DoD, Wake Up And Cut!

DoD, Wake Up And Cut!

The tidal wave is coming for defense budgets. Promising $100 billion in savings over five years, but hoping to keep the funds is not going to hold it back.

The wave is coming, first, from a growing sentiment that America’s debts and deficits are our number one security problem, as Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen has said, and that defense must play a part in solving the problem. At $708 billion, defense consumes 19.4 percent of the federal budget this year compared to 19 percent for Social Security, 17.5 percent for other discretionary spending, and 16 percent for income-based entitlements.

Second, the tidal wave is coming from a growing recognition that we are doing way too much in the world, and way too much of it using our military forces. It is clearly time to reassess.

The latest wave to hit the beach is today’s release of the Rivlin-Domenici Debt Reduction Task Force’s plan, sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center. Although defense gadfly WinWheeler has described it as “one of the softest on DOD of those available,” it is pretty tough in pushing DOD to more basic priority-setting and choice-making than anything the Secretary has done to date.

The Rivlin-Domenici plan calls for a flat, nominal five year freeze in the defense budget, starting in FY 2012, with growth after that point only at the rate at which the economy grows overall. By fiscal 2020, that will provide $1.1 trillion in defense contributions to deficit reduction, measured against the Congressional Budget Office baseline. War costs are included in that baseline, but calculated on the assumption that 30,000 US forces are forward deployed in combat, well below the 150,000 in Iraq and Afghanistan today.

The report goes beyond the most recent set of options put out by Presidential Debt Commission co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. The defense options, prepared by the Stimson Center, are driven by an analysis of priority missions for the military and an evaluation of investments driven by mission and cost-effectiveness

The mission and threat assessment behind the report sets priorities, something the DoD Quadrennial Defense Review did not do earlier this year. Cybersecurity, operations against Al Qaeda and its network, adequate forces for deterrence and reassurance, sea patrol, and humanitarian missions take priority. And the ambition to fight a “permanent war” against insurgents, stabilization around the globe, and a major military role in governance and security are given lower priority.

Setting these priorities allows a 275,000 reduction in the size of the US military. This would include a roll-back of the ground force increase of 92,000 carried out in recent years, a reduction of 80,000 in forward-deployed forces in Europe and Asia (rebalancing the remaining commitment to Asia, over Europe), and a reduction of 100,000 in uniformed personnel who are working in infrastructure and commercial activities at DOD, as a contribution to shrinking the DOD overhead and rebalancing the remaining forces to the defense “tail.”

Investment choices would follow suit. While all such decisions are hard, the BPC option would terminate the F-35 and V-22, along with the Marines EFV. For aircraft, it would substitute current fighters, still in production, and helicopters. It would also recommend major reductions in non-Major Defense Acquisition Program procurement, which consumes 60% of the DOD procurement budget, and a 19% down-slope in R&D budgets.

The forces that remain after this build-down would remain globally dominant. The U.S. would continue to be the only power patrolling the world’s oceans. Its army would be larger and significantly more globally deployable than any other country, including China, whose forces do not deploy abroad. Its technology would surpass that of any other country; the R&D budget would be larger than the entire defense budget of any other country. Its Special Forces, at 55,000, would be larger than most countries’ entire militaries and could be deployed globally. It would be the only country with global military transportation, logistics, communications, and intelligence (funded at a level today — $80 billion – that also is larger than any other country’s defense budget).

This point tends to get missed in all the worry about “gutting defense” and an “overstressed military.” We are coming home from Iraq and, soon, from Afghanistan. We are not going to invade another country, with the intent of regime change and occupation any time soon. And we are outspending and outperforming the rest of the world, in military terms, and would continue to do so well into the foreseeable future.

It is entirely irrelevant to argue that, at 4.3% of GDP, we can afford this military and more. At a 60% debt to GDP ratio, which is projected to grow to 100% by the end of the decade, we cannot afford to march forward the way we have in any part of the federal budget. And we are spending enough for our security, much more than enough; the GDP ratio tells one nothing about the capabilities or capacity of the forces – that is the key measure.

