“QDR Is Broken,” Opines Heritage

“QDR Is Broken,” Opines Heritage

UPDATED: Heritage Analysis “Politically Naive,” Says Loren Thompson

Republicans have expressed concern about the Quadr3enniual Defense Review for most of the last year, pretty much ever since President Obama took office.

Two of the most influential Republican defense analysts have come out swinging after the Christmas lull, saying the QDR is “broken.” Why is it in such sad shape, aside from the usual partisan disagreements about every QDR?

The core of their argument can be found here: “Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has indicated that he will reduce force structure to levels that are inconsistent with the nation’s security commitments, focus on a limited number of threats, and mortgage future military capabilities to pay for today’s battles under the flawed assumption that America will likely never again face a conventional enemy. Vegetius, with his charge to prepare for the unexpected, would never have condoned such excessive optimism, especially not in the face of the rise of sophisticated military powers that are hostile to U.S. allies and interests. A flawed QDR will lead to a weakened and underprepared military. A misguided strategy could justify a repeat of the procurement holiday and defense cuts of the 1990s and harm America’s ability to deter war or, if necessary, to fight and win.” But hope springs eternal, even among GOP analysts during a Democratic administration.

So the Heritage authors note that “Congress can still rescue the overall process.” What would Congress have to do? Appoint all members of a QDR oversight panel, “as opposed to the Secretary of Defense appointing a majority–to ensure the group provides a truly independent assessment.” And tie the QDR “more closely with the White House’s foreign policy guidance, increasing buy-in from Congress, ensuring that the process is not purely budget-driven, and addressing both short-term and long-term national security risks,”

One sage watcher of Pentagon politics called the Heritage critique “politically naive.” Loren Thompson, defense consultant and COO of the Lexington Institute, said defense analysts, “have learned two big lessons from conducting post-cold-war strategic assessments. First, it is impossible to ignore near-term military and fiscal challenges. Second, we have no idea what threats we will be facing in 10 or 20 years. The QDR process simply reflects these facts. Using the Heritage formulation, we would still be sticking with the Rumsfeld transformation priorities as the centerpiece of our force posture planning, even though they have become militarily irrelevant and fiscally unaffordable. That makes no sense. Rather than trying to make QDR do the impossible — ignore politics and predict the future — we need to focus our deliberations on what the near term strategic environment requires and can sustain.”

A GOP congressional aide, asked for an assessment of the Heritage piece, believes there will be opposition from “both sides of the aisle the moment they deliver it.”

This aide said the QDR will basically be “a shiny, happy justification for the Gates cuts and possibly future FY11 cuts. While good folks are working hard on the QDR, we all know the real decisions are being made at the top and the QDR will have to justify the budget decisions, whatever they are. Also, the DOD has done a horrible job of getting buy-in from the Hill.”

For the record, the Heritage folks have been listened to on QDR issues by both parties so this shouldn’t just be dismissed as a pointless partisan attack.

I also emailed Democratic aides but have not yet heard back from them. We will update with their views as soon as we get them.

Join the Conversation

Congress should appoint the oversight panel for “a truly independent assessment”.… That’s a real gem! Good thing I didn’t have a mouthful of coffee or I’d be wet-vacing the keyboard.

Most QDRs just repeat the notions of the current Administration, so what is new? Just as the intel to invade Iraq was cooked by the personally chosen panel of Cheney and Rumsfeld. It would be better for us all if we had a Congressionally appointed (with possibly some adds from the Administration) to do the QDR. Unfortunately, they will mostly design a military to perpare for the current situation — it is hard to see into that crystal ball. Hopefully we will not over-react to our current situation but will retain some ability to conduct combined arms combat (the Fulda Gap scenario, the Korean Peninsula scenario).

Cuing Byron Skinner to rant and whine about the Heritage Foundation in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

The QDR concept was developed to help us analyze strategic objectives and potential military threats. The first is the goal of the sitting administration, whether or not you like them; the second is the purview of the Secretary of Defense. We do this every four years to ensure that our military posture is appropriate for the threats we face. The guys in power at the time (Clinton, Bush, Obama) appoint the OSD, who picks the people to do the QDR. (that’s how it works)
How the Republicans in Congress and so many at the clearly non-partisan Heritage Fraudation can vehemently object before, during, and before the final document is delivered and through the transitive power of BS make it “broken” is a mystery to me. That’s like saying (fill in party) nominee for (fill in position) in 2012 has failed the country…..before we know who they are, or give them a chance to perform their duties. It’s not just irresponsible, it’s idiotic.

