Eisenhower’s nightmare

Eisenhower’s nightmare

Arizona Sen. John McCain on Thursday unleashed a blistering attack against the “military-industrial-congressional complex,” leaving no service and almost no major program out of a broadside that excoriated today’s acquisitions environment.

The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee called the F-35 “a mess” — having already called it “a scandal” and “a national tragedy;” he lamented “significant problems” with the Marines’ late Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle; he regretted the “great expectations and enormous costs” of the V-22 Osprey; and declared that “military space procurement programs are among the most notorious for chronically performing poorly.”

Of Future Combat Systems, McCain said this: “To say that this program was a spectacular, shameful failure would not do it justice.” The Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship is “another example of a fundamentally flawed acquisition process,” he said, and get a load of what he said about the F-22:

Unfortunately, the F-22 also ended up being effectively too expensive to operate compared to the legacy aircraft it was designed to replace.  It also ended up largely irrelevant to the most predominant current threats to national security — terrorists, insurgencies, and other non-state actors.  In fact, if one were to set aside the F-22’s occasional appearances in recent big-budget Hollywood movies where it has been featured fighting aliens and giant robots, the F-22 has to this day not flown a single combat sortie — despite that we have been at war for 10 years as of this September and recently supported a no-fly zone in Libya.

Politically engineered to draw in over 1,000 suppliers from 44 states represented by key members of Congress and, by the estimates of prime contractor Lockheed Martin, directly or indirectly supporting 95,000 jobs, there can be little doubt that the program kept being extended far longer than it should have been — ultimately to the detriment to the taxpayer and the warfighter.  As such, it remains an excellent example of how much our defense procurement process has been in need in reform.  We may fight a near-peer military competitor with a fifth-generation fighter capability someday, but we have been at war for 10 years and until a few months ago had been helping NATO with a no-fly zone in Libya.  And, this enormously expensive aircraft sat out both campaigns.

He concluded the F-22 “may very well become the most expensive corroding hanger queens ever in the history of modern military aviation.” McCain then moved onto our friend DDG 1000, the Airborne Laser and the presidential helicopter program — you get the idea here.

The culprit in all of this, McCain declared, is President Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex” — though McCain said it has become much more powerful than it was in Ike’s day and ensnared Congress. This would not have surprised Ike — there’s even an apocryphal story he originally wanted the phrase to include “congressional,” but deleted it to placate the Congress of the day. So what’s the answer? Here was McCain’s prescription:

Well, little can be done to disrupt the inherent biases of those who are the major forces in the military-industrial-congressional complex to maximize their own particular interests.  But, we can help the Department of Defense reform itself by developing a weapons procurement process that directly responds to the root causes of failure by, for example, starting programs on a solid foundation of knowledge with realistic cost and schedule estimates and budgeting to those estimates; locking in sufficiently defined requirements early; managing the cost, schedule and performance trade-space effectively to ensure that needed capability is procured within a fixed, reasonably short period of time; insisting on early and continued systems engineering; leveraging mature technologies and manufacturing processes; not procuring weapon systems that promise generational leaps in capability in a single bound; and definitely not doing so under cost-plus contracts.

We must also ensure transparency and accountability throughout, and use competition to encourage industry to produce desired outcomes and better incentivize the acquisition workforce to do more with less.  We should also embrace initiatives geared at making the government as skilled and knowledgeable a buyer as Industry is a seller.  With the right leadership, such approaches may help overcome the negative, pernicious effects of the military-industrial-congressional complex on how we buy major weapon systems.  And, given how tightly woven the military-industrial-congressional complex is into the fabric of our society and economy, this is all we can really hope for.

If that. Despite McCain’s often mordant description of the problem, his ideas for solving it are deeply familiar to everyone in his hated Iron Triangle. Service officials already have pledged to follow many of them. The Air Force has said ruthless requirements control is what’s going to keep its new bomber costs reasonable and the Marines have a “war room” for squeezing out as much as possible from their new amphibious vehicle.

