Tom Ricks vs. the Defense Bill
President Obama signed the 2010 defense appropriations bill into law this morning, following a brief bit of legislative theater by Republicans who wanted to hold it hostage to delay health reform. Tom Ricks goes through the bill and finds it only marginally relevant to national security:
- $2.6 billion for V-22 aircraft for the Marines and Air Force. I wish the Marines had just gone with the UH-60 Black Hawk two decades ago. Now the Marines have dug a hole that is killing the rest of their aviation. It makes me wonder whether the Marines, the smallest of the armed forces, should be in the business of technology innovation.
- $1 billion for Navy F-18s. Lots of money for an airplane that is, well, yeeehh. Better spent on unmanned combat aircraft?**
- $4.4 billion for two Navy destroyers and one littoral combat ship**.** Yow. Maybe it is time to start buying warships from South Korea, or at least invite competitive bids? Folks, this is billions, not millions. Imagine what $4.4 billion could do to rebuild our highways, or send deserving kids to college, or rebuild New Orleans.
I tell you, I’m sick of these hippies.