Form a blog somewhere.Wzrd1 (talk) 04:57, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

No mention of WWII[edit]

I find it strange that WWII is not mentioned in the context of the rise of the MIC in the US. This has particular relevance since Eisenhower was directly involved in the development & use of the US MIC. My schoolboy history taught me that WWII contributed to a significant degree to ending the Great Depression in the US: is this not relevant? I am not going to introduce more unreferenced text to the article, but I'd appreciate it if someone more knowledgable than myself can look into it. Dhatfield (talk) 20:28, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Writing Style Problems[edit]

Parts of this article, like the beginning of the history section, aren't written in an encyclopedic style. I think there has been too much editing by different people and not enough overall revision. Someone needs to go over this article and do some major re-writing, so that it is easier to read and follow and includes only what is important. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:24, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Military Industrial Complex[edit]

The role of our leading universities in the military-industrial complex is seldom mentioned. Many universities collectively maintain offices in the pentagon. Their purpose is to aid in the administration of grants from the military to fund research programs at recipient universities. The roles of the Univ. of California in administering Los Alamos National Laboratories, Cal-Tech in our space programs and Princeton in spearheading cryptography technology are obvious examples but there are numerous others. The pervasiveness of the military not only in America but all over the globe is a major factor in foreign policy. ```` —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:22, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

"Many universities collectively maintain offices in the pentagon", unsourced, no citations, ignored and rightfully so. The rest is rather a paranoid rant, as it ALSO is unsourced and OR.Wzrd1 (talk) 04:59, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Trivia moved from Article to Talk[edit]

  • The Bob Dylan song "Masters of War" was written about the military-industrial complex.
  • The Eugene McDaniels song "Headless Heroes" is also about the military-industrial complex. It is famously rumored that Spiro Agnew contacted Atlantic Records to have the album containing the song discontinued.[1]
  • The concept of the military-industrial complex was heavily examined in the 2005 documentary film Why We Fight.
  • President Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell address is featured, in slightly edited form, at the beginning of the 1991 film JFK. The overarching thesis of the controversial film is that President John F. Kennedy was murdered by conspiracists operating at the highest levels of the military-industrial complex, in part, because of Kennedy's supposed opposition to the Vietnam War.
  • The Eisenhower farewell address footage is used in a trailer for the video game Army of Two.
  • A select portion of the speech is included in the song "End of Days (Part 2)" by the band Ministry on their final studio album The Last Sucker.
  • The Rage Against The Machine song "Bulls on Parade" alludes to the military-industrial complex. ("Weapons not food, not homes, not shoes, not need just feed the war cannibal animal... What we don't know keeps the contracts alive and moving").
  • Sci-fi series Ghost in the Shell uses the term frequently to describe the economic state of certain countries in their future setting. Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG also portrays attempts to create a military-industrial complex in Japan by means of coup d'état.
  • The video game Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots uses the concept of the military-industrial complex holding up the world's economy by the money made through constant fighting. Similarly, in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes Kenneth Baker stated to Solid Snake after the latter realized that he bribed the military to create REX that he should just call it the military-industrial complex.
  • In the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four it is explained that the endless wars fought in it were solely for economic reasons very much like the military-industrial complex.
  • The Matthew Reilly novel Scarecrow has as its major antagonists a group of leaders of a worldwide military-industrial complex, hellbent on starting a worldwide war to increase its profits.
  • The video game Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution contains the Military-Industrial Complex as one of its wonders, which you can build after discovering The Corporation.
  • The Juan Bosch book: El Pentagonismo, Sustituto del Imperialismo (Pentagonism, substitute of the imperialism), refers constantly to the military-industrial complex and is based around the theory or fact that the United States is a Pentagonized society which international policy is not controlled by the civil government, it is controlled by the Pentagonism that needs frequent wars anywhere so it can generate wealth by the creation of industries, and jobs created by the weapon manufacture contracts, etc.
  • The cinema-concert Prophecies of War uses Eisenhower's inaugural and military industrial complex speech as the basis for the production.
  • The dad from Dharma & Greg frequently referred to this.
  • Comedian and social critic Bill Hicks makes multiple references to the military industrial complex in his Revelations.
  • Characters in the 1997 film Cube (film) speculate that the maze-like structure of deadly traps they find themselves in was constructed by the military-industrial complex. The discussion leads to a revelation for Dr. Helen Holloway that the truly dangerous aspect of a military-industrial complex is that the enormity and convoluted nature of such a social organization can lead to an emergent and unintended project such as the cube they seek to escape.

Fifty years events[edit]

Should we list them? In a new section?

And etc. Hcobb (talk) 21:28, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Per content change name to Military-industrial-governmental complex?[edit]

Per content change name to Military-industrial-governmental complex? (talk) 20:29, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Use the correct tag {{RM}} and the correct name (en-dashs), and we'll see. However, as the military is normally part of the government, more edits would be required. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:22, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
..., and we'll see? Please, tone-down the attitude self-described royal we. (talk) 00:38, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
User:Arthur Rubin, please put tag {{RM}} and the correct name (en-dashs in context, if your comment was worth the effort. (talk) 01:21, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I think it's a bad idea, per WP:COMMONNAME. In general, we use the name used by reliable sources.... Although the google test is not definitive, "military-industrial-governmental complex" has 9.020 hits, while "military-industrial complex" has about 1.59×106 hits. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 10:33, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Still, if you want to formally propose the move, I won't stop you. If the move is made without being formally proposed, I'll revert until adequate discussion favors it. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 10:36, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I do not believe the change is warranted. "military-industrial complex" is better known. WikiWilliamP (talk) 20:10, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I'll also concur with WikiWilliamP's view. Military-industrial complex is FAR better known overall.Wzrd1 (talk) 05:03, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Iron Triangle of Government[edit]

Why is there no mention of the fact that the "Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex" is nothing but an Iron Triangle of Government? This is nothing new, and the Military Industrial Complex is no longer even the largest Iron Triangle in the US Government, a look at the last Budget or scheme of Federal Spending will show you it might be the third largest triangle. And no, this is not original research. (talk) 03:54, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Something Helpful[edit]

Here is John F.Kennedy's speech on Secret Societies and the Military Industrial Complex That They Conrol — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:10, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Subjective introduction paragraph[edit]

Don't know how this snuck into the introduction, but this paragraph offers no evidence for its very bold claims:

Neither the events in 1930s Germany nor Eisenhower's 1961 warning prevented the adaptation of this sequence of events in the United States. Since 1980, the United States has been driving hard to accomplish full integration of fascist ideology into its 'democratic republic' and in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, this has come to fruition.

Calder 20:42, 18 February 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Calder (talkcontribs)

  1. ^ Chris Dahlen, "The righteous music of the Left Rev. McDaniels" -