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Paperback This War Really Matters: Inside the Fight for Defense Dollars Book

ISBN: 1568024606

ISBN13: 9781568024608

This War Really Matters: Inside the Fight for Defense Dollars

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Drawing on nearly 40 years of news writing focused on military issues, George C. Wilson takes the reader through a fascinating, but little understood, process: how the Pentagon and Congress spend $500,000 a minute on guns and soldiers. Interweaving personal stories and insights from the major players throughout a fast-paced narrative, Wilson provides an inside look at how the 105th Congress and the Pentagon battled for a 250 billion dollar defense...

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

The Future of an Illusion

Try reading this book. It incites the desire in me to shrink it down to something else, like any psychiatrist would approach a case of psychotic multiplicity. There are a number of individuals with credible positions presented in this book, and the summaries of those positions express matters that are highly important. The problem with the story is that, instead of hinging on the things that are important, the whole picture is in danger of becoming unhinged whenever a decision approaches the bottom line. This is like great art which has no conception that the whole world might see this picture and consider it absolutely nukers. As crazy as all the other nukers in the world might seem to us, it takes a lot of effort to keep from applying the same judgment to the system which inflicts the costs mainly on ourselves. There are things in this book, like William Greider's comment about "payoffs for layoffs" on page 200, which make it too obvious which bottom line matters. His personal suggestion to "turn out the lights rather than waste all this money waiting for world war three" (p. 201) is coupled with his knowledge of officers who "question this choice of toys over boys" (p. 202) because of what's happening: "they're being rolled by the industry." (p. 202) Even Wilson has to report that "There are too many fiefdoms." (p. 202) That might be the main conclusion here, except that it is followed by some comment about a president who would rather "chat by the side of the road until a compromise route is agreed upon." (p. 203) The index doesn't have an entry for "depleted uranium" weapons, but we are still planning for some part of the world to become a dumping ground for our bombs, and it is highly unlikely that there will be much of a chat by the side of the road before the choice of mistakes on where we can hurt our enemies the most is made. The story of how "the American military's fighting edge was being lost for lack of money" (p. 90) hardly makes sense in a world that keeps complaining when we do destroy things.

A literate, lucid masterpiece

George C. Wilson is simply the best reporter alive writing about the American military. THIS WAR REALLY MATTERS brings into the cold light of day the federal budgetary process and its effect on national defense issues. The book is relatively short--just twelve chapters--and is written in the clear, easy-to-understand style of the professional reporter Wilson certainly is. He tackles the tough questions: Why is the military orgainzed the way it is? Does it have the weapons it needs to fight now and in the future? Why and how are new weapons systems procured? As you might suspect, Wilson confirms, It's the money, Stupid! THIS WAR REALLY MATTERS is a literate, lucid masterpiece that should be read by every military officer and candidate for federal office. It should also be read and re-read by every student interested in the way decisions are made in a major democracy.
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