Trump Administration Objects to Defense Bill Provisions on Space Corps, EELV Development


The Trump Administration and the House Armed Services Committee are on a collision course over four space- and rocket-related provisions in the fNational Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2018 (FY 2018).

Specifically, the administration is objecting to the following provisions:

  • the establishment of a separate space corps within the U.S. Air Force (USAF);
  • limitations on the funding of new rocket engines for the Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program;
  • a prohibition on the Pentagon procurement of transponder services on commercial satellites launched on Russian rockets; and,
  • requirements that the Defense Department find multiple suppliers for individual components of solid rocket missile systems.

Supporters of the space corps believes it would allow the U.S. Air Force to better focus its space operations. The administration argues it needs more time to weight its options.

“As directed by the FY 2017 NDAA, the Administration is assessing a wide range of organizational options, including a Space Corps. The creation of a separate Space Corps, however, is premature at this time,” the administration said in a statement.

“Upon completion of these analyses, the Administration looks forward to working with Congress to implement military space organizational changes (while considering the budget implications) in a practical timeframe to best posture the Nation’s joint forces to meet the challenges of the 21st Century,” the statement added.

The NDAA’s provision on EELV’s would limit the U.S. Air Force’s spending to new rocket engines and modifications to existing launch vehicles. Congress wants the program focused on fielding a replacement for the Russian-produced RD-180 motors that power United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Atlas V booster.

Air Force officials want a broader program that would allow it to spend provide funds to companies developing new launch vehicles. For example, ULA is developing a new booster called Vulcan that is designed to replace Atlas V and the company’s heavy-lift (and very expensive) Delta IV rocket.

“The provision limits domestic competition, which will increase taxpayer costs by several billions of dollars through FY 2027 and stifle innovation,” the administration said in its statement. “It also ignores key recommendations of the Committee’s independent panel of experts, who proposed broad funding at the launch-system level.”

Another provision would prohibit the Defense Department from obtaining satellite services aboard spacecraft launched aboard Russian rockets.  The prohibition is designed to improve cyber security.

“For satellite communications services, three-quarters of services acquired today are from foreign-incorporated companies that make widespread use of international launch vehicles,” the administration said in opposing the provision.

A Congressional effort to expand the nation’s industrial base for large solid rocket motors also drew a strong objection from the Trump Administration. The provision is aimed at providing multiple sources for components of the missiles.

“The large solid rocket motor industrial base has many single sources for components and materials. In many cases, the quantities of systems, subsystems, or components or materials acquired by DOD are not sufficient to support multiple suppliers,” the administration said.

“In addition, if a second source for these materials is required, it would trigger requalification on not only the rocket motor, but also the entire missile. This would be cost prohibitive to DOD, totaling nearly $1 billion,” the statement added.

The administration’s full statements about space- and rocket-related provisions follow.

Statement of Administration Policy

H.R. 2810 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018
(Rep. Thornberry, R-TX, and Rep. Smith, D-WA)

Establishment of Space Corps in the Department of the Air Force: The Administration appreciates the Committee’s concerns with the organization and management of DOD’s space capabilities as reflected in section 1601, which calls for the establishment of a separate Space Corps within the Department of the Air Force. As the Secretary of Defense has testified, the Administration recognizes the criticality of our access to and use of space, and we understand the increasing threats posed to our continued use of space capabilities. As directed by the FY 2017 NDAA, the Administration is assessing a wide range of organizational options, including a Space Corps. The creation of a separate Space Corps, however, is premature at this time. Upon completion of these analyses, the Administration looks forward to working with Congress to implement military space organizational changes (while considering the budget implications) in a practical timeframe to best posture the Nation’s joint forces to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.

Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Modernization and Sustainment of Assured Access to Space: The Administration strongly objects to section 1615, which would restrict development of new space launch systems, including those whose development is significantly funded by industry, in exclusive favor of rocket engines and modifications to existing launch vehicles. The provision limits domestic competition, which will increase taxpayer costs by several billions of dollars through FY 2027 and stifle innovation. It also ignores key recommendations of the Committee’s independent panel of experts, who proposed broad funding at the launch-system level. The Administration’s innovative, agile approach has already saved taxpayers $300 million and is the quickest path to delivering modern, domestic, cost-effective launch capabilities that will support national security requirements for decades to come. This provision would make the Administration’s strategy impossible to execute, causing delays in transitioning from Russian engines and increased risks to continued assured access to space.