Which places McCain in the same position as so many other would-be defense reformers over the years — with no choice but to wait and see if the military-industrial-congressional complex can start to get it right going forward.

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Senator McCain has a temper, a bully pulpit, and a willingness to speak the truth as he sees it ( and in my opinion, the earned right to exercise that willingness!) .. Even if we might quibble over the details, he has a very valid point. He also has a seat in the Senate where at least in principle, he could take steps to change the basic issues that he sees as causing the problems. Adding another tier of watchers to watch the watchers that are already in place will only add bureaucracy, more money, more schedule, and more “angles” to make procurement even more impossible. Changing the underlying cultures unfortuantely will take more than laws.… . .

Far smarter folk that I have tried many times to do at least the obvious in terms of cleaning up DoD (and government in general) procurement processes, and in retrospect, they just have not worked. Sadly, retrospection shows all of the things that have failed and none that really have really worked, else we would not be “retrospecting”! Where is the solution? I can only wish that I knew, but I do know that something must be FIXED.

Asleep at the wheel! Senator McCain essentially sat back and watched these events unfold without complaint until now. Only this year did he wake up to the F-35 development train wreck. Many JET reports and GAO reports etc. were released showing the folly of concurrent development especially in light of the development problems. The progress (or lack thereof) was tracked using EVM and reported in the SAR and other Government reports. None of this prompted action by Senator McCain or anyone else in Congress. You all share the blame in any and all cost over-runs and development delays as you sat idly by swallowing the stories from the JSF-JPO and the contractor. To complain about them now seem disingenuous. You really should complain about how poor a job you did along with your colleagues in overseeing these programs.

McCain is an egotistical hothead who never forgets someone or something he’s opposed on. The raptor is THE premiere air dominance fighter-interceptor in the world. Nothing else comes close. It can easily defeat F-35s at a ratio of 8 to 1. What a bunch of numbskulls to cite the fact that we haven’t used it in Iraq or Afghanistan. I’m old enough to remember the same BS about the M1 tank and the Bradley fighting vehicle. Guess what, when we needed them, we used them and they wroked pretty darn well, didn’t they?! Why should we use the Raptor that contains our best, most sensitive technology if we don’t have to? It’s there to defend us against front line Air Forces and win.

The Russians and Chinese are fielding 5th Gen fighters right now! You can’t wait until there’s a threat and yank next generation fighters out of your rectum! Idiocy. The F-22 scares the sh*t out of our potential enemies all over the world and it’s a major strategic deterrent. How ridiculous is it that the United States of America only has 187 front line fighters! What drove the costs up was the typical, wasteful, low quantity, on again off again procurement and of course it costs more per plane to maintain because the logistics infrastructure cost is split over less than half the airplanes that should have been procured! These simple, irrefutable facts are almost never reported. Nothing but BS hit jobs on the most maginificent, advanced fighter ever developed that was rolling off the line with ZERO defects! What a tragedy. Perhaps a new congress and president will get it right and restart production. All the tooling has been preserved thank God.

Now the F-35’s another story. A single-engined, one size fits all, do-everything aircraft was a bad idea from the beginning.

I wonder how he feels about gun control — should I only have a knife? I have never shot a person, but I want the weapon available if/when I need it — not after the criminal is already threatening my family. So, until a threat comes along, I should never own a gun. I am sorry, but I believe having something as a deterence is better than actually using it.

Does he think the current Chinese electronic warfare will stay on the internet or escalate to modern warfare — starting with Taiwan?

“Excuse me China, but can you please not invade until we design, fund, build, test, train, deploy and operate our defense?”

Let’s always pay defense contractors a profit over and above their reimbursement for weapons development costs. Hell, that’s working out so damn well for us. Let’s never stop. McCain rails against the military industrial complex and then waits for them to tell him how to fix it. Genius.

