Cost overruns and program delays are pretty much the rule these days in Pentagon weapons buys. Just last week, the military admitted that the $300-billion F-35 stealth fighter program would require an extra year of development. Air Force reformers Major Dan Ward has called for the air service to take a “fast, inexpensive, simple and tiny” approach to buying many weapons. “FIST” quickly buys small batches of simple weapons specifically tailored for particular missions, rather than “gold-plated,” multi-mission gear like the F-35.
Archived posts from category ‘Finances’
For weeks we’ve been seeing signs in Mogadishu of an impending offensive by the U.S.-backed Transitional Federal Government and its allies in the African Union peacekeeping force. “Civilians have fled the city and many shops have closed down,” a War Is Boring correspondent tells us.
“Our assessment of security trends points strongly to the conclusion that the future mix of missions facing U.S. forces will call for greater flexibility and agility to operate among populations, with a wide variety of partners, and in a variety of operating environments.”
For most of its near-future airplane needs, the U.S. Air Force will buy upgraded versions of current airplanes, according to service officials. The air branch will build gunship, Special Forces and electronic-warfare versions of the C-130J, update its oldest C-17 airlifters and replace today’s HH-60 rescue choppers with newer models of the same helicopter. Only the fighter force will get large numbers of new-design planes, in the form of the F-35A.
In Praise of Bob Work’s New Navy
Prior to late 2008, he was everyone’s favorite naval analyst. Bob Work, a former Marine Corps artillery officer, crunched numbers and ideas related to maritime issues at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, D.C. He was a reporter’s dream: honest, accessible and accurate.
In conjunction with the 2011 budget and the four-year defense review, the Pentagon has released 30-year projections for airplane and ship production. The plans are most remarkable for their stability: roughly the same number of large warships over the three decades and pretty much the same number of spy planes, airlifters and tankers. Just a small reduction in fighters. This despite all the hawkish hand-wringing in the months before the announcements.
Accordingly, the Review doesn’t propose any major force-structure changes. As for programmatic changes, Gates accomplished all of those in April last year. Rather, the QDR tweaks U.S. military forces and programs at the margins. That said, the Review’s minor changes are all indications that the department is moving in the right direction, however slowly.
by DAVID AXE As part of its escalating campaign against Islamic terrorists based in Yemen, the U.S. government has expanded efforts to crack down on terrorist financiers in the Middle Eastern country. But the counter-finance approach in Yemen is complicated by the same factors that have stymied similar efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Extremists operate [...]
by DAVID AXE U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stood at the podium before a hostile crowd. It was September 16, 2009, at a hotel in southern Maryland. Gates was preparing to deliver the capstone speech of the annual Air Force Association Convention. The AFA, an air-power lobbying group and publisher, had long opposed Gates’ [...]
by DAVID AXE The Taliban is running out of money. That was the conclusion some observers reached when the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime reported last week that Afghanistan’s poppy crop is down nearly a quarter compared to last year. But other experts caution against declaring financial victory. If anything, the behind-the-scenes campaigns to [...]
by DAVID AXE It took the firings of two top officials, the truncation or termination of several major acquisitions programs and a heated, months-long political battle, but in the past year or so, U.S. Secretary of Defense Bob Gates has successfully reformed the once-hidebound U.S. Air Force. The “new” U.S. Air Force better balances the [...]
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/ekgr4jdlkSo" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /] by DAVID AXE On Aug. 11, a joint Polish-Afghan patrol in Ajuristan was ambushed by a superior number of Taliban fighters, including snipers. Polish Captain Daniel Ambrozinski “took several shots in the snipers’ direction and then leaned out to check if they reached him. Then he was shot in [...]