"A vital element in keeping the
peace is our military establishment.
Our arms must be mighty, ready for
instant action, so that no potential
aggressor may be tempted to risk
his own destruction...
This 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
We must never let the weight of this
combination endanger our liberties
or democratic processes. We should
take nothing for granted. Only an
alert and knowledgeable citizenry
can compel the proper meshing of
the huge industrial and military
machinery of defense with our
peaceful methods and goals so that
security and liberty may prosper
Dwight D. Eisenhower in his Farewell
Address to the Nation on January 17,
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