You must think he’s a pretty important guy to get this worked up about him. Do you dream of Byron?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so too is “threat” in the eye of the military analyst who interprets the data for his/her analysis. While some of you blog as though Russia/China are the biggest threats to the US; others of think our main threats are from terrorism. In the end…THIS IS YOU OPINION, NOT FACT.

The arms race to build the bigger and better Army is effectively over, and has been for almost 20 years. The USSR and the US ran that race for nearly 50 years before the first went broke and collapsed. Apparently we didn’t learn anything and 20 years later despite no peer competitor we appear to still be racing. When you put away the inflated boogie men and the advanced technology porn you come to realize that all the bulk of our DEFENSE is not going to defeating the wars we’re fighting, it’s going to programs aimed at developing weapons to counter non-existent armies and enemies.

If there is a “flawed QDR” it is that we continue to abuse term DEFENSE. No one can name an conventional Army foolish enough to attack us, or an air force or Navy with enough firepower to even challenge ONE carrier group…….yet anytime anyone tries to rationally indicate that we’re mismanaging our defense investments we hear sniveling and cries that we’re defenseless.

THat’s the point doofus.…to stay so far ahead of the competition that no one dares touch us. Are you suggesting we sit back and wait for our peers to catch up to us before we start to play along again? That sounds like a stupid idea to me. Are the Yankees going to spend less money because they dominated by too much the year before? Ha.

Ahhhh now we are cooking with crisco:
” the bulk of our DEFENSE is not going to defeating the wars we’re fighting, it’s going to programs aimed at developing weapons to counter non-existent armies and enemies. ”

Ya’hear? EX:$10+million for UNMANED drones? $10 million for a platform that CANT DO CAS! THINK! WTF is wrong with some you? Afriad to call a sugar-coated turd a turd? Get out of the way then; you are less capable. Etc…

The Yankees might end up spending less, because fewer people are going to the ballpark, because the economy sucks. Sometimes greater realities intrude upon our grand schemes.

All’s not necessarily lost, though… maybe they can re-tune those F-22 radars to look for explosives inside people’s underpants from 60k feet. That’d make em useful.

Good Evening Folks,

The QDR as I’ve said in an earlier post is nothing more then a meaningless political document. I seldom have cause to agree with Loran Thompson, but I do here.

The short term of course is the wars we are now engaged in and the budget cutting that will take place as it always does after the wars. His second point should be self evident.

The Army is in a process of transformation. An article of late: “The U.S. Army Transformed by Accident”, since I can’t mention other sites here, it would be ill mannered of me to so I won’t mention strategypage​.com, For the one or two of you that may be really interested it this subject it would be worth the read. It is short maybe two to three minutes so don’t panic.

The Navy and the Air Fore are also changing because of the pressures of the current wars, and it is likely that percentage wise these two services will lose more personal and budget then the Marines or the Army, ironically the Coast Guard should grow after Afghanistan and Iraq are settled.

I would think that as Sec. Rumsfeld proposed that Heavy Army Battalions will be moved in to the NG and perhaps Divisions such as 1st. Infantry, 1st, Armor and 1st. Cavalry will become like the 7th. and 24th. Infantry Divisionc HQ/HQ Company Division, not folding Division Colors, only. thats what seems to be happening now. The Divisions will be reorganized as needed by defense demands and will consist of units drawn from the NG that are suited for what ever conflict we might find ourselves in.

The Army has already indicated that it sees base closures (BRAC) in the future and expansion of those bases it keeps. With the addition of the UCAV’s the depth of the battlefield has expanded greatly and the future will require ranges of 200 Km’s or more.

The Navy would like to consolidate it home ports in light of a much smaller Navy in the future. Each coast would lose a home port. The dispute over carrier basing on the East Coast (Virginia vs. Florida)) that Senator Webb is involved in will be only the first as the US Navy shrinks down to close to 200 ships.

Since I’m now compelled to be civil toward Heritage and other organizations of its ink, all I will say is that if they were paying attention to the last budget rounds, which the QDR indicated they were not, they may have seen through their ideological (I hope that this is not a bo-bo word, it is in the dictionary) blinders, they may have noticed that there was an overwhelming lack of Congressional support in either the House or the Senate for the big ticket weapon systems that were killed.

