With a budget larger than pretty much everyone else combined for defense spending the United States military has enjoyed unparalleled success with regards to its isolation at the top of the power rankings for the world heavyweight champion. Certainly, there are some countries that could put up a stiff fight, but anyone that believes any nation on this planet could in a one on one fight, really outlast and outfight the United States military, is having themselves a nice crack/meth cocktail.That being said, the ability of us to spend money into oblivion has had unintended consequences. Lots of fraud, waste, and abuse. Why? Because in essence, we're playing with the cheat codes for unlimited money. It doesn't matter how you spend it if you know you can just get a few billion more because we're the goose laying golden eggs. However...With the current leadership in the Pentagon (you know who) and a rising number of veterans from the GWOT era holding high levels of public office (Senate and House), the United States is slowly but surely walking away from programs that seem to be a money pit. Expensive programs imagined in the 90's that took 30 years to develop and meet none of the asymmetric needs of today's battlefield are getting canned in favor of rapidly developed technologies that meet multiple needs at once.We're investing money on smart projects now, the UAV Refueler Drone for the Navy, the Joint Tactical Light Vehicle for the Marine Corps, along with looking at updating the service rifle platform. Couple that with smart budgeting and fiscal responsibility in the Department of Defense and suddenly those who would view themselves as peers, will start to fall back down the power ladder.[caption id="attachment_18831" align="alignnone" width="750"]
ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 10, 2013) An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator completes an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). The landing marks the first time any unmanned aircraft has completed an arrested landing at sea. George H.W. Bush is conducting training operations in the Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Arif Patani/Released)[/caption]To be clear, we're certainly not out of the woods yet. Luckily, though, our huge military advantage has allowed the blunders in developing an arsenal capable of addressing the needs of the emerging fronts of modern warfare. Had our "peers" (China, Russia) been closer in parity to our own power, these blunders may have proven fatal. With any luck, the common sense at the head of the DoD will remain and the fraud, waste, and abuse will fade away.