The Military Industrial Congressional Complex

Continuing to buy Russian-made rocket engines for US National Security Space launches is a symptom of the “military industrial congressional complex,” and constitutes “corruption,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday during a talk at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the US continues to buy RD-180s “when we really don’t have to, even though it costs us more money,” and will put “another billion dollars or so in the pockets of Vladimir Putin’s cronies.” McCain has repeatedly railed against the use of RD-180s, and in March called for an investigation of the Defense Department’s relationship with United Launch Alliance. “I don’t get it,” he said Thursday. “I’ve been fighting it possibly as hard as I could.” McCain has called for a series of defense reforms in the Senate’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act, including dissolving the office of the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, and dividing those duties between a new undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, and an undersecretary of management and support. “Innovation cannot be an auxiliary office at the Department of Defense,” he said. McCain noted that the RD-180 issue is an example of “why we need this reform.”