The chronicle of U.S. Army modernization efforts since the Cold War ended is littered with the corpses of programs that didn't make it. The Comanche recon helicopter. The Crusader self-propelled howitzer. The Future Combat Systems family of fighting vehicles. The Joint Tactical Radio System. The Ground Combat System. The Aerial Common Sensor.
Some of these bureaucratic casualties had expensive funerals. Comanche cost $6 billion before it was killed. Crusader cost $3 billion. The Future Combat Systems cost over $20 billion. So it isn't hard to understand why observers might be skeptical about the Army's latest list of modernization priorities. The service has wiped out too many of its own ideas over the years for stakeholders to be confident about what the future holds.