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Politics & Current Affairs

The Military-Consulting Complex

The now-prevalent pattern of flag-rank military officers going to work for defense contractors as soon as they retire is a form of corruption, says James Fallows at The Atlantic.

Twenty years ago, fewer than half of retired three- or four-star generals went to work for firms that directly depended on Defense Department business. And back then, in the early 90s, the “revolving door” problem was hardly unknown. (Ten years before that, it was so familiar that I could allude to it as a recognized problem, in my book ‘National Defense.’ Twenty years before that Dwight Eisenhower had given his famous warning about the “military industrial complex.”) Now, around 80% do. So a problem that’s been recognized for at least half a century seems to have become worse than ever—and yet it’s not discussed at all by politicians and rarely in the press.


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