We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.

The academic-military-industrial complex is Big Science as far as im concerned. During WW2 the federal government had to take unprecedented involvement in public affairs to win the war. It mobilized the general public, engineers, scientists and universities to contribute to the war effort. This then created the academic-military-industrial complex as the government gave massive amounts of funding to academia. Which they then used to contribute to the advancement and development of technologies that helped win the war such as radar, and the nuclear bomb. After the war ended it was clear that there were benefits to the academic-military-industrial complex, with new industries being created that civilians could work in when returning home, and that it had helped establish safety and security in the world by defeating the Nazis and Japanese. Vannevar Bush(Head of  US department of Scientific research and Development during WW2) “suggested that civilian -especially academic- engineers and scientists could contribute to american security and welfare. By calling for a permanent government institution(the National Research Fund) to fund and coordinate scientific research.”(Smith and Clancey Pg. 428) 

 Vannevar Bush was a leader in making “big science” and the academic-military-industrial complex. He was a leading proponent in establishing a permanent government ran agency that distributed funds to institutions, in order for them to advance and develop technologies. He thought “A Nation which depends on others for its new basic scientific knowledge will be slow in its industrial progress and weak in its competitive position in world trade”(Smith and Clancey Pg. 431) He thought the academic-military-industrial complex good far outweighed the bad, and he didn’t think there was much bad in it. 

Dwight Eisenhower was a Key general in winning WW2 and the 34th President of the US. He was a famous farewell address and quote about the military-industrial complex “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.”(Smith and Clancey Pg. 434) He was of the belief that a mobilized military after WW2 ended was a benefit to our security but he also thought that as it grew, and became better funded, and stayed mobilized that it had the potential to have too much influence in the government leading to too much influence in the general public’s life.

J. William Fulbright was a United States Senator representing Arkansas. He was someone who critiqued the military-industrial complex. Specifically how colleges had become to focused on receiving funds from the government and started to abandon their purpose. “When the university turns away from its central purpose and makes itself an appendage of government, concerning itself with techniques rather than purposes, with expedients rather than ideals, dispensing conventional orthodoxy rather than new ideas, its not only failing to meet its responsibilities to its students; it is betraying a public trust.”(Smith and Clancey Pg. 438)

Barry Goldwater was a senator from Arizona and was an advocate for the  military-industrial complex as he thought it was necessary. “Merely because out huge responsibilities necessitate the existence of a military-industrial complex does not automatically make that complex something we must be ashamed of.”(Smith and Clancey Pg. 439)

One thought on “We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.

  1. Love that you took a stance from the very first sentence. Your article flowed amazing. I liked how you provided a quote from each person. Made it way more interesting to read.


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