Monday, June 18, 2012

Blog on Military-Industrial Complex

This blog is a little far afield for my beat, local government, but it is one that affects everyone in one way or another. This includes our local economies.

The United States has been fighting serial “wars” (none having been declared by Congress as such as the Constitution stipulate), more or less continuously since the 1990’s (Clinton’s Balkan wars).

In this century they’ve all been paid for using the national credit card. You know, the one we all have to help pay off in something laughingly called the national debt. It’s a debt we owe ourselves, although China’s segment of it is increasing.

We continue to get involved in these foreign fights because we never learn anything from them. They are always fraught with peril, and not only to the unfortunates who actually doing the fighting.

We are never prepared for the next war because it isn't the war we expect. Afghan isn't like Iraq (or Libya), which wasn't like the Balkans, which was not like Granada or Panama, which were not like Viet Nam, which was not like Korea, which was not like . . .. Syria will be different, too.

I suspect there is no way to accurately identify future enemies, each of which would require different weapons and tactics. Nonetheless, while the military is always willing to conduct “lessons learned” studies (I know because I’ve participated in some of them), they also always proceed to ignore the lessons. (This may be because the constant churn of assignments ensures little or no institutional wisdom is created.)

Our military, and the WashDC lawmakers who profit from making sure money is spread out into every district in the land, place too much faith in developing a new weapon rather than developing refined overall strategies, tactics and plans.  Our Military-Industrial-Complex (Cabal?) fosters this process because it is profitable.

This scam would be excusable if so many lives weren’t lost because of it. After all, the swindle creates jobs and boosts the economies of so many small towns and regions.

The signal lesson to be learned, in my opinion, is to stop getting involved in foreign fights that don’t concern our national security (which includes every one of the fights we’ve been in since World War II). We can use the money saved to enhance medical care, build and maintain safe roads and bridges, and so much more right here at home.

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