There’s an AEI report circulating today about problems with US defense budget. A few thoughts:
1. Like the quote above highlights, our military strangely enough adapted procurement to *the wars we were actually fighting* as opposed to the cross-pacific superpower competition AEI wants us to gear up for.
2. I agree in full that defense acquisition has serious problems, but the Army buying land vehicles isn’t one of them. That’s where the army fights and what they do.
3. Perhaps it’s worth mentioning in a piece on spending that there were two unfunded wars, one of questionable strategic utility and one wholly of choice, that attained the budget and directed it away from next generation platforms.
4. Insurgency is not peer-competitor war. Insurgency is not peer-competitor war. Insurgency is not peer competitor war. The requirements are different, application of force is different, and the kind of tools developed & weapons built are not wholly transferable.
5. Being AEI, the report weirdly skips in blame from the 1990s to post-2008. Whatever truth is there, that’s highly suspect.
6. Maybe if the F-22 had been delivered at close to original estimated cost, or if the F-35 wasn’t a spiraling debt crisis on wobbly wings, the US could afford a full fleet. Cost overruns and an endless spigot of research & development fighters for next gen craft mean the US is getting fewer planes with the same money.
7. There is no world in which the US is able to field an airforce comparable in size to China off the cost of the West Pacific/East Asia. Supply lines alone hinder it, but it’s an expensive goal of marginal utility.