Eisenhower's "military- industrial complex" speech remains relevant

January 13, 2011

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In his farewell speech on January 17, 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the "military-industrial complex."

Next Monday is the 50th anniversary of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell address. His remarks are best remembered for a warning to the American public in which he coined the phrase the “military-industrial complex.” During the half century that followed, America flexed its military might and the country’s arms industry expanded to keep pace, forming the powerful allegiance Eisenhower predicted. Though prescient as it was, the speech also included wise advice beyond that unforgotten phrase. Susan Eisenhower, a national security expert and the granddaughter of the 34th president, tells us about the speech’s legacy and its relevance today.