The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Military spending for dummies

I've written my share on the massive government waste going toward missile defense-- Bush has been spending billions of dollars each year on that boondoggle. And a couple of days ago, Think Progress reported that the Pentagon had approved an $11 billion plan for the F-22 fighter jet.

Not only is it the world’s most expensive fighter jet, but it was conceived in 1985 to fight a Soviet fighter jet that was never built. As wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo show, U.S. air superiority is not in doubt. So it is perplexing that the independent Institute for Defense Analyses would recommend that the Pentagon continue purchasing a jet that has been plagued by technical problems and cost overruns.

The Washington Post wrote the following: The endorsement came from the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), a federally financed research center whose president, Dennis C. Blair, is a member of the board of a subcontractor for the F-22 Raptor fighter program, EDO Corp. EDO developed a missile launcher for the F-22 and has held contracts worth at least $38 million that are part of the program, according to its news releases.

Today, USA Today reports that our military forces are plagued by a lack of equipment, and therefore not combat ready.

In a letter to President Bush, Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said that "nearly every non-deployed combat brigade in the active Army is reporting that they are not ready" for combat. The figures, he said, represent an unacceptable risk to the nation. (. . .)

In a statement released late Wednesday, the Army chief of staff, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, said much has been asked of the Army during the nearly five years the U.S. has been at war.

"I have testified to the facts about our readiness and I remain concerned about the serious demands we face," said Schoomaker, adding that the Army needs more than $17 billion in 2007 and up to $13 billion a year until two or three years after the war ends.

Congressmen are calling for an emergency appropriation to fix the problem, but $11 billion was handed over for an obsolete plane that even Donald Rumsfeld has spoken against. Just more savvy military policy from BushCo.