Chuck Spinney: How the Narcotic of Defense Spending Undermines a Sensible Grand Strategy

Wednesday, March 2, 2022 9:10 PM

The principle of evil consists in messing into other peoples’ affairs.—Ezra Pound

Dear Friends + Interlocutors,

The question is, what drives American foreign policy? Does the need to spend for “defense”—to keep the military/industrial complex (MIC) healthy, fat and happy—by itself drive policy-makers to do what they do? Chuck Spinney is an expert on military spending, and he feels that the Pentagon/MIC factor is paramount.

He sent me the current entry on his website, The Blaster, below. See who the real winners are of the Ukraine blowup. The follow-on entry, Putin’s path to war in three speeches, by James W. Carden is important. It covers diplomacy or lack of it.

Pentagon/MIC must be huge factor, but is it the determining one? I think what is going on inside policy-makers heads may come first. Their ill-conceived ideas, their egos, their prejudices, their ignorance, and how they have misconstrued America’s mission in the world—these factors are at least as important.

All I know for sure, irrespective of MIC or the hijacking of America, is that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was completely avoidable, easily avoidable, and was caused by decisions of Washington foreign policy operatives at the White House and State Department.

Neocon and neo-liberal apparatchiks did not make a mistake in ignoring Putin’s repeated concerns about NATO. (See Carden’s article in Spinney’s entry.) They deliberately ignored Putin to provoke a war.

They did not make a mistake in engineering the coup in Ukraine in 2014 which overthrew the elected government. It was part of the plan.

Under multiple administrations, they knew what they were doing. The Oval Office went with the flow. Bush Jr., Saint Obama, The Donald, and now Papa Joe—do you really think these characters comprehend what they are doing? They are sleepwalking.

The Blob plan was to make trouble for Russia, destabilize Russia, and ideally to bring about regime change in Russia so that it would revert to a basket case similar to the Yeltsin years. Ukraine is a wedge issue, an expendable pawn. For their purposes, war is not bad. A proxy war is wonderful.


How the Narcotic of Defense Spending Undermines a Sensible Grand Strategy by Chuck Spinney