Dwight Eisenhower was the last career military man to hold the office of President of the United States. The 5-star General knew the business of war. On January 17, 1961 in his final Presidential address after 8 years in which the Cold War raged, a dire warning was given to the American people and by proxy to the world.
"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 persist." Truly prophetic words given little notice at the time. Perhaps if White House staff had not convinced "Ike" to change his speech from calling this rising force the "Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex" as he planned, it may have drawn more attention.
Its unabated growth continued through to the end of the Cold War. Then 9/11 and the Global War on Terror ushered in our 21st century perpetual conflict model with no decisive direction on mission or goals. Only endurance. As theatres of operations expanded, so did demand for assets. The military was good at buying physical assets but was poor on retaining human assets. They started going in droves to the corporations selling the physical assets. Drawn by higher salaries, saner deployments and expanded career options it was an alarmingly simple choice for many.
Jonathan Nichols was in the US Army for almost nine years working in PSYOP efforts, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Propaganda analysis, atmospherics, psychometrics and threat analysis are all a part of Jon's toolset. Highly marketable skills in today's world. So why is he a contractor instead of a career soldier? What is the cumulative effect of developed expertise leaving the military to become an indisposable supplier to it? At what cost monetarily, strategically or command-wise? Jon returns to TVUH to discuss the Permanent War Complex.