The US defense budget for the fiscal year 2019 is a whopping $693 billion. That is more than the budget of the next seven highest spenders combined. I don’t think that the massive dollar amount tells us the entire story. The question is “Are we getting our money’s worth?” Unfortunately, most of the money allocated for defense is pocketed by the defense contractors. As an example, General Dynamics, where I worked from 1983 till 1985, sold toilet seats to the US Air Force for $10,000 a piece. You can imagine the magnitude of the abuse. Their biggest contractor, Boeing couldn’t design 737 Max correctly destroying hundreds of innocent lives. Six months have passed to those tragedies. Their planes are still grounded in planes’ graveyard. Again, question comes to mind, “How cost effective and reliable is our defense system?” A food for thought: India’s unmanned mission to Mars costed 66 million dollars which is only 11% of what it costs the United States for a similar mission
It’s especially scary in the light of USA’s recent system’s failure in detecting and defending drone strike by low tech Yemeni’s (Houthi rebels) drone that knocked out Saudi Arabia’s major oil facility on September 14, 2019 crippling 5% of world’s oil production. Saudi Arabia recently spent billions of dollars in building six battalions of US made Patriot surface to air missiles and radars. The system failed to detect and intercept the Yemeni drone. And it was not the first time that the US defense system failed. Patriot failed five times before when Saudi Arabia tried to stop a barrage of rocket strikes in March of 2018. The customers too have limits to their patience. Do not be surprised if Saudi Arabia, just like Turkey and India, would choose the Russian built S-400 system soon (according to the latest report by Bloomberg that I read while writing this article, The Saudis are already negotiating with Russia to obtain their S-400 system). It reminds me of the Japanese auto giants almost annihilating US car manufacturers in the 1980s. I was working for General Motors at that time.
The videos have shown that Patriots exploded on their way and veered off its course. “It’s nothing but an unbroken trail of disasters with the weapon system,” said Theodore Postol of MIT. As an American, I am not happy to report this to you, but I can’t do anything but write to our Senators and Congressmen/women to put our country ahead of their personal interest. What is happening is not good for America.