Foreign Commercial Satellite Services: Cybersecurity Threats and Launches: The Administration strongly objects to section 1612, which would limit the Department’s ability to procure satellite services from foreign entities. It also would prohibit entering into a contract for satellite services with any entity if such services will be provided using satellites launched from, or designed or manufactured in, a covered foreign country or by an entity controlled by the government of a covered foreign country, regardless of the location of the launch. For satellite communications services, three-quarters of services acquired today are from foreign-incorporated companies that make widespread use of international launch vehicles.

Industrial Base for Large Solid Rocket Motors and Related Technologies: The Administration strongly objects to section 1699, which would require the Secretary of Defense to pursue multiple sources for the various components of modern solid rocket missile systems. The large solid rocket motor industrial base has many single sources for components and materials. In many cases, the quantities of systems, subsystems, or components or materials acquired by DOD are not sufficient to support multiple suppliers. In addition, if a second source for these materials is required, it would trigger requalification on not only the rocket motor, but also the entire missile. This would be cost prohibitive to DOD, totaling nearly $1 billion.

  • Paul451

    In the U.S. “anent” is a short, single-word equivalent of the phrase “with respect to”

    Except it’s not a 1:1 synonym for “with respect to”, even in US English. Anent has a narrower meaning than its synonyms.

    Its conceptual use relates to its original use meaning physically “next to the thing” or “touching the thing”, not “regarding the thing itself”, giving it a slightly different meaning. You can use words like “regarding, concerning, about” etc as synonyms for anent, but you can’t go the other way and use anent as substitute for the general use of the other words. All cats are mammals, but not all mammals are cats.

    Hence it’s perfect reasonable to say, “I want to say a few words anent the subject before I start talking about the subject”. Ie, I want to speak on things touching the subject, before speaking on the subject.

    As for your weird nationalistic rant, no I meant “regional US” as in a region within the US; Pittsburgh, or Alabama, or Bahstan.

    I know that in some rural parts of the UK (where I am not from), it is still used in its archaic form (physically next to or touching) and in rural Scotland (where I’m also not from) it is sometimes used to mean “equivalent to” and physically “opposite from”. So I thought there might be a regional usage that you grew up with. In which case, meh, dialect, can’t be helped.

    OTOH, if it is merely a personal affectation (which actually makes things more confusing for readers, even those that know what anent means) then no, that’s just stupid, stop it.

    If you wanted to popularise “anent”, you could at least do it with a proper meaning. We have plenty of words and phrases generally meaning “regarding”, we don’t need another one, but we don’t have another word that covers that same specific subset of “regarding/concerning/about/etc”.

    Aside:

    phone-texting-originated acronymic abomination “WRT.”

    Actually WRT came from physics, then Usenet, then the web, then business-douches in email, then texting.

  • Paul451

    I don’t think “MBAs chasing short-term stock based profits” is actually that much of a current problem within the Military-Industrial Complex. There haven’t been any profits to chase.

    No-one said that “MBAs chasing short-term stock based profits” is a good long term profit strategy. Windbourne’s comment implied the opposite. The douche-nuggets will happily eat the seedcorn to boost this quarter’s figures, even if it means a decline next year.

  • Paul451

    Air Mobility Command, for example, should be part of an integrated Logistics Corps that handles ground, sea and air logistics for all the combatant services.

    Would never be accepted. There’s a reason beyond service rivalry than the USMC grew to have its own army, navy & air force. They’d been burnt depending on the other services for close air support, logistics, etc.

    IMO, it makes sense for the Army to recover part of its fixed-wing air capacity for transport and close air-support. So I’d like to see aircraft like the A-10s and AC-130s transferred to the Army, along with a crapload of transport planes and some recon. The USAF would keep the fast fighters, bombers, most of the recon, etc.

    Likewise the Army should have its own transport ships. (An obvious division of capabilities with the Marines would be to limit the Army to non-literal, non-amphibious transport.)

    Likewise I’d like to see the Army take over the USAF’s RBM and ICBM forces. It makes more sense to treat missiles as super-artillery than weak-bombers.

  • duheagle

    The point of standing up an independent service for space is to provide exactly the sort of institutional opposition that would prevent that from happening. As long as space is, institutionally, subordinate to USAF, USAF is free to treat it like the proverbial red-headed stepchild. On it’s own, Space Corps/Force can fight on equal terms.

