Rapid Fire June 8, 2013: Who’s Got A Plan to Fix Defense Budgets, Acquisition?

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* The next round of intra-governmental negotiations on the US debt ceiling seems to be what defense analysts and lobbyists hope will help precipitate a reversal of sequestration. Don’t get your hopes up. * Former undersecretary of defense for policy Michèle Flournoy makes familiar calls for modernizing acquisition and fixing perverse incentives that pervade program management. Alas, many people agree to a large extent on what should be done. Much rarer are the practical plans on how to get there. * The Pentagon’s Comptroller sent to Congress a report [PDF] on balances carried forward at the end of FY12. These balances amount to $452B in unpaid obligations and $107B in unobligated balances, for a total of about a peak year worth of DoD spending. * Germany is concerned that the US may have stolen industrial secrets via its NSA data collection program, whose massive scope has been revealed to include Europe. * India’s Ministry of Defence recently published a Technology Perspective and Capability Roadmap [PDF]. As the ministry-funded IDSA think tank notes, it’s a rather broad, generic and noncommittal document, which limits its practical utility for industry participants it was meant to inform. * MetalMiner has a Q&A with Jeff […]

* The next round of intra-governmental negotiations on the US debt ceiling seems to be what defense analysts and lobbyists hope will help precipitate a reversal of sequestration. Don’t get your hopes up.

* Former undersecretary of defense for policy Michèle Flournoy makes familiar calls for modernizing acquisition and fixing perverse incentives that pervade program management. Alas, many people agree to a large extent on what should be done. Much rarer are the practical plans on how to get there.

* The Pentagon’s Comptroller sent to Congress a report [PDF] on balances carried forward at the end of FY12. These balances amount to $452B in unpaid obligations and $107B in unobligated balances, for a total of about a peak year worth of DoD spending.

* Germany is concerned that the US may have stolen industrial secrets via its NSA data collection program, whose massive scope has been revealed to include Europe.

* India’s Ministry of Defence recently published a Technology Perspective and Capability Roadmap [PDF]. As the ministry-funded IDSA think tank notes, it’s a rather broad, generic and noncommittal document, which limits its practical utility for industry participants it was meant to inform.

* MetalMiner has a Q&A with Jeff Carpenter, Senior Procurement Manager of Raw Materials at Boeing, on how the company buys aluminum.

* The UK’s Ministry of Defence and a number of defence and security firms are setting up together the Defence Cyber Protection Partnership (DCPP) to share threat information.

* Canadian Military Journal on “unlearning” Afghanistan:

“[A] ‘high-tech’ conventional threat is not as statistically likely as turmoil in ungoverned spaces, failing states, or regional dictators threatening neighbouring states. Nevertheless, the results of failing to adequately prepare our military, through proper training and equipment, to succeed in such a conflict are much more horrific. Retooling the military as a constabulary force, particularly because of short-term economic expedience, would leave the Canadian government with much fewer foreign policy options in future conflicts, even those short of conventional war.”

* Today’s video below shows fast rope training from the US Marines descending from a CH-53E Super Stallion above USS Kearsarge (LHD-3):

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