Promoted Comment: National Security Planning, Spending, and Technology Lust

ymarsakar wrote:

There’s no agreement in the military or in the civilian world on what is economically optimum. Since everyone has their own pet theories and projects that they want funding for.

War is nice since it solves these equations of efficiency and “economy” quite well. It really puts down the no debate sign when people try to argue that their idea will do good things, when tested out in the field, did jack.

That inspired my comment reply:

Maybe. Not though when deciding to spend money for on F-22s for future hypothetical conflicts when line infantry in current conflict have inferior weapons (infantry squad is armed with M-4s, 9mms autoloaders, 1-3 SAW) then their opponents. So, the us has to rely upon technology (more $) and gets the 4GW side effects (which are counter productive to the mission). This seems straight forward to me.

The US National Security establishment (including the Military and intelligence agencies) has essentially 3 main missions (that overlap in some details):

1) There is the major war fighting mission (e.g. High-Intensity Conflict, state-destroying, 2GW, 3GW, Barnett’s Leviathan concept).

2) There is also the “small wars” mission (e.g. low intensity conflict, 4GW, COIN, OOTW, state-building, Barnett’s SysAdmin).

3) There is the domestic defense and security mission (e.g. counter-intelligence, counter-terrorism, counter-espionage, anti-terrorism, missile defense, counter-WMD, air/land/sea border protection, IT and Communications defense, space defense, emergency incident response, executive protection).

Each of these domain must be funded. Historically, the US has not funded the “small wars” mission very well and the domestic defense mission has mostly had the high-tech stuff funded.

I am not a military guy. I am an IT professional.

Let me say it…I am a technology geek.

People like me love the technology, we go gaga over the technology – especially when spending other peoples money.

In the business world (and I am sure the military is the same way), tech geeks have to be very careful to not let their tech lust govern them. The mission and needs of the organization must be met with things like this in mind: lifetime economy, simplicity, usability, interoperability, and especially opportunity costs.

Note: Things like “satisfying my geek lust for technology” in not an organizational mission or need.

By Odin I wish it was!

Mission and Needs and opportunity costs matter – not technology lust.

Remember Boyd here (something like): “People. Ideas. Hardware. In that order”

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