Andrew: Then in some cases it becomes a matter of timing? That’s the problem that France had in the mid 1930s—it knew where the threat was coming from and roughly what capabilities the adversary would have, but it overspent on preparedness at the expense of investment in future capability and when the war arrived in 1939 rather than 1936 they were caught with out of date forces. Isn’t there a tension between future and present forces?
When France was invaded in 1940, did Germany have superior tanks? No. Superior aircraft? No. Superior ships? No. How can France be accused overspending on preparedness when...they were not prepared? France was defeated because of poor leadership from the very top; poor command and control and poor military preparedness in whole military communities. That is: the very basics from general-staff planning down to platoon leadership. They had enough hardware. They spent enough on the military. They were not capable of making it work to win. Germany took a lot of casualties in the invasion of France while having superior training, tactics, and general-staff work. If you swapped weapons systems, Germany still would have won.
Moving along on other things, Jim brings up the failed idea of Defence spend as a percent of GDP. The only value proposition is how much money is available in existing federal budgets to be given to Defence. Hello. This is an entitlement society.
More: the Defence 2030 is a kick-the-can-down-the-road fantasy. What we need is pure, skilled, military thinking which is not present in today's entrenched Defence bureaucracy. What we have today is: "If it is expensive and involves the maximum amount of rent-seeking, it must be good."
That and a failed DMO are: the enemy within.