Not surprisingly, weapons contractors want as much taxpayer money as the political market will bear. Part of their job is to maximize revenue, profits, and share value. That’s why the nation’s civilian leadership in the Pentagon and Congress are supposed to ride herd on the arms industry to avoid overcharges and misplaced priorities that lead to excessive spending and greater insecurity. But of late Congress and the Department of Defense have failed in their responsibility to the taxpayers and the citizenry writ large.
The latest examples of flawed oversight are the moves by the House and Senate to add between $3737 0.0% billion and $45TESTR 0.0% billion to the budget for the Pentagon and nuclear weapons work at the Department of Energy beyond what those agencies even asked for. While the rhetoric driving the increases cites challenges from RussiaRUSSIA 0.0% and China, the underlying motivation is clear – pork barrel politics, or the placement of weapons contracts in the states and districts of key members of Congress.
This privileging of special interests over the national interest is the result of the activities of what longtime defense analyst Gordon Adams has described as the “Iron Triangle” of the military, contractors and Congress, or the Military-Industrial- Congressional Complex, as others have called it. It’s all about the money – jobs, profits, campaign contributions, astronomical defense CEOCEO 0.0% salaries, and more.
Now the weapons industry is making another money grab, in the form of a new white paper from the National Defense Industrial Association that claims that Pentagon buying power will diminish by $11 0.0%10 billion from Fiscal Year 20212021 0.0%FUTR 0.0% to Fiscal Year 2023 due to inflation. In line with this assertion, the NDIADIA +0.1%A 0.0% calls for adding $4242 0.0% billion to the Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget request; adding ample inflation adjustments should there be a stopgap continuing resolution to keep the government open until a final budget agreement can be reached; and renegotiating existing contracts to make inflation adjustments.
Read the full piece in Forbes.