The US Military Industrial Complex no longer needs neither actual wars nor the threat of war for its own survival. This factor could actually change dynamic of this institution/bureaucracy in our lifetimes and it may actually be changing as we speak.
Very often something will evolve and become ubiquitous to the degree that we forget its origin. Putting a dead tree in your house on Christmas is a good example, few people think of why this is done, they just do it because it has been done for a long time and thus seems completely natural and important to do so every year. A justification for doing it is no longer needed, it is something done by default. In some ways the necessity to start questionable wars of luxury is much like that Christmas tree – an odd tradition that is not of an importance or value anymore.
In order to break this down we need to go back to the start.
It is hard for people in our times, especially foreign people to understand the fact that the United States was not a massive military power until WWII. Today sole hyperpower was at a time not that long ago a much different nation militarily and foreign policy speaking. In 1914 at the start of the Great War in Europe the territorially massive United States had a total armed forces of around 166,000 men. From 1776 until that point the manpower of US forces was minimal by European standards. That America of those times was an isolated self-focused America that many today long for. When the US entered WWI shedding the binds of its isolationist tendencies it bulked up to nearly 3,000,000 soldiers by the end of 1918. However, directly after the Great War finally ended the military severely deflated itself back down much closer to its original size.
“The Good War” in the 1940’s was the final nail in the isolationist coffin as American forces would forever remain in the millions of men after the defeat of Germany and Japan by the Allies.
The 1940s are the point where the permanent military industrial complex that we know of today starts to take hold.