MODERATES ARE TOTAL CHAMPIONS OF THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX | 2002-08-24
"The military-industrial complex" is a term coined by President Eisenhower. It is pointed to today as the phrase a great moderate used to warn against the right.
As you might suspect, the military-industrial complex never had a better all-out champion than Dwight David Eisenhower.
Europe came out of World War II in ruins and the United States had to provide for its defense against the Soviet Union. But by 1959 Europe was back on its feet. There were far more people in Western Europe than in the Soviet bloc and they were far, far richer than the USSR and Eastern Europe.
So by 1959 it was time for Europe to take on a fair share of its own defense and give American taxpayers, not to mention young American draftees, a break.
But if American military expenditures went down, that meant the American military-industrial complex Republicans were devoted to would be cut.
So in 1959, Europe said it didn't want to do all that drafting and spending. It wanted the US to do all the drafting and spending and defending while Europe remained a military welfare case.
Eisenhower went to Europe personally and guaranteed them that this boondoggle would not only continue, it would increase. To this day, the idea that Europe should have to protect itself is considered the height of Evil American Provincialism.
But it wasn't liberals or conservatives who made the decision to put Europe on a permanent military dole. It was that denouncer of the "military-industrial complex," the moderate Republican Dwight Eisenhower.