(PresidentialHill.com)- According to an Air Force official, China has been purchasing new, high-end equipment at a far faster rate than the United States.
Major General Cameron Holt, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, recently warned about China’s push to become the world’s finest airborne military fleet and urged the US government to overhaul the way it acquires new weapons.
Holt made these remarks during a recent Government Contracting Pricing Summit before he resigned from his current post.
He reportedly told the audience that to get the same capability as the United States, China is only spending one dollar for every 20 dollars spent by the US. He said the US would lose if the Pentagon can’t figure out how to reduce costs while speeding up the defense supply chains.
Holt expressed concern about the Pentagon’s inability to acquire high-tech equipment quickly while also providing ample training and support to make use of enhanced technology. He said if the US can’t change its resourcing system, nothing else will matter.
The problem, Holt explained, is the “painfully slow” process for purchasing and acquisitions that are common in bureaucracies. He said the centrally micromanaged system of appropriations that worked during the Cold War will “kill us” in today’s environment.
Holt called for modernizing congressional oversight and the slow process of getting budgets approved. He argued that the ones who control the budget have the power to speed up the finalizing of purchases by the Pentagon.
It seems what Holt objects to is self-government.
China, unburdened by the consent of the governed, can act as swiftly as it wants to buy as much as it wants for its military. But in our constitutional system, the people’s representatives control the purse strings and maintain oversight of federal agencies. To Holt, this is an obstacle that needs to be cleared out of the way.
Rather than have Congress allocate the funds, Holt would rather executive officers within the Pentagon determine how resources should be allocated.