Can we do this? You bet. We did it from 1985 to 1998, when a similar fiscal and policy tidal wave hit defense. And as much as some will complain about force stress, readiness, and overstretch, that was the force that waltzed through Iraq like a knife through butter. It was a spectacularly successful build-down, and we can do it even better this time. But the Pentagon needs to wake up and recognize that the wave is coming.

Gordon Adams is a professor of international relations at American University’s School of International Service. He led the Stimson Center team that drew up the Bipartisan Policy Center defense options. From 1993–97, he led the Pentagon budget creation as associate director for national security and international Affairs at the Offce of Management and Budget.

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It’s not so much the DoD, but the Senate which demands all kinds of compensations to keep (state) voters happy. Many defense programs ballooned into government funded employment programs that increased acquisition and operating costs — it’s almost Socialist.

Solutions like building naval ships abroad with final (weapon) outfitting in the US, thereby keeping price low, quality high and avoiding the LPD-17 debacle (ntm LCS price within budget) are totally unacceptable for many senators with (dwindling) local shipbuilding industries.
And there are many other such US “workers’ paradise” projects.

“Investment choices would follow suit. While all such decisions are hard, the BPC option would terminate the F-35 and V-22, along with the Marines EFV. For aircraft, it would substitute current fighters, still in production…”

If we terminate the F-35 program we will be left with only 187 F-22 5th Generation fighters. What will we do when the Russians and Indians start to deploy the PAK-FA Sukhoi T-50 in larger numbers than we have F-22s begeinning in 2015? Send up F-15s and F-16s to shoot down T-50s in the numbers of 400? And then the Chinese a few years later will probably start to build their J-XX 5th Gen fighter as well? You can say goodbye to USAF Air Dominance and Superiority!

My vote is to restart the F-22 progam and build up to 750 total and build the F-35 but in fewer numbers than currently planned. Because now we have more F-22a.

what these idiots don’t understand is that a $100 billion cut in government spending does not equate to $100 billion with of defecit reduction; i would argue that the number for defecit reduction should be closer to $10 billion than a 100. Why??? Well when you cut $100 billion from government spending– people are going to lose jobs– loss of jobs means loss of income which means less income tax revenue. Less people working means more on fed unemployment insurence so federal payouts increase.

We don’t need another “build-down.” We already had one in the 1990s. We need to stop looking at programs to cut and instead look at what needs to be replaced and procured, and look at all of these foreign bases we don’t need, and foreign countries we shouldn’t be funding.

AAVP replacement:
Perhaps the EFV isn’t the right answer but the Marines need a modern personnel carrier (that can carry a full Marine squad) with some sort of amphibious capability.

Legacy aircraft replacement:
“Current fighters” don’t cut it. We have to be ready to deal with advanced integrated air defense systems and aircraft in development like the Sukhoi T-50. There should be no partial cuts to the F-35 program. We should either press on and tell Lockheed it is their “last chance”, or cancel the whole program, procure some heavily upgraded F-16s in the short term, and put a new fighter program on the fast track. Yet like it or not, designing a new fighter would cost more than continuing and fixing the F-35 program. More F-22s should also be procured regardless of the F-35’s status. And despite how we try to dance around the subject, we need to start initial development of a new strategic bomber that can start replacing our B-52s and B-1s by 2030 or so when they begin to retire.

V-22 Osprey:
Cancel this now? If we should have canceled the V-22 we should have done it many years ago, not as it is actually entering service.

Missile defense:
If any sacrifices should be made, putting certain missile defenses programs on hold is one of them. The exceptions should be the Navy’s SM-3 program and other Navy related programs that can counter the threat of “carrier killer” ballistic missiles.

Armored fighting vehicles:
Modernize the Abrams but push ahead with a genuine Bradley replacement with a chassis that can be easily adapted for other roles.

