Re: Fixing The Military, Part 2

2009-3-3 14:27:00

Thanks to Larry Kennon [LWK] and Matthew for your comments on my post.


"You need to add the Air Force [...] to get five."


Thanks. That corrects an embarrassing oversight. I'm impressed by your knowledge of military history. I could have used you in the room with me when I was writing this.


"Personally I think there are probably a lot of better ways to reduce spending other than this suggestion. At best some Congressional oversight -- if carried out honestly -- should be able to prevent the armed forces from duplicating effort on major arms systems where design and development should be shared."


I don't have much faith in Congress as they do not have much of a record for trimming pork. Maybe they could set up a task force of retired businesspeople to make recommendations.

If you have any other suggestions for trimming fat or duplication in the military I would be happy to hear it. I realize there is no way around paying a premium for our security, especially when the rest of the free world is so lax on it, but we still need to avoid waste wherever possible.


"Isn't NASA one of the big advocates of 'global warming' as a problem we need to solve? Not too sure I would want to take money away from the military to promote that."


NASA claims to be neutral and overall they seem to be except for the global warming fantic James Hansen. He should have been fired long ago for acting like he is representing NASA when he is not.

Actually a lot of NASA's research goes against the global warming movement. For instance satellite measurements in the upper atmosphere show there has not been much warming in the last 100 years.

Quoting JJ, LWK writes:

"One may also ask, what about the $200 toilet seat and the $100 hammers we hear about. To eliminate waste we need to bring in a civilian group to recommend changes in purchasing so outlandish prices will not be paid."

LWK then responded with:

"Yep, this has worked really well in the past. The original M16 rifle was adopted during the Vietnam War. Robert McNamara and his civilian group of really smart advisers overruled the Army which asked that the inside of the cartridge chamber be chrome plated. McNamara and his hot shot civilian 'experts' decided that was an unnecessary expense and vetoed the Army experts. I think they saved a dollar or two per barrel.

"The result? Lot's of dead Marines found with jammed M16 rifles. The Viet Cong supposedly put out a memo to their troops to not pick up and take the 'Black Rifle' because it was junk and would jam when it got hot and dirty.

"Later on the Army fixed this after enough people got killed. I guess this is when the saying came out in the military that, 'your rifle was built by the lowest bidder....'"


You give a good example of the disastrous micromanagement that happened under Lyndon Johnson, but that is not what I am suggesting. The committee I suggested would not second guess military needs. Instead they would look for unnecessary duplication and seek for more competitive bids and prices.