President Barack Obama said his upcoming budget would increase the number of US soldiers, state the true cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and cut “Cold War-era” weapons programs.
Setting out his priorities for military spending, Obama said late Tuesday in his first address to a joint session of Congress that he wanted to provide relief to men and women in uniform with higher pay and more boots on the ground.
“To relieve the strain on our forces, my budget increases the number of our soldiers and Marines,” Obama said.
Of course, “Cold War-era” is now an epithet that encompasses fighter and bomber aircraft, as well as tanks too. How is it that we are “providing relief” to or “relieving strain” from our forces by increasing their numbers but not giving them the weapons they need to fight? What will soldiers and Marines use for air support when the Air Force has no aircraft? Will soldiers and Marines feel relief or strain when they come under enemy air attack for the first time in decade because the Air Force wasn’t given the tools to maintain air superiority? – post by TransTracker
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has already warned of major cutbacks, citing expensive weapons programs such as the F-22 fighter aircraft as possible targets.
“It’s obviously one of the programs that, along with a number of others — many others — that we will be looking at,” Gates said earlier this month.
But of course it’s obvious. I mean, when you’re top-line fighter is 30 years old and has literally been falling out of sky lately, has been grounded almost as long this year as it has been flying, it obvious and makes total sense that you would seriously consider canning its replacement that you’ve already spent years and billions of dollars to develop. Makes perfect sense! [heavy dose of sarcasm] – post by TransTracker
The United States cannot “eliminate national-security risks through higher defense budgets, to do everything and buy everything,” Gates wrote in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs.
True. But we also can’t eliminate security threats without weapons. And with the F-22, F-35, and FCS all on the chopping block–i.e. all the major modernization efforts–one is left to wonder if Gates and the
“New Establisment” really get that physical infrastructure in the form of weapons is still necessary, that war is not just a matter of mind. – post by TransTracker
New weapons “have grown ever more baroque, have become ever more costly, are taking longer to build and are being fielded in ever dwindling quantities,” he said.
So, in the case of the F-22, is cutting the number produced and fielded going to solve wither the “dwindling quantities” problem or the “more costly” problem? No. Part of the reason that numbers are dwindling Mr. Gates is that you are buying fewer. You have less because you bought less. Now, though not all of the cost increase problem is because of dwindling numbers–i.e. there are legitimate and serious problems in procurement that drive up costs–nonetheless, cutting the order and buying fewer increases the cost per unit. So, to a certain degree, you have fewer because you chose to have fewer, and those fewer units that you do have cost more because you chose to have fewer! You are to a large degree causing the problem that you are using to justify taking more of the actions led to the problem in the first place! – post by TransTracker
Gates has made clear that counter-insurgency is the immediate priority, and that fleets of new ships, squadrons of sophisticated aircraft and a network of hi-tech army vehicles may be of little use in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Apart from the F-22 Raptor fighters, which cost about 350 million dollars each, other candidates for possible cuts are F-35 and F-18E/F aircraft, the Navy’s new generation destroyer — the DDG-1000, a new amphibious ship, and computer-linked Army vehicles, known as Future Combat Systems.
Right, because our forces have made no use of airplanes, tanks, ships, or information networks in either Iraq or Afghanistan. And additionally, we all know that what we’re doing right now (i.e. counterinsurgency) is all we’ll ever do in the future, because we all know that that’s how life works. Like, for exmaple, right now I’m writing a blog post, meaning that all I’ll ever do from here on out will be to write blog posts. So, while I was planning what to eat for dinner, what I need to do this weekend, a conference for this fall, and all sorts of other stuff, it is clear now that I can just forget all of that because none of it relates to writing this blog post, which is, again, obviously all I’ll ever do from now on. [Again, heavy dose of sarcasm.] The idiocy behind the dominant thinking of the “New Establishment” is mind boggling, and dangerous. – post by TransTracker