by GABRIEL KOLKO
The allocation of money within the American military system is reflected in which weapons are chosen—and why. What is at stake are rivalries among military branches, which have influence and connections with arms producers, the Congress, and the entire complex matrix of factors that determine who wins and loses in the Pentagon budget process. The United States has, by far, the largest military budget of any nation on earth but it also loses wars, cannot procure everything the military services dream up, and ultimately it too must choose between weapons at the expense of the priorities and demands of other services.
In plain English, if the Air Force gets an ultra-modern aircraft which may cost many billions, even trillions, and takes years to iron out the technology (and may ultimately even never operate) there will be less money for the Army and Navy to attain its dreams—or visa versa.
Here some historical background is in order.
GABRIEL KOLKO is the leading historian of modern warfare. He is the author of the classic Century of War: Politics, Conflicts and Society Since 1914 and Another Century of War?. He has also written the best history of the Vietnam War, Anatomy of a War: Vietnam, the US and the Modern Historical Experience.
For more on this story, visit: The Pentagon Pathology » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.