Lead or Get Out of the Way: Winning the Millennium War
(See M. Edwards, pp. 16-19, April 2008 Proceedings)
David Sweetman—While I agree that Vice Admiral Edwards has identified a real and long-standing problem, I do not think he addressed either the root causes or appropriate preventive actions. To me, the issue is not that much different from when, as a "baby-boomer" in the late 1960s, being an electronics technician meant fixing circuits that had vacuum tubes instead of transistors.
The essential problem is that Department of Defense procurement (for the Navy and other services) is still based on concepts for mechanical systems. While in the early stages of integrated circuit (IC) development (which DOD both funded and drove), many of the goals for mechanical and electronic systems were compatible, that has not been true for more than two decades.
To obtain the flexibility and adaptability the article correctly identifies, one must completely update the methods and specifications for electronic hardware, given that the software should be independent of the hardware, but is not.