The Gansler interview, part 1: The coming crisis

Jacques Gansler’s task force report on the defense industrial base vaguely described a “coming crisis” for the defense industrial base.

In an interview late yesterday afternoon, the former Pentagon acquisition chief explained what the task force meant by that phrase.

“If supplementals disappear and the budget shrinks and — both of which are likely to be happening — every $100 billion matters,” he said, only half-joking on that last phrase.

“The services are going to have now to start worrying about the efficiency [issue],” he said. “For the last 7 years now, we’ve lived in a rich man’s world. If you want something you buy it and, if you don’t, you get it in the supplemental. … Now, the services will be much moreinterested in not only effectiveness but also efficiency. So now you do worryabout the supply side efficiency.”

The Gansler task force’s solution to all this is pretty clear: competition.

Subscribe

Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

3 Responses to The Gansler interview, part 1: The coming crisis

  1. EG 12 August, 2008 at 8:04 pm #

    Can anybody remember an “austere” program? And don’t go F-16 on me, as soon as they could the AF added thousands of lbs on the airplane.

    Again, I highly recommend looking at the what happened to the A-3 on the way to becoming the B-66. I know its ancient history….but.

  2. Scott Ferrin 13 August, 2008 at 12:40 am #

    The reason all the stuff got added to the F-16 was to make it useful. Dumb bombs, a cannon, Mavericks, and Sidewinders aren’t going to get you very far.

    The idea of splitting up the big defense contractors seems more like destroying your base piecemal rather than introducing efficiency. Do any of the people recommending it remember why they had to consolidate in the first place? There aren’t enough programs out to support more companies. So if say, you made Boeing split off what was McDonnell Dougals and North American Rockwell what are THEY going to do? They’ll go the way of Fairchild. So basically you end up making a big, capable company into a smaller one with a lot of it’s expertise forced into oblivion. Doesn’t sound too smart to me.

  3. eg 13 August, 2008 at 5:12 pm #

    “The reason all the stuff got added to the F-16 was to make it useful. Dumb bombs, a cannon, Mavericks, and Sidewinders aren’t going to get you very far.”

    And that is exactly my point. The aircraft was meant to be a cheap air superiority fighter and was basically pushed past the AF generals. The aircraft was not originally designed to carry dumb bombs and Mavericks.

    The F-16 was supposed to be an austere aircraft. The last aircraft we built like that was probably the F-20.

    I am curious to see what happens with the A-10C program. The program will probably be kept limited so it does not compete with the F-35. But, you never know.

Leave a Reply