The military-industrial-academic establishment in America has become a kind of republic within the Republic. The military influence, as President Eisenhower warned in his Farewell Address, "is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government." Since he spoke, the situation has become more serious, more dangerous. The military budget has gone from about forty-five billion to roughly ninety-four billion dollars a year. With military bases and missions in many nations of the world, with intelligence operations that include eavesdropping ships and spy satellites, and with sales of several billion dollars' worth of arms around the world, the Defense Department has become perhaps the strongest independent power in world affairs.
Defense Department actions are to a large extent beyond the effective control of the Congress. There is no conspiracy. Rather, the influence of the military in American life is something that happened to us almost without critical judgment and with little evaluation of the process.
The Pentagon spends much of its budget in direct procurement here at home. As the military budget has climbed, the Pentagon has had greater influence upon our foreign policy, upon our domestic policy, and upon the educational institutions of the United States. If it had a significant influence on only one of these, we would have cause for concern; as it has considerable influence on all three, we need to be triply concerned.
Increasing militarization of our foreign policy has been evident in our readiness to respond in military terms to problems around the world which may or may not be susceptible to military solutions. We sponsored an invasion of Cuba in 1961. We intervened, in violation of treaty commitments, by sending troops to the Dominican Republic
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Publication information: Book title: The Hard Years:A Look at Contemporary America and American Institutions. Contributors: Eugene J. McCarthy - Author. Publisher: Viking Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1975. Page number: 49.
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