The military is a fluid and dynamic organization and has never been stable. It has and always will change often not to the plans of others.

Byron Skinner

If we stop developing and maintaining our armed forces, others will accelerate their efforts and take our place as a superpower. The entire point is maintaining the edge over any potential threat. Despite the trade and diplomacy much can change over a decade or two and we could find ourselves fighting the PRC or even the Russians. It is no longer the 1940s, we cannot expect Ford to start producing new main battle tanks or Boeing to come up with a fighter if they haven’t built such aircraft in many years. We need to maintain the industry, maintain a similar sized force, and continue replacing outdated equipment with new technology.

Why should we follow the path of the UK and abandon our military and foreign power for the sake of social welfare and false promises. It can lead to nothing good in the end. And when you consider the impact all of this defense spending has had in the form of the technology it has brought us it would be plain idiotic to declaw the American eagle.

If we must portray our potential enemies as stronger than they really are for the sake of maintaining our national defense then let it be so. It is better than underestimating those enemies and suffering a rude awakening in the future.

The American military must be prepared for all aspects of warfare. Everything from COIN ops to nuclear war. This involves new tanks, aircraft, ships, you name it. Yet if people are going to be so self-centered and materialistic, so blind as to vote people who will scrap ours defense, our industry, our technology, for the sake of short-term gain and government handouts, perhaps we deserve to decline as a global power. Yet who will take our place? Our European allies who have been so quick to cut back their defenses and rely on American strength for their own foreign interests won’t find themselves immune to the effects of this.

Budget cutting in a time of war and political instability? Insanity. Like it or not all of those budget and force cuts have some effect on the soldiers fighting in current conflicts. Since everything is attacked as “Cold War” relics the Army or Marine Corp will have a difficult time getting any new vehicles other than new trucks, a successor to the HMMWV, and more MRAPs which are ill-suited to many scenarios.

For example GCV could give us a new series of tracked vehicles starting with a new ICV, a SPG, and possibly even a MBT. These could have active protection, stronger and lighter armor, better situation awareness, and greater firepower. Yet despite the benefits of such improvements to the Army that is currently at war, those of your mindset will immediately attack such programs with the same outdated “Cold War relics” argument.

The USAF and USN? Many would only toss them scraps that aren’t enough to maintain the current number of ships and aircraft? And soon enough troops in Afghanistan will be getting less support from Navy F/A-18s and USAF aircraft despite claims that the budget will be redirected to better help the boots on the ground.

That “crap” has maintained air-superiority for the past decades, enables close air support and long range strikes, and ensures the men on the ground don’t have to worry about Migs among their other problems.

Dear William C. First and foremost, I am NOT suggesting that we disband the Army or cease investment in next generation technology; so knock that crap off. I am not a socialist or pacifist. I’m a veteran and currently work in defense; so unlike half the posters on this site who login in their underwear at 3am with the latest issue of airplane porn and Obama sucks monthly….I actually study this for a living.

Your problem is that you equate $$$ with defense when most of it just fraud, waste and abuse. Instead of focusing on the threats we face like missile defense, IED’s, target tracking; we spend it on FCWD (future combat wet dream) and calls for building a 1,000 22nd Generation aircraft to counter the 200 3 ½ Generation that actually exist. While I agree it would be silly to not maintain weapon / technology superiority; your ideas of an appropriate size of our military and what technology we require to fight seem to be based on rhetoric, comic books and repeated viewings of Red Dawn. Go tell a Vet with no legs how important that F-22 / FCS funding was when he couldn’t get MRAPs or body armor.…

What’s more I think you misunderstand both the threat picture, and what it takes to build next generation technology. Today I could basically hand anyone the drawings for the F-22 or an advanced submarine and they’d be about as useful as tits on a bull today’s advanced tech takes a major advanced defense infrastructure / industrial base and BILLIONS OF DOLLARS of support before you even buy the raw materials.

