Material [ was: Anti-war train drivers refuse to move arms freight ]

Bill Humphries
Tue, 14 Jan 2003 10:08:02 -0800

On Tuesday, January 14, 2003, at 09:45 AM, Al Diablito wrote:

> As a whole, I have no doubt that we buy better stuff than any military 
> in the world. however, I would point out some notable exceptions: 
> Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Osprey, the original M16 rifles, etc. It is 
> not the flawless process you try to spin it as. Also, it does not 
> appear that we were able to adequately protect and outfit our soldiers 
> against what is know as Gulf War syndrome, in what is generally 
> regarded as a "successful" war.

I'm fairly sure that the backers of the Bradley, the Osprey, and other 
dogs did not set out sell death traps to the armed forces, what they 
did do is allow emotion, regional pride and similar factors blind them. 
"It was built by God-fearing patriots in a community where everyone 
goes to church three times a week, and only read the Bible and Left 
Behind, how *could* you not award the contract to these good people!"

What I'm taking away from this is that the US Military apparently has 
found a way to work around the damage of political contributions and 
get the equipment they need. That's a lesson any contracting agency 
ought to learn. Does the Naval Postgraduate School teach courses on 

On the other hand (and as an ex-economist, I have many spare hands) 
what mechanisms are in place to keep the military procurement staff 
from going out too far on the single-source contract limb?

Bill Humphries <>