The efforts to convince the American public that the 2010 military budget has been cut instead of expanded aren’t even as sophisticated as the cheap tactics of a a street corner con artist. That much becomes clear if you pay attention to the details of the huge weapons programs that are wasteful in terms of government spending, but highly profitable for corporate military contractors. Of course, as every street corner con artist knows, most people don’t pay attention to the details.
Let me make this simple for you. Just remember this one thing: Last year, the U.S. Navy decided it only wanted only 2 DDG-1000 destroyers.
The reasons for this decision to buy fewer DDG-1000 destroyers than originally planned were many, including significant cost overruns. After years of development, still only one third of the DDG-1000’s “critical technologies” are ready for deployment. The most important consideration in this decision, however, is the fact that, even if all of its technologies worked according to design, the destroyer would be a sitting duck easily destroyed by enemy missiles. 15 separate reports have confirmed this to be the case.
In spite of the waste, incompetence and dangerous vulnerability to American sailors created by the DDG-1000 program, 11 U.S. Senators representing states where corporate military contractors benefit economically from the construction of the DDG-1000 sent an angry series of communications to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. They demanded that three DDG-1000 ships be built, and said that they would withdraw funding for other military programs unless their corporate patrons got their pork barrel.
Did Secretary Gates hold the line against waste? In the 2010 budget, Gates says he’s cutting wasteful defense spending, but he is requesting three DDG-1000 Destroyers. Explaining his budget, Gates said, “plans depend on being able to work out contracts to allow the Navy to efficiently build all three DDG-1000 class.”
Yet, the original point remains. The U.S. Navy doesn’t need three DDG-1000 Destroyers. Remember: The Navy only asked for two.
Neat trick, huh? The Pentagon increases a huge spending program by 50 percent, and then claims to be ending the program’s waste.
The 2010 military budget proposed by the Obama Administration is full of little maneuvers like this. The math isn’t even fuzzy. It’s brutally clear, if you just pay attention to the numbers, instead of the soaring promises that weave a narrative to shield our gullible minds from what’s right in front of our eyes.