Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wasted on weapons

Yesterday the Government Accountability Office released a report on weapons systems, noting that cost overruns are running at almost $300 billion, and delivery almost two years behind. The real scandal, however, as this Register editorial (alone in the country,to my knowledge, let me know if you find anything like it elsewhere) explains, is that most of these weapons systems are being acquired at all. The weapons acquisition system is still stuck in the Cold War, buying complex and expensive weapons systems suited for confronting the Soviet Union that are pretty much useless against a stateless cross-border terrorist outfit (or outfits, it's not necessarily clear). That's because the system is so politicized, more geared to pleasing constituencies in as many congressional districts as possible than to the real defense needs. If we had any sense, as Ivan Eland put it to me, we'd spend it on Special Forces and Predator drones. But that doesn't buy votes or flatter congresscritters.

Think we're an empire in decline?

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