The term military-industrial complex or MIC refers to the infrastructure of a nation's military, defense/weapons industry, and the government. It was first used by U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell address warning that the military industrial complex is fundamentally anti-democratic. He warned of the dangers of the military and industry having such interdependence and the risks of misplaced power. President Eisenhower said,
|"Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite....
The conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
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.
Other acronyms, such as MICC (military-industrial-congressional-complex) or MICIMATT (military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-media-academia-think tank complex) have been developed to explain the deep state process of how military contractors, who are recipients of government defense contracts, donate to political candidates to vote for defense projects and non-profit think tanks to write reports on the need for more ever-bloated defense spending.
- See also: Afghanistan War
The Intercept‘s Jon Schwarz examined returns on stocks of the five biggest defense contractors: Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics. Schwarz found that a $10,000 investment in stock evenly split across those five companies on the day in 2001 that then-President Georg W. Bush signed the authorization preceding the US invasion would be worth $97,295 this week, not adjusted for inflation, taxes, or fees. According to The Intercept:
|"This is a far greater return than was available in the overall stock market over the same period. $10,000 invested in an S&P 500 index fund on September 18, 2001, would now be worth $61,613. That is, defense stocks outperformed the stock market overall by 58% during the Afghanistan War."|
- Economics Of Military Industrial Complexes in Russia and US., Andrei Martynov, Nov. 4, 2022