The New Red Scare
Reviving the art of threat inflation
Date Written: 16/12/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21983
An examination of miltary escalation through the Cold War, and how the United States continues to use 'threat inflation' as a means of increasing military spending by pointing towards China as well as renewing fears of Russia.
His analysts, a group of formidable young technocrats, were known as the Whiz Kids. Their iconoclastic reports on military budgets and programs, conveyed directly to the secretary of defense, regularly earned the ire of the Pentagon bureaucracy. Among them was Pierre Sprey, who later helped to develop the F-16 and A-10 warplanes. He emphatically confirmed his old boss's observation about chimerical threats. "It was true for all the big-ticket weapons programs," he told me recently. "But although we pissed off the generals and admirals, we couldn't stop their threat-inflating, and their nonworking weapons continued to be produced in huge quantities. Of course," he added with a laugh, "the art of creating threats has advanced tremendously since that primitive era."