CNN.com: In your book, you describe arms trade as "legalized bribery."
Feinstein: Specifically in the United States there is a circle of patronage between the defense contractors, the Pentagon and lawmakers that sometimes results in inordinately expensive weapons projects that are not relevant to the conflicts that the country is engaged in, don't always do what is promised, and are often delivered late. This has been going on at least since WWII. The F-35 is the obvious example of this.
CNN.com: What is the F-35?
Feinstein: The F-35 is the jet fighter currently being produced by the Unites States at a cost over $380 billion. While it might have been useful during the Cold War, it is not suited to the sorts of conflicts the US is currently engaged in, and is likely to be involved in for generations to come. A former Pentagon aerospace engineer I interviewed described it as "a piece of crap" and suggested those who will be in most danger from the F-35 will be the test pilots. Already testing has been halted on a few occasions. But it feeds the circle of patronage that is the US defense procurement system.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Feeding the circle of patronage
Stating the obvious in this CNN interview.