Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Freedom Bunker
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

A Fiscal Crisis: The West Is On The Wrong Side Of Cost Curve

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

A Fiscal Crisis: The West Is On The Wrong Side Of Cost Curve

Authored by Matthew van Wagenen and Arnel David via RealClearWireThe Epoch Times,

An axis of aggressors has embarked on a new strategy to defeat the West: relentless attacks with inexpensive weapons, produced at scale, to provoke a global response. Western militaries, which cling to outdated and excessively expensive weapon systems and platforms (that take too long to develop and replenish, and regularly exceed their budgets), are being systematically bled dry.

In simple financial terms, the West is on the wrong side of the cost curve. Imagine the defense industry as a normal business. In economics, a cost curve illustrates the relationship between production costs and quantity. Successful businesses achieve economies of scale, reducing costs through efficiency. But the West’s defense enterprise is operating on the wrong side of this curve. Production costs are high, and output is low, pushing Western nations into diseconomies of scale.

The recent aerial attack on Israel and the war in Ukraine expose this vulnerability. Iran’s 300-plus airborne weapons that targeted Israel amounted to less than $200 million while the Western response exceeds billions of dollars. In Ukraine, multimillion-dollar weapons platforms are destroyed by uncrewed aircraft systems that range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, and Russia’s prized Black Sea Fleet has been devastated by inexpensive maritime drones. Defense analysts estimate that the cost ratio is easily 100 to 1.

A Call to Action

A new revolution in military spending is underway. It’s a radical change in the way nations procure and integrate military capabilities. The innovation and changes in Ukraine have been described by Gen. Mark Milley as “the most significant fundamental change in the character of war ever recorded in history.” Consequently, this isn’t a military issue alone; it is a societal one. In democracies such as the United States, “We the People” are responsible for our common defense. We cannot afford to ignore this unsustainable cost mismatch. Every defense dollar matters when there are competing demands for resources to address aging populations, health care, migration challenges, and myriad other social services.

Traditional procurement models in the West, to include the United States and NATO, are no longer fit for purpose. They are failing. Decades-long development cycles are obsolete in a world of rapidly evolving threats and disruptive technological change. Let’s say an adversarial nation has a four-year cycle to produce a capability and, in the West, it takes 10 years. In this scenario, in 20 years’ time, the adversary-to-West ratio for innovation and capability development is 5 to 2. This all but guarantees that our adversaries will field a greater range of innovative capabilities, potentially leading to overmatch.

Rapid technological advancements are outpacing the military’s long-term development programs, rendering them obsolete as cheaper, more effective alternatives emerge. Program managers, those with the responsibility, authority, and personnel to deliver programs (e.g., ships, planes, software), lack both the incentive and the means to adapt to this fast-changing landscape. The ingrained culture of preserving existing programs stifles innovation and adaptability. It’s unlikely a program manager will kill their program for the greater good. Likewise, the political representatives of states where these programs sit will lobby heavily to keep these programs (i.e., jobs) alive, irrespective of any negative strategic impact.

To overcome this, the military and the broader defense enterprise must urgently rethink their approach. Early and aggressive testing, integration, and prototyping of innovative warfare concepts are essential to gain an edge in modern conflicts. SpaceX’s rapid trial and error prototyping to develop rockets and OpenAI’s early release and testing of ChatGPT are examples of this approach to developing capability faster. Waiting for “perfect” solutions, or clinging to lengthy development cycles, leads to unpreparedness on the ever-evolving battlefield. Keeping this approach is akin to relying on horse cavalry in the era of mechanized warfare.

A Glimmer of Hope

There’s movement in the right direction. Nations such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway, and Finland are leading the way. Their “drone wall” initiative leverages affordable, networked sensors to safeguard their sovereignty. They will do this by keeping costs down to achieve economies of scale.

The U.S. Department of Defense is also taking steps in the right direction with its Replicator initiative. Thousands of drones have been delivered, demonstrating a shift toward rapid, warfighter-centric innovation. This could be the necessary spark to ignite essential change.

Other promising initiatives in NATO are the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic and the NATO Innovation Fund. Both complementary initiatives provide access to deep tech start-up communities, but the challenge for these programs will be transition. How do they transition capability into warfighters’ hands to be relevant going forward? As expressed above, it cannot take decades.

The Path Forward

To survive, the West must revolutionize its military procurement and production processes. We need a laser focus on swift prototyping and deployment of cutting-edge technologies. These systems must be affordable, easily updated, interoperable, and adaptable to new threats. The era of billion-dollar projects that risk obsolescence must end. A more diverse approach is not just needed, it’s compulsory if we want to win wars and preserve peace.

The conflict in Ukraine serves as a stark warning. Clinging to expensive, slow-moving defense systems will leave the West vulnerable. We must out-innovate, not outspend, our adversaries. Our Alliance, made up of free and democratic nations, must unleash the creative capital present within our societies to find cost-wise off-sets that can be immediately integrated into our collective defense system.

The future of warfare demands a fusion of accessible technology, rapid innovation, and scalable production. The West must adapt or face the consequences of falling behind an axis of aggressors who are united in their pursuit of strategic advantage and wish to see the West decline.

*  *  *

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ZeroHedge.

Tyler Durden Thu, 06/20/2024 – 21:40

Read More…


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Nootropic

Mushrooms are having a moment. One fabulous fungus in particular, lion’s mane, may help improve memory, depression and anxiety symptoms. They are also an excellent source of nutrients that show promise as a therapy for dementia, and other neurodegenerative diseases. If you’re living with anxiety or depression, you may be curious about all the therapy options out there — including the natural ones.Our Lion’s Mane WHOLE MIND Nootropic Blend has been formulated to utilize the potency of Lion’s mane but also include the benefits of four other Highly Beneficial Mushrooms. Synergistically, they work together to Build your health through improving cognitive function and immunity regardless of your age. Our Nootropic not only improves your Cognitive Function and Activates your Immune System, But it benefits growth of Essential Gut Flora, further enhancing your Vitality.

Our Formula includes: Lion’s Mane Mushrooms which Increase Brain Power through nerve growth, lessen anxiety, reduce depression, and improve concentration. Its an excellent adaptogen, promotes sleep and improves immunity.

Shiitake Mushrooms which Fight cancer cells and infectious disease, boost the immune system, promotes brain function, and serves as a source of B vitamins.

Maitake Mushrooms which regulate blood sugar levels of diabetics, reduce hypertension and boosts the immune system.

Reishi Mushrooms which Fight inflammation, liver disease, fatigue, tumor growth and cancer. They Improve skin disorders and soothes digestive problems, stomach ulcers and leaky gut syndrome.

Chaga Mushrooms which have anti-aging effects, boost immune function, improve stamina and athletic performance, even act as a natural aphrodisiac, fighting diabetes and improving liver function.

Try Our Lion’s Mane WHOLE MIND Nootropic Blend 60 Capsules Today. Be 100% Satisfied or Receive a Full Money Back Guarantee. Order Yours Today by Following This Link.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Load more ...




Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.