Amid the shenanigans of the Donald Trump presidency, there's one issue that's not receiving nearly as much attention as it deserves.
And that is his efforts to crank up the U.S. military-industrial complex, which didn't always get its way under the Obama administration.
The term military-industrial complex was popularized in a 1961 speech by then soon-to-retire U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower.
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex," Eisenhower said at the time. "The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
"We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes," Eisenhower, a Republican and former Second World War general, continued. "We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defence with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
Nowadays, Eisenhower's warning seems to be going unheeded in the mainstream U.S. media.
In March, Trump brought forward a plan for a US$54-billion increase in the military budget for fiscal 2018.
It will ensure that America will continue spending vastly more on armaments than many other countries put together.
"Several big-ticket military priorities are highlighted in the proposal for 2017 as 'urgent warfighting readiness needs,' including a $13.5 billion request to build and modernize additional Army Apache and Blackhawk helicopters, F-35 and F/A 18 fighter jets, tactical missiles and unmanned aircraft," wrote CNN's Zachary Cohen. "More than $3 billion of the addition money would be allocated to the fight against ISIS, including $2 billion for a flexible fund that would allow the Pentagon to decide how to utilize resources in support of the new counter-ISIS strategy."
Meanwhile, there have been more than 13,000 civilian deaths in Yemen. And Trump's decision to ink a $110-billion arms deal with the Saudis ensures that this death toll will likely continue to rise.
Trump is also pressuring NATO allies to spend more on armaments, which could result in more profits flowing into the U.S. military-industrial complex.
It's worth remembering amid all the talk of impeaching the president.
In light of these expenditures, there will be powerful forces wanting to keep Trump in the Oval Office as long as he continues diverting more tax dollars to support U.S. weapons producers such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics.
Shareholders can profit from death, war, and destruction.
Meanwhile, Canada is also profiting from the Saudis' military intervention in Yemen.
Last year, the Trudeau government green-lighted the $15-billion sale of light armoured vehicles to the kingdom.
Université de Montréal law professor and former Bloc Québécois MP Daniel Turp filed an application in the Federal Court of Canada to block the sale, arguing that it violated the Geneva Conventions Act and the Export Permits Act. His case was dismissed in January.
There are also questions being raised about the legality of the U.S. weapons deal with Saudi Arabia in the context of its intervention in Yemen.
"In the face of persistent reports of wrongdoing, Saudi Arabia has failed to rebut allegations or provide detailed evidence of compliance with binding obligations arising from international humanitarian law," wrote Vanderbilt University law professor Michael Newon in a recent paper. "In the context of multiple credible reports of recurring and highly questionable strikes, even after Saudi units received training and equipment to reduce civilian casualties, the United States cannot continue to rely on Saudi assurances that it will comply with international law and agreements concerning the use of U.S.-origin equipment.
"Under these circumstances, further sales under both the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act are prohibited until the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia takes effective measures to ensure compliance with international law and the President submits relevant certifications to the Congress," Newton continued. "Congress should utilize the expedited review procedures of both Acts to ensure compliance with the law."