In 1983, Norman R. Augustine, a former defense aerospace business leader and Under Secretary of the Army, published his light satire on corporate management, Augustine’s Laws. The book draws strongly on examples and practices found in the defense sector at the time. It turns out not much has changed since the mid-1980s, and many of “Augustine’s Laws” are still valid in their forecasts of the future state of defense acquisition.
For example, in developing Law Number XVI, Augustine assembles the historical cost evolution of tactical aircraft. He extrapolates the trend and postulates the law: “In the year 2054, the entire defense budget will purchase just one aircraft. This aircraft will have to be shared by the Air Force and Navy 3-1/2 days each per week except for leap year, when it will be made available to the Marines for the extra day.”1 More than 30 years after Augustine published his book, the fundamental growth trend in the cost of tactical aircraft is holding true.