    Entire current AFB’s transferred to Space Force would also instantly redraw the map of Congressional self-interest. With, say, Edwards, Vandenberg and Canaveral all in Space Force hands, the California and Florida delegations would no longer look so kindly on starving space to pay for airplanes.

  • duheagle

    Regardless of origin, WRT is an abomination.

    As to “anent,” Dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster’s, American Heritage and Random House all agree with me. So do about a dozen others I found. The definition you champion is mentioned in a few places, but is described as both “British” and “archaic.”

  • duheagle

    I don’t disagree with the sentiment, I’m just saying it has nothing of consequence to do with the MIC’s current circumstances.

    The downward trend in MIC profits is secular and long-standing. I think it’s due to a more or less complete loss of these firms’ original entrepreneurial vigor in the decades since their founders died combined with an acquired preference for doing things in a slow, low-pressure, guaranteed money sort of way that has become the norm for military acquisition. This is not a corporate cultural milieu inclined to attract the actual best and brightest. MBA-ed or not, nobody looks to the MIC when recruiting top talent. With the notable – and seemingly singular – exception of Tory Bruno, the management cadre of the U.S. MIC is a stagnant pond full of blind fish. They are Betas, content to sit in their comfy chairs and take their negotiated profits year in and year out – no “chasing” required. These are not people inclined toward swinging for the fences or any other sort of exertion.

  • duheagle

    Yes – all of them. Mr. Cruz seems to be carefully laying the groundwork for some major new initiatives not too far down the road. I wish him well and will continue to follow the progress.

  • duheagle

    USMC doesn’t have its own Army, it is its own Army. It doesn’t have its own Navy, but it’s status as a separate Corps has allowed it to insist the Navy build amphibious assault ships in appreciable quantity as well as things like LCAC’s.

    USMC also depends on USN for strategic logistics. LCAC’s approximate the roles both Higgins boats and LST’s played in WW2, though they are far less numerous even than LST’s were – which is not good. LCAC’s also cannot operate independently at sea.

    The Navy badly neglected close air support, post-WW2, just like USAF. The Marines, being a separate Corps, finally got allowed to operate their own fixed wing as well as rotary-wing assets. USMC was also why Osprey got built.

    These things didn’t happen because of “inter-service rivalry.” They happened because the Navy just flat dropped the ball. USMC wasn’t any longer willing to put up with its legitimate needs being perpetually overlooked. As a largely separate service, it had the ability – including mobilizing its cadre of alumni in the Congress – to see that the situation was addressed.

    Congress has far fewer influential veterans than it used to. Thus other situations that should have been seen to long since have been allowed to fester.

    The Army, for instance, is limited just to helos. I agree the Army should get the A-10’s and AC-130’s. Absent an integrated Logistics Command, they should get C-130’s as well. So should USMC.

    USAF can keep strategic endo-atmospheric recon. Anything from Reaper on down, though, should be Army, USMC and Navy. The Navy needs long-range, fast, stealthy tactical recon that is carrier-based. That is currently an unfilled hole.

    Strategic land-based missiles are neither artillery nor bombers. They deserve their own service as they have been seriously shortchanged under USAF auspices. The Navy, in contrast, has done a much better job anent SLBM’s and should keep those. Land-based missiles have long been a USAF backwater in terms of personnel and promotion. That’s just nuts and has to stop.

    As to turning Air Mobility Command into part of an integrated strategic Logistics Corps, I think it might be accepted just fine by G.I’s and Marines who’ve been badly served by existing arrangements.

    Air Mobility Command has no way to economically provide large quantities of supplies and equipment to troops operating far inland from ports and/or far-removed from major airbases. Afghanistan qualifies in spades as a hard logistics problem. So would the interior marches of both Russia and China if we were ever to go to war with either. And yet no progress has been made on this issue.

    In Afghanistan, arranging bulk logistics meant having to make deals for overland road and rail transport and air base facilities with unreliable Central Asian nations and putting up with their constant up-the-ante extortions and “bandit” raids on supply columns. Lacking any entity with an explicitly strategic logistics focus, we are no better off in this respect now than when we first went into Afghanistan 16 years ago. That’s just nuts and has to stop. Especially since we may have to fight either or both Russia and China in the next 50 years.

