Procurement: The Military-Industrial Complex Strikes Back

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June 16, 2009: The United States is cutting weapons purchases by 20 percent next year. That means $33 billion less sales for American manufacturers. That's going to mean sharp cuts for the five U.S. manufacturers that account for most of the sales. These five corporations, led by Boeing (with about $30 billion in annual sales), have unleashed their lobbyists to try and reverse some of these cuts. The lobbyists have some powerful allies. Politicians from the states, and congressional districts where the equipment is made, are sensitive to the job loss. These threatened politicians often work together to keep these jobs, and they are a formidable coalition.

This is not a new problem. Half a century ago, president Dwight Eisenhower, a former general and World War II hero, warned of the "military-industrial" complex. At the time, no one paid much attention. By Eisenhower's admonition proved prophetic, and right on target.

 


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