Will it fly?
The Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive weapons system ever developed. It is plagued by design flaws and cost overruns. It flies only in good weather. The computers that run it lack the software they need for combat. No one can say for certain when the plane will work as advertised. This Vanity Fair article investigates.
posted by wilful
on Sep 18, 2013 -
How two American kids became big-time weapons traders
- "Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history." (via
; previously on arms contractors
posted by kliuless
on Mar 21, 2011 -
It sounds a lot like science fiction.
It moves at the speed of light and it can penetrate walls. The U.S. military has firepower that uses electromagnetic energy to blind, stun or kill targets. Defense contractors are eager, but the weapons
are not yet being deployed.
posted by dsquid
on Jul 12, 2005 -
"And the 'Soldier Kicking Asshat of the Month' award goes to..." Rep. Duncan Hunter
(R - San Diego), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, who stripped a bipartisan-approved amendment out of the defense budget which would have given America's 1.1 million reservists the ability to pay $75 a month / $233 per family for healthcare insurance. Hunter claimed that the extra cost would blow the DoD's budget. The cost? About $770 million a year over five years... approximately .0018% of the yearly defense budget, or about 2/3rds the cost of a single stealth bomber.
posted by insomnia_lj
on May 27, 2005 -
Red, White and Blue Dogs of War
Just found this story in The Nation
about a decision by the Bush administration to hire Aegis Defense Services
to protect U.S. diplomats in Iraq. The trouble is, its boss, ex-British Lt. Col. Tim Spicer, who is responsible for actually starting a coup in Papua New Guinea in 1996, among other things. Perhaps Bush, the free market disciple, is beginning to think that he needs to hire some mercs to make up for all the reserve and Guard guys quitting. If the Army needs more help and advice, they could hire this
homegrown "consulting firm."
posted by Leege
on Jan 11, 2005 -
The pursuit of permanent military supremacy.
"The question facing all Americans, therefore, is whether the expenditure of hundreds (later thousands) of billions of dollars to defend against hypothetical enemies that may not arise until thirty or forty years from now is a sensible precaution, as contended by the President and Defense Secretary, or whether it eventually will undermine US security by siphoning off funds from vital health and educational programs and by creating a global environment of fear and hostility that will produce exactly the opposite of what is intended by all these expenditures."
posted by homunculus
on Jul 22, 2002 -
The Few, The Proud, the Geeky
"U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has called for the creation of the technology equivalent of the National Guard: 'That's what I'd like to propose. What this country needs is essentially a technology equivalent of the National Guard: a National Emergency Technology Guard - NET Guard - that in times of crisis would be in a position to mobilize our nation's information technology, or IT, community to action quickly, just as the National Guard is ready to move during emergencies.'" Akk! Volunteer geeks on patrol!
posted by bclark
on Sep 27, 2001 -
Percent of World Military Spending.
The US and its allies dwarf the rest of
the world in what it spends on defense. On the one hand I see the need to
bring overwhelming force in a conflict and I think just having it is in
itself stabilizing. But I can also see money and resources put to better
use elsewhere (e.g. healthcare, education, basic research) the effects of
which I think might even do more to affect global peace and prosperity than
any loss that may obtain from a reduced defense budget.
(other Thoughts of the Fortnight
by J. Bradford DeLong including this draft
he presented with Larry Summers! at the Fed symposium in Jackson Hole :)
posted by kliuless
on Sep 1, 2001 -