Comments: Way-back Machine

Anne:
The problem with generalizing conclusion from cherry picked facts..

For example, compare LM stock price during first 5 years of Clinton vs Bush 43. First of all, according to my brokerage's stock charter, LM is up 60% over that period (tripled?). During Clinton's first five years, LM was up 210%. hmm..Also, most of that 60% gain reflected the recovery from a post 9/11 fall..from Dec 02 to Dec 05 the stock is up barely 10% .

Also, it was the policy during the Clinton administration (Les Aspin and William Perry - who I think was actually a wonderful SecDef) to encourage and subsidize mergers and consolidation of defense companies - thus perpetuating either monopoly or oligopoly in the sector.

And as for cherry picking (not you, but alternet) that it's just "republican" folks in the military industrial complex..(below is from a watchdog site)

For example, in the summer of 1997, when the U.S. Committee sponsored a dinner at which twelve U.S. senators were briefed on NATO expansion by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Jackson invited Lockheed Martin board member Bernard Schwartz, who, coincidentally, was the largest individual donor of soft money to the Democratic Party during the 1995/96 election cycle. Schwartz’s presence was a clear signal to the senators present at the dinner that supporting NATO expansion would be a good way to garner support for their campaign coffers. To reinforce that message, a few weeks after the NATO dinner Schwartz sent a $50,000 check to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

And, let's focus on other sources..the fact companies like LM have operations in 45 states and enjoy widespread Congressional help... make C-130s (even though Pentagon tried to kill it) in GA..no problem, Sam Nunn, Newt Gingrich...Inouye, Stevens, Lott, Murtha, (most of the entire CA delegation), etc..

As for the other comment - look at Bush's first campaign speeches..actually a retreat from Clinton foreign policy.. If anything, UBL violated a tenet of warfare - don't interfere when your opponent is making a mistake..UBL would have been better to let the Bush team continue with its pre 9/11 path before attacking us..the plan pre 9/11 in the Pentagon was to cut the Army by 2 divisions..no way we could have done Afghanistan and Iraq if UBL had done similar attack on US in 2003-4..

Posted by Col Steve at December 15, 2005 01:48 AM

Col Steve - Although I don't spend much time on it, the whole "military-industrial complex" is a big problem for me.

The 90s were a time of mergers and acquisitions, and not only in the defense industry. Not all of these were wise (AOL-Time Warner, anyone?) but only in the defense industry is government spending increasing enough to prop up the newly consolidated industry enough to generate huge stock profits. I'm not impressed or swayed by the news that Democrats also suffer from an excess of attachment to military spending projects. I'm not a believer of the Rightwing fable that Democrats are "anti-military."

This isn't, for me, a partisan issue. I want less government spending on defense and I sure as heck want more transparency on what is being purchased.

Moving on.... Are you really under the impression that the possibility that the military might have been understaffed to take on invading Iraq is a minus in my book?

As I understand it, even two divisions down, we could have done the job in Afghanistan?

(Also? I suspect you over-estimate the intelligence of "UBL" which I assume is bin Laden? Fanatics are rarely prepared to sit and wait for their enemy to destroy itself, which you seem to imply is what us cutting the size of the military is. Fanatics can't keep their followers engaged or their financiers donating with a "sit and wait" policy. The best thing, for recruiting and for getting money, the best thing that could happen to bin Laden and/or the Taliban was for the USofA to actually "declare war" on them. It validates everything they've ever said or believed.)

Posted by Anne at December 16, 2005 09:39 PM