Over the last decade the U.S. Navy has been pursuing a recapitalization policy of its main infrastructure components-ships and airplanes. This policy was not necessarily the wrong approach to maintaining current and future military capabilities; rather, the timing of its implementation was off-it happened too early.1 It has not significantly increased our military capabilities in the short term, but it has done serious harm to our ability to maintain those capabilities into the mid- and long-term future. In essence, we are doing to ourselves what we did to the Soviets to win the Cold War-we are outspending the enemy, and in this specific case, the enemy is us.
Recapitalizing Too Early
Writing off perfectly good ships and aircraft before the end of their life cycle is a shortcoming of the transformation era.
By Captain Bruce Lindsey, U.S. Navy