Pentagon Pen Pal…

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J. Paul Getty Images

Just received an interesting email from a Pentagon greybeard, who until recently had spent three decades toiling directly for a string of defense secretaries (which is why he needs to remain nameless).

The dead-on-arrival proposed fiscal 2014 Pentagon budget, to be rolled out Wednesday, is the one President Obama was supposed to have submitted about six weeks ago. The programming beavers in the Pentagon are now actually working on the fiscal 2015 five-year plan, due out next February. That’s what my friend is alluding to in his reference to the “post-information era.”

He writes:

I am plenty glad I’m not in the Pentagon now.  The budget situation is screwed up beyond any recovery.

FY13 is pegged at Sequestration with a bunch of constraints on cuts, FY14 budget is real late and dead on arrival.

They don’t know what will happen on the hill into FY14 with carry-over of Sequestration levels.

We truly are in the “Post-Information Era”—there is no reality left, it is all imaginary or hypothetical.

I have to credit [former defense secretary Robert] Gates for ending the F-22, I didn’t think that would happen, but of course they left a huge pile of money to try to convert it to something more useful.

In the meantime the AF fighter force ages at an amazing rate.

The Navy solved the aging problem by default—cutting force levels plus accepting a mediocre product (eg F/A-18E/F) in order to keep age much lower than USAF.

But even with this, of course, the Navy is trying to extend F/A-18C/D way beyond original design life, such as it was understood…

Meanwhile the flying hours available for training are miniscule.  I have to wonder about safety.

He’s not the only one glad he’s not at the Pentagon now…