Chuck Spinney: F-35 Out of Everything Except Money

Commerce, Corruption, DoD, Government, Military
Chuck Spinney

F-35: Out of Altitude, Airspeed, and Ideas — But Never Money

Chuck Spinney

TIME, 30 January 2012

No program better illustrates the pathologies of the weapons acquisition process as it is currently practiced by the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex (MICC) than the entirely predictable, and in this case, predicted, problems dragging the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter into a dead man’s spiral.

The F-35 in on track to be the most expensive program in the history of the Defense Department, and it has repeated just about every mistake we invented since Robert McNamara concocted the multimission, multi-service  TFX — a program conceived with the same kind of fanciful one-shoe fits all imaginings as the F-35.

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Read USMC Boats Against the Current and Comments

Robert Steele

For reflection.  When I created the strategic generalizations in the first edition of the Expeditionary Factors study, that was responding to General Gray’s guidance that we be relevant to USMC acquisition–that was actually his primary focus, we lost our integrity by the third generation of leadership and went into production for the sake of production, without a genuine understanding of either the craft of intelligence or the mission needs of the USMC.  That was enabled by flag officers who have no clue what it means to integrate true cost economics with strategic generalizations to arrive at a force that has a very low logistics foot-print, a very high availability ratio, and a very low cost in relation to all the crap that the big three services sign for without thinking.

1990 Expeditionary Environment Analytic Model
1991 MCG Intelligence Support for Expeditionary Planners
2008 U.S. Naval Power in the 21st Century
2009 Perhaps We Should Have Shouted: A Twenty-Year Retrospective