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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Draining the swamp

From the President-elect's actions and appointments, Trump's strategy is straightforward. He wants to reduce the size and actions of government. To do that; he appointed adversaries to nearly every department presumably so that the directors will purge what they don't like or want. The caveat to that is that the Executive Branch cannot act without Congressional approval because the bureaucracies are created and funded by law to perform legislated services. Arbitrary actions by the Executive Branch would be illegal in many, if not most instances.

On another front, and Trump has opened many, he has launched attacks on prime defense contractors. Important to understand is that military defense contractors employ people who are part of the critical industrial infrastructure without which national security would be at significant risk.

Already, since the 1970s, the U.S. manufacturing base has been eroded to the extent that machine tools and metrology instruments are no longer made in America. The knowledge and skills to produce them are crucial to passing the baton from one generation to another. Therefore, we have created knowledge, engineering and manufacturing experience gap.

The rate at which military weapon systems is produced is determined by obsolescence, threats, and the nation's limited capacity to produce them. Given the debt, deficit, and dependency problems that include having China being a principal lender, it is imperative to keep the industrial based healthy as it is already not.

When the federal government decides to shrink in size, that also means that the commercial industry must be growing to employ those who are displaced. It also means that the federal government executives must understand the situation in the industrial base as its policies could make matters worse while further increasing national security risks.

Attacking the Chinese with aggressive foreign policy gestures doesn't seem prudent without having studied the situation.

"Trump strikes fear into defense contractors 
President-elect Donald Trump is putting a target on the defense contracting industry.

Trump’s criticism of projects from Lockheed Martin and Boeing has put contractors on notice, suggesting that the incoming administration intends to put a new emphasis on cost-cutting at the Pentagon.

"There's a lot of concern within the industry," one defense industry official told The Hill. "You don't want to get your program called out by the president." 
Email from The Hill

Attack dog

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