This week the first crack in the US military industrial complex was started. An overstatement? Maybe. Does it really mean we can start thinking smartly about how and why we have the largest armed forces in the world? Well, yeah lots of people are thinking smartly about it, just probably not Congress. Rachel Maddow gave a pretty awesome overview of what no longer building F22's means:
As a part of the generation raised on Top Gun, the idea that the F22 is obsolete (both in tactics and technology) is news. It seems the F22 is just as pointless as the volleyball scene:
But, back to business...something else in the Maddow report struck me: when we talk about outsourcing military projects, we aren't just talking about Blackwater and mercenary contractors, we are also talking about companies doing nothing less than holding US tax payers hostage by their (albeit smart) business practices.
It wasn't until I was doing research for my master's thesis that I knew the origin of the term "Military Industrial Complex" and the fact that it was coined by Eisenhower was mind-boggling. As was the realization that American jobs were not always tied up in the creation of weapons and the goods of war. Of course, the world has changed, but it is interesting to think what the dollars and hours spent on something as useless as the F22 could have produced.
If you haven't read or read the speech, here is the text.