The Pentagon and the Washington Post: Cold War Brothers-in-Arms | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

The Pentagon and the Washington Post: Cold War Brothers-in-Arms

Caveat Emptor. There is no better way to exaggerate perceptions of the threat than to rely on the worst-case assumptions of the Department of Defense. Since the creation of the department in the National Security Act of 1947 we have been inundated with the Pentagon’s distortions: the non-existent “bomber gap” in the 1950s; the “missile gap” in the 1960s; and the so-called “intentions gap” of the 1980s, which argued that the Soviet Union believed that it could fight and even win a nuclear war.

One of the reasons why President Harry S. Truman created the Central Intelligence Agency, also in the National Security Act, was to have an independent civilian agency challenging the Pentagon’s self-serving briefings on Capitol Hill for increased defense spending. The imperative for the military is to ensure the continued flow of funding for its arsenal. To this end, it will always posit the worst case possible that it must defend against.

The mainstream media should be well aware of the dangers of relying on military briefings and assessments when editorializing about the capabilities and intentions of putative adversaries such as Russia and China. But the Washington Post, which has been beating the editorial drums for challenging Beijing, is currently using the Pentagon’s latest report to the Congress on China’s military strength to promote increased U.S. defense spending and additional military deployments in East Asia. The Post and the New York Times regularly cite the U.S. Cold War with China, a very dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy if there ever was one.

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