This is Don Bacon's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Don Bacon's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Don Bacon
Recent Activity
The project manager concept first implemented about fifty years ago included small project offices directing the efforts of many others in the affected commands and in the contracted organizations. What's the proper size? I just went to "Ask a Professor" at the Defense Acquisition University, with this response to the question asked by another: "While our research didn't find any studies that dealt specifically with the "proper size of a program office in different phases of it's lifecycle", we did however, find a number of articles and papers that dealt with the topic from a service; cost; and or organizational perspective as each related to a phase within the acquisition lifecycle."
1 reply
These aren't really counter-insurgencies in the first place, are they, which is why they never work. The US overthrows the government, installs its own puppet government, runs a brutal military occupation, then has to fight the locals who want the US out and them in. In France we called them "freedom fighters." So the theories of insurgency and counterinsurgency are baloney. Mike Hastie was wise enough to know how anyone would consider an invading army. "One day while I was in a bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went over my head. The person who fired that weapon was not a terrorist, a rebel, an extremist, or a so-called insurgent. The Vietnamese individual who tried to kill me was a citizen of Vietnam, who did not want me in his country. This truth escapes millions." --Mike Hastie, U.S. Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71
"More expensive... wins every time because money rules" sounds like either classic Military-Industrial Complex theory, or Niskanen's notion of the budget-maximizing bureaucrat. Sounds like both, actually, which makes it doubly true. How else to explain the astronomic prices of new military gear, the F-35 being the exemplar? Military spending as a percentage of both federal spending and national GDP is irrelevant. The important fact is that military spending on an absolute basis has doubled and redoubled. But that's irrelevant too. It isn't true for military procurement. What is true is that the military is spending its heart out on items like the F-35 and so, in the real limited world, must cancel other procurements. In any case it goes beyond theory and modeling and goes to what most people seek most of -- money. You know, money talks etc. Money pays for those retired generals like Moseley to say kill the A-10 and buy the F-35, and it pays for all those Reuters puff pieces on the F-35. The MIC does its part, and the bureaucrats do their parts -- keeping the financial life-blood flowing, which again has everything to do with the real world and nothing to do with theory and modeling. You can't buy a new yacht with theory.
1 reply
Theory is fine, but what counts is the bottom line. Two principles are at work here beyond the theory and modeling-- 1. There is much, much more money involved in buying more expensive new planes than in upgrading legacy planes and keeping them flying, or buying simple planes, no matter how useful. (F-16, A-10) So procurement of more complex -- and of course more expensive -- planes wins every time because money rules. (And what's more expensive than the F-35?) 2. The Pentagon is mostly corrupt, a revolving door of high-ranking people who would sell their own grandmothers for a pittance.
1 reply