Big Defense Corrupts Democracy
I often discuss here how the high tech arms, the superweapons America has come to rely on for its security is detrimental to our armed forces in vastly decreasing numbers we can buy, making them nearly impossible to replace, never in adequate numbers. Superfighters, supercarriers, supertanks also take away from other essential low tech functions, like our present insurgency conflicts on land and at sea. When they are used against poorly armed foes, they become so much over-kill, never worth their horrible expense. Here is another sad fallout of producing weapons which take decades to procure, and price in the many billions of dollars. Read how defense spending has become woefully politicized, less about Security, more about votes. From the Times Online:
More than 30 US politicians, among them seven members of a defence procurement committee, are being investigated in congressional ethics inquiries into influence-peddling, according to a document leaked accidentally on to the internet.
The disclosure sheds light on a process by which billions of dollars a year are spent on defence projects that the Pentagon does not want and which limits funds available for US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Defense lobbyists have their own pet politicians who they keep in power with massive campaign funds, but especially by keeping unwanted military contracts in certain districts, ensuring jobs, which also ensure votes:
House Representatives named in the document include John Murtha, the chairman of the House Defence Appropriations Sub-committee, who added so-called “earmarks” worth more than $100 million (£61 million) to last year’s defence budget and received $743,000 in campaign contributions from defence contractors.
And once a program gets started, it is nearly impossible for it to end. The supposedly canceled F-22 program, taking three decades to enter service, is no exception:
Up to 20 more F22 fighters could be built next year at $145 million apiece even though they were designed for dogfights against Russian MiGs and, as one expert noted, “the Taleban doesn’t have an air force”. The US will also build a $2.7 billion DDG1000 destroyer that its Navy does not want. In all, taxpayers will fund nearly 800 defence or defence-related projects that the Pentagon has not requested.
So when the politicians are bought, they have sold out their principles and their country. It’s their own fault, but those who make it possible, the defense contractors are much to blame. Also, We the People, who too often fail to speak out and say Enough!
Those nations wishing to join the First Rank of powers, with your own arsenal of superweapons, a military industrial complex of your very own plus power and prestige, take note. Creating a USA-lite military, trust me, its not worth it.