Saturday, December 13, 2008

Important read...



A must read... An extract from the Preface:

"... The mere notion of a “meltdown” within the U.S. military may seem ridiculous to many. America’s armed forces are surely the best in the world, perhaps even in history. Democrats and Republicans, liberals, moderates and conservatives in Washington all agree on at least that. On what basis does a bunch of lesser known, if not obscure, analysts make such a preposterous assertion?

The vast majority, perhaps even all, of Congress, the general officer corps of the armed forces, top management of American defense manufacturers, prominent members of Washington’s think-tank community and nationally recognized “defense journalists” will hate this book. They will likely also urge that it be ignored by both parties in Congress and especially by the new president and his incoming national security team.

It is not just that following the recommendations of this book will mean the cancellation of numerous failing, unaffordable and ineffective defense programs, as well as the jobs, and more importantly careers, those programs enable. The acceptance of data and analysis presented in this book, and the conclusions and recommendations that flow from them, would require the elite of Washington’s national security community to acknowledge the many flaws in their analysis of weapons, Pentagon management and leadership of the nation in a tumultuous world. In too many cases, it would also require those elites to admit their own role in the virtual meltdown of America’s defenses ...
  • America’s defense budget is now larger in inflation adjusted dollars than at any point since the end of World War II, and yet brigades than at any point in that period, our Navy has fewer combat ships and our Army has fewer combatthe Air Force has fewer combat aircraft. Our major equipment inventories for these major forces are older on average than at any point since 1946; in some cases they are at all-time historical highs in average age.
  • ...
  • Despite decades of acquisition reform from Washington’s best minds in Congress, the Pentagon and the think tanks, cost overruns in weapon systems are higher today, in inflation adjusted dollars, than any time ever before. Not a single major weapon system has been delivered on time, on cost and as promised for performance. The Pentagon refuses to tell Congress and the public exactly how it spends the hundreds of billions of dollars appropriated to it each year. The reason for this is simple; it doesn’t know how the money is spent. Technically, it doesn’t even know if the money is spent. Even President George W. Bush’s own Office of Management and Budget has labeled the Pentagon as one of the worst managed agencies of the entire federal government ...
Ed. note: 271 page PDF

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