Winslow Why


Why We Should Cancel the Manhattan Project

01/19/2011 – Last year we asked the question: if we had a GAO hanging around the launch of the Liberty Ship, would we have ever built it?

Now we can ask if we had today’s group of pundits and “strategic analysts” around, would we have pursued the Manhattan project?


To give a perspective of the problem, which President Roosevelt did not have but current decision makers do have, we have crafted a column from Winslow Why, perennial critic of any procurement decision he does not like.

Why do we need to stop the Manhattan project?

It has been recently revealed that President Roosevelt has signed off on an expensive open-ended project, which this country does not need.  Called the Manhattan project, the President is moving vast amounts of money to build a secret weapon that none of adversaries are building.

And although called the Manhattan project, most of the money will be spent in the backward states of Tennessee and New Mexico.  Because there is no infrastructure in place, the country will spend billions on new towns and facilitates for an untrained workforce of woman and neophytes who will be asked to man machines, which they do not understand.

The President has appointed a man who built the Pentagon, another needless big government project, and with no experience in weapons manufacturing.  In a move typical of a secretive government, this Army officer is being put in charge of potentially the biggest weapons program in history.

The Administration is using the usual, there is a big threat out there game, to justify uncontrolled defense spending.  Although estimates of Nazi and Japanese defense research are often difficult to know, this analyst believes building a nuclear weapon is not on the table and not necessary. 


And we certainly do not need to build expensive planes to deliver such futuristic weaponry!  Spending billions on such new futuristic stuff makes no sense when the country is strained to build equipment more than adequate for victory.

Boeing B-29 Superfortress (Credit: B-29 Superfortress

We have more planes, more ships and more men under arms than in any time in our history.  We have more than enough capability to seize the islands of Japan without recourse to wasting billions on unknown weaponry. And the waste does not stop there.  Reportedly, the weapons program is spending billions on building housing for workers who have not been trained to live in a new city in rural Tennessee.  These untested building techniques are leading to nearly 20,000 houses being built to support building the largest building in US history.  Untested technology is being gambled on with our money with no certainty of anything but failure as a result.


Even more doubtful is the notion that at this backwoods facility, materials will be prepared and sent in the New Mexican desert where American scientists will get to test their unproven theories and approaches.

Mr. President could you come clean: why are you spending billions for the military industrial complex on such untested and unproven technologies when we have already spent billions on time-tested equipment and technologies?

We have the technology we need know to close out the war and to win.  We do not need to spend billions on untested technologies, questionable theories, and wasting billions on untrained workers, facilities for these folks, and building up support for the President in future elections from dumping money into Tennessee and New Mexico.