In the process, he gave an unforgettable name -- “the military-industrial complex” -- to a growing danger in American life. The question remained, however: Why exactly had he waited until his criticisms lacked all the force that power can offer? He was, after all, president and commander-in-chief. In this, however, he would hardly prove unique. Take, for example, four-star general George Lee Butler, who from 1991 to 1994 was the last commander of the Air Force’s Strategic Air Command and commander in chief of the U.S. Strategic Command, which, as he later explained, “controls all Navy and Air Force nuclear weapons.” In 1996 at the National Press Club in Washington, two years after he retired, he spoke out forcefully against the very weapons he had so recently overseen, pointing out that, “over the last 27 years of my military career, I was embroiled in every aspect of American nuclear policy making and force structuring, from the highest councils of government to nuclear command centers; from the arms control arena to cramped bomber cockpits and the confines of ballistic missile silos and submarines.” He then called for the “elimination” of such weapons. Ever since then, he has been a forceful anti-nuclear advocate, terming such weaponry a “scourge” to the planet and an immoral danger to humanity.
Freeing Democracy from Perpetual War
By William J. Astore