Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Money For Nothing



Congressional Rs loves them some defense spending. (Well, okay, some Ds do, too.) Here's a few examples of how wisely our bucks are spent:
... The flying radar that practically has to be over the launch pads to see anything. The rocket-interceptor that was too long for any ship in the Navy to carry. (Nobody figured this out in advance? Even I could have done that math.) The multiple-kill vehicle -- cool name, by the way -- that was so completely fked up that they couldn't even figure out a way to make it fly. And the big ugly ship with the massive seaborne radar that was vulnerable to corrosion because ships spend much of their time, you know, at sea...
[Picture is a screenshot from a link within the link]

1 comment:

Dr Strangelove said...

In The Tragedy of the American Military in the January/February issue of The Atlantic, James Fallows described the military-industrial-political complex that keeps the pipeline flowing no matter how poorly a program is performing.

"A $10 million parts contract in one congressional district builds one representative’s support. Two $5 million contracts in two districts are twice as good, and better all around would be three contracts at $3 million apiece. Every participant in the military-contracting process understands this logic: the prime contractors who parcel out supply deals around the country, the military’s procurement officers who divide work among contractors, the politicians who vote up or down on the results. In the late 1980s, a coalition of so-called cheap hawks in Congress tried to cut funding for the B-2 bomber. They got nowhere after it became clear that work for the project was being carried out in 46 states and no fewer than 383 congressional districts (of 435 total). The difference between then and now is that in 1989, Northrop, the main contractor for the plane, had to release previously classified data to demonstrate how broadly the dollars were being spread."

Military procurement programs are virtually unstoppable. Between bringing home the bacon and falling all over ourselves to support the military, I don't think that anything can be done. When even Bernie Sanders is a reluctant supporter of the F-35, it's clear that these disasters will keep on coming.

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