Can Crony Capitalism Win Wars?

South China Morning Post

My husband is writing the next viral country song: “Try building hypersonic weapons in a country with subpar science.” It may need some wordsmithing, but his concept is solid.

He was inspired after I showed him this tweet of the article above along with a selection of the comments:

“Inept H1B imports” refers to a special visa designation oft used by tech corporations to hire from outside the U.S. based on their claim that they can’t find anyone in country who will accept low wages has the skills to do the job. (I’m not sure why Quaternion Group calls such workers inept — could he do their jobs?) 

I would argue that the military-industrial industry is more likely to be brought to its knees by the poisoned seeds it contains within: crony capitalism.

When the head of your military has just resigned his seat on the board of Raytheon, you know he has friends in high places who expect him to scratch their back in return for having scratched his. White House, ditto. And then Congress multiplies this problem several hundred fold. For the past few years it has passed a Pentagon budget higher than what the Pentagon itself requested.

Try that in a small town.

Rep. Adam Smith chairs the House Armed Services Committee and is making a name for himself sharing opinion pieces like this:

The U.S. Department of Defense has spent tens of billions of dollars over the last 25 years on weapons systems that simply have failed to deliver as planned. These systems have wound up way over budget and have been either delivered exceptionally late or canceled outright after the DoD spent billions of dollars on them. Many of the programs that survive to completion, after long delays and cost overruns, have not delivered the capabilities initially desired and promised.

Not for the first time I’m reflecting on the role of late stage capitalism in defunding and privatizing public education. 

Finding the best math and science students and giving them all the free education they desire is what countries like Russia and China do. Here’s what the U.S. does:

And, I’ll just leave this artifact of reverse brain drain here:

From the International Business Times:

In April, Carl Schuster, a retired U.S. Navy captain and former director of operations at the Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center in Hawaii, conveyed to CNN that “submarines are one area where the United States retains unchallenged superiority over China.”

But now it’s being reported that a prestigious science journal in China published a study suggesting that existing technology could be used to successfully detect U.S. nuclear submarines. If it pans out, this could significantly affect U.S. military dominance of the world’s oceans. 

And that would be a game changer, indeed.