July 01, 2003

Hide & Seek

As this issue was going to press, our American media was focused on the so far fruitless effort to find Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in Iraq. Recently unembedded journalists were incredulous that our intelligence community and political leadership could have embellished information or even (gasp!) lied. Apparently the garden paths leading to Vietnam, Grenada, Chile, Nicaragua and other exotic locals have become a bit overgrown with age.

This all got me thinking about another military “something” that for a decade has been as elusive as WMD, but which has gotten much less attention: the so-called Peace Dividend.

In the early 1990s, diplomats, economists and politicians began speculating that the collapse of the USSR and the end of the Cold War would lead to huge cuts in the US military budget, resulting in a declining national debt and more money for social programs and education, to say nothing of a safer world.

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