This week, top Pentagon official Preston Dunlap, the founding chief architect officer of the U.S. Air Force and Space Force since 2019, announced his resignation. In doing so, he released a frightening warning about the state of readiness of the US Defense Department.
He described the US government as the world's largest bureaucracy in which people were more concerned with defending their turf than defending America, and competing with each other instead of China. He said on his first day of work at creating what should be a branch of the armed forces on the cutting edge of technology, he instead found a dinosaur:
“I arrived to find no budget, no authority, no alignment of vision, no people, no computers, no networks, a leaky ceiling, even a broken curtain.” He said that as he was writing his resignation, “I received notification that the phone lines are down at the Pentagon IT help desk. Phone lines are down? It’s 2022, folks.”
And in what I assume is preaching to the choir here, he added, “By the time the Government manages to produce something, it’s too often obsolete; no business would ever survive this way, nor should it.”
I hear a lot of complaints about letting billionaires like Elon Musk take over space technology. But when you consider Washington’s recent track record, I fear that if the current government brain trust had been in charge of NASA in the ‘60s, they not only wouldn’t have made it to the moon, they’d still be arguing over whether any lifeforms we might find on Mars are diverse enough.