My answer to Does increasing the defense budget by $54B realistically prepare the USA for modern threats (like ISIL…
Answer by Ken Larson:
The American military budget keeps going higher because the Military Industrial Complex has driven it high and it has repeatedly defied attempts for congressional control.
A law passed in 1994 initially set the deadline for 1997, for compliance with he CFO Act, a congressional mandated law to pass an audit, but the Pentagon’s books were in such disarray that it blew past that date. Then, in 2010, Congress told the Pentagon to comply by 2017.
The next year, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta pledged that the department would by 2014 be ready for a partial account of its finances – a much less detailed accounting than requested of the military services — but the department missed that deadline too.
THE CIPHER BRIEF- WALTER PINCUS”
“It’s time to think of the costs that more than 14 years of war have had on this country.
I’m not just thinking in terms of dollars, although we should worry because most of the added expense, over $1 trillion, has been put on a credit card. This so-called war on terrorism – with no end in sight – remains the first war that American presidents have not asked the public to pay for with a special tax.
I’m also concerned with how few Americans are directly or even indirectly involved in the conflict, with only one percent of U.S. citizens serving or having served in the military, and another two or three percent only being a part of the defense community.
That means more than 90 percent of the public are just observers, for whom this near decade-and-a-half of bloodshed is something that appears on television or causes a moment of recognition at some sports event.”
In the last 14 years the US has reacted to the 911 tragedy by creating a behemoth machine.
Our government has not considered the risks, the indigenous cultural impact, the expense and the sacrifices required to sustain the nation building that must occur after we invade countries in pursuit of perceived enemies and place the burden of governance on military personnel who are not equipped to deal with it or manage USAID contractors who have profit motives in mind and corruption as a regular practice.
"THE PROJECT ON GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT (POGO)"
“Seven years behind schedule and millions of dollars over budget. When first conceived in 2001, each F-35 was supposed to cost $81 million. In his piece POGO’s Winslow Wheeler puts the true cost of the airplane at $219 million or more per copy:
So what went wrong? In 2001, Lockheed Martin won a valuable government contract worth an estimated $233 billion to create the plane. Instead of testing the plane’s various aspects before production, Lockheed Martin decided to use a practice called concurrency–producing and testing the plane at the same time.
As of now, the planes can’t drop bombs and have only 2% of the necessary coding to be used in combat. During testing, pilots have ended up abandoning their futuristic helmets mid-flight due to the confusion they cause. The planes also can’t fly in inclement weather, something a $60,000 Cessna can do.
Another basic question: why hasn’t the government stepped in to keep Lockheed Martin on track? Ciralsky believes it’s due to an expensive and brilliantly conceived manipulation of our political system.
The political process that keeps the Joint Strike Fighter airborne has never stalled. The program was designed to spread money so far and so wide—at last count, among some 1,400 separate subcontractors, strategically dispersed among key congressional districts—that no matter how many cost overruns, blown deadlines, or serious design flaws, it would be immune to termination. It was, as bureaucrats say, “politically engineered.
POGO has reported on the problematic F-35 in the past.include cancelling the more expensive and problematic variants of the F-35 and replacing them with proven, less expensive systems. Wheeler, though, believes the project should be abandoned all together. He in Foreign Policy, “There is only one thing to do with the F-35: Junk it. America’s air forces deserve a much better aircraft, and the taxpayers deserve a much cheaper one. The dustbin awaits.”
Read the rest ofto see how just how bad the F-35 program has become."