It is amazing to me that our military leaders in the Pentagon are now complaining that America is running out of missiles and bombs in spite of plans to invest more than $20 BILLION on munitions in the next budget cycle.
Considering that approximately 97 percent of the Department of Defense's weapons funding accrues to two companies, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, one wonders why the geniuses at the Pentagon have not broadened their vendor base and used competition to lower prices so we purchase more bang for the buck?
Or why Pentagon rules of engagement policies are so restrictive that America must use multi-million dollar weapons to take out a few terrorists instead of simply bombing the area into oblivion with more conventional dumb weaponry.
Maybe we should outsource weapons production to China (just kidding)? Although I would not be surprised that the critical components for our weapons are manufactured off-shore.
I am all for standoff weapons that can be fired from platforms outside of the battle and target areas, but why should we use precision-guided weaponry when old-fashioned iron bombs will do? Why are key strikes conducted at times when there are few enemy combatants present – the remaining ones repairing and rebuilding immediately after the raid. And, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that U.S. forces are often de-conflicting strikes against enemy targets with friends of the enemy, thus providing our targeted enemies with sufficient time to evacuate the target area and remove critical materiel.
Something is wrong and it appears that the Pentagon has gotten used to BOHICA (Bend Over Here It Comes Again) weapons contracting.
Squaring the circle …
1. The US is running out of bombs — and it may soon struggle to make more
(Defense News) The Pentagon plans to invest more than $20 billion in munitions in its next budget. But whether the industrial base will be there to support such massive buys in the future is up in the air — at a time when America is expending munitions at increasingly intense rates.
2. Congress reviewing sale of precision munitions to Saudis, UAE
(Reuters) The Trump administration, working to increase exports of U.S.-made weapons, has asked the U.S. Congress to review the sale of more than 120,000 precision-guided munitions to allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, sources said on Tuesday.
How does this make sense? The story in Defense News says we are are running out of bombs and may struggle to make more, while the Reuters’ story claims that the Trump Administration was to increase exports of precision-guided munitions.
Could it be that, instead of supplying the Department of Defense, we are supplying commercial customers? And, perhaps that is why were are running out of weapons?
I was greatly hoping General Mattis would start revamping procurement systems as the Secretary of Defense. I recognize that it is not easy to overcome decades of bureaucratic infighting, fumbling, and seemingly purposeful incompetence, but we need to start somewhere. And, it appears that it is about to kick-off.
How the DoD’s first-ever chief management officer plans to turn cash into military capabilities
A frequent refrain from U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is the need to reform the internal workings of the Pentagon to find efficiencies that can be reinvested toward war-fighting capabilities. Helping to guide that project is John H. “Jay” Gibson II, the Pentagon’s first-ever chief management officer. In his first interview since taking office, Gibson ― a former U.S. Air Force financial official who has spent significant time in industry ― laid out his plan for tackling the traditionally thorny issue of internal management reforms. You may wish to read the interview at Defense News.
Time will tell if Gibson is a reformer or just another political appointee who will be swept away by an incoming administration. As a political appointee, one wonders if he cares more for his career or his country?
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius