Politico, 2/9/9

The Pentagon’s acquisition chief may only have a short time left in office, but he’s going out with a bang.

John Young, who is expected to be replaced soon, is pushing the Navy to invest in more modern destroyers, such as the high-tech Zumwalt, rather than shift money back to older models.

That provoked an outcry from Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), who’s backing the move to put more money into the existing Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to save money on new designs and production.

“Continuing resistance from outgoing Bush administration officials to the common sense strategy of restarting the [Arleigh Burke] destroyer class is not helpful to the Navy and the nation,” Taylor said. “The shipbuilding plan needs less meddling, not more.”

The problem with shipbuilding has long been that its plans are far too ambitious to afford. But the government has been able to steer clear of facing it. Now the economic crisis is likely to force the Obama administration to confront that dollars-and-sense reality.