  • duheagle

    Britain made the right choice. The RAF was in much better shape to fight WW2 when it started than was the USAAF’s air arm. The Navy, All Praise be to Cthulhu, had been much less hidebound. Failing that, WW2 would have been over in a hurry and not in a good way.

    Space is a separate domain of operations. We have a service structured to fight at sea and one structured to fight in the air. We have two structured to fight on land. We also need one structured to fight in space.

    And, just as aircraft were a new non-flash-in-the-pan technology that justified a separate military organization, so too are strategic missiles.

    Thus, I urge that we keep:

    US Army – minus its anti-strategic missile stuff, augmented by current USAF close air support assets and all tactical recon/attack/dual-use assets.

    US Navy – minus its strategic logistical assets.

    US Marine Corps

    US Air Force – in reduced form, but with added responsibility for homeland air defense.

    US Coast Guard

    and that we, additionally, stand up:

    US Space Corps/Force – Force preferred, Corps acceptable in interim, encompassing all USAF Space Command assets and missions, plus new ones including strategic defense of space-based U.S. military assets.

    US Strategic Rocket Forces – Pulled from USAF Minuteman assets and installations and all continental and regional ground-based ABM defenses including units currently part of the US Army or any other governmental entity. Not to include things like anti-tactical missile defenses or counter-battery defenses.

    US Strategic Logistics Corps – Air Mobility Command plus USN strategic logistical assets. New priorities: deep-inland large cargo logistics and stealth logistics at sea.

    US High Guard – immediate duties, requiring no human presence on-orbit: assessment and remediation of on-orbit debris including 100% of sub-trackable debris and as much of trackable debris as international agreement can be reached to deal with. Purchase of services devised and implemented by private sector preferentially prioritized. Future duties when situation warrants: on-orbit search and rescue, medical evacuation and general aid to spacefarers. These latter duties will require on-orbit human presence.

    I see that I miscounted earlier. It’s actually nine service arms I’m calling for. Mea culpa.

  • duheagle

    No need to take my word for anything. Apply your favorite search engine and come to your own conclusions.

    I’m quite aware that Mr. Rogers is also a prominent member-in-good-standing of the SLS Mafia. As SLS is not a military program, though, and has no real military utility, it’s hard to see how Rogers’s advocacy of a Space Corps has any relevance to the former.

    As with comments on these forums, I treat with the ideas presented, not their presenters.

    A U.S. Space Corps/Force is a very good idea and one that is long overdue of accomplishment. SLS is a very bad idea and deserves to be killed with a stake through its heart and buried face-down with a forked stick up its hoo-hah.

    The fact that a given legislator is a big promoter of both at once doesn’t cause me any cognitive dissonance nor make my head explode. The real world does not cleanly divide into Good Guys and Bad Guys.

    I realize this flies in the face of the Manichaean worldviews of pretty much everyone on the Left and a sizable fraction of those on the Right these days, but the world is what it is. These forums have long accustomed me to the fact that individuals are perfectly capable of adhering quite fiercely to both ideas that are splendid and others which are execrable.

    So it goes.

  • duheagle

    There being no “Righty Talking Points Central,” that would be a conspicuous, and futile, waste of my time. I know you Lefties think otherwise. The usual locus implied is Fox News. All that demonstrates is that you never watch Fox News. Lefty Talking Points Central seems to be the NYT editorial board. Whatever they’re saying in the morning edition is immediately echoed, word for word, on CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, and nearly every other daily newspaper and TV outlet in the country.

    You also believe a lot of other strange things about people with my general sort of politics, many of which are manifestations of psychologcal projection. Like all that “code word” and “dog whistle” crapola. As someone once noted, “If you keep hearing dog whistles all the time, maybe it should occur to you that you are the dog.”

  • duheagle

    Except for the old Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces, which I thought was an idea we should have emulated long ago, I don’t really base any of my current notions about military organization on what our enemies are doing.

    As for the Chinese, specifically, everything of a military nature is part of the Peoples Liberation Army – even the Navy. I do not look to the Chinese as any sort of paradigm of military organization to be emulated.

    I’m looking, in fact, at what I think we can best do to crush the Chinese like bugs should that particular push ever come to shove. Ditto the Russians, though they are, in most respects, less dangerous than the Chinese these days.

