The Corpus Callosum

OK, I Can’t Stand It

I will chip in a few thoughts about the President’s proposed budget,
just to make a point.  Based upon the following from href="http://www.defensetech.org/archives/003254.html">DefenseTech.org,
a pro-military site:

…That’ll include “the first significant funding” — $3
billion — in the next generation of aircraft carrier,” the CVN-21. The
Joint Strike Fighter fleet will grow from two in FY07, to twelve the
following year — including the first short take-off version. It’ll
take $6 billion in 2008, the Pentagon projects. Despite major cost
inflation, the Defense Department budget request “funds three littoral
combat ships and will continue funding for two DDG-1000-class
destroyers and another amphibious assault ship,” according to a
American Forces Press Service article. “The Air Force F-22 Raptor
fighter is budgeted at $3.8 billion for 20 aircraft.”

The F-22, it should be noted, was recently deemed “too sensitive… to
be useful” in places like Iraq. Most of these other systems — big
destroyers, new aircraft carriers, and the like — wouldn’t have much
to do with an Iraq-style situation. Neither would the $8.8 billion for
missile defense (although that is a more than a half-billion less than
what the program got last year)

These things are supposed to improve national security.  National
securit y is about saving lives and property.  How many lives are
going to be saved by the Star Wars $8.8 billion?  Easy answer:
NONE.  How many could be saved by directing that money to the
proposed cuts in Medicaid and Medicare?  Not an easy one to
quantify, but easily greater than zero.  How much property will be
saved by Star Wars?  NONE.  How much could be saved by
improving infrastructure?  Greater than zero, but again, hard to
quantify. 

And the new
aircraft carrier
?  It’ll cost at least eight billion to
complete.   Even if it is named after Gerald Ford, it will
still be a complete waste.  We already have the biggest, most
powerful aircraft carriers in the world.  Is anyone else building
more advanced carriers at this point?  Is Iran building aircraft
carriers?  Do we really want another nuclear reactor floating
around in the ocean, vulnerable to the next silkworm missile or href="http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3ae5c93822f3.htm">cavitation-effect
torpedo?

Yeah, we should speak softly and carry a big stick.  But do we
need to spend eight billion dollars on that stick?

Can’t argue with the littoral ships and the amphibious assault
ship.  We might actually use those, next time we need to invade
Grenada or Panama. 

If we go to war with Russia or China, we might want Raptors and
JSF’s.  But we are not going to do that.  It would be sheer
folly to do so.  They do not want to attack us.  They need us
to buy their stuff. 

Comments

  1. #1 JackKetch
    February 7, 2007

    The contractors who build the weapons platforms (the modern term for ‘military vehicle’) are the ones making the policy decisions. The basic question is, what will make us richest? They give the answer to the Pentagon, where the military leadership (modern term for overpaid ‘clerk-typist’) translates the contractor demands into buy-orders to the contractors.

    This had nothing to do with defense. It’s just business, don’t take it personally.

  2. #2 Mark
    February 7, 2007

    Definition of aircraft carrier in major war: big, fat, floating target. Did you read about the Chinese submarine that surfaced about five miles from an aircraft carrier in the Pacific about a month ago? It was undetected until it surfaced, obviously well within range of weapons that could be lethal to an aircraft carrier.

    But, leaving that aside, Bush’s proposed budget leaves one real question in my mind. Is he evil or just insane?

    But, leaving that aside, I think Eisenhower’s party affiliation should be posthumously revised. It is absurd to think that a republican could ever warn against the dangers posed by the military-industrial complex.