So next time you rail “SOMONE” is going to develop stealth, a new Navy, or something else laughable just ask yourself “Who has that kind of money?” The answer is no one….and that includes us. As a result our adversaries (the real ones) are buying incremental advances in small arms, vehicles, and countermeasures because it is a million times cheaper to maintain a SAM battery than it is a navy; a million times cheaper to buy anti-tank weapons than it is a tank.…..besides the Afghani’s have proven with a few AK’s, RPG’s, and a little ingenuity you can defeat a superpower armed with all the “wunderwaffen” money can buy.

To everyone who is so confident about future adversaries and threats I would pose this question to you.. How come we didn’t see the current conflict coming after the Cold War? Why didn’t we have MRAP’s already? We are reacting (MRAP’s, MATV’s) now and inevitably will be forced to react again someday when a nation state poses a threat to America or one of our allies. What will we do then? It is a helluva lot easier to quickly build some armored trucks than a stealthy strike fighter.

Good Morning Folks,

Since the ROE imposed on me by the editors prevents me from comment on others opinions such as being ______ as I can only respond to content of which I can’t find any I will just expend on myself and ignore.

The national debt problem is real, the banks that were to big to let go down added from $5–7 trillion in debt, something has to give. With the growing need for social programs that Congress and past President have ignored since the 1970’s the time has come to correct these past mistakes or to suffer unthinkable consequences in the near future. If the United States stays on this spending binge that we are on we could likely end up like Japan with a debt of 180% of GDP.

All the militaries will shrink, the working estimate that I heard in that they will have to RIF about 100-200K personal. The trend in hardware buying is to get what we need to conclude Afghanistan and Iraq and then see. This makes sense.

Some issue like carriers most likely won’t be effected because there is only one ship yard that builds carriers. It takes five years to build a carriers and the ships service life is 50 years.

The DD51’s will be around a lot longer, at current prices they are a bargain, it is likely that the first Burkes will be going to the scrap yard as new ones are coming off the ways.

The DDX (or 100 or 2000, which ever you like) is only alive because of Congress not the Navy. If there is anyway to get tis program stopped the Navy would be happy. As of right now there are no future CG’s haul planned for the USN.

The LCS, if prices don’t come down the buy will be much smaller, likely reduced to 25 ships. The bright spot is submarines, the Navy has greatly expanded their mission, last week the Navy ordered the first batch of AIM-9’s form Raytheon for SSN’s, the submarines are now in the air defense role with the fleet.

Even at $2–2.5 billion a copy they are a bargain. The next SSN/SSGN’s are on the drawing board and the Virginias might be stopped at 25–30 boats. The SSBN’s while in development could be halted if the right Nuclear arms treaty could be done with Russia.

As said earlier the Army will shed it’s heavy stuff into the National Guard and leave more Divisions as HQ/HQ Companies w/o any BCT’s. To maintain troops in the combat is expensive, combat skills are perishable and must be constantly re trained for. It’s best to move this capacity into the Guard and activate units when needed and take the 90 days to bring them up to speed.

Contrary to the commonly held belief among the non military wars don’t come upon a country over night, they are the end result of a rather long political debate, that failed.

Fire and maneuver is no longer an operative concept in ground troop doctrine. It is now ISR and the old 4F’s. Using minimum force to maxim advantage.

When a weapons best use is to destroy the enemies like weapon such as Tank vs, Tank, or Fighter vs. Fighter or like the best use of the battleship was sink another battleship that weapon is obsolete.

Byron Skinner

JRHMS88: The answer is organizational rot brought on by ignorance, incompetence, and a total lack of oversight by Congress and the OSD over a long period of time. People inside & outside the Pentagon have been railing about these issues since the end of Vietnam; they’re called retired Colonels. As early as 2004 the Marines asked for MRAPs and the Pentagon told them “Silly Marines, MRAPs are for EOD. Drink more water, the war’s almost over.”

What are we going to do?? We’ll maintain a modest force structure and industrial capacity keeping the Navy floating and the Air Force flying, we’ll still research sexy stuff, but it will spend more time in R&D and less time in Nunn-McCurdy. If a threat arises then we’ll use what we have until we build what we need. If it takes the US 8 years to design and build a plane, or 10 years to design and build a ship, how can you argue that Venezuela is going to design & produce a fleet of amphibious stealth fighting tanks and attack us overnight??

The USMC asking for MRAP’s in 2004 was their reaction to a threat that neither they nor anyone in OSD had predicted. If the USMC or OSD had true foresight, they would have asked for MRAP’s in the mid 90’s.

It is very easy for you to say we will use what we have until we build what we need when it isn’t you strapped in flying and fighting. The only unfair fight is the one you lose and having vastly superior technology is a big part of ensuring that the fight is indeed lopsided in our favor.

Finally, why wait for there to be a conflict? The best part of advanced, highly capable technology is that it is an excellent deterrent to potential adversaries.

i have to know but i doubt you ll answer truthfully…you have absolutely no military experience do you?

@ the other Daniel

Does having military experience make you an expert on military matters? Donald Rumsfeld was a Navy flight instructor but utterly, totally botched the occupation of Iraq. Bush was an ANG pilot and convinced us to invade Iraq because of WMDs which were never found, then removed troops from Afghanistan, the actual country that sponsored our attackers.

That said, does Cheney have any military experience, other than shooting his friends in the face with birdshot after he got drunk at a luncheon?


Daniel Russ

There is clearly fraud and waste like in any industry, especially one that by it’s nature must frequently work with the federal government. Yet there is no reason to reduce overall funding. Money saved from getting programs on track and on budget should be directed towards fulfilling other requirements of the services and improving equipment already in service. We do need well over 1,000 5th generation aircraft because we need to replace well over 2,000 4th generation designs in the coming two decades. You can’t keep cutting numbers and force sizes with every single new asset that enters service. The United States can afford these things, most countries can afford more than they are spending on their military. Compare the size of NATO forces in the 1980s today, you will see that everybody cut back based on the false assumption that the world was a “safer place” with the end of the Cold War. It is simply a matter of politicians and others wanting to direct the money that goes to defense elsewhere. I fear that many now in Washington see the DoD as little more than a piggy bank waiting to be smashed to fund their own pet projects.

I am tired of hearing the same old false arugment about MRAPs and body armor. The fact was that the Army had no need and didn’t want MRAPs before Iraq. The Army didn’t plan on equipping all “support” forces (rear-line units) with body armor. And in the years of penny-pinching prior to 9/11, the Army didn’t have all that much funding to work with anyway. The National Guard has never been deployed so extensively in overseas operations before, and had to be rapidly brought up to standards similar to active army units.

Funding cannot magically be cut from everything else to focus on one priority. The USAF still needed to maintain it’s current aircraft, receive new machines, and continue R&D. It is not something you can switch off and on like a light switch. Once it became clear that the Army and USMC needed more body armor, better protected vehicles, and so forth the problem was the usual red tape and bureaucracy, combined with getting production up to speed to meet the demand.

And that advanced defense infrastructure and industrial base MUST be maintained. It isn’t going to be maintained if we don’t produce or develop anything.

We do have that kind of money, and putting it towards defense is a damn better bet than in some politician’s pocket. Meanwhile the Chinese and Indians have been continually increasing defense spending, and the Russians have been trying to get things back on track. Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and others “confrontational” nations do the best with the limited funds they have access to.

So what do you suggest, scraping our Navy and Air Forces and hope our enemies don’t take advantage of this gap? That is asking for trouble. The Taliban and other Afghan enemies have proved nothing in this war, but are instead trying to wait it out, and erode support for continuing the war, despite however necessary it may be.

Regarding your final point about the time it takes to design and build new equipment, other nations may not be as restricted and delayed by red tape, government interference, economic conditions, and so forth. In fact before the end of the Cold War for example we were fielding equipment significantly faster than today. Much of the current problems in procurement system emerged during the early 1990s.

Byron cut the “I can’t respond to editor restrictions” claim of yours. You don’t have “insider knowledge” or whatever you think makes your opinion so important. There is no “pressing need” for more social programs in this country. National debt may be a serious problem but we can’t ignore our current military needs. In fact once we get our national debt under control we need to get back on track when it comes to military matters.

All militaries aren’t shrinking, and the cutbacks during the 1990s was more than enough, we don’t need more of that. Once we are finished in Iraq and Afghanistan, the need for new equipment doesn’t change.

The DDG-51 class destroyers are fine ships and bound to be around for many years to come. Indeed DDG-1000 ended in disaster, although the 3 planned (if they are built) may prove to be useful technology demonstrators for future warships. I am sure there are some in the Navy (and Marine Corp) who still wants these 3 to be built.

