Military-industrial-congressional complex

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Group.png Military-industrial-congressional complex   Sourcewatch SpartacusRdf-icon.png
Military-industrial-congressional complex.png
Unofficial logo
Motto Profit In Blood And In Chains
Type informal
Interests Perpetual war
Interest of Dwight D. Eisenhower
Eisenhower in the Oval Office.jpg

The phrase Military-industrial-congressional complex was coined in a speech given by Dwight Eisenhower (written by Malcolm Moos and Ralph E. Williams[1]) in his farewell address from the White House on 17th January, 1961. Roughly the same concept is also referred to as the permanent war economy.


Eisenhower's speech was an important warning not given much attention at the time, presumably since the CIA's Operation Mockingbird had already given the deep state a high degree of control over the corporate media.

Original Reference

“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. 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.”
Dwight Eisenhower (January 17, 1960)  - [2]



Eisenhower's original speech talked of the "Military-industrial-congressional complex", but this was edited out before he gave the speech. The formula is so simple, that it has given rise to various different permutations for expressing a similar ideas, depending upon which elements particular authors wish to emphasise.

Military-industrial-media complex

Some authors refer to a military-industrial-media complex, emphasising the essential role of the commercially-controlled media in promoting war and militarism.[3] Even disregarding known CIA projects such as Operation Mockingbird, the case for deep state control of the corporate media, and their wedding to the interests of the permanent war economy is compelling. General Electric owns 49% of NBC, and is a subcontractor for the Tomahawk cruise missiles and Patriot II missiles, which were used extensively during the Gulf War. GE also manufactures components for the B-2 stealth bomber and B-52 bomber and the E-3 AWACS aircraft which were also used extensively during the conflict. General Electric received around $2 billion in defense contracts related to weapons which would be used in Gulf War and the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq.[4]

Military-industrial-intelligence complex

Many authors such as Mark Gorton[5], David DeGraw[6], William Blum[7] and Peter Dale Scott have talked about a Military-industrial-intelligence complex, noting the central place of intelligence agencies in the machinery of the deep state.

Industrial-intelligence complex

Tom Secker produced a podcast on "The Intelligence Industrial Complex".[8]

Other complexes

Sometimes the structure is used to describe different but analagous patterns of malignly interconnected groups, such as the 'Prison-Educational Complex'[9], 'Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex'[10] or the 'Global Banking Intelligence Complex'.[11]


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
American War Machinebook introduction1 November 2010Peter Dale Scott
Sins of Statecraft - The War on Terror Exposedpaper29 July 2006Brian Bogart

Related Quotations

Dwight D. Eisenhower“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. These plain and cruel truths define the peril and point the hope that come with this spring of 1953.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower16 April 1953
Terrorism“Terrorism is not really an '-ism'. There's no connection between the Sandinistas who fought the Contras and Al Qaida or Colombia's FARC and fisherman turned pirates in Africa and Asia, yet they are all called "terrorists". That's just a convenient way for your government to convince the world that there is another enemy '-ism' out there, like communism used to be. It diverts attention from the very real problems.

Our narrow-minded attitudes and the resultant policies foment violence, rebellion and wars. In the long run, almost noone benefits from attacking the people we label as "terrorists", with one, glaring exception:- the corporatocracy. Those who own and run the companies that build the ships, missiles and armoured vehicles, make guns, uniforms and bulletproof vests, distribute food, soft drinks and ammunition, provide insurance, medicines and toilet paper, constructions ports, airstrips and housing and reconstruct devastated villages, schools, factories and hospitals. They, and only they, are the big winners. The rest of us are hoodwinked by that one, loaded word "terrorist".

The current economic collapse has awakened us to the importance of regulating and reining in the people who control the businesses that benefit from the misuse of words like "terrorism" and who perpetrate other scams. We recognize today that white collar executives are not a special, incorruptible breed.”
Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann