The phrase “Military Industrial Complex” (MIC) describes the interplay between the military and the corporations that help to create the technology that the military uses. These industries contribute not only to help the military but influence defense spending and policy. The military relies on the conglomeration of corporations to produce vital aspects of our defense. Contractors drive innovation and implantation in the military. The phrase coined in the days of the Cold War, and it was a fitting name for how the system worked. It was a “conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry.”
Today the number of companies and areas of the government that that complex reaches a wide range. Some have said that a more fitting name is the National Security Corporate Complex. Contractors are slowly reaching multiple parts of the government. Even in times in relative peace, the MIC has been growing. As our military has grown, the needs have grown with it. The MIC is so much larger today than ever thought possible.
Before 9/11, the only other area of the government to have military contracts was the Department of Energy due to its role in nuclear weapons. Since 9/11, the complex has become more complex. “Many corporations now have sizable contracts with more than one federal agency.” Defense spending is reaching all-time highs. And today, the MIC doesn’t just have to involve weapons and transports, but it includes things like cybersecurity and VA medical care. “National security departments further expanded their contracting in information technology, for tasks ranging from the prosaic, like bookkeeping, to the exotic, including cyberwarfare and artificial intelligence.” Mixing private and public sectors is a necessary evil in the world of defense, but it is one that needs to be exposed. As the complex grows, it can threaten national security when lawmakers start putting corporations above the people’s needs.