A writer posted:
“We need to keep the companies that build our stuff in business”.
No reason to. We should nationalize them, and recognize that the “common defense” is a governmental function and return to the arsenal system.
All businesses exist to survive and profits are the measure of survival. That is first motive, same for living things. However, to survive businesses must provide a good or service that is sold and has some value to the wanter or buyer. How do you decide the value of what the military industrial complex sells?
It seems to me you are saying it is ‘being ready to fight a war’. But what war? How do we know what the next enemy will do?
So we used to look to the Soviet Union and we found out later on that our estimates of their capabilities were greatly exaggerated. The Soviets were organized in about the same way we were; both lined up like in 1945. We had a pretty good arms race which we were ahead in nearly all counts.
“Our stuff”, meaning things produced by the military industrial complex are not needed for immediate threats. So, they keep making up things for these systems to do. There is no one out there who could challenge the US in the way we are preparing for war, even though we have a lot of defective systems running around we still can do a lot of damage in an industrial age conflict.
The problem is there are no longer industrial age adversaries. Our opponents will not line up tank divisions they will invite us to come and take over their country so their people can kill us. In the case of Taiwan, the PRC will not assault them; they know that industrial war is a mess. The best way to deal with Taiwan is to make it like Switzerland, an armed militia including most of the adult population. Then the PLA will never come over, they would face what they did to Chiang as well as the Japanese.
Another issue raised:
“Their workers productive so that we can produce the stuff we need when we need it.”
I promise a series of post on our not so “vibrant defense sector” in the very near future. Just a couple of recent troubled programs: the Marine’s Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, Army’s Armed Reconn Helicopter, and around since 1993 the B-2 30% mission ready.
If you think you may ever need this stuff and the work of their developers you ought to demand better.