About the newest experts’ review of our defense strategy

Summary:  More paper bullets of the mind fired at our Department of Defense.  They’ll bounce off the walls, like the others before them.  Until we have a rational grand strategy, our national wealth will flow down the drain at DoD — buying us neither security nor peace of mind.  Here G. I. Wilson comments on this round of the real great game, control over the US Defense Budget (the largest single stream of discretionary spending on the planet). At the end are links to more information.

About this new report:  “The QDR in Perspective: Meetings America’s National Security Needs in the 21st Century“, US Institute for Peace, 29 July 2010 — Chairmen Stephen J. Hadley and William J. Perry. 

This piece hits on all the things we have been discussing for several years and coincides with the downward DOD death spiral a la Spinney. In fact Hadley and Perry’s identification of the  issues seems as if they were all taken from the FM website. I was struck that Hadley and Perry realize we are a maritime Nation and the Navy fleet is too small but does not say what kinds of ships to build.

I am afraid this will get translated into more big carriers and types of subs the Navy does not need or want.  Lots great boiler plating saying a lot of the right things but lets not forget Bill Perry contributed to this mess.  Now he wants to be part of fixing it.  Perry would  be more credible if Perry disclosed his train wreck contributions. 

I smell a set up for money shoveling here.  Cut personnel costs/numbers and buy more expensive stuff.  Hadley and Perry would have done well to review the defense priorities of the late Col John Boyd: people, ideas, and then things. 

True.  the entitlements of the all volunteer force need to be reviewed carefully. For example, too many new enlistees come with ready made families and attendant costs and problems. At the end of the day, there are no priorities and robbing Peter to pay Paul is still operative. No one gets it; we are due to spend more in interest on the national debt in FY2017 than on defense. DOD tuna melt now on the menu. Meltdown well into the making.

For more about this report

  1. The authors discuss their report:   “A Defense Plan For The 21st Century“, Stephen J. Hadley and William J. Perry, Washington Post, 1 August 2010
  2. Recommended:  “They Forget Nothing & They Learn Nothing“, Winslow T. Wheeler, (Center for Defense Information)
  3. Experts discuss the review of the QDR, National Journal, 2 August 2010
  4. As usual “Pentagon panel has contractor contacts“, USA Today, 1 March 2010

Posts about our defense spending

  1. Another cycle down the Defense Death Spiral, 30 January 2008
  2. A neverending story: DoD’s attempts to stop cooking the books, 2 May 2008
  3. “What’s wrong with the US military?”, an interview with Winslow Wheeler, 10 December 2008
  4. The economic Death Spiral of the Pentagon, 7 February 2009
  5. “Shock and Audit” – MoJo dissects the defense budget so you don’t have to, 30 June 2009
  6. Another step in America’s Defense Meltdown – a guest post by Winslow T. Wheeler, 30 July 2009
  7. It’s not too soon to begin planning for the next war, 7 March 2010
  8. US Defense Spending: The Mismatch between Plans and Resources“, Mackenzie Eaglen, Heritage Foundation, 7 June 2010
  9. Do we overpay the members of our armed services?, 25 June 2010
  10. About the rising pressure to cut the US military budget, 24 July 2010

Posts about our grand strategy

  1. The Myth of Grand Strategy , 31 January 2006
  2. America’s Most Dangerous Enemy, 1 March 2006
  3. America takes another step towards the “Long War” , 24 July 2007
  4. One step beyond Lind: What is America’s geopolitical strategy? , 28 October 2007
  5. America’s grand strategy: lessons from our past , 30 June 2008  – chapter 1 in a series of notes
  6. America’s grand strategy, now in shambles , 2 July 2008 — chapter 3
  7. America’s grand strategy, insanity at work , 7 July 2008 — chapter 4
  8. How can America adapt to a new world? A conference about national security lights the way., 18 October 2008
  9. The King of Brobdingnag comments on America’s grand strategy, 18 November 2008
  10. Can we defeat our almost imaginary enemies?, 10 December 2009
  11. Stratfor’s strategic analysis – “Jihadism in 2010: The Threat Continues”, 17 January 2010
  12. Where is the outer boundary of our military operations?, 21 January 2010 — Coast guard to the world!
  13. No matter how skilled the author, US geopolitical analysis so often looks like something from Oz, 18 June 2010

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