One of reasons for the DDG-1000 program was the requirement for naval fire support. Back before the Iowa class battleships were retired the Navy pitched that the 32 planned DD(X) destroyers could effectively replace the Iowas when it came to providing fire support for Marines and other forces. Hence the 155mm (6.1 inch) advanced gun system.

LCS faces major cost problems, but it is bound to be costlier than ships of a similar size due to it’s very high speed. How many we get doesn’t change the need for something to replace old FFG-7s.

The AIM-9X being considered for submarine use is not something that will perform the Navy air defense role. It is simply a “self-defense weapon: for the submarine when it is threatened by enemy ASW aircraft or helicopters. The AIM-9X is a short range design, and our submarines don’t have the integrated fire control systems our destroyers and cruisers have with their Standard and Enhanced Sea Sparrow missiles.

I haven’t heard of any firm plans for future Army organization, but the active army having no heavy BCTs makes little sense and would result in a lower readiness among our heavy armor which is a key element of the Army. And like it or not we should really start replacing our current Abrams, Bradleys, and Paladins before 2050.

Wow, how didn’t I see it before. By building stuff that doesn’t work for hundreds of billions of dollars and forgoing our immediate needs we intimidate our non-existant adversaries through our sheer audacity and mismanagement. That’s brilliant!!

Maintaining the defense base and throwing hookers and blow at it are two different things. There’s no reason we couldn’t maintain the infrastructure building things we need now. Once again (maybe this time it will get through the tinfoil) no one is suggesting scrapping the AF or Navy.…..that’s ridiculous. So stop with the GIVE ME FCS OR GIVE ME DEATH nonsense.

Russia is a hollow shell of its former self, and you loose all credibility when you raise the awful specter of Venezuela.….…as McEnroe would say “you CANNOT be serious.”

and Byron is democratic shill who comes up with these very comical “truths” of his. have you told the military that fire and maneuver is a thing of the past?

your first assumption is that for some reason i the competency of rumsfeld bush or Cheney have any relevance to my comment, your second was that i have any affinity for them.

third i actually was effected by decisions those men made, Byron on the other hand just received new blogging material.

additionally with their know flaws i would take any one of them over byron’s tomfoolery any day.

neither one of you is privy to anything special, in another thread Byron though china bought the Hummer that builds the Humvee so im a little underwhelmed with his propaganda.

so yes i think my being in the military and actually using some of the stuff we talk about and being to some of the places mentioned does make me more of a military expert than Byron here who thinks china just bought the company that makes the Humvee. soldier>Internet commando, but hey your entitled to your opinion too. does having a cool lil blog of you own make you an expert?

You know, while were at it, anyone remember the “riddle of steel?” Its the hand that weilds the weapon that matters. The WW II Soviet army was they best equiped of all the armies at the start, but with a weak leadership, all that sexy kit means nothing. These Swiss army weapons “systems” are not all that. We seem to forget that no weapon is ever completly obsolete. Just ask the man whose been hit with a rock. What matters is the mind. Its your primary weapon. Yet I see little in the way mentorship, or even a minutes time being spent on KNOWN solutions to problems..while every inter-agency, ssssuper-fabu transformer C4^3 widget gets top billing. When was the last time an Infantryman got a say? Mkay. Now, when was the last time they were listend to? No? So whats that again about NEEDING a new rifle? A lot of these problems can be traced to a series of “leaders” promoted above their ability, over decades. “Sucking it up” is the wrong GD answer friend. The pen, the hand, the mind. Leadership needs to be taken seriously and not paid lip-service, by way of political patrionage. Just look at the results.

Good Morning Folks,

Since I’m restricted from addressing individuals or institutions here and I simply can’t see any contribution to the argument from others I guess this topic is done. Other then personal attacks and statements that are irreverent to the topic I can find nothing here to respond to.

Byron Skinner

I’ll admit there is some truth to that, however even without red tape you need billion dollar shipyards / factories and decades of expertise, that’s all I’m saying. Without advanced foundries and hundreds of subcontractors you can’t produce advanced techonology.

It’s an odd thing for most people to grasp, because we all still remember that for decades you just stole the plans and built your own, but since the mid 80’s all the software and advanced circuitry prevents an adversary from building to print.

