The Arms Race
"Take the profit out of war"
Bernard M. Baruch
If it occurs to you that I am hopelessly out of date and that the arms race is over now that Reagan's "Evil Empire" has fallen by the wayside, I offer the view that the power structure within the armaments industry has merely shifted its target. Where once we built another needless nuclear submarine in order to force Russia to the expense of keeping up, we now arm the lesser countries for no other purpose than the sheer profit in it. And a huge profit it is, a profit that overwhelms our sensibilities.
The arms race with Russia that consumed the capital of both nations wasn't won on ideological terms or even on the basis of intimidation. It was fought to a draw for fifty debilitating years, then won simply because our capitalist machine out-earned their communist machine and we proved ourselves able to absorb those costs while growing stronger. Whether the world was made safer by the effort, I leave to history but concede we somehow avoided n…