Risk Averse

Today’s defense leadership is “too risk averse,” Paul Kaminski, former Pentagon technology boss, told the Daily Report Sept. 14. In recent years, senior Pentagon officials have said the way to cure programmatic ills is to wait until technology has matured to go into development of a system, but Kaminski said such an approach ignores “the threat cycle” of adversaries with their own calendar of introducing new systems. Kaminski said risk can be managed by having fallbacks for most major elements in a new weapon system. Having those fallbacks ensures that at least some capability will be delivered if risky technologies don’t pan out. They also provide “a powerful incentive” for the developer of the risky technology to solve problems and meet schedules. (Also see The Doctor’s Prescription)