Monday, March 4, 2024

The Pentagon's first Defense Industrial Strategy makes a clean sweep of just-in-time management

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H ighly awaited for several months, the Pentagon's first defense industrial strategy was unveiled this week by Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks. The purpose of this document is to provide an effective framework for reorganizing, standardizing and improving all of the Pentagon's industrial acquisition processes, in order to create room for maneuver to face future challenges, without necessarily increasing costs. expenses.

The transformation of the industrial acquisition processes of the American armies after the Cold War

Since the end of the Cold War and the erasure of a vital issue for the security of states, the doctrines used for the acquisition of defense equipment, like relations with the industrial sphere, have given rise to numerous developments, often more dogmatic than rational, but rarely conclusive.

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F-15 F-16 US Air Force Iraq Gulf War
During the Gulf War in 1991, American forces were at the height of their military and logistical power. Both have deteriorated noticeably since then.

Several of these aspects are now turning against the Armies, whether European and especially American, incapable of meeting, as it stands, the challenge posed by China or, to a lesser extent, by Russia, whose industrial processes are often much more effective.

This is particularly the case across the Atlantic, while the American armies are struggling to respond to the various operational challenges they face, despite a colossal budget of more than $800 billion, the GDP of a country like Poland.

One of these critical errors occurred in the early 1990s, when President Clinton and his administration began restructuring America's defense industries from more than fifty major industrial players to just five.

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An industrial concentration in defense which has turned against the armies in the United States

The objective of these concentrations was to create essential players on the international scene, forgetting in the process that they would be just as important on the national scene, while being, moreover, very often hegemonic on their markets. And what was supposed to happen, happened.

M1 Abrams
The Abrams tank only cost $4 million per unit in 1990, compared to almost $20 million today. Inflation and technological advances only justify half of this increase in costs.

Having become essential and omnipotent, these large American industrial groups, such as Lockheed-Martin, Northrop-Grumman, Boeing and Raytheon, today have such industrial, technological and political power that they are able to impose particularly unfavorable conditions on the Pentagon when they negotiate their contracts.


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