Showing posts from January, 2017

Defence Policy in a Post-Trump Era

Kakistocracynoun, pluralkakistocracies.1.governmentbytheworstpersons;aformofgovernmentinwhichtheworstpersonsareinpower.
Well...  Here we are.

The largest, most powerful, most technological advanced military in the world has a new Commander-in-Chief.

This Commander-in-Chief campaigned on a premise of American nationalismisolationism, and military build up.  He has promised to ban immigration of an entire religion while forming a registry of those whom are already citizens.  He is a climate-change denier.  He is a racist.  He is an unabashed misogynist whose advances toward woman may be sexual assault.  

One would have hoped that Trump would have tempered his controversial ascension by surrounding himself with a less-controversial staff.  Instead, his Vice-President is an outspoken critic of LGBT rights.  His Chief Strategist is known for promoting white-nationalists views.  Trump's pick for Secretary of Treasury made millions by foreclosing on people's homes when the housing…

Who is fit to make procurement decisions?

One of the prevailing thought regarding military equipment procurement is to simply "let the troops choose".  This is a great idea...  In theory.

As the end user, they are no doubt the MOST IMPORTANT stakeholder in procurement selection, as their very lives may depend on that equipment.  Unfortunately, they do not have the final say in such matters.  New equipment is often foisted upon them, with little regard to their desires.  Not only that, but their voice is often the quietest, assuming it is heard at all.

In reality, it is not the soldier that picks out his or her rifle, the sailer that picks his or her ship, nor the pilot who picks his or her aircraft.  That decision is not even carried out by the upper-echelon brass like generals or admirals.  Instead, the decision is ultimately made by those holding the purse strings: Politicians.

While the thought of a greasy politician having the final say in military procurement may seem odorous to many of us, the politicians …

Can Trump really cancel the F-35?

United States President-Elect Donald Trump has made no secret of his disdain for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.  In his late night Twitter rants, he has gone so far as to suggest that the Pentagon's JSF purchase be curtailed in favor of more Super Hornets.  This, of course has had serious repercussions toward Lockheed Martin's stock price.

[Let's get this out of the way:  The fact that the future American president is willing and able to negatively effect the value of people's investments through a single tweet is bone-chilling.  The value of the JSF program is estimated to well over a TRILLION dollars throughout its lifetime.  Any decision regarding its future should be carefully planned, thought out, and communicated...  NOT summed up in 140 characters or less.]

Can Trump "fire" the F-35?

In a word:  No.

The F-35 has already entered initial operating capability (IOC) with both the USAF and the USMC.  Despite a seemingly never-ending series of delays…