Why Is The Military Trying To Cure Breast Cancer?

August 6, 2012 in Daily Bulletin, Signature

John Norris had a simple question: of all the various agencies in the United States, why is the military given billions of dollars to research breast cancer? The answer is fascinating:

  • Even though the United States spends more on defense than China, Britain, France, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Germany, India, and Brazil combined, law makers are loathe to cut the Pentagon’s budget.
  • Most other agencies get punished if they do badly. The military is the one institution that receives more money if things go bad.
  • Thus lawmakers can give funding for projects to the military, and be confident that the funding won’t get cut in the future .
  • This explains why the military has funds for researching breast cancer and encouraging the arts.
  • The military then gives the funds to the very same agencies that should have received the funding in the first place – since they have the expertise.
  • The Pentagon has also began to see economics as a military tool causing it to request money for, and expand into, traditionally non-military fields.
  • However there is substantial risk in making the military an inefficient giant bureaucratic organization that allocates money for things that do nothing to protect national security.

To read more about the Pentagon’s untouchable budget, how the concerns about “mission creep” have disappeared, how this ties into the F-35, how this figures into the 2012 Presidential political calculations, military expansion in a time of unwinding wars, the Senator who worked to give Breast Cancer funds to the Pentagon, what “expeditionary economics” are, and the long term risks all of this entails, click here.

Source: Foreign Policy