But a billion here and there adds up, with the F35 program cost ballooning from $219 billion (1997) to $395 billion (2012) and counting. Even after the Pentagon finally strong-armed Lockheed into serious cost control a few years ago, and significantly cut the number of planes it will buy, the total lifetime cost of the F35 looks to be, optimistically, $1.02 trillion.

All of the figures in the previous paragraph are so enormous that they cease to have any real meaning – they’re unimaginable. To bring them down to earth, the World Peace Foundation decided to have a concrete look at what else that money could have bought:

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Two significant events occurred in Sudan in the last week. Neither gained much publicity.

On June 30, Sudan marked 25 years of the National Salvation Revolution—the military coup instigated by the Muslim Brothers to forestall the peace agreement, due to be signed between Prime Minister Sadiq al Mahdi and SPLA Commander-in-Chief John Garang, on July [...]

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South Sudan ranked lowest on the Foreign Policy/Fund for Peace 2014 Failed States Index, pushing Somalia off that uncoveted spot for the first time. The Deputy Speaker of South Sudan’s parliament, Mark Nyipuoc, protested, complaining, “Sometimes our people begin to wonder and question the credibility and the impartiality of these ranking institutions. [We] [...]

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The New York Times this morning has an article that begs attention–not only for what it says about the mercenary  (i.e. “private security”) firm formerly known as Blackwater, then Academi, merged with Triple Canopy, and now part of a new firm, Constellis Holdings– but for what it says about the state of defense [...]

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The defense of former General of the Bosnian Serb army, Ratko Mladic, began in May 2014 at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Among the arguments his lawyers have already made and are expected to return to is that he suffers from “deception of memory.” As The Independent reported:

His [Ratko Mladic] [...]

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The central lessons are well worn but nonetheless worth re-stating. First, the main effort in counter-terrorism should be social and political reform in affected countries, and second—for the United States—a national security strategy cannot substitute for a foreign policy that is aimed at finding political solutions to political problems.

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