President Eisenhower led us to victory in World War II. He then led our country as President for 8 years. He understood war and he understood how Washington worked.
The major message he gave us as he left the presidency was: Beware of the Military Industrial Complex.
His warning was very appropriate but it was not heeded by our nation. I know because I not only witnessed it being ignored, but I participated in using the power of the Military Industrial Complex during my aerospace career. Reagan's Star Wars describes why and how the power of the Military Industrial Complex gave birth to the Strategic Defense Initiative known as Star Wars.
By the early 1980's it was becoming clear that the USSR would fail. The major US Aerospace companies who were dependent on military spending were growing concerned that peace would be declared and the military budgets would be significantly decreased.
They had to do something!
Most of the major US Aerospace Companies maintained a study staff to assess military needs and likely budget actions; and, of course to try to influence such actions and budgets.
I know the details of the Martin Marietta Aerospace Company's studies and the resulting pitches to the military, congress, NATO, and all affected agencies including the President because I was a corporate Vice President and well aware of our studies. I also had some awareness of such studies at Lockheed Aerospace Company because we had a close relationship with them. The two Companies eventually merged and is now Lockheed Martin Aerospace Company.
Their studies viewed the sharp drops in military budgets at the end of military threats like World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. They feared that peace would break out and the budgets would be significantly decreased, maybe even as severe as happened after World War II. President Carter had already dropped the budget to the lowest it had been in over 25 years. The US... Download and start listening now!