If War Comes, Don't Blame The "Military-Industrial Complex" – It's Much Worse Than You Think

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

As the drumbeat intensifies for what might turn out to be anything but a «splendid little war» against North Korea, it is appropriate to take stock of the ongoing, seemingly successful effort to strip President Donald Trump of his authority to make any foreign and national security policies that fly against the wishes of the so-called Military-Industrial Complex, or MIC. A Google search for «Military-Industrial Complex» (in quotation marks) with «Trump» yields almost 450,000 hits from all sources and almost 26,000 from just news sources.

During the 2016 campaign and into the initial weeks of his administration, Trump was sometimes described as a threat to the MIC. But over time, with the appointment to his administration of more generals and establishment figures (including some allegedly tied to George Soroswhile purging Trump loyalists, it’s no surprise that his policies increasingly seem less a departure from those of previous administrations than a continuation of them (for example, welcoming Montenegro into NATO). Some now say that Trump is the MIC’s best friend and maybe always was. 

There are those who deny that the MIC exists at all. One self-described conservative blogger writing in the pro-war, pro-intervention, and mostly neoconservative National Review refers to the very existence of the MIC as a «myth» peddled by the «conspiracy-minded». Sure, it is conceded, it was appropriate to refer to such a concept back when President Dwight Eisenhower warned against it in 1961 upon his impending departure from the White House, because back then the military consumed some 10 percent of the American GDP. But now, when the percentage is nominally just 3.2 percent, less than $600 billion per year, the term supposedly is inapplicable. (There are those who argue that the real cost annually is over $1 trillion, but why quibble.) 

There is a germ of truth contained in the reference to money. Compared to the «wars of choice» that have characterized US global behavior since the end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, the MIC of the 1950s and 1960s was relatively less likely to embark upon foreign military escapades. The existence of a world-class nuclear-armed foe in the form of the USSR moderated tendencies toward adventurism. The most serious «combat» the classic MIC preferred to engage in was inter-service battles for budgetary bounty. Reportedly, once General Curtis LeMay, head of the Air Force’s Strategic Air Command, was briefed by a junior officer who repeatedly referred to the USSR as «the enemy». LeMay supposedly interrupted to correct him: «Young man, the Soviet Union is our adversary. Our enemy is the Navy». 

But today the «Military-Industrial Complex» is an archaic term that doesn’t begin to describe the complexity and influence of current structures. Indeed, even in Eisenhower’s day the MIC was more than a simple duplex consisting of the Pentagon and military contractors but also included an essential third leg: the Congressional committees that provide the money constituting the MIC’s lifeblood. (Reportedly, an earlier draft of the speech used the term «military-industrial-Congressional» complex, a fuller description of what has come to be called the «Iron Triangle». Asked about the omission from the final text, Eisenhower is said to have answered: «It was more than enough to take on the military and private industry. I couldn't take on the Congress as well».) 

Not only did the Iron Triangle continue to expand during the Cold War, when production of military hardware established itself as the money-making nucleus of the MIC, it swelled to even greater proportions after the designated enemy, the USSR, went out of business in 1991. While for one brief shining moment there was naïve discussion of a «Peace Dividend» that would provide relief for American taxpayers from whose shoulders the burden of a «long twilight struggle» against communism (in John Kennedy’s phrase) had been lifted, that notion faded quickly. Instead, not only did the «hard» side of the MIC maintain itself – first in Iraq to fight «naked aggression» by Saddam Hussein in Kuwait, then in the Balkans in the 1990s as part of NATO’s determination to go «out of area or out of business» – it then branched out into «soft» areas of control.

In the past quarter century what began as Eisenhower’s MIC has become a multifaceted, hybrid entity encompassing an astonishing range and depth in both the public and private sectors. To a large extent, the contours of what former Congressional staffer Mike Lofgren has called the «Deep State» (which largely through Lofgren’s efforts has since become a household word) are those of the incestuous «expert» community that dominates mainstream media thinking but extend beyond it to include elements of all three branches of the US government, private business (especially the financial industry, government contractors, information technology), think tanks, NGOs (many of which are anything but «nongovernmental» but are funded by US official agencies and those of our «allies», satellites, and clients), higher education (especially the recipients of massive research grants from the Department of Defense), and the two political parties and their campaign operatives, plus the multitude of lobbyists, campaign consultants, pollsters, spin doctors, media wizards, lawyers, and other functionaries. 

