After Dire Sequestration Warnings, Skepticism Abounds | Defense News | defensenews.com.
Hmmmm….US service chiefs are promising/threatening/prediction the loss of major capabilities as a direct result of the US Congress’ inability to form a budget, and the now-implementing sequestration (even the word sounds painful) process…
“Decisions of particular concern include not deploying the USS Harry Truman to the Persian Gulf; not refueling the USS Abraham Lincoln, thus making it unavailable in a crisis; the suspension of mission-critical training and equipment maintenance; and withholding the deployment of Marines to strategic regions in the Pacific,”
I wonder if they have heard of the Law of Unintended Consequences? If suspending these capabilities has no direct near-term adverse impact on national security – noting the short memories of both politicians and ‘the people’ – it may be that all they have really achieved is to put these capabilities on the block instead…hubris is a dangerous thing and I am reminded of those, a decade or so ago, that said that Helen Clarke would never dare to disestablish our Air Combat Force….ummmm….hello?
Perhaps this is a clarion call to western militaries for a long overdue review of military acquisition and development programmes to ensure that they are actually meeting current or near-term most likely and most dangerous capability gaps and not merely existing for their own sake or to bolster sagging national economies…
I’ve just finished reading William Trimble’s history of the Seaplane Striking Force (review to follow), a 50s concept intended to provide a credible dispersed nuclear deterrent based upon a systems-based capability built around the Martin P6M Seamaster – a large four-jet seaplane bomber, very advanced for its time and even now. Unfortunately, resolving the technical issues around such a force took so long that the need was overcome by events. As cool as the Seamaster was and as useful as it may have been once all the bugs were ironed out, the programme was cancelled in 1959. Perhaps before critical capabilities are casually put up for grabs, it’s way past time to thin the herd…? Like, perhaps….
If it’s no longer or never was fit for purpose, and/or or if the operating environment has dramatically changed then maybe , just maybe, it’s time for some tough decisions…?