The Spoils of War by Andrew Cockburn – How money makes the wars go round

Accessible yet forensic account of why – and how – runaway military spending is wrong

Decommissioned Rockwell B-1 Lancer bombers in Tucson, Arizona. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Decommissioned Rockwell B-1 Lancer bombers in Tucson, Arizona. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

In the heyday of jingoism, before the first World War, an interest in military matters was considered almost as necessary for polite conversation as a knowledge of horses, or French. 

Britain, France, Germany, the US, Japan and many other countries had naval and army factions in their politics and media, and ordinary members of the (wealthier, male) public joined professional officers in subscribing to such publications as Jane’s Fighting Ships or the Admiralty and Horse Guards Gazette, writing splenetic letters to the papers about rival gunnery control systems and anti-torpedo tactics. 

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