The Costs of the Military-Industrial Complex

In 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower gave his now famous farewell speech about the military industrial complex. He said we must never let the weight of the disastrous rise of misplaced power endanger our liberties or democratic process. He said, “Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

What would he say today? In 1938, the U.S. had 14 overseas bases. Today, there are over 800 bases in 156 countries. The U.S. military spends $1.75 billion per day. In February, President Obama announced the largest military budget since World War II. The baseline budget, plus the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the 30,000 extra troops that the President is sending to Afghanistan equals $741 billion – and it’s expected to grow in the coming years.

On Your Call, we continue our Agenda for a New Economy series by talking about the state of the military industrial complex and its impact on the larger economy. Where is all of that money going? Who’s benefiting? Where’s the transparency and where are the calls for cuts?

Press play to listen to “Your Call” with Rose Aguilar:

Press play to listen to “Your Call” with Rose Aguilar:


  • Paul Martin – Political and Communications Director of Peace Action
  • John Arquilla – Professor and Director of the Information Operations Center at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA

Your Call is daily call-in show on KALW 91.7 FM in San Francisco and 88.9 FM in Santa Cruz.