Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Defense Industry attempts social media

Now that the Super-committee has failed, billions of automatic cuts to the federal budget will soon go into effect.

What does this mean for the world's most powerful military you ask? Well, if  Congress does nothing it means $450 billion in cuts...over 10 years. Yes, over 10 years. Most of the mainstream media coverage of this story leaves out that last little detail.

A $45 billion cut in what is estimated to be a total defense / homeland security / intelligence / veterans affairs budget of somewhere near $1.2 TRILLION a year (not the $750 billion official appropriation) is probably not that big of a deal. But the defense industry has put aside their parochial concerns for their own individual weapons systems and are working together to oppose these cuts.

"Astroturf" is the term for when a corporation needs to make it look like they have popular support, and boy is Second to none an AstroTurf operation if I have ever seen one. A dead giveaway is the full color glossy posters these defense industry workers are holding up:

To be honest though, I expected more from the combined resources of Boeing, BAE, Northup Grumman, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics to name just a few.

They don't even have a Facebook page, and only 373 people have "liked" the page, including me. Pretty pathetic.

They did however suggest that I use a specific hashtag when "supporting" their campaign: #secondtonone

But without anyway to engage with people, how do they expect these social media efforts to pay off?

Moreover, when the official figure for how much we collectively spend on drones, aircraft carriers, tanks, satellites and nuclear weapons dwarfs all the other major countries in the world combined, do we really have anything to worry about?

I do feel bad for these workers. I don't want anyone to have to lose their job. But if just some of the trillions of dollars we spend on the military could be used to ween the United States off oil we wouldn't need to maintain the global military force we have today.

The greatest irony of this AstroTurf campaign is that even if the budget was cut by almost $100 billion a year, the United States still wouldn't be second to anyone. Second to the rest of the world combined maybe, but I think that is probably good enough don't you think?

1 comment:

  1. Thats a good point captain, and a horrible new media campaign. At least your iPhone does not auto correct it to #sex or something.