Helping Afghanistan Meant People Helped Themselves to Money

How did helping Afghanistan with a new gas station cost $43 million? Building a similar station in Pakistan cost a half million dollars, but not this one. Scott Shackleford writes at the Reason.com blog, “A $43 Million Gas Station—Is This Why We’re Still in Afghanistan?” The United States (as in, you and me), paid $43 million to build a compressed natural gas (CNG) station in Sheberghan, Afghanistan. […] That’s not even the punch line. The punch line is that the Department of Defense Read more […]

The Pentagon Lets Defense Contractors Write Rules

Why shouldn’t defense contractors write laws? Other lobbyists do. This news should not surprise us at all. It isn’t special to the military; it is the price of big government. Rare.us reports, “Defense contractors are literally writing their own rules for Washington’s defense spending.” I couldn’t help but notice this story reported Tuesday in Politico: In his bill set to pass this week to overhaul how the Pentagon buys weapons, the new chairman of the House Armed Services Read more […]

Football Is Paid Off for Patriotism by the Pentagon?

The Department of Defense buys pro-military patriotism from the NFL. I am trying to be restrained… but it’s very, very hard. Is there any major business entity not in bed with the government to rip off taxpayers? Even the NFL? From NJ.com: “Jets’ salutes honor N.J. National Guard but cost taxpayers.” When the Jets paused to honor soldiers of the New Jersey Army National Guard at home games during the past four years, it was more than a heartfelt salute to the military — it was Read more […]

Pentagon Doesn’t Know Expense of Employee Conferences

Perhaps the Pentagon can start a new series of conferences on how to keep track of expenses for employee conferences. Posting on the Pentagon and budget misfeasance (or malfeasance?) is so easy it is almost embarrassing. To quote P. J. O’Rourke from a completely different context, it is almost like hunting dairy cattle with a high-powered rifle and scope. The Defense Department sends out experts on specific operations who don’t even know how much they cost, they spend vast sums hauling Read more […]

Is John McCain Right about White House Pentagon Decisions?

Are Pentagon decisions being made “within a small group in the White House”? There is no love lost between John McCain and me. I don’t often agree with him. In fact, I often strongly disagree with him—both on domestic policy and especially on foreign policy. But that doesn’t mean he is always wrong or always inaccurate in his perceptions. He may be absurd in claiming that we can support “rebels” against Bashar al Assad in Syria without funding al Qaeda-related terrorists, but he Read more […]

Washington Needs to Stop Squandering “Defense” Dollars

Washington Should Stop Squandering “Defense” Dollars On Rich Allies And Failed States. America accounts for nearly 40 percent of globe’s military outlays, but Republican Party hawks believe that the federal government never spends enough on the Pentagon. The war lobby’s mantra always is more, much more. Yet the U.S. already devotes far more than it should to “defense,” which today largely means protecting wealthy allies who prefer to spend their money on domestic goals. Washington should Read more […]

Independence Day, Thirty Years After: Pentagon Is Big Brother on the Other Side of the Screen

In George Orwell’s 1948 novel, 1984, the concept of “Big Brother” became the universal slogan for the surveillance state. Orwell used very little actual science fiction technology in his novel. But there was one prominent exception: the telescreen. Every home had a device that sent information (or disinformation) and also spied on the dwellers. This permitted the government, through this network, to not only gather intelligence, but to manipulate and control the people. Even though it was Read more […]

Pentagon Devoting Money to Research How to Deal with “Mass Civil Breakdown”

Since we know that Homeland Security (along with other federal agencies) has been arranging to purchase large amounts of ammunition, stories about the Defense Department studying how to deal with “mass civil breakdown” worry me. From the Washington Times: The Department of Defense has disbursed some funds to universities so that scientists might study the dynamics of civil unrest — and how the U.S. military might best respond. It’s called the “Minerva Research Initiative,” and it’s Read more […]