I rail about the welfare state every day. But the warfare state is just as bad. The government just spent 3 months worth of foodstamps for 47 million people on 10 submarines we absolutely do not need. But the neo-cons have the balls to say we are gutting the military. Maybe some of these billions could be better spent taking care of the injured and dying veterans from the previous wars of choice waged on behalf of the corporate interests. In case you were wondering, this is what Eisenhower was talking about in his military industrial complex speech.

Guest Post by David Stockman

Pouring Keynesian Waste Into Davy Jones’ Locker: Yesterday’s $18 Billion “Upside Surprise”

The algos were raging yesterday morning because April durable goods orders were up by an unexpected 0.8%. Well, yes they were: The US Navy inked a gigantic $18 billion order for 10 new nuclear-powered attack submarines during the month. Consequently, the actual 0.8% decline in industrial orders was transformed into a swell “upside” surprise.


U.S. Navy

U.S. Navy placed a record order in April for killer subs. 

But folks, the US Warfare State doesn’t need no more stinking nuclear attack submarines. It already has more than 70 in service, and several more beyond yesterday’s huge order were already in the pipeline.

The reason we don’t need them— beyond the vast redundancy in firepower already extant— is that attack submarines have one primary mission. Namely, to kill nuclear-powered submarines carrying the ICBMs of hostile powers who may have them aimed at US cities.

Here’s the deal. China has just three ICBM capable submarines which have a range under 5,000 miles and which have never been deployed in the blue water; and Russia’s rusting legacy fleet of 10 subs left over from the cold war (that would be the one which ended a quarter century ago) is basically mothballed in port.

During the most recent year, the Russian Navy’s operating tempo was so anemic as to amount to one SSBN submarine on the water at any given time. So even though they theoretically have 160 submarine launched ballistic missiles on their 10 ships compared to 656 for the US, 90% of Russia’s SLBMs could never be launched.

Stated differently, during the peak of the cold-war in 1983, the Soviet Navy conducted 105 patrols compared to 5 in 2012.  Yet back then we have far fewer attack subs on the water and what we had were far less lethal than today’s US fleet. Stated differently, the 70 attack subs we already have are advanced technology killers purchased at the peak of the Reagan build-up— and at a time after the current Russian fleet of aging SSBNs were already on the water!

Since the strategic nuclear stand-off ended decades ago, the attack submarine fleet has been given an additional mission to serve as a deterrent against surface ships and especially aircraft carrier battle groups of hostile industrial powers. Needless to say, China has one re-conditioned nuclear aircraft carrier it bought second-hand from the Ukraine!  And Russia has one, and yes, it too patrols the languid waters of its homeport.

So the 10 new attack submarine order announced yesterday is just mindless waste. The order amounts to a preposterous exercise in military Keynesianism that adds nothing to the security and safety of the American people, but will result in the drastic waste of fiscal resources in a nation that is already drifting rapidly toward insolvency.

This modern day exercises in sub-sea pyramid building, however, does smoke out the abysmal economic ignorance of the so-called financial press. The writer of the story below, one Jeffry Bartash, had no trouble with the idea that pouring steel and electronics into Davy Jones’ locker was a sign that the American economy is coming back to life.

By Jeffry Bartash at Market Watch

U.S. nuclear subs surfaced in a big way in the April durable-goods report. A record Navy construction contract powered a 0.8% gain in durable-goods orders last month when Wall Street was actually expecting a 0.8% drop.

In April, the Navy inked a $17.6 billion contract for 10 nuclear-powered attack submarines. Contractors General Dynamics Electric Boat   and Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding  will handle construction. The deal could reach as high as $17.8 billion under certain conditions.

The huge contract led to a 39% increase in defense orders in April, using seasonally adjusted numbers. Orders for defense capital goods rose to $12.89 billion from $9.3 billion in March and $7.8 billion in February.

Of course, the subs won’t all be built right away, so the benefits to the economy will be spread out over the next five years.

The boom in demand for military equipment spruced up an otherwise drab durable-goods report. Booking for big-ticket U.S. goods actually fell in April if defense is excluded. Orders often fall in the first month of a new quarter….

Click here for complete article:


– Jeffry Bartash

10 thoughts on “WARFARE STATE WASTE”

  1. Attack submarines can launch cruise missiles against mud huts in third world countries almost anywhere in the world. It is quite cost-effective.

