Monday, March 28, 2005
When they really just sound like a bunch of teenage boys
Oh, surprise, surprise! According to the NY Times, "An Army Program to Build a High-Tech Force Hits Cost Snags".
But listen to how ridiculous they sound, these teenage boys --
The Army is asking Congress to approve Future Combat while it is fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan whose costs, according to the Congressional Research Service, now exceed $275 billion. Future Combat is one of the biggest items in the Pentagon's plans to build more than 70 major weapons systems at a cost of more than $1.3 trillion.
The Army has canceled two major weapons programs, the Crusader artillery system and the Comanche helicopter, "to protect funding for the Future Combat System," said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona and a member of the Armed Services Committee. "That is why we have to get the F.C.S. program right."
But Mom, a.k.a. the comptroller general, says the kids can't have everything they want:
David M. Walker, the comptroller general of the United States, said in an interview that the Pentagon's future arsenal was unaffordable and Congress needed "to make some choices now."
"There is a substantial gap between what the Pentagon is seeking in weapons systems and what we will be able to afford and sustain," said Mr. Walker, who oversees the Government Accountability Office, the budget watchdog of Congress. "We are not going to be able to afford all of this."
Meanwhile, this doesn't even include everything they need:
Future Combat soldiers, weapons and robots are to be linked by a $25 billion web, Joint Tactical Radio Systems, known as JTRS (pronounced "jitters"). The network would transmit the battlefield information intended to protect soldiers. It is not included in the Future Combat budget.
If JTRS does not work, Future Combat will fail, General Cartwright said. The Army halted production on the first set of JTRS radios in January, saying they were not progressing as planned.
Doesn't it give you so much faith in the Army? and in Congress?
If in NYC, go see the Diane Arbus exhibit at the Met
It's on until May 30. It's really quite lovely. James and I went yesterday. So many pictures! Hard to take it all in.
Pretty neat stuff.
Arbus was awarded Guggenheim Fellowships in 1963 and 1966 for her project "American Rites, Manners and Customs." She augmented her images of New York and New Jersey with visits to Pennsylvania, Florida, and California, photographing contests and festivals as well as public and private rituals. "I want to photograph the considerable ceremonies of our present because we tend while living here and now to perceive only what is random and barren and formless about it," she wrote. "While we regret that the present is not like the past and despair of its ever becoming the future, its innumerable, inscrutable habits lie in wait for their meaning....These are our symptoms and our monuments. I want simply to save them, for what is ceremonious and curious and commonplace will be legendary."
jane 1:55 PM [+]