Wednesday, May 25, 2011
There was a time when the Defense Department and its overseers in the congressional armed services committees did this sort of [cost/benefit] analysis routinely. But the knack, or the demand for it, dried up during "the post-9/11 decade," when the military grew "accustomed," as Gates put it in his AEI speech, to a "no-questions-asked" attitude on funding requests for anything and everything the services wanted. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the same point in hearings this past January: "We've lost our ability to prioritize, make hard decisions, make trades." [emphasis added]Confidential to President Obama: maybe you should think about making Marlins GM Larry Beinfest your next Secretary of Defense. Sure, it will be a bummer when he trades Seal Team Six to South Korea, but soon enough, your defense budget will be cut in half and the military will still manage to outperform expectations.