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Sun May 26, 2019, 12:00 AM

The Military-Industrial Virus

The Military-Industrial Virus
How bloated defense budgets gut our armed forces
By Andrew Cockburn

...Late in 2018, Spinney’s longtime friend Pierre Sprey, a former Pentagon “whiz kid” revered for codesigning the highly successful ­A-10 and ­F-16 warplanes, and a trenchant critic of defense orthodoxy, suggested to Spinney that he add a novel tweak to his work by depicting budget changes from year to year in terms of percentages rather than dollar amounts. The analysis that Spinney produced at Sprey’s suggestion revealed something intriguing: although the U.S. defense budget clearly increased and decreased over the sixty years following the end of the Korean War, the decreases never dipped below where the budget would have been if it had simply grown at 5 percent per year from 1954 on (with one minor exception in the 1960s). “Amazingly,” emphasized Spinney,

this behavior even held true for the large budget reductions that occurred after the end of
the Vietnam War and, more significantly, after the end of the Cold War. It is as if there is a
rising floor of resistance, below which the defense budget does not penetrate.

Only during Obama’s second term did it first dip below this level with any degree of significance. Even more interestingly, every single time the growth rate had bumped against that floor, there had been an immediate and forceful reaction in the form of high-­volume public outcry regarding a supposedly imminent military threat. Such bouts of threat inflation invariably induced a prompt remedial increase in budget growth, regardless of whether the proclaimed threat actually existed. As General Douglas ­MacArthur remarked, as far back as 1957: “Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant sums demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters never seem to have happened, never seem to have been quite real.”


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Reply The Military-Industrial Virus (Original post)
soryang May 2019 OP
Chin music May 2019 #1

Response to soryang (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 12:06 AM

1. Interesting.

Coercive funding...of a sort.

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