Making Omelets Causes Broken Eggs
Two things in the news caught my attention this morning. One is that the secretary of Defense is planning on reducing the number of soldiers in the Army. The other is the Boeing is closing a plant in Wichita.
Initially I thought those were two pieces of bad news, but then after thinking a few minutes they’re probably good news.
As fond as I am of the Army, is it possible that as time passes and technology moves forward we actually need fewer foot soldiers? We can almost certainly get by with fewer combat troops on the ground. With fewer combat troops we need fewer support troops and therefore fewer soldiers exposed to danger.
The ground soldier is the most vulnerable and the most exposed so the fewer of them on the ground the better off we all are. Technology allows for more efficiency and therefore fewer soldiers exposed to gunfire, IEDs and the enemy.
Intelligence can be gained by both sophisticated and unsophisticated means. The less sophisticated means to gain intelligence are by reading the local news papers, news broadcasts and talking to locals through telephones and computers. The sophisticated means to gather intelligence include satellites, computers, unmanned drones as well as ways most of us haven’t dreamed of.
Better information will allow for fewer soldiers on the ground and more information available to make plans and take action. Special operations require fewer ground troops and expose fewer soldiers to danger.
The bottom line here is technology can get us more bang for our buck and our blood.
Few troops will not necessarily mean a less capable military. Hopefully it will mean a smarter military.
Initially when I read about Boeing closing its plant in Wichita I was concerned that it was as a result of the NLRB over reach into a successful company. But it seems to be the result of a business decision to become a leaner organization as it faces the reality of government spending.
Other than politicians who are either incapable of understanding the obvious, or a choice on their part to ignore reality, everyone else realizes that the government can not continue to spend as it always has. The gravy train must stop.
Government contracts will not be as generous as they have been, there will certainly be much more accountability in the future and far more competition.
Less spending and more accountability will require the more efficiency on the part of those who win government contracts. Boeing realizes this and is starting to become a more lean, more efficient organization.
Fewer ground troops should not mean a less effective military, fewer aircraft plants should not mean a less capable aircraft manufacturer and both should be able to lead to less government spending.
The only ones who can have a negative impact on that are political appointees elected empty suits and lobbyists. We have to find a way to downsize them as well.