This does not prove what you think it proves.

The New York Times ran an article this morning on the checkered history of the V-22 Osprey, as an example of the political obstacles to cutting defense.  They run through Cheney’s attempt to kill it under the first President Bush, all the way up through the current brouhaha over cutting military spending in the supercommittee “trigger”.*  This article does go through the various ways the Marines/Textron have foiled their assailants, but neglects to apply critical thought to the one crucial difference between a pre-trigger and post-trigger world.

In an era where the Pentagon got all the money it wanted, it was never going to be easy to kill a defense program for reasons of cost-effectiveness.  If (a big if) the Age of Austerity comes to the military as well, I am 100% sure the Marines will then make difficult decisions about the strategic capabilities needed for their future roles.  It seems really dubious that the Osprey will survive an era of cost pressure unless it’s both needed and working properly.

*: Not real.


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