'Large US military projects defend the profits of corporate giants'
The Pentagon has spent $58 billion on failed weapons programs in the past 20 years, according to a new report. Among them was the Future Combat System, which failed to meet strategy requirements. A reconnaissance and attack helicopter was also scrapped as ineffective and too costly. And a so-called Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle was withdrawn due to budget cuts. The Department of Defense claims it wasn't a complete waste as technology developed during failed programs could be used on other weapons.
RT: Despite the fact that Department of Defense claims many of the programs weren’t a complete waste, they admit this is a significant loss of taxpayer money and the US military still has a number of extremely troubled programs on its books. Who is interested in this?
Sara Flounders: Each one of the really large US military projects is giant boondoggles, gifts to the largest military corporations in the US today – worth literally billions and billions of dollars over the life of these weapons. Take the next generation of new stealth bombers, a hundred billion dollars will be spent. And it is a complete gift to Northrop Grumman as others are gifts to Lockheed Martin and Boeing. It represents guaranteed super profits, billions of dollars in cost overruns.
Even the figure, just to put it in perspective of $58 billion over 20 years in projects that were cancelled, we should look at the entire military budget in the US today, which is said to exceed a trillion dollars. More than 600 billion that is part of the military budget, and then there are all kinds of other items that are hidden in other parts of the US budget, but really are for war and the cost of past wars, interest, research and development for future wars. It goes on and on. So that is the real crime, and it is a staggering amount of human resources that could reshape life in the US today and on the planet literally. And instead it goes for super profits to military corporations for mass destruction.
RT: Taking into account what you’ve just said, why do you think they keep spending such enormous sums of money on such projects?
SF: Because it is absolutely essential for Wall Street, for propping up the US economy that really is based on military industries, oil industries, and their interconnection with the largest banks. So this is a gift to all these corporations have had a stranglehold on the US economy today. It has nothing to do with need for defense of anyone living in the US today. It is for the defense of the profits of these corporate giants. That is what they are defending and they will spend any amount to do that.
RT: Where, do you think, this money could be spent instead?
SF: There is certainly a much better use of $58 billion. There was a famous UN report in 1998 that said at the cost of $40 billion world poverty could totally be ended. So you can see what $58 billion could do in terms of reshaping the planet. But as I say the real cost is so much higher. US military spending exceeds all spending spent on the military of every other country put together. Now that is an enormous crime against the people of the whole world and the people of the US, where the standard of living, social services, health and education is declining.
RT: Do you think the US learns from its mistakes?
SF: No, not only it doesn’t learn from its mistakes, but it has lots of new weapons programs lined up: high-tech programs, drone programs, robotic programs, using the most advanced technology. All of it to be used in an effort to shut down all dissent around the world, to be used in efforts of regime change, to be used in assassination of world leaders and resistance forces. This is the way in which the US corporate power plans to try to keep its hold on its dominant position in the world. And it’s not doing it through advanced resources, trade, and exchange. It is doing it through military threats; it is doing it through new weapons systems, and it is doing it through super profit handouts to the corporate giants.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.