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What is the relationship among Congress, the military bureaucracies, and defense...

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henslee | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted August 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM via web

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What is the relationship among Congress, the military bureaucracies, and defense industries in regards to an “Iron Triangle”?

What is the impact of these relationships on defense spending?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM (Answer #1)

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President Eisenhower, a much decorated World War II general and hero, in his last speech as President of the United States, warned the public to "beware of the military-industrial complex." This refers to a three-way financial arrangement. Members of Congress, usually using earmarks added on to bills, create or fund military bases in their districts to curry votes. Often the "price" of support for military funding by members of the powerful Armed Services committees in Congress is placing facilities in the districts of the Congressmen on the committees. Both Congress and the military have links with powerful defense contractors. The contractors contribute to political campaigns and essentially buy support in Congress. Members of the military who serve as contract officers, when they retire from the military get high-paid jobs as "consultants" to the corporations whose military contracts they supervised. Knowing that holding corporations to strict performance standards would limit offers of consultancies in the future, many contractor officers are complicit with poor performance and cost overruns.

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