Panetta’s Phony Doomsday Scenario
Two Questions for the Next Secretary of Defense
by FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
CounterPunch, 11 February 2013
Figure 1 places Mr. Panetta’s claim into the context of past defense budgets. I have aggregated these budgets into the four year totals corresponding to each presidential term since Harry Truman’s second term began 64 years ago in 1949 (FY1950). Bear in mind, the effects of inflation have been removed and these four-year totals are presented in trillions of FY13 constant dollars.
Phi Beta Iota: OSD has no idea what it is doing for the simple reason that it is not getting intelligence with integrity that is relevant to planning, programming, budgeting, acquisition, training, and execution. OSD is running on budget share agreements and military-industrial-congressional pork fests that put our people in danger. The DoD Inspector General is toothless, there is no Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E), no one in OSD –which is full of very smart people –DIA is capable of providing that decision-support at all levels (strategic, operational, tactical, and technical) but ONLY if DIA has a strong Secretary of Defense that actually WANTS ethical evidence-based decision-support. We hear some good things about DIA Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). There is a great deal more to be done — to include absolutely ruthless counterintelligence against all of the penetrations of DoD across all functions and services. Panetta, like Gates, has been a “maintenance” SecDef with “maintenance” puppies in key positions. It is highly likely that Chuck Hagel will also be a “maintanance” SecDef, but there is a small possibility that if he is armed with a full range of intelligence products that are UNCLASSIFIED and can be shared with Congress, industry, the media, and the public. There is NOTHING standing in the way of a strong full-spectrum military with global reach except CORRUPTION. The best antidote to corruption in all its forms is intelligence with integrity.