It is important to have state of the art war tech in order to instill fear into potential enemies with an agenda.

I think a lot of you are missing the point being made by the Senator. We are bankrupting our future to produce stuff that does not work very well.
It is a good point that the government needs to be a smart buyer of technical resources but they are not. We may have very well seen how poor a product is getting fielded by the drone that was brought down in Iran. I have no confidence that what should have been done to protect the on-board technology was done. Remember most of the leaders in DoD have no real backgrounds in technology. Mostly history or art degrees. I have seen this in the Air Force, Navy and Army. We need technical leaders but we promote salesmen.

Part of the problem is congress’ willingness and culpability in letting non-technical Senior Executives lead very technical programs. It does not matter that an executive has managed to produce several failed programs. They get promoted to bigger and more complex programs.

The solution could start in the senate. Hold Senior Execs and General Officers accountable. Punish failure, don’t reward it.

Senator McCain went into politics because he couldn’t make Admiral like his Father and Grandfather. Good for the Navy, bad for the rest of the country.… An angry Frickin’ RINO.
I’ve met, worked for and known my fair share of former POWs. Every single one of them were the antithesis of McCain: Unflappable — and having survived H*ll on Earth, have been really the most amazingly decent of men I’ve ever met — from my Bataan Death March survivor next-door neighbor in my junior high years, to the former F-4 driver colleague I worked with in the late 90s. Which leads me to conclude that Senator McCain — as hard as it is to believe it is possible– had to be an even BIGGER, self-serving egotistical flaming a**ho*e BEFORE he was a POW.

Oh BTW. There is NO Military-Industrial Complex behind the handy cliche, and what confluence of Defense interests that do exist PALE in comparison to the Social Spending– Entitlement Complex.
Merry Christmas All!

Ad hominem, much, Sarge?

Maybe if you had an actual refutation… Naw, too easy, right?

Dat’s right! And dere ain’t no Mafia either, so fugeddaboutit!

Unfortunately McCain only has himself & his fellow Congressmen to blame. If it were not for idiots like him telling the people who actually know WTF they are doing how do to do their job while at the same time making it as difficult as possible to actually do the job defense contractors would at least have a chance of delivering the weapons systems the services need/desire on time & on budget.

John McCain is trying to save the US military by making sure they get value for their dollar. Ultimately, I blame MBAs. Just as Bob Lutz said MBAs were what really damaged the US auto industry. Outsourcing too much, too much power point engineering, not enough experienced engineers trained over decades. If F22 had met its cost targets, the US would have a lot more of them. Note Apple and Microsoft were driven by geniuses, not by MBAs. The only remedy Congress has at this point is to shut down programs that are not performing. Reward companies that perform, punish those that do not.

The above comment is right on target. We have an industrial base driven by MBA’s, not engineers and scientists. Their only concern is contained in spread sheets, not operational excellence.

Afraid that I must take issue, slightly anyway, with your premise. The industrial base SHOULD be driven by MBAs, AND engineers, AND scientists, they all have something very important to contribute to its success. Id say that we have a military establishment, i.e. DoD, that is driven by MBAs, not soldiers, sailors or airmen, and Im not just talking about the guys in three-piece business suits. When the soldiers start thinking like MBAs on the way up the corporate ladder, and stop thinking like soldiers, bad things happen; most specifically because some see the uniform and think that its a soldier talking. I would need go no further than the MRAP fiasco to find the MBAs of the DoD procurement world slamming the MRAPs as unnecessary and an abomnation to the procurement process, while the soldiers on the ground in Iraq, and their commanding officers, pleaded for the equipment that would keep them alive.

I would have to offer up the old Lockheed Skunk Works as an example of what you are talking about, only in the DoD world instead of the auto industry. VERY few MBAs were in the original group, and the ones that were, were very much atypical. Today everyone in industry tries to have a “Skunk Works”, but.… after applying the standard Harvard Business School model and all of the other “wisdom” that is hammered into the crania of all MBAs, what comes out of those efforts might have the prerequisite aroma. For all of that, somehow nobody has managed anything near the innovative productivity of Ben Rich and Kelly Johnson’s crew.

