If Sen. John McCain is the Republican nominee, people would do well to recall former President Eisenhower’s warning about the dangers of the military-industrial complex, because no one represents those interests more than Sen. McCain.

That complex is vastly larger now, and so is the unwarranted influence in the corridors of power that Eisenhower warned about. Nearly one third of the proposed $3 trillion budget is for military spending, while major social cuts are planned, especially in health care.

And it is preposterous to argue that conflict does not serve the interests of the military-industrial complex, or that the complex does not decisively influence foreign policy disasters, such as the one in Iraq.

You cannot spend billions or trillions of dollars and expect the military to never engage in a war, any more than a surgeon only trains for surgery.

In failing to heed Eisenhower, not only have we destabilized and made the world less safe for democracy by deed and example, but we have also lost respect abroad and shot ourselves in the foot of international trade. We are the world’s largest arms dealer, and some of our best minds and industry are engaged in this activity, instead of peaceful enterprises, thus ceding the latter to other nations.

We can and must again lead the world in finding peaceful alternatives to military spending. After all, it was President Kennedy who warned, “Mankind will put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.”

Paul Corrao, Lewiston

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