War Bad for the Defense-Industrial Complex
Thomas Barnett cites a subscriber-only article in a recent issue of The Economist which notes that “the war in Iraq is surprisingly bad news for America’s defence firms.”
Surprising to the Economist perhaps, but I made this argument with some force in the first chapter of Blueprint for Action.
The Pentagon lives to dream up fabled future opponents and then program against that desired foe. In concert, the defense firms live to build those massive and expensive platforms and weapons and communications systems for that desired scenario.
You have some nasty and real like Afghanistan and Iraq intrude on that dreamy future, and guess what? Stuff doesn’t get bought.
Not surprising whatsoever. Asymmetrical, fourth-generation warfare doesn’t favor the few and the absurdly expensive, but the many and the cheap.
Of course, facts seldom change preconceptions. People will go right on believing that we go to war at the behest of defense contractors.