Least Diplomatic
Fighting Pentagon Graft, w/ William Hartung and Julia Gledhill

Fighting Pentagon Graft, w/ William Hartung and Julia Gledhill

Have you wondered how precisely the Pentagon manages to siphon so much taxpayer money year after year?

How the military-industrial-congressional complex functions in practice? Why US primacy is so expensive yet perpetually in crisis?

Or how it is that China—a much smaller, less modern military power—is the Pentagon’s “pacing threat” and somehow that justifies an $886 billion defense budget?

Or why, if something doesn’t change, we’re likely to see a big trillion-dollar defense budget before the Biden administration leaves office?

If you answered “Yes” to any of those questions, this episode is for you.

This episode with William Hartung and Julia Gledhill is something of a tutorial for understanding Pentagon bloat and corruption—which are deeply intertwined.

US defense strategy has been hot garbage for, well, as long as I’ve been alive. It’s never been well conceived, sets impossible standards that it uses to request evermore funds when it fails to meet them, and heightens the very threats it aims to guard against.

How can this be? As we discuss in this episode, a key cause of this strategic ineptitude is Pentagon graft and the ability to buy its way out of the kinds of tradeoffs that would impose discipline on strategy-making.

Anyway, I loved nerding out with these folks. Hopefully you will too. Patrons of the newsletter can listen to the episode here now, ahead of its release on all the podcast platforms next week.


Least Diplomatic
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