I know your last line was tongue-in-cheek, but I cannot resist adding more...and ranting a bit. Been a rough couple of weeks here in swamp city.
On and on in this town (DC), we in the defense establishment hear about how all this new technology will make for a cheaper, more maintainable, simpler, better, etc. product. Lies, all lies. Well meaning, perhaps. Wishful thinking, definately.
Sad. Just look at the cost per aircraft we are buying these days, the endless overruns (F-22 and JSF) and f#$%-ups during testing (V-22). Meanwhile, the in-service airframes just keep getting older and older, more expensive to fly, which means that our pilots get less and less REAL training.
This is just one example. In fact--it is amazing to me that we ever did build the F-16 in this country. I suspect it will never happen again without another set of mavericks like Boyd and his acolytes. Funny thing, almost all of them are either dead or retired. Some are even making waves locally fighting off suburban growth near DC.
I suspect that the days of brash officers surviving even to make O-5 is going by the wayside. I can honestly say that the majority of the Navy captains I have been working with lately have about as much presence and leadership as a doughball. The way to promotion is to not make waves. Ugh.
Closer to home (for me)--think about this--could Rickover have developed and built the first nuclear submarine in the last ten or fifteen years? Does the Pentagon really have the capability to develop something that bold? Does the community even know what IS needed? Or are we doomed to repeat the endless death spiral of oversold and silver bullet programs, program overruns that lead to increased unit costs, aging equipment, reduced readiness, and ultimately a budget similar to the highest years of the cold war that cannot afford to replace its obsolete equipment? It's been 3 years, and Rummy hasn't cracked this nut yet. In fact, he hasn't even come close. So some of us keep plugging away from the inside...bucking the system designed to keep the money flowing--of course, the system doesn't particularly care if its product IMPROVES our fighting force.
I hope that was somewhat coherent--I hadn't expecte dto write that much. Guess Occhi's silver bullet reference struck a nerve after a long day of fighting the defence acquisition community.