Return of the 'Military-Industrial Complex'? ; Pentagon Officials Come to Congress to Make Case for Big Rise in Defense Spending

By Brad Knickerbocker writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, February 13, 2002 | Go to article overview

Return of the 'Military-Industrial Complex'? ; Pentagon Officials Come to Congress to Make Case for Big Rise in Defense Spending


Brad Knickerbocker writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


In his vow to fight terrorism - to "win the first war of the 21st century" - President Bush has pledged "whatever it takes, whatever it costs...." If the administration's projections are correct, in just a few years that cost will near a half-trillion dollars a year.

On Capitol Hill this week, service secretaries and other top Pentagon officials are explaining to Congress how those sums will be spent. At a time of anticipated budget deficits, lawmakers are likely to temper their support for national security with the need to appear frugal.

Yet, depending on where they're from, they also can be expected to assert that the military bases and defense plants in their districts are among the most vital assets to protect the homeland.

In a military budget that is as big as the 15 next biggest countries combined, what's the potential for waste, inefficiency, and good old-fashioned pork? When it comes to military spending, the tradition of the "iron triangle" - Congress, the Pentagon, and defense industries - joining to push costly weaponry is nothing new.

"We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex," five-star Army General Dwight Eisenhower said in his last speech as president in 1961. "The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

With the nation under recent attack, US forces fighting overseas, and patriotism-fueled Pentagon budgets rising faster than usual, that potential increases.

Writing in the Washington Post, White House budget director Mitch Daniels warns that special interests are likely to jump on the national security and homeland defense bandwagon to promote their products.

But larding the federal budget with extras isn't limited to nonmilitary items, others note. "What Mr. Daniels forgot to mention was that vested interests also exist in the defense sector - that is, defense industries - that are out to do much the same," says the Cato Institute's Ivan Eland.

Some weapons outmoded?

Under increased scrutiny are big-ticket weapons that critics say are too costly, unreliable, or otherwise inappropriate in an era shifting from superpower cold war to terrorism and other forms of unconventional conflict. Among these are the F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft, B-1 bomber, V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, Crusader self- propelled artillery system, and Comanche helicopter.

These "are five of the most wasteful and ineffective weapons systems," says Danielle Brian of the watchdog group Project on Government Oversight.

Before Sept. 11, Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld himself had questioned some major weapons systems that, in his view, did not fit the needs of military "transformation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Return of the 'Military-Industrial Complex'? ; Pentagon Officials Come to Congress to Make Case for Big Rise in Defense Spending
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.