Joint Forces Command recently published their Joint Operating Environment 2010 report (aka the JOE report), and it's got some interesting observations.
As reported by Greg over at Defense Tech, JOE asserts that "the military’s approach to buying new high-tech weaponry has become a strategic liability and is weakening the force."
Yikes! Apparently the amount of time & money we're spending on weapon systems is actually degrading our national defense posture, rather than improving it. According to the report, the failure to reform acquisitions is "no longer a bureaucratic issue: it is having strategic effects."
There is a significant move afoot across the DoD to reduce the cost, duration and complexity of weapon system development projects. In recent months I've seen actual evidence of meaningful reform in certain places - more than just people talking about making improvements, but actual improvements. And at the same time, there's a huge amount of institutional inertia, and the Corporate Immune Response is doing its best to fight off the "reform idea virus." Having JFCOM point to big/expensive/slow/complex acquisitions as a strategic liability is certainly a helpful piece of the overall reform puzzle.
(Thanks to Nick S. for the heads up on this report!)