The Army’s senior leadership is determined to spend money on a new Ground Combat Vehicle (CV) to replace the aging Bradley Armored Fighting Vehicle. On the one hand, the admission that tracked mobile armored firepower is critical to survival and success in future combat is gratifying. On the other hand, the determination to focus on incremental improvements to a single piece of equipment in isolation from the warfighting requirements of the larger joint force is disappointing. Frankly, it makes no sense to replace Bradleys inside the existing Army force structure. Without a new Army force design in place, an Army design for Joint, integrated warfare against capable future adversaries with armies, air forces and air defenses, this Army program should be canceled and defunded. This is not the time to build a better carburetor. It’s time for fuel injection.

What Congress should compel the Army to perform is objective analysis and experimentation. Congress should demand the Army’s four stars capture the budget, schedule, performance, and structure base line. The Army must identify the costs and savings associated with current and future equipment, especially in the context of the current force design. Keep in mind “modularity” started out at $20 billion and eventually reached $48 billion. By the time the future combat system (FCS) was canceled, the American Taxpayer had already lost at least $20 billion. Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: It’s spring, and 70-ton Marine Corps M1 tanks rumble through the flowers in southern Afghanistan (pictured above), while at home, both chambers of Congress are adding funds for armored vehicles to the Pentagon spending bill.

It may seem counter-intuitive that a nation shifting from hearts-and-minds counterinsurgency to “AirSea Battle” in the Pacific would need intimidating land juggernauts for either style of operations. It doesn’t hurt that armored vehicle construction is one of the last vestiges of highly skilled, highly paid blue-collar jobs in the US economy. But there are solid strategic arguments for armor as well as political ones. Keep reading →