The United States’ ability to develop military technologies is being hamstrung by a “brutal” bureaucracy with a risk-averse culture which is preventing it from adequately countering China’s arms development, according to the Pentagon’s second-highest-ranking officer. …
[Gen. John Hyten] compared U.S. efforts to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) during the Cold War with similar efforts today.
During the 1960s, Hyten said, the United States researched, developed, and deployed some 800 rockets in just under five years during a push to counter similar development by the Soviet Union.
The United States’ current efforts to develop its next generation of ICBMs, on the other hand, began in 2015, and the weapons aren’t expected to be fully operational until 2035. …
The United States conducted nine hypersonic weapons tests in the past five years. China, meanwhile, has conducted hundreds. …
Chinese hypersonic glide vehicle, in 2021, apparently works.
The general specifically acknowledged that the Chinese regime recently tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle in secret, the existence of which was only made known through the media months after the fact. Such a capability could have been countered long ago, had bureaucracy not gotten in the way, Hyten said.
That’s because the United States has sought to remove virtually all risk from the development process over the past two decades, the general said …
He offered the example of the HTV-1 and HTV-2 systems, American hypersonic glide vehicles not dissimilar from the one recently tested by China. The systems were first tested in 2010 and, after one failed test, subjected to years of investigation. After the second failed test, the program was scrapped.
“We were developing hypersonics ahead of everybody in the world and the first test failed,” Hyten said. “The first test of everything fails.”
US hypersonic glide vehicle HTV-2, in 2010. After just two failures, American bureaucracy gave up.
“So the first test fails and we have two years of investigation into why it did fail. Two years. Then we launch again and it fails, and we failed. This time it was two fails and we canceled the program and we stopped.”
Hyten contrasted this approach with Cold War-era efforts during which the United States rapidly developed weapons systems through trial and error: failing, studying those failures, and implementing fixes until systems were functional. He singled out the development of Discoverer 14, the first-ever spy satellite, as a counterpoint to current processes.
“Discoverer 1 through 13 failed in about 18 months, and Discoverer 14 happened and it worked,” Hyten said. “If you want to go fast, that’s what you do.”
Bureaucracy is a modern phenomenon, only made possible by the huge agricultural and manufacturing surpluses developed in the last century. The last few decades have seen bureaucrats overrunning and dominating everything — schools, academia, the military, local government, state governments, federal governments, even many private companies (especially HR).
Bureaucracies only grow, never shrink. Bureaucracies need to grow, to find jobs for all those midwits and all those empires. So bureaucrats support the party of bigger government. In recent years they have pretty much taken over the party of bigger government — the left. The modern left and bureaucracies are now joined at the hip. The bureaucrats are the swamp. The common denominator of the modern left — and wokedom — is bureaucracy. Most of their demands boil down to more jobs for bureaucrats — just follow the money.
How can we ever rid ourselves of this plague of bureaucrats?
Why are Chinese bureaucrats less burdensome to developing military technology than western bureaucrats?