I think that perhaps Sen McCain is blaming himself a bit for some of the problem. Unfortunately, he can not be “down in the weeds” with every detail of every DoD or government procurement. He has got to put faith in the folks working those programs and trust them to tell him the truth when he asks. Today, I think that we are seeing some of the results of those people not being completely honest with him (and the american public!), and its not good to betray the trust of a man like McCain.

Is he perhaps a bit more harsh than some would think appropriate, of course, but… I think that he realizes that there is more to military procurement than just the MBA final exam answer of “on time and on budget”, particularly when even those modest goals seem unreachable.

Radical thought! Reward success and punish failures! Imagine what that might do to political correctness.…But then what would we do with all of this IPTs behind which all of the controversial and potentially dangerous decisions are couched!

Harry Truman did not say that “The Buck stops behind consensus.…”! but then he was a leader, not a career manager. :-)

A more evil monster is the government media complex.
George Orwell’s works were never so true.

Actually, with the current DoDI 5000.02 the PMs are supposed to be held accountable among other things. They are supposed to “personally certify” specific activities as part of that accountability. They’re also supposed to be in the position for 4 years or the next milestone. I haven’t seen any DoD programs adhering to this.

John McCain may very well be the most expensive corroding hanger queen ever in the history of modern military aviation. If he isn’t at least partially responsible for the problems he lists, who is? Where was he when all this was developing? Well, he was in a position to make a difference in the Senate Armed Services Committee. Now he is pretending to be an innocent victim. He is either complicit or incompetent.

Hmm…. you mean to say that the rule is already written just not enforced! Hmmm.…. And yep I do in fact read the directive the same way as you do. Had the opportunity to write a Systems Engineering Plan recently and used that little two word phrase quite liberally (To no big surprise, haven’t got it signed off yet though! LOL!). “Personally certify” is certainly a step in the right direction, but… being able to scurry out of the line of fire before the next milestone briefing sort of takes the bite out of it now, doesn’t it!

But then, you just have to think of all of the promising careers in DoD business management that might be irretrevabily damaged by having to hang around for the results of their decisions with no way to blame anyone but the “certifying official”.… . .… ROTGLMAO!

One of the more salient aspects of accepting responsibility for a problem is attempting to correct the problem. Every single member of Congress has to accept at least some of the responsbility for the current state of affairs. Some will just stand back, point fingers left and right, posture to the media and snivvle that it was “not on my watch”. Others will at least stand up to their responsibility to do something. Sen McCain may not be among the most educated, most photogenic, or even most intelligent, but I will have to be very hard pressed not to believe that he is one of the most principled and forthright members of the Senate. I will disagree with some of his positions but I can still respect the man and the Senator for doing what I think he believes to be the “right thing”.

Senator McCain is a big mouthed fool whom is of a politician trying to remain in power. Evidently he did not receive enough kick-backs from Lock Heed– Martin this year. And if you believe a word coming from this idiots mouth, lets rest assured.…he is really stupid and not to be compared to “Ike”. See, like so many politicians who allowed the “military-in

ooooops! Cont.….military industrial complex to become bloated and too big for its own good, he sat back and did nothing except run his mouth, including now. The reason why the military gets messed around every year is because of fools like McCain who have nothing better to do than attend cocktail parties and schmooz with lobbiest from everywhere. If y want to fix whats broke with military purchasing and weapons development stop mission creep, contractor gouging, and develop weapons systems that are simple, that work right and provide best value for the militay.r

Well, I guess it couldn’t be helped then. Paraphrasing FDR: “There’s nothing to blame, but blame itself.” The system is the problem. Move along citizens. There’s nothing to see here.

