by Elliott Morss
In the 20th and 21st Centuries, the US has been at war far more than any other nation. And recently, US wars appear to be increasingly unfocused and unproductive. Back in 1961, Eisenhower warned about the growing power of the military-industrial complex.
I quote at length from his speech given on January 17, 1961, three days before he left office:
My fellow Americans:
We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America’s leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.
Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties….