C-SPAN Hour on The Pentagon Labyrinth

Budgets & Funding, Corruption, Cultural Intelligence, Government, Military, Movies

The Pentagon Labyrinth on C-SPAN

Mar 11, 2011

Stewart R. Mott Charitable Trust | Mott House

Three former, high-level Pentagon insiders take a critical look at how the Defense Department operates and where the money it receives goes. The three- Thomas Christie, Franklin Spinney and Pierre Sprey – are contributors to the book, The Pentagon Labyrinth. Danielle Brian, executive director .. Read More

Three former, high-level Pentagon insiders take a critical look at how the Defense Department operates and where the money it receives goes. The three- Thomas Christie, Franklin Spinney and Pierre Sprey – are contributors to the book, The Pentagon Labyrinth. Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), acts as moderator for the discussion.

Watch Video: 1 hour, 2 minutes

See Also + Pierre Sprey’s “Seven Rules”:

Reference: The Pentagon Labyrinth

Review (Guest): The Pentagon Labyrinth

A Challenge from the Editor of Pentagon Labyrinth

From the video (note that transcript also provided by C-SPAN on their page):

Pierre Sprey’s “Seven Rules”

01  Humans, then strategy, more important than weapons or technology

02  Within weapons, the weapon in the hands of the individual vastly more important than the jets and other high-end systems.  Close Air Support aircraft much cheaper than the “strategic” weapons

03  Can’t tell a good weapon from a bad weapon unless you can define the tasks and characteristics of the weapon in combat—not models and not dreaming, but in combat context.

04  It isn’t that hard to get at these characteristics if you are serious about it.  There is a wealth of combat histories written at the gut level that will clear off all the BS from materiel commands or vendors.

05  When you make up your distillation of what counts, two that really matter: what is the weapon’s impact on the human it supports (how easy to learn to use, how much of an impact will it have on the fearlessness of the person); and what is the weapon’s impact on the force you bring to bear, i.e. how many can be afforded it, how it is  re-supplied, affordability, replaceability, number of sorties, miles per gallon, etc.  Psychology of the human and logistics of the force.

06  Never trust R&D test results, ever.  Any test run by the developer is asking wrong questions, answering them falsely, and promoting the agenda of the developer not the force.  OT&E—Operational Test & Evaluation run by user are vital, but the complex prevents them from existing.  Only thing you can really trust is real combat results that have not been censored, sorted, or shaded.

07  Never listen to a program manager—never listen to an admiral or general in the acquisition chain—never listen to a corporate flack—never listen to a service-designated combat user.  What you really need to do is talk to the skeptics, must dig them up to get a complete picture.  SLAMS MIT:  “Terrible place to be if you are going to tell the truth, gets more defense money than any other university.”