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Chuck Spinney – Why Are Defense Policy Wonks So Ineffectual?

Today, America’s foreign policy is a shambles.  Its primary features are (1) a perpetual war on terror, and (2) the seemingly inevitable march into a new and unnecessary cold war against Russia and China.  At the same time, President Obama is leaving his successor with a budget plan containing a front loaded and political engineered* procurement bow wave that guarantees steeply rising defense expenditures well into the next decade and possibly beyond.  Such long term increases in the defense budget can only be justified by a new cold war.  Yet the United States now spends far more on the military than any other country.  Add in the expenditures of our allies, and the spending advantage over any conceivable combination of adversaries becomes overwhelming.   Nevertheless, US citizens are more fearful than they were during the Cold War, and politicians and the yellow journalism of the mainstream media are hyping those fears to a greater extent than they did during the Cold War.
What is going on?
Most pundits and policy makers who debate this dismal state of affairs subscribe to the view that fixing foreign policy is the first step toward getting control of the Pentagon and ultimately reducing defense budgets.