We’ve made the case that, with a national debt of more than $16 trillion, it’s time to restrain government spending—and that includes cutting inefficient and unnecessary programs in the Department of Defense.
An article last week in Forbes magazine further demonstrates the need to reevaluate the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) program. This article builds on the argument made by our CEO Pete Hegseth, in his AOL Defense article in early August.
Col. JV Venable, USAF (ret.) notes in his article “Protect Our Troops, Not Wasteful Defense Programs,” that the MEADS system does “nothing to benefit our warfighters across the globe.” The recent Senate Appropriations committee allocation of another $380 million for the program in early August to develop a “proof of concept” seems equally perplexing. The concept seems pretty clear: MEADS isn’t working.
Venable then asks “throwing more good money into a failing system may prop up congressional and corporate relationships, but what will it do for those in harm’s way?” Well-said sir. The improved Patriot missile system is a much better system to invest in according to Venable, who notes that this missile system is already deployed around the world and used by 11 American allies.
When it comes to MEADS, the proponents of this program are starting to resemble the desperate guy at the casino table who has already lost a bundle but keeps holding onto hope that things will turn around. Excuses to not terminate the program include litigation and fees but as Hegseth noted in his article, these claims are overblown.
With the current fiscal situation our country faces, failing programs such as MEADS demonstrate the need to reassess priorities in DoD as well as the way it conducts business.
Talmadge Coley is a policy analyst and a member of the Concerned Veterans for America