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The Coming of America’s Defense Meltdown

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 InformationDon 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:

America’s Defense Meltdown

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.

8 Responses to “The Coming of America’s Defense Meltdown”

  1. Dave Says:

    I thought HR McMaster was the troop commander and hero of the Battle of 73 Easting vice MacGregor?

  2. zen Says:

    Hi Dave,
    You are correct. McMaster was the commander at the Battle of  73 Easting. As I have not studied the Gulf War in detail, maybe Chet, if he’s reading this post, can elucidate further on MacGregor’s role at 73 Easting ?

  3. Fighting the Next War Says:

    […] Chet Richards of Defense and the National Interest via Mark Safranski I received a link to the introduction, table of contents, and executive summary of a fascinating […]

  4. Lexington Green Says:

    No pre-order information?  it is not on Amazon. 

  5. Barnabus Says:

    Well, much ado about nothing really…First consider that the Spanish Defense Minister has said that he would, "rather be killed than to kill,"  and Spanish troops in Afghanistan are not allowed to actually kill Taliban.  Considering that Obama is of this same mindset I’m not sure that one actually requires any of this spending.  Further, as Rep. Kucinich has proposed and 70 House members signed on, we should create a Dept. of Peace.  No doubt Obama will be all for it.  They sincerely believe this stuff.

    Instead of staring into the abyss, we are about to dive headlong into it.

  6. morgan Says:

    Barnabus, you hit the nail on the head!!!

  7. andreyK Says:

    I consider that this real.

  8. Limma Says:

    I did not think, that it can be true..

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