The news from the U.S. Army this week is that it is cancelling a replacement for its venerable Bradley fighting vehicle. This will strike some observers as a repetition of past missteps on the road to a more modern vehicle fleet, but it really isn't. The Army is strangling the program in its infancy because there was insufficient response from industry to conduct competitive prototyping. The requirement for a new fighting vehicle remains valid, so the service will start over.
The current Army leadership has said all along that it would adjust its modernization campaign plan as circumstances dictated. But looking more broadly at the nation's oldest military service, the prospects for modernizing an aging arsenal are better today than at any point since President Reagan left office. Steady progress is being made on the 30 remaining top-priority warfighting systems, a distinct improvement compared with the pattern seen in previous administrations.