Joseph P. Avery, Ph.D.
Military Review, 20120813
Phi Beta Iota: We’ve known since the early days of Viet-Nam that the M16 was a Mattel Toy with ammunition to match. For lack of proper acquisition intelligence including real-world Operational Test & Evaluation, Congressional pork has been over-riding military integrity for decades. When General Al Gray, USMC, then the Commandant, created the Marine Corps Intelligence Center, he created it primarily to provide threat and acquisition intelligence and especially logistics and counter-measures intelligence because the expeditionary environment requires systems (air, ground, sea) that have lower profiles across the board. The Center soon got carried away with support to the Fleet Marine Force and has not made a difference where it mattered, on expeditionary acquisition and the strategy of the USMC force structure build, or the integrity of the USMC acquisition process as a whole. The three big services routinely lie about the threat to get bigger better more complex systems; they routinely downplay the logistics and communications support costs; and they lie often and outright about the true cost of systems–not just dollars, but lost everything including human lives. The 4% of the force that actually uses these plastic representations of Congressional pork take 80% of the casualties and gets 1% of the Pentagon budget. In our view, this continued neglect of the front-life infantry is the single greatest fault of every Secretary of Defense going back to McNamara and Clifford has betrayed the public trust. We lack intelligence and integrity across the US Government, but it is most expensive, in lives, treasure, and lost global legitimacy, in the Department of Defense.