What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about, if we can’t use it.
Tim L. asks and Jim H. echoes the question: Why shoot million-dollar missiles at shacks? Hey, State Capital!
It goes a little something like this. Hum along if you like. Most of the combat in the world today, and most of the death in warfare, comes in the form of small arms. There is plenty of money to be made in selling guns, of course, but much of it by the middlemen. On the manufacturing side, small arms are easy to manufacture, simple and stable in design, almost infinitely replicable, and at this point in their development very, very, very reliable. No government is spending billions of dollars on semi-automatic rifle R&D. Billion-dollar maintenance contracts aren't required. Distributed revenues across component manufacturers and systems designers and computer programmers, und und und, are nowhere to be found. Guns are a fine business, but, like, totally mom-n-pop.
Million-dollar missiles are another thing entirely. Million-dollar missiles pad the pockets of everyone from research universities to advanced technology companies to Congressmen and their congressional districts. Now naturally Congresscreatures want this money and their constituents want this money and the companies and research universities surely want this money and the US military works for the same government as all those Congresscreatures who give the military money to give to the companies to give to the districts to give to the congresscreatures and back again. How much of our military policy is driven by the ouroboran economics of Procurement? Quite a fucking lot. The machinery of death is an investment vehicle. The reason we blow up huts with million-dollar smart bombs is so that we can buy more million-dollar smart bombs, and not one tear is going to be shed if another shanty-town traning camp pops up another mile down the road and "costs" another missile.
"War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."
-Smedley D. Butler