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Defense Facts of Life: The Plans/Reality Mismatch

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0865317192
ISBN-10: 0865317194
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Westview Pr (Short Disc) (May 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865317194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865317192
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.8 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,721,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Edit of 21 Dec 07 to add comment and link.

Comment: This book should be updated and reprinted in time for November 2008.

Chuck Spinney, who made the cover of TIME in the 1980's as a whistle-blower on defense waste and mismanagement, has in this book presented a readable, well-documented and well-illustrated account of how virtually every single weapons and mobility system now in the Pentagon system is over-priced, over-weight, over-budget, and not able to perform as advertised. Although out-of-print, there are hundreds of copies of this book that can be obtained via Amazon's used book channels, and the author is writing a sequel that will be easier to understand if this book is digested first.

In addressing the plans reality mismatch, the author is very effectively demonstrating that doctrine, technology and the budget are completely divorced from both real world threats, and real world logistics.

With superb assistance from the editor, James Clay Thompson, who has converted the author's Pentagon-speak to plain English, the author documents the insanity and the irresponsibility of how we continue to spend the taxpayer dollar on so-called defense. I say so-called because the Emperor has no clothes. We can invade a country, but we cannot stop terrorism or keep our electrical system going reliably.

Just one little vignette illustrates how jam-packed this book is with facts. Discussing the F-15 and the move toward replaceable units as a means of reducing forward-deployed repair specialists and spare parts, the author blows the lid off the whole system. It all comes down to the three computers each squadron of 24 F-15's needs to diagnose its 1080 line-replaceable units. 1) It turns out the three computers work 80% of the time.
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