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Why the Military is Broke.

December 17, 2006

I just read an interesting article on The Smirking Chimp called “An Important Story You Didn’t See” gives some real insight about why the US military is broke. It is a bit of a read but well Worth it.

Some of the more insightful parts of the article are ….Welcome to the U.S. Military Industrial Complex!

“The (Army’s) equipment shortages explain why Gen. John Abizaid, the top commander in the middle East, recently told lawmakers that the US couldn’t maintain even a relatively small increase of 20,000 soldiers in Iraq. “The ability to sustain that commitment is simply not something we have right now,” he testified in November.” (Jaffe, WSJ)

If you are looking for someone to blame for the wartime Army budget emergency look no further than Ike’s “military industrial complex.” Even in peacetime that bunch roots through taxpayer’s wallets with reckless abandon. But an actual war sparks a feeding frenzy. Multi-billion dollar weapon systems get approved faster than a Las Vegas hooker can turn a trick, often entirely independent of its relevance to the war at hand.

…There you have it. Equipping infantry soldiers at $24,000 a crack ain’t bad work, if you can get it. But slamming taxpayers $32 million a copy for a fleet of F-18 fighter jets, now that’s a spicy meat-a-ball! Or how about this mouthfull — $320.5 billion for a ballistic-missile submarine program — and that’s the base price. You want options? They got options. Add $97 billion for the missiles; $46 billion for submarine propulsion research, development, testing, production, and operations; and $220 billion for attack submarine construction, weapons, and related systems. Now you’re talkin’!

Ships, subs, planes and all the high-end, high-tech gizmo’s that go with them, are SO much more profitable for defense contractors than the care and feeding of Army grunts that’s it’s no contest. And these high-dollar honey pots are also much more “boast-worthy” for politicians in districts where those contractors maintain plants — and defense contracts make damn sure their facilities are strategically located around the country.

Which explains why the poor grunt on the ground is getting the short end of defense spending. Lockheed can’t build and sell infantrymen. And profit margins on rifles, bullets and bulletproof vests is small change compared to the other stuff that can be sold to Uncle Sam. So, why waste a perfectly good war on nickel and dime infantry stuff when they can go for the real gold?

by Stephen Pizzo | Dec 13 2006 – 8:41am :

I don’t know if I could agree with the author more. The way that US citizens and tax payers are being assaulted by the corrupt Bushtard regime and the “military industrial complex” makes me want to move to Switzerland. However, after the last six years of Bustard foreign policy, I doubt that any civilized country would give a work visa for U.S. citizens. I hear that Argentina is nice this time of year. 😉

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