Comparing the MIC of 1961 to its descendant, the Deep State of today, is like comparing a horse and buggy to a Formula One racecar. The Deep State’s principals enjoy power and privileges that would have brought a blush to the cheeks of members of the old Soviet nomenklatura, of which it is reminiscent. 

Indeed, the Deep State’s creepy resemblance to its late Soviet counterpart is manifest in its budding venture into the realm of seeking to brand domestic American dissent as treason, to the hearty approval of the loony Left. As described by Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

‘The government would never compile, analyze, and target private news outlets just because they deviate from the official neocon Washington line.


‘Perhaps not yet. But some US government funded «non-governmental» organizations are already doing just that.


‘The German Marshall Fund has less to do with Germany these days than it did when founded after WWII as a show of appreciation for the US Marshall Fund. These days it’s mostly funded by the US government, allied governments (especially in the Russia-hating Baltics), neocon grant-making foundations, and the military-industrial complex. Through its strangely Soviet-sounding »Alliance for Securing Democracy» project it has launched something called «Hamilton 68: A New Tool to Track Russian Disinformation on Twitter».


‘This project monitors 600 Twitter accounts that the German Marshall Fund claims are «accounts that are involved in promoting Russian influence and disinformation goals». Which accounts does this monitor? It won’t tell us. How does it choose which ones to monitor? It won’t tell us. To what end? Frighteningly, it won’t tell us.


‘How ironic that something called the German Marshall Fund is bringing Stasi-like tactics to silence alternative media and opinions in the United States!’

The Soviet nomenklatura gave up without a fight. It’s unlikely its American counterpart will. Whether Trump in the end decides to fight or to seek accommodation is still under debate. Some suggest that by signing the recent bill imposing sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea, he has already surrendered. But either way, war or not, things are going to get very rocky.

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DjangoCat's picture

Then you be missing the point, bro.

1.21 jigawatts's picture

Yeah, we go to war with Israel's neighbors but thats just a mere cohencidence.

illuminatus's picture

And it all gets paid for by the reserve currency of the world which is nothing but a house of cards. Amazing.

Give Me Some Truth's picture

The World Reserve Currency makes all of the above possible. All you need to know:



Give Me Some Truth's picture

The World Reserve Currency makes all of the above possible. All you need to know:

The "Deep State/Establishment/Powers that Be/Neocons, etc" Must. Protect. The. Printing. Press.

Just about everything that happens that is discussed here can be explained by the pursuit of this objective.

1. Rigging of Precious Metals Markets

2. Rigging of Stock markets

3. Lies about the true state of the economy

4. The "necessity" of More government programs, more laws, more regulations, more departments, more agencies, more employees

5. The Creation of new "crises"

The government will always want/need to do more to protect us; banks and big corporations will become ever closer to their protectors and benefactors in government, and will do what it can to protect same

This program IS massive and all-incompassing. The "watch dog" press has also been co-opted and is now fully a part of the "club." 

Those who question this are fewer and farther between and are labeled as "kooks" or "traitors," at best people who don't love or care about their country.

DjangoCat's picture

Got me my tin foil hat, and am loading up on alternatives.  Good passage brother.

Benito_Camela's picture

The press now comprises the "Infotainment" arm of the MIIISBC. Where the other I is Intelligence and the B is Bankers.

Seasmoke's picture

A World War and a Civil War at the same time. Good Luck

idontcare's picture

Think like a Ferengi - how can we profit from this?!

Irving Phelps's picture

We are being fed such a bag of shit by the MSM!

Rick Cerone's picture

War is an excuse to push the Ponzi central bank debt scheme until financial genocide is complete. All is going according to plan.

idontcare's picture

....financial genocide for you and me...

