Magazine article National Defense

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Magazine article National Defense

Readers' Forum

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Defense Industrial Policy

* In reference to the Defense Watch editorial, "Managing the Defense Industry: Stalinism or Smart Business" [Nov. 2011, p.9), Ms. Erwin started with a reasonably interesting article that appeared to present the various sides of the issue. But the conclusion, especially the suggestion attributed to Marty Bollinger (director of Booz & Company's aerospace and defense practice) to proceed with a "defense industrial policy" but obfuscate it by changing names, is not only disingenuous but outright dishonest.

To support his position, Bollinger suggests, "Toyota, Ford or any major corporation does industrial planning on a routine basis, They scrutinize the supply base, identify areas where they want competition, and select suppliers with which they want long-term relationships."

That is a nonsensical comparison. Of course corporations plan. That is how they stay ahead of the competition and appeal to the customer. That is how capital markets work. But the point of the article is for the Department of Defense to do the planning; to scrutinize its supply base, identify areas where it wants competition and select suppliers with which it wants longterm relationships. See the difference?

Want an example of stupid government central planning? Consider the discussion about "cheap liquid fuel" in the Nov. 2011 cover story," 10 Technologies the U.S. Military Will Need For the Next War."

The services want "green energy" fuels to power their fleets even though none are commercially available at a reasonable price. …

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