The Neverending (LCS) Story 3: Building Ships is Hard

How many defense contractors does it take to build a ship? More specifically, how many defense contractors does it take to build a light frigate? That doesn’t leak or corrode? I don’t know the answer but the number is higher than 14 (rough count based on Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics LCS websites). Because that’s how many companies are involved in building the two different versions of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)—a procurement program that has so many problems on so many levels it boggles the mind.

We have written about U.S. military procurement generally and the Littoral Combat . . .
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In Support of a U.S. Defense Department

This is a guest contribution from H.A. The author is using a pseudonym for professional reasons.

Most Americans probably assume (if they consider it at all) that the hundreds of billions of dollars the Department of Defense spends each year goes toward the defense of the United States. To some extent, that’s true. Tellingly, however, the Obama administration’s new defense strategy is entitled “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership.” That’s because the Pentagon’s focus is not on defending the United States but on defending other countries. It’s a strategy based on the idea that only U.S. deterrence, achieved through military presence, . . .
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CNAS Gets in on the Defense Cut Circuit

Someone remarked on Twitter recently that when the ‘coindinistas’ at CNAS are advocating defense spending cuts you know the cause has hit mainstream. While reducing the entire CNAS organization to one topic is a bit unfair (they work on a lot more than just COIN), there is some truth to that statement. The public debate has shifted immensely over the past few years, with lots of task forces and commissions offering their own proposals for cutting the U.S. defense budget over the next decade or so.* Earlier this month CNAS added their contribution to the debate with the report . . .
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What’s the Point of the Littoral Combat Ship, Again?

Representative Duncan D. Hunter is taking aim at the Navy’s increasingly expensive Littoral Combat Ship program. In a letter to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, the Republican from California’s 52nd district (which he took over from his father, Duncan Hunter), is demanding the Navy conduct a formal review of the program.

To give a brief-ish recap of the problems associated with the LCS, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued several reports detailing both technical problems and cost overruns. In March 2005, the GAO said that the Navy was moving too fast with its LCS program to ensure . . .
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