The Politics of Defense Contracting
The Iron Triangle
This is the first systematic study of the relationship between government and defense contractors, examining in detail the political impact of the eight most powerful defense contractors. It details ways in which Boeing, General Dynamics, Grumman, McDonnell Douglas, Northrop, Rockwell International, and United Technologies influence government, from their basic contract activity, corporate structure, and research efforts, to their Washington offices, Political Action Committee campaign contributions, hiring of government personnel, and membership on federal advisory committees.
Adams concludes with specific recommendations for changes in disclosure requirements that would curb some of the political power corporations can wield. It also suggests specific ways in which the Iron Triangle can be made subject to wider congressional and public scrutiny.
"The Iron Triangle . .. points out the closed nature of many defense spending discussions where contractors with distinct self-interests are virtually the only non-governmental participants.... [It] takes the first step toward improving our defense spending policies. It provides the detailed information so necessary for informed judgments about how our defense dollars should be spent."
—Senator William Proxmire