Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Defense Spending Without Purpose

Robert Scheer in the San Francisco Chronicle, comments on the recent GAO report, critiquing the continued US dependence on Cold War weapons to fight a 21st century foe:

That's the huge scandal the media and politicians from both parties
have studiously avoided. But as the GAO's authoritative audit details, the costs
are astronomical. The explosion of spending on expensive weaponry after 9/11 had
nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks of that day. The high-tech planes and
ships commissioned for trillions of dollars to defeat an enemy with no navy, air
force or army, and using $3 knives as its weapons arsenal, was a gift to the
military-industrial complex that will go on giving for decades to come.

The unabashed spending by Congress and the military on such systems amounts simply to corporate welfare, keeping aged defense contractors like Boeing and Lockheed in business, which realistically would collapse without Pentagon dollars. Building really useful weapons like patrol ships and late model F-16s would serve the same purpose, without wrecking the already over-stretched budget.