McCain, kind of late to the party AGAIN!. Where where you when the F-22, the 35, the V-22 and the DDG1000 and many others hangar and dock queens were reporting they were going to be in the red?

No … he is smart. Its easier to blame then to take the blame.

Actually, T_Ex, we do know what works. It’s right up there in McCain’s speech:
“starting programs on a solid foundation of knowledge with realistic cost and schedule estimates and budgeting to those estimates; locking in sufficiently defined requirements early; managing the cost, schedule and performance trade-space effectively [etc.]”

We just never do it, because all of the incentives are against it. Contractors don’t want to sell cheap easy fast things; they want to sell difficult expensive long-term things. Bidders promise the moon for cheap, in order to win the competition. The services don’t want minor upgrades on what we have; they want “leap-ahead” capabilities. Program mangers get punished for trading capability for reduced cost, risk, and schedule. JROC sets requirements at what would be nice, rather than what might be affordably doable.

You want to fix the problem? If the architects of the Future Combat Systems program had GONE TO JAIL for their culpable negligence, I think you’d see other programs start to behave more like what we’re looking for…

The Russians and Chinese aren’t fielding them now, they are testing them now…but I think you got it right with regard to the process. They must send all of the officers that can’t make decisions into the acquisition corps, and it definitely doesn’t help that they change them out every two years. So every 20–24 months you get to change strategies and focus on a different subset of mostly the wrong things.

Apple and Microsoft deployed flawed applications without concern. Security concerns were addressed for free, but certain features that didn’t work as advertised required you to pay for the upgrade to a newer version of the product.
Working with “cutting edge technology” comes with a risk and unknowns. The military could have done better in their requirements and tests related to the fighter to determine maintenance costs. I am going counter-culture here, but more “experienced” oversight is needed.

I will go a few rounds, I suspect, on the wisdom of “trading” of capability for the sake of cost, risk, and schedule (and the PM’s OER), and why PMs should NEVER be trusted to make that call on their own! However, Im with you 100% on that last issue (and not just for the FCS architects!). FCS just happens to be one of the more glaring examples of that particular brand of “culpable negligence”. We could all probably list a few more.

More than once in this forum the topic of ACCOUNTABILITY, specifically the lack of it, has come up. And I could suggest that the accountability extend beyond the government project staff to the contractors who “promise the moon”. Where is that old unsophisticated concept of “Satisfaction guarenteed or your money cheerfully refunded!” (rhetorical question! but.…. )

Perhaps we DO know the answer, its just that so woefully few, and apparently none in true positions of power, are willing to swallow the sour pill.

For the oversight required, you are most certainly correct, it SHOULD be more experienced, but the question I would offer back is, “What kind of experience are you suggesting?”.

Are you saying that PMs with more acquisition savvy are needed or that the PMs need to be more experienced and expert in the uses of the systems they are procuring? More experienced PMs would know all of the “tricks of the trade” for being good beltway politicians, hiding bad news, spinning failures, and covering six. More user oriented PMs would be able to recognize the important factors and perhaps, since they could well end up strapping that plane to their butts (or hopping into that tank, or setting sail on that ship) in times of conflict, less likely to compromise the capabilities for the sake of their “success”.

Hmmmm. .. . lets see just how “counter culture” you are willing to go! :-)

You’re defending a plane that will cost around $700 million dollars when all is said and done, has gone through 1/4 of it’s life expectancy, already cost the life of a pilot due to an oxygen system that still doesn’t work and still hasn’t visited any combat zone despite three simultaneous wars/operations involving warplanes having occurred.

And there is still no threat on the horizon that an F-15 couldn’t handle.

Are you done jerking off, or has the Erotic asphyxiation caused by the Raptors broken oxygen system not worn off?

Well I see the moderators are manning their stations. No matter.

