Three to five years ago, a lot of articles were published about scandalously poor morale among missileers at US intercontinental ballistic missile bases. But what about the crews on ballistic missile submarines? If things are weird at Minot and Malmstrom, aren’t they weirder under water?
Not in the telling of Sydney J. Freedberg, Jr. of Breaking Defense, who tours a nuclear sub in port, interviews sailors and brass, and shares some of what he learns:
That’s good stuff. But for every sea lion Freedberg gives us, he dishes out several paragraphs of submarine-crew hagiography or unreflective cheerleading for massive spending on a modernized nuclear arsenal. Look, it’s an old story—when the Pentagon wants more money, it seeks press coverage for patriotic but neglected service members who, despite the shocking disrepair of their equipment, bravely struggle to defend their nation. Just keep in mind what the Pentagon wants: $1.2 trillion of public money for a 30-year program of nuclear modernization. Are taxpayers to say yes because sea lions are kind of cute and canned asparagus sounds nasty?