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1 Bob Dillon  Tue, Jan 17, 2012 10:32:37am

[I am proud to be a co-author if this essay which first appeared in the January 9 issue of Counterpunch. I recommend it to readers interested in understanding why it is so difficult to reduce the defense budget or why why the largest budgets since the end of WWII (in inflation adjusted dollars) have produced a shrinking force structure equipped with the oldest weapons on average since the end of World War II. The co-authors of this article (see bios below) have more than 150 years experience working in the belly of the beast. CS.]

THOMAS CHRISTIE, PIERRE SPREY, CHUCK SPINNEY and WINSLOW WHEELER (Bios) are authors in the anthology “The Pentagon Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You Through It.” The book is available at no cost, and its co-authors have waived copyright protection, so there are no limits on reproduction or distribution.


Spinney also graced the cover of TIME back in ‘83. He is now retired and lives with his wife on a sailboat in the Mediterranean.

I recommend “Certain To Win” for those wanting to break out of the inertia we find ourselves in. [Link:…]

2 Romantic Heretic  Tue, Jan 17, 2012 11:17:00am

Excellent article! It confirms everything I know about air warfare, especially the human dimension.

It was very disturbing to read about the F22. Especially the limited number of hours it allows for flying. It is, as the article states, training and experience that counts the most in air-to-air combat. The F22 doesn’t allow for either.

I also hadn’t realized the F35 was such a dog.

I’ve long known that the military acquisition process in the U.S. was very corrupt. I hadn’t realized just how bad it is.

In the rest of the world’s militaries they say, “In the U.S., there’s enough graft for every one.”

3 researchok  Tue, Jan 17, 2012 2:07:41pm

re: #1 Bobibutu

Money, defense and politics.

Always the perfect storm.

The bottom line- the money does need to be spent if we are to remain relevant- only more wisely. The waste, fraud and corruption cannot be business as usual.

We need the ability to project power, the reputation that we will use that power and we will come to the physical defense of our allies if need be.

4 Romantic Heretic  Tue, Jan 17, 2012 6:15:47pm

One thing I believe is that the day of manned aircraft in the air to air role is going to be gone soon.

It’s going to be only a matter of time before RPVs are going to be outfitted for the air superiority role. When they are manned aircraft will be cleared form the sky.

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