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In 2014, the United States spent nearly a trillion dollars on national defense.
The military budget alone made up more than the next 7 highest spending countries combined.
With nearly 20% of federal budget going towards defense, it's clear that the economy as
well as the US's international status, are extremely dependent on this continued spending.
So, why do we spend so much?
What exactly is the military-industrial-complex?
Well, the term is most attributed to President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
He was one of the highest ranked generals in US history, and served during World War
As he left office in 1961, he advised that military power was necessary to maintain peace.
However, he warned against the military-industrial complex, or the self perpetuating relationship
between the economy, the military, and the government.
In the mid 1940s, the US government began shifting away from producing all of their
own military equipment.
Instead of attempting to create monopolized government industries, they started offering
defense contracts to private companies.
As military technology became increasingly complex, the amount of money the government
was willing to spend increased as well.
This led to massive payouts and intense competition to secure those defense contracts.
The Cold War created a situation where no direct fighting was going on, but the US was
still forced to militarily outspend their enemy, the Soviet Union.
This led to massive spending and military stockpiling costing over 10 trillion dollars.
Today, the Department of Defense employs 3 million people directly.
They also indirectly employ another 3 million through defense contracts.
2 and a half million more are employed through the US military.
Effectively, a good portion of the US economy relies on the ability of the government to
continue financing war-planning.
Massive companies like Lockheed Martin and Boeing derive significant percentages of income
from defense contracts.
In recent years, the entire world spent about 1.7 trillion on military expenditures.
The US comprises nearly half of that figure.
This cycle incentivizes continued military expansion.
Unfortunately, this expansion is based on a necessity to defend oneself.
When there is no threat, there is no reason to invest, and millions could be out of a
Some have described this situation as creating a “psychological, moral, and material interest”
in propagating military development, and international crisis.
In his Farewell Address, Eisenhower said “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted
influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex.”
There is no question that that's already happened.
But whether or not it has led to abuses of power, or a decay in liberty and democracy,
is an often debated topic.
Considering the substantial impact of the military in the US's political, economic,
and social process, it certainly seems that it might be too deeply ingrained to ever go
If you want to learn more about how the military-industrial-complex manifests itself in actual wars, check out
our video on private defense contractors fighting overseas.
Thanks for watching, make sure to like and subscribe, for new videos every day.


Why Does America Love Its Military So Much?

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葉品銳 2019 年 8 月 12 日 に公開
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