A step toward reason -- may it work
Obama signs law to reform Pentagon weapons buying
Any time we can curb waste, thatís good. But if we can inch toward peace at the same time, thatís even better. Some day we could attain both peace and prosperity, once we get around to adopting geonomics. This 2009 article is from Reuters, May 22. Reporting by Steve Holland and Andrea Shalal-Esa; writing by David Alexander; Editing by Eric Beech.
by Steve HollandPresident Barack Obama, seeking to end the schedule delays and cost overruns that plague U.S. military spending, signed a law on Friday to reform the way the Pentagon purchases major weapons systems.
"As commander-in-chief, I will do whatever it takes to protect the American people," Obama said at a White House signing ceremony. "But I reject the notion that we have to waste billions of dollars to keep this nation secure."
The Senate and the House of Representatives passed the legislation unanimously earlier in the week. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton said the measure won broad support because weapons program cost overruns and schedule delays were rampant.
Citing a government report that detailed $295 billion in waste and cost overruns in defense contracts, Obama said, "It's finally time to end this waste and inefficiency."
The Government Accountability Office estimated nearly 70 percent of the Pentagon's 96 biggest weapons programs were over budget in 2008.
The legislation would create a Pentagon office responsible for estimating the cost of new programs and led by a director who reports to the defense secretary.
It would also put a bigger focus on testing new weapons before they enter production to ensure technologies were sufficiently developed, and would give military commanders a bigger say in framing requirements for any new weapons.
The changes are being closely watched by the Pentagon's biggest defense contractors -- Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), Boeing Co (BA.N), Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N), General Dynamics Corp (GD.N) and Britain's BAE Systems Plc (BAES.L).
JJS: If preparing for war were not profitable but done at cost -- more like a nonprofit organization doing good works for societyís benefit -- just how belligerent, do you reckon, would be the nations with a military/industrial complex (to use the words of ex-president and ex-general Dwight Eisenhower)?
And if we curbed the waste successfully, could we ever get back to that peace dividend we were promised when the Soviet Union collapsed? If people got a fair share of the commonwealth, how many you figure would be gung-ho to enlist?
And if we set a better example for the rest of the world, might they also embrace reason? Could tossing out the weaponeers become as popular around the world as have our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, our movements for equal rights for all categories of people? Sure would be worth the while to find out.
Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics.
Might some pork wrapped in the flag get fried?
Many arms of the government misspend, none like the military
While terrorists invest with remunerative results ..
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