I don’t agree with a lot of what I read in Mother Jones, being as I am somewhere to the right of Karl Marx. Occasionally, however, they make a good point, and I often find it lurking in the writings of Adam Weinstein as he writes on security issues.
While I think Weinstein oversimplifies aplenty in this article, I’m mostly with him when he writes:
Is the military in a bad way when it comes to staying up-to-date? Not really. But is it paying through the nose for what it gets nowadays? Absolutely. Perhaps if congressional conservatives and generals attacked military contractors the way they attack defense-budget hawks, they could afford their guns and butter.
The problem with defense procurement is that it is the single largest specimen of a larger species, the uncontrollable government budget. The problem, however, is not defense: it is self-perpetuating bureaucracies and unkillable programs, brought to you by careerist officers in the Pentagon and pork-barrel rollers on Capitol Hill.