Saturday, July 9, 2016

The decline of the Pentagon

The Archdruid has a brilliant discussion on the repeated failures of the Pentagon's weapons development programs, with a chilling summation:
Those of my readers who’ve read up on the last years of vanished empires—the Austro-Hungarian or Ottoman Empires, Romanov Russia or Habsburg Spain, and so on down the list of history’s obituaries—know the results already: the imperial state reduced to a massive but fragile shell, invincible in appearance but shockingly vulnerable in reality, resting ever more unsteadily on a crumbling foundation of ineffective or broken weapons, decaying or abandoned facilities; a political leadership blithely unaware of the gap between its fantasies of invincibility and the reality of accelerating systemic failure; a high command too busy feathering its own nest and playing political games to notice the widening cracks; and a dwindling corps of servicepeople, overworked, underpaid, and demoralized, who nonetheless keep on struggling to prop up the whole brittle mess until the inevitable disaster sweeps their efforts aside once and for all.
It's quite disheartening to realize just how right he is in this analysis.


Comrade Misfit said...

Arguably the same holds true for the Russian and Chinese militaries. Which does not bode well for global stability.

SiGraybeard said...

The death knell of the Pentagon was when weapons systems became entirely political - so it was long ago. When it doesn't matter if the systems actually work, or if the military can actually win wars with them, but it only matters that the contractors get their pay and the right officers get their promotions, it's over.

There are many examples of such systems but one name will do: F-35. I've seen an almost unending stream of reports of how badly it does compared to the aircraft it's replacing, but we're getting them, no matter how bad they are.