Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

Tag Archives: Effective Procurement


While we can’t know for sure what role our efforts to compile original government documents and share them with the public has played, we believe it may have made a difference.

—  Michigan State University economist Mark Skidmore, discussing his team’s startling finding about the Pentagon’s expenditures (MSU scholars find $21 trillion in unauthorized military spending; DoD to conduct first-ever audit).

USS Washington Crest

Above, the ship’s crest of the Virginia-class attack submarine USS Washington (SSN 787) is shown. (U.S. Navy graphic) The Washington, named for our state, was christened March 5th, 2016.

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Humanity shouldn’t make autonomous weapons: an open letter from AI & robotics researchers

A distinguished group of scientists and researchers involved with physics, computer science, security, and other fields have signed an open letter calling for a ban on militarized robots, saying that the development of autonomous weapons would be bad for the Earth and bad for humanity.

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Hideously expensive F-35 fighter jet runs into yet more problems

Auditors working on behalf of the United States Congress have concluded that engines made for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program are so unreliable that production of jets is likely to be slowed, Bloomberg reports. The hideously expensive program, which has repeatedly ballooned in cost, has been described even by leaders within the Pentagon as a money pit. Each F-35 costs close to or north of hundred million dollars to make, while the total cost of the program is said to be around $1.5 trillion – that’s trillion, with a t.

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Is NATO losing its edge on defense?

The BBC talks to several former military leaders and security analysts who worry that the United States and NATO are wasting money on hideously expensive high-tech weapons and equipment that don’t last very long.

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Want to save money, Republicans? Let’s reform military procurement

Businessweek reports on a problem that progressives have known about for a long time: the Pentagon pays way too much for pretty much everything, even prescription drugs. Defense contractors and megacorporations are making a killing overcharging taxpayers. What’s worse, the quality of the weapons, vehicles, and equipment they’re delivering is going down. Just look at the ballooning costs for the F-35 Lightning II.