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Lockheed Martin Uses Balloon Saga to Sell Military a $45 Billion Balloon

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    Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

    NOTE: The following article is satire, not a statement of fact. Treat it as such.

    Good business leaders can sniff out opportunity anywhere. Whether one that crops up thanks to a disaster elsewhere, one sparked by innovation or new technology, or something that strike’s ones mind like lightning out of the blue, businessmen of talent know how to take advantage of what’s going on to make a tidy profit.

    And such is what’s happening in what Dwight Eisenshower termed the “military-industrial complex” in his farewell address, saying:

    now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. . . . This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. . . .Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. . . . In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

    In that behemoth, all that matters is profit. War, suffering, trillions of tax dollars wasted…all of that matters not a bit in the face of Mammon. And so Lockheed Martin took advantage of the Chinese balloon situation to propose a massive “rigid airship” with “advanged surveillance capacities” that could “drift across the most powerful country on Earth without being shot down.”

    Biden, knowing how much heat he’d taken for the balloon saga and looking for any potential exit, readily ageed. The project was then funded with a whopping $45 billion dollars, enough to secure the border a dozen times over.

    But that would be what a rational country would do. This is the US, so instead of securing the border we’re getting the Goodyear blimp with thermal cameras, an idea that already has been tried and failed. Watch such an airship crash here:

    Reporting on that boondoggle at the time, The Intercept reported:

    In what may be the most bizarre and public crash of a multibillion-dollar Pentagon boondoggle ever, a surveillance blimp flying over an Army base in Maryland broke loose Wednesday afternoon, its 6,000-foot-long tether wreaking havoc on the countryside before it finally came down in pieces in Pennsylvania.

    The giant airship — 80 yards long and about the size of three Goodyear blimps — was one of a pair that represented the last gasp of an 18-year, $2.7 billion program called JLENS, or “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System.”

    There were once supposed to be 36 of them, their high-resolution 360-degree radar coverage up to 340 miles in any direction protecting the nation from cruise missiles.

    But costs inflated, doubts about their utility mounted, and the program was scaled back and almost killed.

    But thanks to China, now we get to try again for the low price of 45 billion wasted dollars.

    By: Will Tanner. Follow me on Twitter @Will_Tanner_1

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