Evidence against the existence of a fearsome MIlitary-Industrial Complex as described by Eisenhower: http://​elementsofpower​.blogspot​.com/​2​0​1​1​/​0​1​/​5​0​-ye

I await similar information positing against the existence of the ‘Mafia’.

lol i’m surprised that post didnt get deleted. verry funny!

you are a complex all by yourself

good point. McCain should have retired after 2008. He could build a better legacy as an elder statesman than being just another one of the top players of the political elite establishment.

Sending in our new generation weapons only gives the enemy opportunity to study it and develop countermeasures against it. Look at Bin Laden when we lost one of our super secret helicopters, now China and everyone else has a piece of it.

Like the T-50 or J-20? Hell, the latest Su-35s can match the F-15. Equality isn’t the goal here, superiority is. The greatest advantage an upgraded F-15 has over these aircraft is its avionics. Yet Russians and Chinese aren’t *that* far behind.

The F-22s problems will be sorted out and could have been sorted out sooner if the program hadn’t been so mishandled by the government since the mid ‘90s up till now.

Its amusing how McCain left the political out of what was originally called the “military-industrial-political” complex. I suppose he doesn’t want to take any of the blame. Yet politics are more to blame than any other factor here. There is a lot of talk from McCain but no action that actually results in getting new aircraft, ships, vehicles, etc. He already kicked the can down the road when he did his best to end F-22 production, now he wants to do it again with the F-35.

What do all of the programs he mentioned have in common? Ambition, and the costs of that are always underestimated. Sometimes they reached too far given the technology of the time like the EFV program. Sometimes they simply reach too far in all aspects like FCS.

Would John McCain or most in Congress accept two (or even three) different fighter programs designed to fill the role of the JSF? I doubt it. Instead they would say “why can’t you do it with one aircraft?” and create a challenging scenario for any contractor.

He’s right. Lockheed or Boeing isn’t pressuring anybody to declare war. It wasn’t General Dynamics or Northrop that crashed the market.

So the alternative woud be… what? Develop weapon systems and then never risk using them? Only build simple weapons and live with the higher attrition rates? Something else?
The risk of compromise or loss is always factored into whether ot not a weapon system should be built and fielded. The loss of the helicopter in the Bin Laden raid was the “cost of doing business”

To be fair, there really needs to be a balance between keeping the new toys close to the chest and letting all of the potential bad guys just exactly what they might be up against. If the Soviets had not known at least the basic capabilities of some of the Reagan era systems,B-2, etc, would they still have spun themselves into the hole, or would the Wall still be in place?

Not onboard with too much bashing of McCain but thats just a personal prejudice. But.… that last part of your comment William, is dead on… In WWII we had two or three different aircraft for each mission. If one had a few advantages over the other, so be it. P-51s were the premiere escort fighters, P-47s were the ground pounders, P-38s mixed in there somewhere, and.…it was expensive but each seemed to find its niche.

Perhaps Sen. McCain is a bit more hot tempered than your average pablum politician and remembers more than the last campaign contribution, and I certainly dont ascribe to every opinion or position of his, but.… .He does have the guts to stand for what he believes, EVEN if its not exactly the party line. (Remember waterboarding?) If he is the ONLY one willing to actually stand up and at least speak out against the BS in the procurement.…then I say Bravo Zulu!

I respect McCain’s military service, and actually read a few of his books. Generally I think he is a good man, but so many of these problems when it comes to defense procurement are due to him and other members of Congress who were supposed to be improving the process over the last 30+ years. Instead they repeat the same old mistakes. He seems to pat himself on the back for ending F-22 production, but that aircraft could have very well been part of the solution as opposed to the problem he sees it as.

I really like John McCain and he are nearly always right them he speak about the US Acquisition System and some Programs but that he has says about the F22 is false. It is true what the F22 is a really expensive Fighter but in the same time he is the best of the best and the largest part of the cost explosion of the F22 is attributable to the massive reducing of is Numbers. Them the USAF would have bought about 700–800 F22 how it was original planed the cost of one F22 there still today about 100 Million or less with over Words the F22 there bee today cheaper them a F35A. But what means the over programs like the FCS, LCS and also the F35 I can only ben agree with John McCain.

