Over the past several years, the Pentagon has canceled the Navy’s next-generation cruiser and destroyer, the Air Force’s most capable new fighter, the Army’s future family of networked combat vehicles, and the Marine Corps’ successor to Cold War amphibious vehicles. It has also stretched out the construction of aircraft carriers, scaled back space-based communications plans, and started over on several much-needed helicopter programs. Now, legislators and think tanks are assailing the two biggest aircraft development programs that remain, the Army’s proposed replacements of Cold War troop carriers and jeeps, and the Marine Corps’ most capable rotorcraft. If this pattern continues much longer, the entire next generation of military equipment will be wiped out, even though many of the currently-fielded weapons systems are on their last legs. It is time to start looking elsewhere for cuts, starting with personnel. I have written a commentary on bringing some balance to the Pentagon’s budget reductions for Forbes.com, which can be found here.
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