Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Wall Street Journal on Armored Humvees.

Good Brendan Miniter piece in today's Opinion Journal. Go read it here.

In fact, it's so good, that I wonder whether he or one of his emailers reads my website. Case in point:

While the troops wait [for fully-armored vehicles], the military could install two-inch-thick ballistic glass--half as thick as is optimal. Nearly every vehicle could support the weight of this slimmed-down ballistic glass, and it would likely stop 80% of the shrapnel that penetrates ordinary windshields. But the military is loath to adopt an interim, if imperfect, remedy. It prefers to wait for the "100% solution," Mr. Hunter said. In other words, in military procurement, the perfect has become the enemy of the good.
Sure sounds a lot like what I wrote last week.

I understand the reason for the bureaucracy and the red-tape. You want to make sure you have a solution that works, a solution that every soldier can use, and a solution that is supportable in the field. You don't want to rush something to the field that, while it may solve one problem, ends up causing other, more severe problems elsewhere.

That said, this is wartime. In peacetime, you can afford to forgo "good enough" and wait for "perfect;" all it's going to cost you in the end is more time and money. However, waiting for "perfect" when pay for the ideal solution with blood is unaccepatable.

I don't think the Pentagon has necessarily been waiting for the perfect solution in every case-- note, again, innovative ad-hoc solutions like RFI & REF-- but it's obvious there are still gaps that need to be plugged, and quickly.

Hopefully, we'll all keep our heads about us in the interim and "work the problem." Especially the critics who'd rather score political points than do anything to solve the problem-- like Duncan Hunter's office is doing now.

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