On September 7, 2020, President Donald Trump called out the defense establishment for pursuing conflicts that are lucrative for defense contractors.
Trump subsequently posted tweets drawing comparison between himself and 34th President Dwight Eisenhower. The former president became famous for his farewell speech warning about the rise of the military-industrial complex
Trump’s presidency has been marked by his calls for putting a stop to the never-ending wars launched by the Bush and Obama administration.
Unfortunately, like many things in D.C, there have been massive obstacles put in place to keep Trump from carrying out this vision.
Simply put, personnel is policy. Because of the lack of America First personnel in the Trump administration, Trump has had major difficulties seeing his America First agenda through.
For that reason, there has been notable incoherency in the president’s rhetoric and his administration’s actions. This goes to show how entrenched government agencies’ interests are when it comes to promoting perpetual conflict.
Despite Trump’s best efforts to make American foreign policy more sensible, the media continues to hop on silly outrage scandals. One of the most notable examples was a recent story where the president reportedly dismissed the deaths of American soldiers as “losers.”
On September 7, Trump slammed Pentagon leaders during a White House press conference. “I’m not saying the military’s in love with me,” Trump said to reporters.
“The soldiers are, the top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”
The media obviously threw a fit.
What got the media even more worked up was Trump’s tweets alluding to Eisenhower’s remarks against the military-industrial complex. In 1961, Eisenhower said, “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience.”
The former president warned about the “grave implications” of the military-industrial complex’s growth. He added, “In the councils of government, 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.”
In addition, Trump retweeted a thread from renowned anti-war journalist Glen Greenwald where he said that Eisenhower “had 16 minutes on TV to warn Americans of what he thought they most needed to know, and used it primarily to emphasize the dangers of Pentagon growth, weapons spending, and the threats of Endless War.”
As usual, Trump is angering the right people by pressing issues that the establishment hates.
The next step is to get the right staff and people elected in order to concretize his America First vision.