Note to Pentagon, Need Better Crystal Ball

That’s essentially the message Wednesday from Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel, to the Defense Department. In his opening statement for the panel’s markup of the Fiscal 2010 defense appropriations bill, Inouye reminded the Pentagon leadership that DOD’s track record for predicting future threats and hot spots is “not perfect.” Indeed, while Inouye’s panel supported the major program terminations put forth by the Obama Administration, including halting F-22 production—with the C-17 being one exception (see above)—Inouye stated the following: “As we go forward today killing the F-22, the Presidential helicopter, the combat search and rescue helicopter, the kinetic energy interceptor, we do so in the hope that today’s military and civilian leaders are more prescient than their predecessors in predicting our future needs,” he wrote. (Inouye statement and SAC-D markup summary)