It's interesting that, as we talk about the age-old subject of Defense Spending, and phrases like "Military-Industrial Complex" chime in, you often wonder where all this amped up spending got started.
I think it's a safe bet to say our increased Military spending came as the direct result of the Cold War. However, sixty+ years later, it hasn't changed at all - even though the landscape of our superpowers has changed and the nature of military engagement has changed significantly since even the Vietnam War period. The spending has, if anything, increased dramatically.
On April 10, 1948 the question was asked as part of a weekend panel show which ran on CBS Radio called Cross Section: USA. The question for this week was "How Much Defense Does The USA Need Now?". Answering the question were representatives of the AF of L, The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, The International Association of Machinists and The Grange. Without much doubt, and with no argument, the universal answer was "spend as much as is necessary". Certainly a reaction to the threat of the Cold War.
But you can't help but wonder that the blank check handed the Defense Department laid the groundwork for what President Eisenhower would call some twelve years later the "Military-Industrial Complex".
War, it was discovered, was good for the economy.