Eisenhower gets a lot of credit for warning us about the military-industrial complex but the thing is, he was president and all he did was warn us about them, he didn’t exactly bust them up. He didn’t fire Nixon even when he had the chance to, and that cost us in the long run, but Nixon wasn’t the beginning of the MIC, they were probably pretty well entrenched by the end of WWII; noble cause though it was, there were still people who made money off of it.
Lyndon Johnson was in deep with them, his sponsor corporation (according to Robert Caro, who probably knows as much about LBJ as anybody) was Brown and Root, later known as Kellogg, Brown and Root, then KBR, then Halliburton.
Obama may be trying for peace, but there’s no doubt the MIC is still there, and they’ve got the CIA, and a lot of people inside the government. Those who love war, who see the world as an arena for combat, are still very much in power.
On the Russian side you have Putin, who is ex-KGB, and definitely an old cold-warrior. Throughout the Middle East and Africa, you have an endless succession of warlords, because unemployment is high and warlord is just about the highest paying position there is.
The world is being run by people who want war.
On the other hand, Russian scientists get along with American scientists just fine. Iranian poets get respect from Western poets, Nigerian football players have no problems getting along with British football players (sure, some of the fans are assholes…as visible as they are, they are still a minority). People get along just fine with people, as a general rule, when they find themselves in the same room with each other.
The problem is the politicians. We are just going to have to find some way to move towards a future of peace and prosperity for everybody without them. In fact, without them it would be a piece of cake.