Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 | 2:01 a.m.
An Associated Press story last week carried a dire warning from the Pentagon that any additional defense cuts could “undermine the military” and “do real harm to our security.”
We have been hearing that for years. But it’s just not true, and after having spent many, many years in the Defense Department business, including defense contracts, I’ll let you in on a little secret — just about every defense contractor has at least one retired general on the board and often several more scattered throughout the company.
And the predictable scare tactics to protect the almighty budget are right on schedule. But don’t believe it. If someone says we need more defense-related spending, the response should be, “What is the specific threat that our current resources cannot address?”
These retired generals got their jobs because they can steer defense contracts to their new employers — the old “revolving door” or “military industrial complex.” National defense is big business, and I’m talking trillions. And national defense is not really the issue — it’s mostly about big defense contracts and post-military career jobs.
I ask you, what does “defending the nation” have to do with the wars we are now fighting in the Middle East? Or the scores of bases we have spread out around the world or the 11 carrier strike groups that are paid for by the poor U.S. taxpayer? Will these forces keep terrorists out of the United States? If we really wanted to defend this country, we would have troops on the border, don’t you think?