... a jubilee year for the bankers


amadeus39's picture

What must I do to become a bankster? They seem to have all the money and all the fun.


amadeus39's picture

How can I become a banker?


aloha_snakbar's picture

Go to ivy league college

1) Graduate Summa Cum Rolodex

2)Buy knee pads and suck a lot of dick

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

"Not only did the Iron Triangle continue to expand during the Cold War, when production of military hardware established itself as the money-making nucleus of the MIC, it swelled to even greater proportions after the designated enemy, the USSR, went out of business in 1991"...

No thanks to you and your formative education at the State Department you elitist psychopathic freak!

You and Jeremiah Johnson a.k.a. Green Beret God need to find a cheap hotel and ass rape one another with congratulations for not working on the problem when you both believed you were at the "top of your game" working for the same "firm" that you are now castigating that GOT U.S. TO THIS PLACE!

Where have you been the last 16 years when you were still wearing your badge when this came out (http://www.ae911truth.org/)?

Thanks for being the tip of the spear that took the pension, kept your mouth shut and "looked the other way"...


FreeNewEnergy's picture

I am in complete agreement with Son of Captain Nemo on calling out the "new religionists" that worked for the MIC and now want to spilll the beans.

You and Jeremiah Johnson a.k.a. Green Beret God need to find a cheap hotel and ass rape one another with congratulations...

...and bring along David Stockman and Paul Craig Roberts. I hear they like to watch.

This is the paradox we must acknowledge, that, if and when the structure of slavery known as government, finance, and society completes its collapse, the same people who erected the edifice of control will return to "save the world," as did Greenspan and Bernanke in the aftermaths of the dotcom/9-11 bust and the GFC.

Being trusting and gullible, and having no solutions of their own, common people will look for familiar(friendly) faces for salvation. It's a horribly mistaken strategy, along the lines of Stockholm syndrome, i.e., loving your oppressor.

The turth, if it is to be found, lies within each of us, in the deep recesses of our minds and consciences, knowing right from wrong and able to detect fraud and abuse. The gut feeling that something is just not right is an intuitive self-preservation mechanism that has been flattened and denied.

Malcolm Gladwell expounded on this concept in his book, "Blink."


Civilization can do better.

DoctorFix's picture

Sweet Jesus!...Here we go again with Eisenhowers  MIC speech again.  If that speech was to prove anything, and the fact that it came from someone firmly ensconced within the belly of the beast speaks volumes, is that nothing would ever be done to stop it's progress by rubes who love to point to it as being some sort of iconic " expose' ".  It's not.  It has been, like the Constitution, a big elitist multi-generational middle finger.

Dickweed Wang's picture

Yeah you wonder about Eisenhower's speech on the threat of the M.I.C. when that guy almost from birth was the consummate M.I.C. insider.  I'm not disputing that he made valid points in that speech but rather I'm (still) trying to figure out why someone like him would all of a sudden feel compelled to warn Americans against something he had been an integral part of for at least 25 years.  The only thing I can come up with is that his conscience was getting to him or something as he was leaving the presidency.

UselessEater's picture

Eisenhower was satan incarnate!

the Allied mass murder of the German people after the end of World War II during which the Allies, led by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, murdered approximately 1.5 million German prisoners of war through intentional starvation and exposure to the elements.

Ace006's picture

And he supported Operation Keelhaul, an utter disgrace to the Western world.

caesium's picture

On his final day in office Benedict XVI pretty well accused American theologians of working for the CIA at the Second Vatican Council in 1962-1965. This is the council where he, as a young theologian (already brainwashed by seventeen years of allied occupation), had made his bones to begin his own stellar career. It was no secret that he thought the Council a disaster.

Arkadin's picture

Eisenhower refused to intervene in Hungary in 1956, gave Israel, Britain and France the cold shoulder over Suez (much to the continuning consternation of the neo-cons), promised to end the Korean War shorlly after assuming office (and did), launched no wars in 8 years in office, and deported Mexican illegals en masse.  He was more complex than you seem to realize.  An internationalist perhaps, but no globalist (there's a difference).  And with such a record, his MIC speech does not read like hypocrisy.