I’m not saying no one could do it. I’m saying it would be VERY hard, VERY expensive, and you have to ask yourself WHY would you build it if you don’t need it? Militaries are used to either secure the nation’s defense, or gain something. (land, territory) The Chinese are shoring up their defenses, but the Russians are a shell and we don’t bother them. Hell, they are bending us over every day on trade.……if they want it they buy it. Why screw that up?

There is no immediate need for more social programs in the United States, if you are not one of the 46 million Americans with no health insurance, or if you are not one of the quarter of a million Americans a month that lose their jobs, or if you’re not one of the 25% of mortgage holders who’s home is worth less than you owe on it, or if you are not one of the tens of thousands of wounded Veterans who continue to get bottom shelf care despite your wounds or sacrifices, or if you are not one of the millions of Americans who are literally living in our streets, or if you are not one of the millions of hard working class Americans whose pensions were emptied by the robber baron bankers after decades of dedicated sacrifice.

Other than those easy to ignore Americans, those who do not deserve the bandwidth of Tiger Woods or Paris Hilton, who never show up on our news, then for sure we don’t need any more help.


Daniel Russ

whatever you say but id love to see your credentials.

Hey look! Non-existent near-peer!


For God’s sake that 46 million figure has already been proven to be a load of nonsense, some people choose not to by health insurance, the “stimulus” has already shown that tossing over a trillion of dollars at the economy doesn’t fix anything, and why should the government use my tax dollars to pay for these peoples houses? Government is not the solution to all of your woes. It wasn’t a matter of veterans getting “bottom-shelf” care either, the system was simply overwhelmed and that is already being addressed and rightfully so.

Enough playing the pity card. Millions of people living in the street? Is that supposed to justify the gutting of our military, wealth redistribution, or this public option? There are more than enough welfare kings and queens in this country, and we don’t need to create more.

Yep. And meanwhile the liberals are trying to repeat the cuts of the 1990s at an even greater scale.

The figures came out of the Bush Administration’s CBO and GAO, the NIH and the CDC. I know all those PHDs and MDs and researchers aren’t as smart as you, but they do have three digit IQs and hearts that work– something you might not experience. The only people who debunk them are Rush Limblob and Faux News who cherry pick their facts, or get them from fake universities called Think Tanks where people are paid for a specific point of view, not independent thinking. The figures are accurate, whether it makes your sphincter slam shut or not. Homeless veterans are welfare queens? Holy crap. People losing their homes need no help?

Why are you pooping in your pants just because the President is trying to spend tax dollars wisely? Being efficient and smart is not the same thing as gutting the military. Spending too much and getting too little is gutting the military and frankly it’s un American.

That all said, why should my tax dollars go pay for more useless wasteful weapon systems that support mainly shareholder dividends and lobbying and do nothing for the national defense or the soldiers in the field?

Every year 45000 Americans die from treatable illnesses because they cannot afford medicine. That’s the equivalent of a 9/11 every few months. I guess sick Americans who can’t afford our overpriced medicine are all welfare queens.

My suggestion for you is to, from time to time, turn off the TV, remove your cranium from that hole in the ground, or take walk around and see what’s actually going on. Maybe even read something.

So yes, there is a pressing need for more social programs. Thanks for helping me make my point.


Daniel Russ

“The national debt problem is real, the banks that were to big to let go down added from $5–7 trillion in debt, something has to give. With the growing need for social programs…”

Umm, not really. See link below. If you want to address the debt, you better consider looking at the social programs/entitlements because that is where the vast majority of government spending can be found. I am not sure besides politics what is driving the “growing need” for social programs. America won World War II, landed man on the moon, won the Cold War, invented the Internet and other technologies without this “growing need” for social programs.


Apparently Byron thinks his own opinion is so amazing he won’t bother responding to anything or anybody. He might as well just start his own blog and join the other self-aggrandizing liberals who pat each other on the back while spewing opinions nobody reads.

well, since I’m still in and here, your not(by the sounds of it) it is broken, i read last years addition, Did not account for Russia, nor China. Russia is back in the barrel again, Putin has said that to the media. China has been playing a very good game since the 90’s. Look first, arm yourself. Speak only when spoken too.

