Warfighting and Production
12:44 PM, Aug 24, 2009 • By JOHN NOONAN
Interesting bit on the decline of U.S. production capacity, via Loren Thompson at the Lexington Institute's new blog.
Thompson thinks it might be one of our most pressing security challenges (at least in the long term), and I'm inclined to agree. America's ability to produce, innovate, and create has traditionally served as the backbone of our warfighting efforts. Quoth the old axiom, amateurs study strategy, professionals study logistics. During World War II, the Germans marveled at the infinite stream of fighting vehicles that rolled off the rust belt's auto assembly lines and poured into the European theater, while they were porting artillery with horse drawn carriages. During the Cold War, the Soviets poured billions into strategies that would close the Atlantic to US resupply convoys -- fearing only our nuclear weapons over our ability to manufacture.
Today, that "Made in America" tag is just too pricey. Unions have driven up the cost of labor to unsustainable levels, while choking environmental regulations and aggressive corporate taxes have suffocated our ability to produce domestically. It's no wonder the next generation of American weapon systems, which our troops desperately need, are so expensive.
Aside: go take a look at the Lexington Institute's new blogging endeavour, Early Warning. Should be an outstanding security policy resource.