In any case, Mr. Jatras hits the nail on the head with this article.





Déjà view's picture

Mosaddegh etc...familiar?

Arkadin's picture

Eisenhower refused to intervene in Hungary in 1956, gave Israel, Britain and France the cold shoulder over Suez (much to the continuning consternation of the neo-cons), promised to end the Korean War shorlly after assuming office (and did), launched no wars in 8 years in office, and deported Mexican illegals en masse.  He was more complex than you seem to realize.  An internationalist perhaps, but no globalist (there's a difference).  And with such a record, his MIC speech does not read like hypocrisy.

In any case, Mr. Jatras hits the nail on the head with this article.





Disgruntled Goat's picture

Search term: "Operation Wetback"..... please use DuckDuckGo

caesium's picture

Thanks for the contribution. Was the 1950's Iranian coup authorised by Ike? There is a theory that this was the first example of the deep state going full retard. For all we know Ike had a golf game that day and simply didn't give it his full attention but why let the British get way with that one when he blocked Suez?

Matteo S.'s picture

Well, a clever deep-stater may intentionally warn that the MIC needs not to cannibalize its host if the MIC is to live long.

Think of Gorbatchev. He did not intend to destroy the USSR. He just wanted to reform it so it would last.

No Statesman, unless a saint or a foreign agent, would ever try destroying the MIC and the Derp State of his country. Because if he ever did, he would be detected and terminated by the Deep State of his country.

FixItAgainTony's picture

The Dulles brothers got to Eisenhower. They found his psychological weakness which was Ike did not want to lose any more US servicemen in conflicts, and exploited it to build the dirty tricks CIA/State Department hydra.

See Talbot's excellent but soul destroying book, _The Devil's Chessboard_.

Ace006's picture

Wrong on the Constitution, Doc, but good instincts on Ike. Far as I know, he never said one word about the MIC after he left office. Couldn't have been that important to him.

haha-clinton-dix's picture

Let's say all those military leaders go away. Everyone goes home. Do we become more or less violent?

TuPhat's picture

This problem is not going away by writing articles or by commenting on them.  It will get worse.

uhland62's picture

Very true, but changig mindset and behaviour is very difficult, when people high on the thought of destroying other people. It doesn't matter who gets elected.

One day something will happen to teach them a lesson, but we cannot say when and what. Everything in life is a phase, applies to Full Spectrum Dominance, too.

slobbermut's picture

All spelled out in the Book of Revelation mate...that 'something' of which you speak is unfolding before our very eyes - you can only escape on an individual basis; no worries here....'Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid'.

dsty's picture

actually it is the Jew hating crowd at ZH that is starting the war

just say'n

amadeus39's picture

I don't hate jews. How can I become one? They seem to have all the money and power and seem to have a lot of fun.


Toshie's picture

James George Jatras , like many of his fellow American sheeple , continue to be trumped by the easily cooked and served Trump phenomena.

The Matrix is still in control.

stant's picture

Ain't no secret wepons to save your stinking ass, the money was stolen. They always loot the treasury at the end of empire. Stant out

Gallumhrasha's picture

currency is more of a belief than value nowadays

trailer park boys's picture

My cousin Rick belongs to the Deep State. He's a civilian who fixes F16's at an Air Force Base in Utah. He and all his coworkers vote to keep their jobs. The military at Hill AFB all vote to keep their Air Force jobs. The senators and representatives from Utah were elected to keep those jobs safe. Their mandate is to vote for a larger defense budget and never question the next US military adventure. Multiply that times 50 and you start getting the idea. There are over 2 million employees in the Defense Department - over 800,000 are civilians. The Defense Department spent over $600 billion in 2014 alone, including hundreds of civilian defense contractors - Lockheed-Martin alone pocketed $32 billion. Now add in billions in arms purchases from foreign countries. Add in greater staffing and budgets for the State Department and the Intelligence Agencies in times of war. Wall Street banks, the oil industry - war is big business - millions of jobs and billions of dollars. No Congressperson will ever vote to reign in the Deep State - THEIR very jobs depend on it.

slobbermut's picture

Don't agree with "No Congressman will ever vote to reign in the Deep State....."


