Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beware The Military Industrial Complex

Hell has clearly frozen over, as I actually both agreed with and enjoyed a Dana Milbank column this morning. Secretary of Defense Robert ("Bill") Gates has a long row to hoe with his desire to have Congress overcome the parochial interests of individual members in favor of systemic change that will benefit the nation. The ridiculous kabuki that are Congressional hearings is on full display here, with members asking loaded but seemingly reasonable questions about pet projects to pliant, sycophantic military leaders. I almost snarfed coffee through my nose when I read the exchange between Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) and ADM Mike Mullen (CJCS), in which Shelby leads Mullen through an old Baptist preacher call and response routine...ending with Mullen validating Shelby's assertion of the Littoral Combat Ship's "firepower". Firepower? You gotta be kidding me. We're not building these $220M whoops, $440M whoops, $600M ships because they are bristling with weapons. We're building them to prop up a declining force structure with grey hulls that can do SOMETHING. But the delivery of pain is not something LCS is going to do particularly well.

1 comment:

Smoothfur said...

For a riotous comedic insight into this process, check out the old movie "Pentagon Wars" starring Kelsey Grammar which was not so loosely based on the development of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

I was never quite sure if I was crying due to laughing so hard or due to the underlying sad truth.

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