U.S. military forces are stretched to the limit, hardware is wearing out much faster than planned, and weapons inventories are dropping as a result of the series of operations short of war launched by the Clinton administration on a routine basis.
Last year's Operation Allied Force in Kosovo is are a case in point. Kosovo accelerated yet again the wear and tear on fleet assets, and depleted already meager ammunition stocks, thereby increasing the urgency of replacement programs. Each overseas adventure advances the timeline for the systems of the future, yet the administration's fiscal year 2001 budget request does little to fund this accelerated need. Even though total Department of Defense-wide procurement finally has reached the $60 billion figure expressed several years ago as the minimum necessary annual investment, that requirement today probably is closer to the $100 billion mark. Tables 1 and 3 document the major research, development, test and evaluation efforts and procurement programs under way, including the fiscal year 2000 budgetary process results and fiscal year 2001 requests.
Kosovo Weapons Lessons-Learned