Will perpetual U.S. involvement in foreign wars ever end?

Not if those who comprise the Military Industrial Complex have anything to say about it. This complex, originally coined by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is defined as the close relationship among military leaders, government legislators, bureaucrats, and private contractors, all of whom have a massive stake in perpetuating international conflicts.

Private companies on the receiving end of government largesse for vehicles, weapons, clothing, and other war material lobby and infiltrate government agencies to ensure the gravy train keeps on flowing. President Eisenhower devoted his farewell address to cautioning the nation against its ills.

As George Mason University Professor Chris Coyne says in the fifth installment in Learn Liberty’s foreign policy series below, this messy entanglement has two important implications. First, war decisions are not necessarily made dispassionately but by those who stand to benefit from war the most. Second, the defense budget is fought over by firms looking to secure contracts based on what they produce, meaning that spending usually isn’t allocated efficiently. As a result, waste and corruption flourish under such a system.

The losers of the Military Industrial Complex? The average citizen, who sees his or her tax dollars go to waste, special interests, and mass murder.