President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell address is most famous for its warning against the “unwarranted influence” of the military-industrial complex. But Eisenhower also stressed the defense industry’s importance to the country’s security: After all, it helped the U.S. maintain superiority over its rivals, forestall great-power conflict and win the Cold War.
Six decades on, America’s military remains the most advanced in the world — but the industrial base supporting it has deteriorated. Industry consolidation, domestic manufacturing decline, and dysfunctional federal budgeting have combined to reduce competition throughout the defense supply chain, eroding military readiness and potentially jeopardizing national security.
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