Unwarranted Influence: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military-Industrial Complex

Unwarranted Influence coverUnwarranted Influence: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military-Industrial Complex

by James Ledbetter, editor in charge of Reuters.com. Yale University Press, 2011.

I grew up in a Republican family admiring Ike as a military leader and a president. People said “Everybody likes Ike.” After reading this book, now I know why. Raised in a Mennonite family, he became a distinguished top military leader, president of Columbia University, and then president of the U.S..  Still he was unprepared for what he encountered. What he called “the military-industrial complex” was already in place. It controlled much public policy independent of and often contrary to the wishes of the president/commander-in-chief.

At the end of his second term, he was disappointed at not being able to do more to set the country on the right track for world peace and human betterment. He gave a powerful farewell address warning the nation about “the military-industrial complex”, which today we may call the military-corporate-congressional complex that relies on a perpetual war economy. It created a garrison state and is bankrupting the country–funding the war machine at the cost of public services and individual freedoms.

Fifty years after Ike’s speech, this book is well worth reading to get a better understanding of what todays protests are about. I think Ike would be quite supportive of them. Get it at the public library or Amazon.com.

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