Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Georgian Forum (Bob Higgs)

Bob Higgs on the military-industrial-congressional complex and the fiasco in Georgia:

Well, maybe it's not really so funny, especially if someone you care about has been killed or wounded in the recent fray in the South Caucasus, but corporate shareholders who are heavily invested in U.S. military-contractor stocks are laughing all the way to the bank. In their world, nothing makes for success as much as a little shooting and looting in a U.S. client state next door to Russia.

Everyone who has spent more than five minutes perusing the data on U.S. military contracts understands that the big bucks are still to be made in the production of high-tech, cutting-edge, whiz-bang weapons platforms of the sort that enriched several generations of contractors during the Cold War. But – damn it! – the Cold War had the impudence to dry up and blow away back in the early 1990s, seemingly never to return. Of course, the contractors could always direct their wiles and their lobbying budgets toward reminding members of Congress that we never know when another Big Bad Enemy will pop up. For a while China was the favorite emerging threat to serve up at defense-industry banquets and military-association get-togethers. Yet, coming up with a truly convincing replacement for the USSR proved to be an extraordinarily difficult task. China appeared to be more interested in supplying Wal-Mart and bankrolling the U.S. Treasury than in attacking the United States.

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