Winslow Wheeler was kind enough to send me an advance copy of America’s Defense Meltdown, which will be released on November 12 by the Center for Defense Information. Don Vandergriff, Fabius Maximus and Dr. Chet Richards (who is among the impressive stable of authors) have already blogged about America’s Defense Meltdown, a book that James Fallows of The Atlantic calls ” phenomenal”. I shall now liberally quote from Chet’s post at DNI:
This is a unique volume by a collection of authors that have never collaborated to this degree before and, it is safe to predict, will never again. They include:
- Tom Christie, close colleague of John Boyd’s, co-author of the energy maneuverability papers, and my boss at the TACAIR shop in PA&E
- Bob Dilger, guru of the A-10’s gun, the GAU-8, and who showed how competition could reduce the cost of munitions by 90% while improving quality; long-time advocate for close air support
- Bruce Gudmundsson, retired Marine and author of seven books, including the classic Stormtroop Tactics (available from our book store)
- Bill Lind, who needs no introduction to DNI’s readers
- Doug Macgregor, hero of 73 Easting, author of Breaking the Phalanx and Transformation Under Fire
- John Sayen, also retired Marine, author, and one of the best military analysts writing today (he and Doug Macgregor co-reviewed my chapter)
- Pierre Sprey, another of Boyd’s closest colleagues, driving force behind the A-10 and a major influence on the F-16. Now runs Mapleshade Studios in Maryland.
- Jim Stevenson, long-time author, publisher, and defense analyst; wrote the classic study of defense program mismanagement on the A-12
- Don Vandergriff, another author who needs no introduction; probably the leading expert on instituting leadership programs for 4GW
- GI Wilson, another colleague of Boyd’s, member of the team that put together FMFM-1, and co-author of the paper that coined the term “fourth generation warfare.”
- Winslow Wheeler, who also edited the volume, long-time congressional staffer, and author of another classic, The Wastrels of Defense.
Read the rest of Chet’s post here and access the executive summary.
There’s going to be a titanic struggle over defense budget priorities in the next administration and the natural bias of Congress and the military-industrial complex in downsizing eras is to keep the same process dysfunctionalities intact rather than re-examine how a smaller pie can best be spent (and the pie is likely to be much smaller circa 2010 regardless of who is elected president). So in the 1990’s the armed services shed personnel – usually warfighters rather than desk jockeys – to preserve platforms; in the 1970’s we “hollowed out” the military by skipping on training, maintenance, spare parts and so on.
Back then, those poorly made decisions occurred during peacetime. Today, the country is at war in far-flung corners of the globe. It’s important that the right issues are raised and tough questions asked.