The Pentagon demands ‘fair prices’ [National Defense] from commercial vendors. Define “fair.” Director of Defense Pricing Shay D. Assad wants to pay market prices regardless of the cost of dealing with DoD’s burdensome contracting:
“If you have a market based price that can be substantiated through sales in the commercial marketplace, we pay what the market pays.”
Meanwhile Pratt & Whitney halted F-35 engine deliveries, blaming its titanium supplier A&P Alloys for “conflicting documentation” on the origin of the material used in said engines. A&P finds the accusation “blatantly unfair.” If the Pentagon wants to be dealt with like a commercial client, maybe the should ask Congress to revisit legislation like the Specialty Metal clause [CRS PDF]?
The Navy League of the United States issued a report [PDF] on America’s maritime industry that reads like a paean. What the document doesn’t address are issues of cost, shipyard productivity, or competitiveness – all of which imperil America’s future military strength as a sea power. “Thousands of towboats and barges” may well be “operating on the Mississippi and Ohio River systems”, but the truth is that US shipbuilding has been obliterated by Asian competitors for at least the past two decades.
US spending on strikes in Iraq has been averaging $7.5M/day [WaPo] since they began on August 8. About $500M to blow up a few HMMVs and trucks is not terribly good bang for the buck.
The jihadists are already adapting [Reuters] by blending in the local population to avoid calling the attention of airstrikes.
Norway’s armored Telemark battalion’s Mek3 company will participate in 2 months of exercises in Latvia, beginning this month. Starting in spring 2015 the entire battalion will join NATO’s Rapid Response Force. VG [in Norwegian].
Speaking of which, the creation of a 4,000-troop rapid response force (presumably in addition to the existing NRF) ready for fast deployments in Eastern Europe is on the agenda of a NATO summit coming later this week. BBC.