Watson Institute for International Studies

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'Prophets of War' Book Talk Launches Series of Events on the Military-Industrial Complex

February 7, 2011

At 4pm on Thursday (2/10/11), William D. Hartung will discuss his new book, Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex, in the inaugural event of a year-long lecture and film series commemorating the 50th anniversary of President Dwight Eisenhower's Farewell Speech. The series is presented by the Watson Institute's new Eisenhower Research Project and its Global Media Project.

As he left office 50 years ago, Eisenhower argued that "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex." He warned that "only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry" could protect the nation against the threats to democracy he thought those special interests posed.

Today, as funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue at high levels and as Congress debates substantial cuts to the federal budget, the inclusion of the military budget in its review this year represents a significant development.

In this first talk, Hartung will present his research into the Lockheed Martin Corp., the country's largest defense contractor. Hartung is director of the New America Foundation's Arms and Security Initiative, which serves as a resource for journalists, policymakers, and citizens' organizations on the issues of weapons proliferation, the economics of military spending, and alternative approaches to national security strategy. His book will be available for sale, and a book signing will follow the talk.

Other forthcoming events will include a national panel of journalists who have been covering the wars (4/7/11). They will discuss the challenges of informing the public about military matters.

The Eisenhower Research Project is a new, non-partisan, non-profit, scholarly initiative dedicated to studying the effects of militarization on US society, democracy, and foreign policy. The project derives its purpose from President Eisenhower's 1961 farewell address.