The QDR is possible if you look at it as a warrior and not a politician or liberal. We have the capability right now to go into a country and inflict serious damage in a matter of days. If we had pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan within the forst couple of months while they were in ruins and had fewer American casualties, rather than hanging around trying to convert them our way and make money under the table through our buddies corporations given contracts at the US publics expense. If we had pulled out it would have sent the message dont mess with us period, rather than dont worry if you mess with us we will rebuild and make your country better. If we had just kicked but and left the population would have eventualy turned on thier own government. What we need to do is increase the number of deployed expiditionary forces and at sea battle groups to a minimum of four (2 on each coast) then we need to cross train with the Army to get them sea going expeditionary force capable as well. This would allow us to reduce or completely remove our troops from most overseas locations that cost way too much to maintain. But since a warrior thought of this rather than a politician it wont happen because it makes too much sense.

What a great link. This is a very informative figure, but slightly misleading. While “defense” proper is significantly smaller than social programs of welfare, health, and pension, one important thing to keep in mind that much of the Pension and some of the Health are legacy costs for defense (both civilian and military). I read an interesting article that broke that information out and it is pretty amazing the shift it causes. Of course I can not find the link, but if I come across it i will post it up. It includes things like the GI Bill within education, and healtchcare/Pension for servicemen and civilian defense. I am not saying those benefits should be reduced. I personally think that those that served deserve the support they were promised, but looking at the numbers on a whole helps us understand the true-er costs of war and defense spending.


Hmm, what did you say about that 46 million figure being correct? But I guess it would be difficult to look up the facts rather than demand the universal healthcare and say childish things like “Limblob” and “Faux News.” And I am supposed to believe that all of the people working for these right wing think tanks are morons while anybody working for a left wing think tank or for the CBO, GAO, NIH, and CDC are geniuses?

No it is the welfare queens who are welfare queens. Homeless veterans need whatever medical support when can give them, and the VA has been addressing that. Yet you want to subtract that cost from the money that goes towards military procurement.

Allowing people to live off the welfare system rather than help them get back on their feet is not “spending tax dollars wisely”, Paying for people who bought homes they couldn’t afford is not “spending tax dollars wisely”. Paying for weapons systems that ensure we maintain the technological and qualitative edge over the enemy, systems that save lives through better armor, firepower, and capabilities, that is spending tax dollars wisely.

Despite what those trying to justify the public option say, people don’t get turned around at the hospital for a lack of health insurance. And plenty of people with insurance die from treatable illnesses as well because not everything is diagnosed correctly, people don’t visit a medical specialist in time, and treatments don’t always work.

I am sorry to interupt the liberal alternate reality where no one WITH health insurance dies. That’s why no one ever died in Soviet Union where they had public option health care, and they all had free education, free homes, and free food
And that’s why they won the Cold War of course!

Perhaps you need to stop getting all your information from Democratic party talking points pushing this abomination of a healthcare bill. This bill that is magically supposed to “not add a dime to the deficit.”

But I guess you, Byron, and others whining about the “EVIL neo-conservatives” isn’t briging up somebody’s political affiliation.

Bush Sr. began it, Clinton continued it, and now Obama to repeat similar cuts and force reductions.

Could you ever make a point without brining up someone’s political affiliation? It’s so ignorant and childish. It’s like pointing out someone’s skin color everytime you comment on their work. It’s either good or bad; their color is an extraneous factor.

Oh.…and I believe the Republican Congresses of the 1990’s signed off on those military cuts under republican SecDefs.……so enough with the blame games.

DOC75: A collection of hype cycle stories about a military doing what militaries do isn’t analysis.…it’s called listing. Saying China is a peer competitor is like saying a high school and the Indianapolis Colt are peer competitors because they both have kickers, QB’s, etc.…… Factor in strengh, power, experience, morale, training and you realize that while they all have the same parts, the talent and funding is nowhere close.

The question I throw back to you is exactly under what scenario are we worried about Russia or China? China can’t project its forces and sustain them in and number, and upon firing the first round would commit economic suicide. The Russian can project some of its military, but only enough for a suicide run that causes less damage than a hurricane; and they would also face economic collapse and certain military defeat with their weakened state and lose everything in the US/NATO reprisals.……

Pennst98: “…face economic collapse and certain military defeat with their weakened state and lose everything in the US/NATO reprisals.…… ”

And this is why the true “enemy” are those with nothing to loose.

HI I’m an Iranian. I think American people are very good people in the word that work for development and peace in Afghanistan.
I hope you can make a peaceful country and have good result in war against terrorism.


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