And the Solution to fix the procurement is theoretical not so difficult, but it need a completely change of the thinking of the entire political class and also of the military decision-makers and this will never happen. But her the simple Solution the DOD should simply only to buy tested designs and not always to start new weapons programs what do not more them to reinvent already existing and sometimes better weapons.

For example why the US Army need a new developed GCV how will be not better them the already existing CV90 Vehicle family how cost also just a quarter of the GCV and is also immediately available. Or another example why the USN doesn’t replace is unarmed and useless LCS with a real Warship like the Absalom Class or with an armed Version of the national security cutter both cost fewer them the LCS and both are useful.

The latest Su-35 is no match for the F-15 on a bad day, not to mention a good with AWAC support, etc. The T-50 is a glorified Su-35 with slightly stealthier outline and the J-20 is a friggin bomber.

This is how you justify two programs (F-22, F-35) who’s combined existence will total over $500,000,000,000 dollars!?

And people have the audacity to say that there is no military-industrial complex. The U.S. spends nearly 9 times (!) more than the military budgets of Russia and China COMBINED, and somehow we still feel threatened by paper tigers? Hell, we spend several times more than the rest of the world COMBINED, it’s pathetic.

And for all the sick people hoping for a war with China, leave it in your video games. The U.S. has never attacked another nuclear armed country.

The latest Su-35BM is no match for the F-15? Say’s who? With the exception of a better AESA radar on upgraded F-15Cs and F-15Es, where does it have a significant edge? The T-50 is indeed what you said but that stealthier outline gives it an edge over the F-15 which has nothing in the way of stealth.

$500 billion dollars? Look how much we’ve spent on other crap in the past 8 or so years! Dismissing the Chinese isn’t going to change the fact that they’ve been increasing defense spending year after year, they’ve just launched their first carrier, and they’re are increasing bold in the Pacific region. Plus they and the Russians just love to sell their gear to anybody with a check.

Most of our inventory was designed in the ‘70s or ‘80s. It is time to start introducing some new equipment.

We need what the F-22 and F-35 promise. We just need to ensure these programs are managed correctly and up to now they haven’t been.

I would ask that you read through the Senator’s official comments with respect to the F-22, and make careful note of the SOURCE for his arguements. They did not come from his staffers or handlers.

He certainly believed what he was saying, but he was NOT the original source.

I agree with McCain, but he should have voiced his concern decades ago about the F22 and he should have been more vocal about the F35 and LCS earlier than now. However, we do have some serious flaws in our acquisition system today from both the Military and Industrial Complex side.…..its called lack of experience/know-how. Im sorry, but I’m around enough people from both sides who lack the expertise to run programs, lead engineering organizations, budget, challenge others and willing to take risks without reprisals. Additionally, our Political leaders to include Mr McCain have also not done enough to keep all of these programs affordable or on track. Lets call a time out and re-look at everything and call on those “EXPERTS” who had sucessful development, procurement and operational programs.

Woulda, shoulda, coulda… we all end up experiencing 20/20 hindsight from time to time. ..

But. . let me add just a couple of points to your line of thought. What can congressmen actually DO to keep military procurement programs affordable or on track. THEY CAN CUT THE FUNDING, or threaten to do so. But to do so, they depend on the information provided them by the folks hired to execute the programs, or the folks hired to watch those executing the programs, or those hired to watch the watchers.… . Put another layer of “oversight” and you just add more time and money to a procurement process that is already non-responsive and too expensive. Danged if you do, danged if you dont!

And… where exactly are those “EXPERTS” you mention and would anyone actually listen to what they say? If you need an answer to the second part of this one, look at the lessons that COULD have been learned from the old Lockheed Skunkworks, that were conveniently ignored for the sake of the “system” and the “process”!


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