- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 8, 2009

How fitting it is that President Obama would scold the Defense Department at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (“Days of the blank check are over,” Nation, Thursday). After all, it was President Dwight D. Eisenhower who warned us of an impending “military-industrial complex” during his farewell speech in 1961.

Today, this omnipresent and pervasive institution keeps the war fires burning for all of us who benefit economically from conceptual and military research - much of it under the auspices of our universities, engineering and manufacturing - and finally, implementation.

To this long list of providers are the millions of subcontractors who devise proposals and provide for extensive logistical support - all this with the “blank check” decried by Mr. Obama and others who would “dare” to place our nation in jeopardy or assume a patriotic risk.

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Moreover, these defense contractors plead with their audiences with full-page colorful ads in prominent newspapers, which cater to a large antiwar readership - but not The Washington Times.

Arms exports are a big business, especially between potential adversaries. For example, lending nuclear-reactor research to Saudi Arabia and Egypt while providing Israel with much armament might be the norm during hard economic times. Maintaining a bellicose attitude toward Iran maintains a military hegemony, which, again, benefits the economy. The world is complex and not neatly divided between the good guys and the bad guys.



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