  • duheagle

    If the actual motors don’t really admit of any reasonable future improvements, that would be fine by me. But I think it’s still possible to build quite a bit better a missile than Minuteman III that could fit in the same holes. I think even Trident II D5 has room for significant improvement. Since the Minutemen went in, we’ve invented carbon fiber composites, for example. The rest of a missile’s systems, especially the electronics, certainly need regular updating. So, perhaps, do the warheads. At a minimum, they need to be regularly “zero-miled.” The “physics packages” tend to contain things like Tritium, which has a fairly short half-life.

  • Vladislaw

    LOL .. fox news.. rush limbaugh.. o’reilly, hannity, savage, beck

    that is a hilarious statement considering roger ailes gave a DAILY talking points memo EVERY MORNING for over a decade and the conservaitve mouthbreathers all repeated it .. ENDLESSLY .. all day
    .. Hahahahhahhaa

  • windbourne

    Do you really think that the military is doing NOTHING to protect our space assets?
    You have seen the work on lasers and rail guns. Yes? The 32 MJ BAE railgun is capable of shooting over 150 miles up. BAE is working on a 64 MJ, along with improving the barrel’s ability to withstand these firings and to fire more often.

    Do you realize what made America strong back in the 50s and 60s? It was the fact that we manufactured from cheap to expensive and that companies regularly did massive amounts of R&D on manufacturing. There was real competition between American companies, like what is going on with CHina. And a big part of what made our space and military programs possible was that nearly all companies that were involved in these, ALSO did commercial work. Boeing does commercial work. That is what allows it to afford the R&D in various areas. Sadly, the CEOs that we have had, have gutted the R&D and instead pushed for others to do so. In fact, McNearny was a TOTAL disaster to us because he was the MBA with the GE training. he gutted our R&D, sold off the aeronautics electronics divsion , and then outsourced the 787. All of this was so as to increase the SHORT-TERM STOCK PRICES for his stock options bonus.
    MD had done the same thing back in the late 80s, early 90s due to reagan rolling back a number of executive orders (prior to that, executives were NOT allowed to own trad-able stock in their industry). They esp outsourced heavily on the MD-11 which guaranteed that the many of the same issues in the 10, was repeated in the 11.
    Northrup, Grumman both did the same thing and were forced together because of that.

    Then we have the auto industry. America’s was robust and top dogs in the world all the way until the late 80s. At that point, all but ford succumbed to the same BS as the others because they were bringing in MBAs who were taught to go for the short-term profits due to stock as bonus.

    American Airlines was a great case in point. Bob Crandall took great pride in building up AA, pioneering hub/spoke, per seat pricing, improving service, etc. Once Carter deregulated airlines and oil, Crandall was able to not only build up AA to beating out the other airlines (esp united who FAA && CAB favored due to their original boeing background). He even kept AA out of bankruptcy and major strikes. Why? Because he insisted on not having ANY stock in the industry even when reagan rolled that back ( and he told reagan, who was a friend of his, that it would be a big mistake ). Crandall trained a number of executives to do things right, but sadly, Apry, one of the Crandall brat pack boys (they run many of the successful airlines), choose to do things wrong and wanted stock for bonus. And he then ended up bankrupting AA, just like the others did.

  • duheagle

    Well, I don’t doubt your sincerity, Andrew, but I do question your reading comprehension just a bit.

    What you said was that Donald Trump is “ignorant and so self centered.” The “ignorant” part is just lefty boilerplate which has been deployed, to steadily less effect, against every Republican President going back at least to Ike. I simply write that off whenever I see it. Lefties calling Republican presidents dumb is like Catholics making the sign of the cross – a frequently exercised, almost autonomic habit.

    The self-centered part is obvious by casual inspection.

    The relative magnitude of self-centeredness of Trump anent Obama is what we have left. I never said that you thought Obama regarded himself as the Center of the Universe or that you said so. I merely expressed disbelief that you could plausibly think that Obama didn’t regard himself as the Center of the Universe. Try counting up all the “I” and “my” references in a typical Obama speech.

    Might be interesting for someone to do exactly that for Obama speeches vs. Trump speeches. Totals, as well as ratios like I-and-my count per word, could be quite revelatory. I would love to see the results, but have neither time nor sufficient inclination to wade right into such a project myself.

  • windbourne

    BTW, Ford favors engineers as being CEOs, and amongst all of Musk successful companies, he has less than 12 MBAs.
    Even Bezo will have very little to do with MBAs.
    They are worthless.

