Link dump August 2019

edit later this day: Blogger appears to have a problem with commenting right now. I myself cannot reply to comments using Google Account or Name/URL options any more.

It's important to have a people working in the government who live in the reality, not in some racist fantasyland.

Just so you guys know; I WILL ignore (and delete) crude attempts of explaining the crime stats in the one pic with a single correlation.
The insinuated/supposed correlation isn't even one, as anyone who looks at statistics the way a scientist looks at them (rather than someone in pursuit of bias confirmation).

I have accumulated so much knowledge about causes of crime (that should be common knowledge, but sadly isn't) that the two deleted primitive comments are way beyond my and thus the blog's dignity.
Don't get me started on how complicated and laborious it is to do actual research on topics such as causes of crime. One could have a discussion on scientific findings on the subject, but crude attempts to do primary research or insinuate primary research results that aren't is a no go. The two comments on the topic so far were on the 'nazis ate breakfast, thus breakfast causes world wars' level of 'thought'.

Besides; anyone who thinks the stats in that pic were the point of that section didn't get the point.

(Have you ever wondered, how certain things get into places they don't belong?)

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A good summary of the idiocy.

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The total costs of the Puma program (350 IFVs for the German army) is 5,989 million Euros. 17 million Euros per vehicle. I suppose the insanity is obvious.

We need to phase out (dishonourably disband) the procurement bureaucracy and blacklist all officers who were ever involved in it (save for the technical experts) or in corresponding jobs in the ministry of defence. Then we need to set up a new procurement bureaucracy with all-new procurement rules that employs the technical experts for nothing but their technical expertise. All executives in new equipment programs should preferably be retired SaZ officers (no active or former professional officers) with thorough project management training (much more than just the IPMA basic certificate!) and at least three years of civilian development project or procurement management expertise. Ordinary civilian procurement executives can be hired for the repeat purchase of spares, replacements and so on.



  1. Catch-22. The money and experience you save on cheaper/more affordable equipment or procurment plans you will at the end spend for greedy and overpaid consultants. It is just the revolving door effect plus "another day - another Dollar" for them. And the longer the procurement process takes, the more money is spend. And at the end, if something wrong happens with the procured item, there will be still nobody held responsible - except the tax payer.
    Maybe it is time to think about real *personal* responsibility for such (and especially too-big-to-fail-) projects. North Korea might be an example on this...

    1. Part of the problem is that the companies practice "gesundstoßen".

      They get no big project or order for years, and once they get one they load it with so many costs and so much profit that the per-copy price grows ridiculously.

      It takes a stern hand and negotiation with multiple suppliers as well as fixed cost & fixed performance contracts to keep this under control.

      Maybe it's about time we start to use offset deals so buying foreign equipment isn't so expensive.

  2. The Puma IFV is indeed astonishingly expensive. I still struggle to understand why exactly. Certainly, the development took long and expensive solutions were necessary to keep it (sort of) transportable in an A400M. New technology such as the advanced suspension was also introduced. Still, 17 million euro per piece? It's incredible.

    This leads me to another topic. Obviously, the German defence industry has the status of a favoured contractor, protected from competition against even competitors from Allied countries. There was an attempt to change that (?) with the MKS 180 ship, though there the government seems to be backtracking again. Given this status, what's your take on the possibility of the state becoming an influential shareholder of the relevant companies as is common in France for example? It seems to be more honest than treating an industry as private when it comes to profits but as national when it comes to contract awards. The French seem to not suffer performance deficiencies, their VBMR Griffon project (though less ambitious than the Boxer) supposedly costs less than a million euro per copy.

    If you should be searching for topics to write about, I lately wondered about the viability of heavy bombers for European defence and their ability to i.e. quickly make sea lanes impassable. One such wing as an EU asset appears reasonable, though looking at the enormous, enormous cost of the B-2 perhaps it is just not worth it.

    1. The conservative party is not interested in having state-run corporations like that, and the relevant supposedly more left wing parties would not want to be in control of a corporation that does controversial export businesses.


    2. I should add; to think long term about military procurement and ownership of corporations like that is asking way too much strategising of our politicians. The conservatives do administration, not thinking.
      (And the conservatives being in power is the normal state of affairs here. )