Military–industrial complex  

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D-Day (1944)   # June 6, 1944, the date during World War II when the Allies invaded western Europe.
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D-Day (1944)
# June 6, 1944, the date during World War II when the Allies invaded western Europe.

"We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex." --Dwight D. Eisenhower, Eisenhower's farewell address, January 17, 1961

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Military–industrial complex, or military–industrial–congressional complex, is a concept commonly used to refer to policy and monetary relationships between legislators, national armed forces, and the defense industrial base that supports them. These relationships include political contributions, political approval for defense spending, lobbying to support bureaucracies, and oversight of the industry. It is a type of iron triangle. The term is most often used in reference to the system behind the military of the United States, where it gained popularity after its use in the farewell address of President Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 17, 1961, though the term is applicable to any country with a similarly developed infrastructure.

The term is sometimes used more broadly to include the entire network of contracts and flows of money and resources among individuals as well as corporations and institutions of the defense contractors, The Pentagon, the Congress and executive branch. This sector is intrinsically prone to principal–agent problem, moral hazard, and rent seeking. Cases of political corruption have also surfaced with regularity. A parallel system is that of the Military–industrial–media complex, along with the more distant Politico-media complex and Prison-industrial complex.

A similar thesis was originally expressed by Daniel Guérin, in his 1936 book Fascism and Big Business, about the fascist government support to heavy industry. It can be defined as, "an informal and changing coalition of groups with vested psychological, moral, and material interests in the continuous development and maintenance of high levels of weaponry, in preservation of colonial markets and in military-strategic conceptions of internal affairs."

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Military–industrial complex" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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