However, that last bastion of superiority is beginning to fall apart, and it has the military-industrial-complex worried about our future (i.e. their jobs). According to Frank Kendall, an undersecretary for the Defense Department, we're rapidly approaching a future where nations like China could reach a technological parity with the United States.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2014 – The technological dominance enjoyed by the U.S. military force that fought the first Gulf War a quarter century ago is threatened today, the undersecretary of defense for acquisitions, technology and logistics said today.
Speaking at a Navy League special topics breakfast in Arlington, Virginia, Frank Kendall said he reviews defense intelligence data -- particularly technical intelligence -- every morning.
“I look at weapons systems that others are developing and try to make some determination as to what impact they're going to have on our abilities on the battlefields of the future -- or the present, in some cases,” the undersecretary said.
When he came back to work at the Pentagon four and a half years ago, Kendall said, it wasn’t long before he realized the United States had a problem.
“The problem was the modernization rate of other powers, in particular of China,” the undersecretary said. “China has been investing for a long time in a number of systems which are essentially focused on keeping the United States out of the part of the world that's closest to China.”Lucky for us, the Department of Defense knows exactly why we're falling behind, and they have a solution. More tax dollars of course.
The situation hasn’t improved in the time he’s been watching, the undersecretary said. “It continues to deteriorate,” he said. “It deteriorates in large part because of our budget situation.”Has it never occurred to him that we already spend quite enough money to defend ourselves, and that maybe the problem we're facing is inefficiency? That perhaps circling the globe with hundreds of military bases and constantly invading third world countries is like flushing money down the drain? Perhaps if we focused on just defending the territorial integrity of the United States, like most sane nations do, we would have plenty of money to maintain our military capabilities.
Sequestration -- which is scheduled to return in fiscal year 2016 -- and other budget uncertainties have made it difficult to maintain efficient, forward-looking acquisitions programs, Kendall said. “We've worked very, very hard to get as much as we can for the money,” he added, “and we've gotten to a point through a series of political events, really, which have put our budget in a place where it's really inadequate.”
After all, if a country like China can catch up to us despite spending 2/3 less money on their military, maybe we could learn something from them. "What's their secret," you might ask?
They mainly focus on defending mainland China, and confronting neighboring rivals like South Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. They don't piss away billions of dollars trying put boots on the ground in countries that are 10,000 miles away.
And what about Russia? How could they have become America's latest bogeyman despite having 1/7th of our military budget? Could it be that the amount of money you spend on your military has little to do with how capable it is? Is it possible that how you spend the money is what really counts?
If America didn't spend billions of dollars on obsolete aircraft carriers and outrageous boondoggles like the F-35, maybe we could focus on more important things. That is to say, if we weren't so hell-bent on developing our offensive capabilities and trying to conquer the world, we would have more than enough money to defend ourselves.
Unfortunately, I don't expect this warped mindset to change anytime soon. The tentacles of the military-industrial-complex run deep, and the arrogance of America's leadership knows no limit.
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