Friday, November 18, 2005

All His Hopes and Dreams

Future Combat Systems may be on its deathbed! This is a catastrophic blow to Rumsfeld but basically good news to the taxpayers. Rumsfeld's dream of a fast, light, and small army was your classic top-down theory, an abstract idea imposed on conditions that didn't want it and rejected it. Rumsfeld wanted it to be the case, therefore despite all evidence to the contrary that it was a good idea he pushed it. Future Combat Systems was, in many ways, a typical DoD weapons system program: Ill thought-out, too vague, constantly changed, constantly overbudget, and constantly behind. The price tag has been upgraded to $161 Billion according to a new procurement forecast, and while that's astonishing enough, what's more astonishing is that it's only for about a third of the army's troops. Yikes.

More and more we're engaged in a low-tech war, an old-fashioned guerilla struggle that involves a struggle to have more boots and more human intelligence. All the high tech toys in the world won't change that. Rumsfeld has built his whole career on his ideas of dramtically downsizing the U.S. Army and dramatically upgrading its field technology, but what good is speed when the job is basically standing still and guarding things? That's what we're looking at in the GWOT/GSAVE. It's time for Rummy to abandon his dreams, and I'm sure Congress will force him to, before all of us pay for them for years to come.