In support of your timely and thoughtful editorial, it ought to be emphasized that the new weapons systems are quite capable of acquiring lives of their own, almost irrespective of their technical merit or their possible status as bargaining chips.
Somewhere along the line between initial concept and full production, so many vested interests are created, chiefly through widely dispersed subcontracting, that prudent restraints become exceedingly difficult. Once the new systems are hauled aboard our military-industrial bandwagon, the pork-barrel politics of defense makes them virtually untouchable.
How could we so soon forget Dwight Eisenhower's warning not to let the military-industrial complex get out of control? A large part of the problem may well derive from sheer, uncontrolled greed, as evidenced by the recent report that the executives of defense industries are paid on the average 42% more than their defenseless counterparts. In calling patriotism the last refuge of a scoundrel, Samuel Johnson may have exaggerated, but not much.
MARSHALL PHILLIPS Long Beach