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Delta of Power

The Military-Industrial Complex

Alex Roland

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Does the Military-Industrial Complex as we understand it still exist? If so, how has it changed since the end of the Cold War?

First named by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell address, the Military-Industrial Complex, originally an exclusively American phenomenon of the Cold War, was tailored to develop and produce military technologies equal to the existential threat perceived to be posed by the Soviet Union. An informal yet robust relationship between the military and industry, the MIC pursued and won a qualitative, technological arms race but exacted a high price in waste, fraud…

Does the Military-Industrial Complex as we understand it still exist? If so, how has it changed since the end of the Cold War?

First named by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell address, the Military-Industrial Complex, originally an exclusively American phenomenon of the Cold War, was tailored to develop and produce military technologies equal to the existential threat perceived to be posed by the Soviet Union. An informal yet robust relationship between the military and industry, the MIC pursued and won a qualitative, technological arms race but exacted a high price in waste, fraud, and abuse. Today, although total US spending on national security exceeds $1 trillion a year, it accounts for a smaller percentage of the federal budget, the national GDP, and world military spending than during the Cold War. Given this fact, is the MIC as we commonly understand it still alive? If so, how has it changed in the intervening years?

In Delta of Power, Alex Roland tells the comprehensive history of the MIC from 1961, the Cold War, and the War on Terror, to the present day. Roland argues that the MIC is now significantly different than it was when Eisenhower warned of its dangers, still exerting a significant but diminished influence in American life. Focusing intently on the three decades since the end of the Cold War in 1991, Roland explains how a lack of cohesion, rapid change, and historical contingency have transformed America's military-industrial institutions and infrastructure.

Roland addresses five critical realms of transformation: civil-military relations, relations between industry and the state, among government agencies, between scientific-technical communities and the state, and between technology and society. He also tracks the way in which America's arsenal has evolved since 1991. The MIC still merits Eisenhower's warning of political and moral hazard, he concludes, but it continues to deliver, by a narrower margin, the world's most potent arsenal. An authoritative account of America's evolving arsenal since World War II, Delta of Power is a dynamic exploration of military preparedness and current events.

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Delta of Power

Alex Roland

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Reviews

When it comes to understanding the inner workings of the military-industrial complex, no one comes close to Alex Roland. Comprehensive and balanced, yet also provocative, Delta of Power is the admirable capstone of a lifetime of scholarship.

Sixty years ago President Eisenhower warned Americans of their thralldom to a 'Military Industrial Complex.' Yet thirty years after the Cold War, the U.S. defense budget remains larger than those of the next seven nations combined. Alex Roland, a brilliant historian of technology, explains why in this synthetic masterpiece.

Roland's Delta of Power breaks down and analyzes the seemingly unbreakable hold that the defense establishment has on the budget of the United States. Extensively updated to deal with post-9/11 continuities and changes, it provides a marvelously complete foundation for courses on security studies and military history from the Cold War to the present day.

Delta of Power is an excellent introduction to a complex and important topic. It is a brisk read, with tight prose, vigorously argued, balanced and nuanced. Without becoming mired in superfluous minutiae, the details provide the essential texture required.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
5.5
x
8.5
Pages
304
ISBN
9781421441818
Illustration Description
9 b&w photos, 6 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

List of Figures
Illustrations
Introduction
Part I. The Cold War MIC, 1950-1991
Chapter 1. Defining the Complex
Chapter 2. Civil-Military Relations
Chapter 3. State and Industry
Chapter 4. Among Government

List of Figures
Illustrations
Introduction
Part I. The Cold War MIC, 1950-1991
Chapter 1. Defining the Complex
Chapter 2. Civil-Military Relations
Chapter 3. State and Industry
Chapter 4. Among Government Agencies
Chapter 5. The Scientific-Technical Community
Chapter 6. Society and Technology
Chapter 7. International Arms Trade
Part II. Since the Cold War, 1991-2020
Chapter 8. New World Order
Chapter 9. War on Terror
Chapter 10. A Peer Rival
Conclusion
Glossary
Notes
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Alex Roland

Alex Roland is Professor of History Emeritus at Duke University.