Posts tagged ‘Sun Tzu’

May 19, 2011

JFCOM and the Unkindest Cut of All

Acknowledging there is waste in defense spending, one wonders why DoD is at the head of the line for budget cuts while our military is engaged in Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terror. One early budget casualty was Joint Forces Command. As reported in the Army Times, JFCOM “employs nearly 6,000 military and civilian personnel, with the bulk of those working in southeast Virginia. Its mission is to train troops from all services to work together for specific missions.”

Were JFCOM outside of DoD, it likely would have survived in perpetuity, like almost every government program voted into existence. In this case, JFCOM carried the stink of the military. And that, in the age of Obama, makes for a budget cutting opportunity. Ostensibly, Secretary Gates axed it because of the proportionally large numbers of contractors working for JFCOM.

Well… even a broken clock is right twice a day.

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May 16, 2011

China’s Hubris

Back to blogging after supporting a military exercise in Japan. Working as a defense contractor with our allies provides insight you don’t get from the media or foreign policy journals. Most of us, however, do it to reconnect with our armed forces, active and retired.

Discussing China, Tom S., a retired Marine colonel, related his war college trip to Peking in 2000. The soldiers in the elite, palace guard unit in the capital, set up static displays of weapons and equipment for the class. Being a light armored vehicle guy, Tom snuck around the guard and looked inside an armored personnel carrier. He was amazed at how primitive and lacking were the internals. So bad, in fact, he concluded the thing was probably towed to the site. A classmate and Navy captain, the CAG of an aircraft carrier, had similar observations about the Chicoms’ answer to the F-16. Looking at the controls, he found seventies era avionics and a disjointed cockpit layout.

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