Military Money Mishaps Of The US

The US spends more on their military than the next 7 highest military spenders in the world combined, this includes: Russia, China, and UK! Their military is the strongest on earth because of this. However, like many powerful nations out there, they made big risks in spending to improve upon on their strength and influence on the global scale, and many of its risks did payout. Lots of these heavy investments into risks also turned out to be a complete waste of money. Things like Operation Acoustic Kitty, the Bat Bomb, and a jet project that will cost the US 1.5 trillion dollars. Obviously the US isn’t the only country to make these kinds of flops in spending. This article is about America because they make some of the biggest, most numerous mistakes. These mistakes may not be complete wastes of money and may actually be more useful than media leads us on to be because no matter how absurd and/or huge your mistakes are – they are a great source of learning. That’s right. “Wasting” money on these projects are actually important strives towards success. These are some of the financial flops of the US military, and why they weren’t complete failures.

Operation Bat Bomb was a project where the military looked into arming Mexican free-tailed bats with incendiary bombs. This MILITARY project was first thought of by a dentist named Lytle S. Adams and he was friends with the president’s wife Eleanor Roosevelt. Eventually the idea would find its way to Franklin D. Roosevelt. The main idea behind the bomb is that there would be around 1000 bats in each unit. It would then be carried by a bomber over a city, and when they dropped the bomb the thousands of bats strapped with incendiary bombs would acquaint themselves with the structures and cause massive fire once they explode. Granted, using incendiary bombs was smart considering they planned on dropping these on Japan whose structures were made out of extremely flammable materials such as wood and bamboo. They designed the bomb and were ready to test it, so in 1943 during one of the tests a bomb opened while it was being transported in a base. As you may imagine this wasn’t good, and the bats flew everywhere and set everything on fire, some made their way to a fuel tank and set that on fire as well. After spending 2 million dollars, thousands of bats dead, and losing a military base – they canceled the project because it was supposedly going too slow. They also cancelled the bat bomb in favor of funding the Manhattan project which would produce the atomic bomb. As far as you may see: this whole operation was perhaps a failure. Missteps like these are an inevitable occurrence that ultimately lead to our next steps in life. You may be asking how I can justify the US burning a military base to the ground for a project that would be eventually cancelled, that’s an easy matter to explain: whether or not they ended because it was going ‘too slow’ is irrelevant considering they realized the matter was a waste of time, and stopped pouring money into this program because of how half-witted it was. They later pursued things that would work out, things that weren’t so risky given their situation. Unfortunately in the 1960’s, one mistake they failed to learn from: weaponizing mammals was still a trend.

Project Acoustic Kitty is another example of the US doing weird political things with animals. The CIA spent 10-20 million dollars setting up microphones in cats and teaching the animals where to move. This was supposed to be used to spy on Soviet embassies due to Cold War tensions increasing, but it never worked. This failed. The factors involved were too numerous to consider and tests failed. This was a desperate attempt considering other things agents have done. Some agents dug through soviet excrement to find out if they were hiding anything if the situation called for it. Desperation is also a huge point to learn from, it allows for desperate mindsets that wouldn't have been thought of otherwise. Desperation also opens room for mistake, and to get to desperation, a mistake could have also been made. where there’s room for mistake, there’s room from learning. Because the US was getting desperate to gain edge during the Cold War they learned from many desperate acts. Acoustic kitty was a special learning experience because the US was so incredibly desperate. They would find it’s obviously not practical to try to use mammals for the military. when desperate times as call for desperate measures once more, not only do they instantly eliminate this from possibility, but also other ideas that would include using an animals for military plans, such large wastes of money for ideas as risky as these will likely not occur again.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is an aircraft program that has a lifetime cost of 1.5 trillion dollars. This isn’t the problem. The problem with this gigantic program has been its development. In 2014 alone the project was 7 years behind schedule and a massive 163 billion over their set budget. A lot of costs come from replacing old obsolete parts and maintaining the aircrafts. The aircrafts were also supposed to serve on multiple types of missions, from stealth based missions to plain dog fighting, so some key components from stealth were taken away to suit it for dog fighting, and other dog fighting and combat features were taken in favor of stealth. The idea of it being multi-purposed was of major concern because the army would at-regular use different types of aircraft for different missions. This is important because there’s no way the f-35 can be the best at one type of mission and simultaneously be the best at another. Sure there are different models that have different features, but there’s no way they can produce the jack all trades they were looking for going into this project. This concept as well as nearly almost everything about aircraft is surprising heavily debated. This tension maintains such high quota because the US isn’t the only country funding the development. The US have allies assisting them-usually financial, however throughout the whole occasion the US has been the most involved in maintenance and making the aircrafts. To top off these tremendous mishaps, they have had a couple accidents, 3 reported times where the aircraft caught fire. Now-what can be learned from all of this? A LOT. So many it’s almost pointless to point them all out; however the main trend here is the lesson to be learned from all of this. Keep failing. Make every failure more strategic to learn from than the last.

This whole article isn’t to illustrate why the US are fools, it’s to illustrate that they mess up a lot at a balance. There’s a huge difference between being foolish and making mistakes. It is foolish to be afraid of making mistakes, and even more foolish when one chooses to make the same mistake again. We’ve explored 3 important concepts of being smart at failing. Firstly in the Bat Bomb program the obvious mistake was receiving military weaponry ideas from a dentist. The subtle more important failure was: when in eagerness never stoop to the low intricacies of absurdity in the pursuit of victory. They pulled ahead after realizing the idea. though exotic, it was only to fuel their wanting of superiority against a common enemy via quirkiness in the lenses of the globe. It wasn’t innovative, it was only a grab at absurdity that couldn’t have been achievable at the time, most knew this.

Next, in the Acoustic Kitty program, the obviously fault was using animals as agents. The not-so obvious thing that they indeed learned from was desperation. They were desperate to learn secrets from the Russians at a huge ridiculous cost, and put many marbles into using these felines as legitimate spies; they looked past our good friend absurdity in the pursuit gaining edge. Lastly, the f-35, a big contrast from the prior experiments. For this one they reached far. They sought out cementing global strength via innovation with a ludicrous price tag when ultimately the entire idea was a reach at something that seems unachievable. However, the US is dealing with this problem with blank persistence where the end-point will be an aircraft but at loss of more important: alliance, public trust, and the original goal.

In the end of the project they will be able to learn, or learning be unimportant due to complications because of reasons mentioned. This is the balance: they can fail at an expense less valuable than learning from their mistake or they can fail and learning will be invaluable in comparison with damages. Not Meeting this balance would be gruesome for the US’s economy. The US is such a global powerhouse because they've failed and learned from their mistakes.

13 January 2020
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