Review: Irrational Security – The Politics of Defense from Reagan to Obama

4 Star, Congress (Failure, Reform), Corruption, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Economics, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Force Structure (Military), History, Impeachment & Treason, Military & Pentagon Power, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Daniel Wirls

4.0 out of 5 stars Second to Goodman’s More Recent Book, Useful Nuggets but Overlooks Key Critics, March 1, 2013

I bought this book after reading — and rating at 5 stars — Mel Goodman’s new book, National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism (Open Media). That is the better and more relevant book, but both books have significant shortfalls.

I confess to being annoyed with both books, but more so with this one, for their lack of reference to the two premier substantive critics of US defense fraud, waste, and abuse, Chuck Spinney and Winslow Wheeler, or alternative media (i.e. non-PhD authors that really do their homework). Checking this book’s index I quickly determine that corruption, intelligence, Israel, and treason are not key terms.

The greatest value of this work — and I am quite surprised to not find a single review — is that it documents the reality that defense spending is in no way about defense. It is the largest piece of the legislative pork pie, in the author’s terms, “national politics of choice” of, by, and for the elite, having nothing at all to do with the public interest or public security.

I am quite taken with his three arguments, historical, analytical, and normative.

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