Friday, April 01, 2005

A Government of Soldiers, by Weapons, and for War

This article, from the NY Times, is about the anticipated rise in defense spending over the next few years.

April 1, 2005
Report Says Pentagon Spending on Weapons to Soar

A new report by the Government Accountability Office warned yesterday that the costs of the Pentagon's arsenal could soar by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.
A survey of 26 major weapons systems showed cost overruns of $42.7 billion, or 41.9 percent, in their research and development phase.
Last year, the overall projected cost for those same 26 systems rose $68.6 billion, or 14.3 percent, to $548.9 billion, from $480.3 billion in the last 12 months.

A wider assessment of 54 major weapons systems showed that a majority are costing more and taking longer to develop than planned.
While Defense Department officials questioned details of some assessments of the major weapons systems, they did not dispute the report's overall conclusions. ...
Congress and the Pentagon "create incentives for pushing programs and encouraging undue optimism, parochialism and other compromises of good judgment, [thus] ... persistent performance problems, cost growth, schedule slippage," and other failures "cannot all be attributed to errors, lack of expertise or unforeseeable events."
They are instead "embedded as the undesirable, but apparently acceptable, consequence of the process," the office has said. "These problems persist not because they are overlooked or underregulated, but because they enable more programs to survive and thus more needs to be met." END QUOTE.

It sounds like a closed system perpetuating itself and expanding to devour more and more of the gross domestic product. We have, then, four monsters I know of devouring this nation's productive capacity and ravaging society, infrastructure and culture. There is the corruption of the healthcare system, the national deficit, the trade deficit, and then the corporate-elite obsession with weapons systems, and imperialistic war. If there is some kind of massive social metaphor for cancer, this is it.

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