Monday, December 16, 2013

WSJ: "John Lehman: More Bureaucrats, Fewer Jets and Ships"

First, read this piece from the WSJ last week by a former Secretary of the Navy,

"There is one great numerical advantage the U.S. has against potential adversaries, however. That is the size of our defense bureaucracy. While the fighting forces have steadily shrunk by more than half since the early 1990s, the civilian and uniformed bureaucracy has more than doubled. According to the latest figures, there are currently more than 1,500,000 full-time civilian employees in the Defense Department—800,000 civil servants and 700,000 contract employees. Today, more than half of our active-duty servicemen and women serve in offices on staffs. The number of various Joint Task Force staffs, for instance, has grown since 1987 from seven to more than 250, according to the Defense Business Board."
Second, read Joseph Tainter's book The Collapse of Complex Societies. If the fighting forces are half and the bureaucracy has doubled, it means there are now four times as many staff workers per line worker creating military "product".

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