RADM Pyle Goes Salamander
show the receipts
This is great, this is wonderful, this is welcome, this is … years late;
The Navy "has an inventory issue" with munitions stockpiles that it is addressing with industry, Rear Adm. Fred Pyle, director of the Surface Warfare Division, said today. “We need to replenish our stocks. We are sending a clear signal to industry” to improve production, said Pyle at the Potomac Officer Club’s annual summit in McLean, VA.
The thing people should focus on is not having a 2-star in the summer of 2023 announce that the Atlantic is salty, but why now? Why has this not been part of the 4-star “elevator speech” for <checks notes> the last decade, at least?
We have discussed our almost criminal neglect of sufficient inventory for almost two decades here, but let’s look back to a post from exactly one year ago; The War Gods of the Copybook Headings Return;
From small arms to nuclear submarine repair, our industrial base is exquisitely designed and Tiffany-tough. Any unexpected shock can almost make the whole system grind to a stop. Though the roots go deeper, this is a direct byproduct of the 1990s “Send all senior defense leaders to a 2-week MBA school” mentality and its second order effects. The Cult of Efficiency’s green eye-shade priorities took the place of the bookshelf full of history’s example.
I think it would be helpful to have a family discussion about WHY we got to this position of having “an inventory issue.”
This did not happen “to” us. We did this by acts of commission and omission. It is more than just the, “72-Hour War” fallacy, or “but muh Ukraine support” excuse. No. Decisions were made to accept risk here though we knew very well that we were - and are - writing OPLANS that our magazines stockpiles cannot execute unless we go through multiple optimism filters in our wargames.
Very good people for the very best reasons made these calls, I am sure, but they made that call and it was the wrong call. We owe it to future decision makers to fully discuss - in the open - the who and the why we intentionally put ourselves here. Silence or surprise realizations only make us look shady or incompetent - or both.
By doing that we can ensure two things;
We can better find a solution out of it.
We will know the intellectual path that brought us here so we don’t repeat it again.
That is the mature approach. That is the proper approach. That is the only responsible approach.
Oh, and don’t make the 2-stars lead from the front. This is a 4-star conversation.