In this video, Christopher A. Preble explains the rise of the military‐​industrial complex in historical context and examines its effects on U.S foreign policy today.

Christopher Preble was the vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. He currently works as the co‐​director of the New American Engagement Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

In his farewell address, Dwight D. Eisenhower warned that the nation’s relatively new “permanent armaments industry of vast proportions” could prove a dire threat to either “our liberties or democratic processes” or both. “In the councils of government,” he said, “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.”

What is the military‐​industrial complex? How did it arise? And how does it influence American politics today? In this video, Christopher A. Preble answers these questions and more.