  • windbourne

    yeah, being that registered Libertarian, I am a real lefty talking guy. 🙂

    My reason for not wanting a space corp at this time, has everything to do with focusing our efforts on restoring manufacturing and lowering space access. For example, we should do a COTS NOW for getting multiple habitats attached to the ISS, outfitted and fully tested.

    In the same vein, I would like to see the FEDS offer up multiple service contracts to put ppl on the moon that decrease over time. Let SX, Bigelow, BO, etc pursue these and know that they will be rewarded for being first.

    Getting multiple private space stations and private effort on the moon will lower our prices GREATLY to access space and make it cheap for the military to then protect current assets as well as provide new assets.

  • windbourne

    Except for other far righties, few would call yours a ‘general sort of politics’. I gave Trump 5 months. Normally, I give 6 months, but Trump is loony tunes.
    And as to your arguments for things like the space corp, it was the far righties that forced NASA to do the SLS, even telling them HOW TO BUILD IT. Now, it is way too expensive to fly (and we knew that before).
    SO, here is far righties again, trying to force the DOD to waste money on space corp BEFORE investing into lowering our space access costs.

  • windbourne

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/07/politics/space-corps-bill-trnd/index.html

    And here is really liberal paper for you:

    http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/06/22/air-force-congress-no-space-corps.html

    But the service maintains it will not stand up a separate branch for space, mainly because of limited resources.

    “We think right now it’s important to take the capabilities and the resources that we have and focus on implementation and integration with the broader force, versus creating a separate service,” Air Force spokesman Col. Patrick Ryder said Thursday.
    Ryder’s comments follow similar ones Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson made Wednesday after a Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. Wilson pushed her agenda to “simplify space, not make it more complicated and bureaucratic,” according to reports.

    And Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein agrees. Last month, he said it makes no sense to break off a new space domain right now.

    “I don’t support it at this time in our history, based on where we are in this transition from a benign environment to a warfighting domain,” Goldfein said during a Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces hearing.

    All in all, it makes little sense to do this NOW.
    It DOES make sense once we have lowered the costs of space access.

    BTW, on a side note,
    This is what MBAs in charge of military-related companies do:

    https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2017-07-18/urals-boeing-plant-triple-partners-titanium-capacity

    This is about as stupid as I have seen.
    And you want to throw money at a space corp?
    sheesh

  • windbourne

    So, In a nutshell, what did he speak of?

  • passinglurker

    I think I might have bumped a nerve there I was actually referring to rogers stance on the air force’s rd180 replacement program.

    Any way I wasn’t saying spacecorps is bad now cause a politician “tainted” it or anything, but rather I was attempting to humorously speculate as to how this could align with the politicians perceived agenda.

    As for sls I expect it’ll keep going as long as congress can push a usage concept that they think needs it. Hopefully it’ll sort itself it by the mid 2020’s when all the big commercial rockets come online and demonstrate the capability to deliver lunar capsules and modules making sls unnecessary for dsg.

  • Paul451

    content to sit in their comfy chairs and take their negotiated profits year in and year out – no “chasing” required. These are not people inclined toward swinging for the fences or any other sort of exertion.

    You’d be surprised at how active they are in protecting those short-term profits. IIRC, some Boeing execs went to prison for bribery over the aerial tanker contract; risk-taking behaviour is pursued, but only in the interest of immediate goals, never the kind of risk inherent in long-term in-house development. Because that won’t pay off for the backer, so they get all the risk of proposing it, but no reward. The douche-bro execs in most corporations love high-risk behaviour, but need immediate payoff.

    And there’s nothing magical about military contractors, it’s exactly the same thing that happens in most large publicly listed corporations. For the same reason.

    [Look at Apple, sans Jobs. Show me big breakthrough (a la OS-X, iPod, iPhone, iTunes & App-Store) over the last seven years. A watch and a TV, with no innovation or even design flair. And a half-hearted attempt to copy Tesla/Solar-City. Likewise, look at Microsoft’s lost decade(s). Look at Google over the last few years. These are not military or govt contractors (mostly), and they are embedded in an industry that supposedly praises rapid change and “disruption”, and yet…]

  • windbourne
  • publiusr

    Then too–Marines pretty much get scraps.
    They still come in second–third–seventh–to the carrier-groupies