    I hear Israel has three or four subs (which they extorted out of the Germans) that carry nuclear tipped cruise missiles. Why don’t we put our subs to good you and take them out!

  2. Didn’t you hear the news? Al Qaeda has developed a really menacing blue water navy! Not.

    This is yet another example of lobbying and campaign bribes exchanged for gazillion dollar contracts to build useless Cold War relics to fight non-existent enemies.

    Washington is clearly out of control. What more needs to transpire before the dollar meets its richly deserved demise? We can’t build a viable economy and free ourselves from a ravenous Leviathan until the world abandons the petrodollar.

    Meanwhile, keep stacking.

  3. The joos don’t have nuclear weapons, didn’t you get the memo. Lord knows how much classified technology they have stolen from us or have been given by the AIPAC controlled US congress.We should do everything possible for that beacon of democracy in the Mid East. The Bildeberg confrence is debating our next military action this week, Iran , Syria, North Africa , Central Africa. So many possibilities so little time.

  4. Well, you only have to look at the SHAPE of a nuclear sub and what it FIRES out of, hmmm heh heh, its torpedo holes, to realize why the MEN of the armed forces want more of them.

    It’s just a more expensive and deadly game of boys in the locker room comparing each other’s equipment.

  5. Here’s a perfect example of warfare state waste en masse. It’s a potential post by AWD in 3…2…1

    America’s Obesity Epidemic Hits The Military: 1 in 5 Recruits “Too Fat To Fight”

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/28/2014 18:30

    “….while the epidemic of childhood obesity is not ‘news’ per se – for one big employer in America, it is a major problem…the number one reason people can’t join the military is that they’re overweight or obese, and “still too fat to fight.” The problem is large for active service members also with over 51% overweight (though better than the civilian population) as the DoD alone spends an estimated $1 billion per year for medical care associated with “weight-related health problems.”



  6. The Warfare State IS a Welfare State and has been since WW2. Everyone was convinced that only the monster spurt of war spending for WW2 rescued us from the Great Depression, and therefore, that only turning the country into a Garrison Economy could keep the economy humming.

    Our warfare state has made the entire economies of many regions in this country, giving hundreds of thousands of people jobs that paid far in excess of what a comparable job would fetch in a company not dependent upon defense contracts, and assuring the companies that got the contracts of easy profits with no consideration of costs. Cost overruns? Typically, defense contractors have never been called upon to justify their costs.

    When the bloated defense budget came to be questioned and politicians saw points to be made by trimming it, the economies of many of our cities were completely hallowed out within a decade. During the 80s, every family I knew, including my own, had at least one member employed by McDonnell-Douglas in St Louis. When sharp cuts were made in the defense budget in the 90s, thousands of jobs disappeared almost overnight, and people who’d been making $30 an hour to wipe windshields had a very rude awakening when they saw what their skills fetched in the unsubsidized private sector.

  7. Submarines are about the only thing the Russians/Chinese can’t utterly destroy in 10 seconds. The carrier groups are vulnerable floating targets. It seems intuitive that we will, some day, use the nukes and the ICBMs. I hope I’m in the ground when it happens.

    Speaking of pissing money away, go to:


    So far this year, we’ve already spent:

    $233 billion for “Federal pensions”, union government drones with massive pensions that retired at 50 and are now living the good life with huge healthcare benefits. They warmed a desk for 20 years, and were at the bottom of their class.

    $246 billion for “interest on the debt”. Money being flushed down the toilet for our $17.5 trillion in debt.

    Have a look at some of the figures, and at the bottom, the “unfunded liabilites”. WE’RE DOOMED.

  8. That is not quite true. Submarines are almost as vulnerable as surface ships. Magnetic and thermal detection from satellites lets most major powers know the general area of all US submarines. You don’t have to hit the submarine with a nuke, just get with 25 miles or so. The blast area will then simply rip the sub apart.

    Of course this all depends on yield of the weapon. I would be shocked if these were actually ever built. It is a huge waste of money, but then again, when the Gobbermint is involved, waste is as well…

  9. These subs are the Easter island Heads of our time.

    Except they leave a radioactive “legacy” for 150 million years.


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