Friday, July 17, 2009

The military-industrial complex

I have a lot of problems with the administration's military policy, (see Afghanistan), but they've got my vote on this spending priority. DefSec Gates made a speech in Chicago that hit all the right targets. Full transcript here but if you don't to read the whole thing, at least take a look at the excerpts at Wired.
The grim reality is that with regard to the budget we have entered a zero-sum game. Every defense dollar diverted to fund excess or unneeded capacity… is a dollar that will be unavailable to take care of our people, to win the wars we are in, to deter potential adversaries, and to improve capabilities in areas where America is underinvested and potentially vulnerable. That is a risk that I will not take and one that I cannot accept,” he said.
And he's gunning for the sacred cow of Congressional patronage, the new F-22 stealth fighters. "It’s typical, he observed, of a Beltway process that keeps defense programs going forever, regardless of their military value."
“If we can’t bring ourselves to make this tough but straightforward decision – reflecting the judgment of two very different presidents, two different secretaries of defense, two chairmen of the joint chiefs of staff, and the current Air Force Secretary and Chief of Staff, where do we draw the line? And if not now, when? If we can’t get this right – what on earth can we get right? It is time to draw the line on doing Defense business as usual. The President has drawn that line. And that red line with regard to a veto is real.”
Even McCain is on board for this one. Of course, he's got nothing to lose. I don't believe his district gets any money from it. And I know it will be painful for the districts that do depend on the contracts for jobs but it just too colossal a waste of money to justify. Much as it pains me to admit it, being a huge aerophile, we don't need this really cool airplane. Good for Gates and Obama for sticking to their guns. [graphic]

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Blogger Ruth said...

We need the money for the toilet seats in the Blackhawks, right?

heh, my i.d. word is 'rooths', bet I own this.

10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

LOL. You own the analysis in my book Ruth. Granted, dropping the f-22 won't stop all the waste in Pentagon spending, but it's a start.

11:54:00 AM  

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