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If you read Defense News, you quickly become familiar with Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute. He appears in an extraordinary number of stories, usually as voice recommending the purchase of some new weapon or the continued acquisition of an older weapon type. While I’m sure that you could find some examples of expensive weapons that he didn’t like, it’s pretty rare. This is not surprising, given that the Lexington Institute (not affiliated with Lexington, KY) is bankrolled by the defense industry. David Axe has more detail on Thompson’s career and affiliations.

All that is fine; the defense industry needs hacks just like everyone else. It’s kind of unfortunate that journalists take Thompson seriously, but not really surprising. It’s a touch more irritating that Thompson just launched his blogging career by essentially denouncing everyone associated with the defense blogosphere:

[Many military industry blogs are] tendentious nonsense. For every interesting, competent effort like DoD Buzz, there are dozens of ill-mannered rants masquerading as insight. To say that blogs have lowered the standards of public discourse on policy matters is an under-statement — there are no standards. Anybody can say anything.

Ahem. I would hazard to say that lobbing an insult at the community you’re hoping to become integrated into isn’t the most auspicious way to begin a blogging career. Indeed, given Thompson’s career as an industry stooge, I’m kind of surprised that he wants the kind of attention that this is going to produce; wouldn’t it be better to continue to act as the mouthpiece of industry without subjecting yourself to any serious scrutiny?

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