But agree, not anywhere near enough of them will.  America needs 50 'Ron Pauls/Rand Pauls'...alas, that also seems unlikely since there seems to be too small a percentage of US voters who genuinely can't be fooled into voting for counterfeits who lack the appropriate track record of genuinely conservative/libertarian/anti-DS advocacy.



trailer park boys's picture

At first I thought you disagreed because it should be 'reined in'. Not 'reigned in'. I was just going by the last vote in congress to further sanction Russia - only a handful out of 535 voted against the measure.

konadog's picture

That's basically it. When more than 50% feed from the public trough, it's downhill from there until the final currency collapse.

Rebelrebel7's picture

Was the headline supposed to be a joke?! Of course I blame them! Follow the money! 190,000 co.panies are now included in including all major media outlets, so yes, the government has already targeted the entire establishment media,  and those "journalists anx reporters" are also on The Council of Foreign Relations! With jack asses like Wolf Blitzer, Fareed Zakharia, and Chris Mathews setting foreign policy, we have every right to be horrified!

Defense contractors have been dictating our defense needs to the government and telling the government how much the US will have to pay them in protection money just like the mafia! GE was doing this in the 1980s! I'm sure that the others must have been also!

I'd like to shove a missile up everyone of those fucking assholes!

Wild E Coyote's picture

I think the author is trying to say that MIC is not the only player anymore, which wants to benefit from warmongering. 

Today you have CIA, FBI, DOJ, State Department, NGOs, MSM, Congress, Senate all involved in the foreign wars.

War in afghanistan was not about making weapons to benefit MIC, but was a giant construction project where nothing was built with billions stolen.  There was CIA air lifting of opium. mercenaries guarding opium fields. DOJ was colloborating in pardoning mercenaries, killers. FBI was involved in covering up all state department activities even the most ugly ones.

 The author is right. MIC was just a small part of the whole war scheme. 


JelloBeyonce's picture

Forget the MIC, or the Iron Triangle, or the Deep State, or the 1 percent, or whatever.
The Transnational Capitalist Class, or Super Class, are the .001 percent. They are the wealthiest and most powerful individuals on earth. They own & control most everything.

They own & control the mega-corporations that own & control the largest industries in the MIC.
They have the power to make or break the careers of the most powerful military, security, and defense bureaucratic elite in the MIC.

They have the wealth & power to make or break the careers of the most powerful "Deep State" participants.

They have the wealth & power to control the .01 percent, whom control the .1 percent, whom control the 1 percent.

There are the .001 percent, with everyone else serving as their servants. The most loyal of these servants are allow some upward mobility.

The .001 percent are the Lords, the rest of us mere serfs (yet of varying degrees of hierarchical status)

The term "Praetorian Guard" was used in Ancient Rome to describe a unit of the Imperial Roman Army formed of elite soldiers. They were first, hand-picked veterans of the Roman Army in charge of providing close protection security details to the Emperor, ensuring the Emperors continues reign, and wealth.

The .001 percent are the new Emperors, their most trusted and loyal servants their Praetorian Guard, ensuring obedience and compliance from the Serfs below.

Everything you do, hear, read, watch, eat, listen to, buy, and even think, comes at the origination and approval of the .001 percent, the new Feudal Lords.

Even "alternative" sources of media, products, food, etc. rely on the top-tier of these Feudal Lords (as such, even ZeroHedge cannot operate without purchasing domains & hosting from the companies that operate under the authority of the Feudal Lords, Farmers growing food rely on seeds from the largest chemical companies controlled by the .001 percent. Every small, independently owned companies rely on loans or distribution or services provided by the larger companies owned by the .001 percent).

Everything gets funneled back to the .001 percent.