While Rivlin and Domenici (also Anthony Williams) are responsible and intelligent people, Adams is just a bomb-thrower. Really, this plan only differs from the baseline DoD budget in that caps nominal dollars rather than real dollars — making it a 3–4% decrease per year — gets you to something like a 11.5% real reduction over the five years. I’m intrigued by what the panel thought it meant with the following statement: “reform the age at which career military can retire to be consistent with federal civilian retirement” — I assume this means taking longer to retire, or flexing the retirement benefits based on that “highest five years” standard. While the spending side of this makes sense, the revenue side is a bit weird. 6.5 % national sales tax, reduction in marginal income tax rates (you can just hear “tax cuts for the wealthy”), but a gradual increase in payroll taxes into the higher brackets — looks like their answer to fixing social security. Overall, this looks like a supply sider’s answer to the president’s commission, but maybe I’m not looking at it correctly.

Ever thought about cuts some extra goodies off platforms, vice cutting entire ships or a/c ?

I would bet, given the choice, the US Navy could, for example, easily cut $100,000,000 off the cost of each DDG. Do that 10 times and you can buy an extra destroyer !

As many Fleet commander Admirals have stated over the past couple of decades, they need MORE ships. Quantity at some point becomes a capablility. Stop golden plating each ship and get more new ones out the Navy Admirals.

We are seeing low inflation, slow growth, and high unemployment. That is the worst time to cut defense procurement, goverment spending on purchases of products made mostly here, providing many good jobs, while also providing for the national defense.

Procurement of defense items made here (submarines, ships, fighter aircraft, etc.) is exactly the stimulous that we need right now. And we need those submarines, ships, fighter aircraft, etc., if we are to remain the dominant world superpower.


If you want some positive change, then change the rules of the game that are causing the problem.

We don’t need another small tax rebate to spend on Chinese goods sold at Walmart by low income people who themselves only make enough to buy the most inexpensive of goods, also likely imported from China.
We need a massive income tax rebate in the form of a permanent massive increase in the personal income tax deduction, while also creating an equally large VAT (Value Added Tax) to offset that.

I’d suggest a $250,000.00 personal income tax deduction in combination with a 20% VAT.

That change in the rules of the game would help to level the playing field.

Because… Taxing production workers’ income is a tax burden on domestic production, not borne by foreign production, burdens exports more than imports. The VAT applies equally to domestic goods and imported goods, but doesn’t directly burden exports. So the VAT flips the tax burden, applying more to imports than exports. And a VAT would not trigger the trade war that import tarriffs would trigger.

Good Evening Folks.

I see that the biscuit and gravy right is all in an tizzy for the limp wrist left and their charge lead by Auntie Alice, the best description of came a few years ago from a fellow academic who said that she is living proof, well almost living that affirmative action in the school of Economic has been a failure.

Both side see the DoD through their own ideological self interest. The antebellum right sees it as a money just sitting there for them and the goofy liberals see everything through Vietnam. Neither side can comprehend that the DoD exists t keep some kind of word order that is beneficial to the interest of the United States and when it has to fight a war to preserve those interests.

Neither side is looking at future defense need. I will only cite two recent examples, there are a lot more and none involve China.

Europe. Read Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI. The same cast is at it again. Alliance between France and England, which is sure to be broken. The Germans on a racist binge this time against the Turks who came and saved Germany now in gratitude the Germans under a former Communists (?) want to throw them out and the French banning head scarfs. Then we have the issue of missile defense now the Russian in too, why?

Iran, don;t believe it. The want protection from each other. Don’t ask about Poland the war time play ground of the Europeans and the Russians.

The just today there is Yemen. “Not all of Yemen’s enterprises are above board.” feraljundi​.com

There is an arms race in the middle east and it is ready to explode, but wait there is Africa. The Congo is ready to evorape, Nigeria where the US gets oil is about to collaspe, Somalia is in a state of Civil War, meanwhile the US Africa Command is in where, Stuttgurt Germany.

Byron you just highlighted several potential trouble-spots, yet despite this you seem to insist on a greater focus on COIN operations (at the cost of our military’s other capabilities) even after we are done in Iraq and Afghanistan. What are you looking for exactly?

US Africa Command is headquartered in Stuttgart Germany, not Italy. US Army Africa, AFRICOM’s Army component, is HQ’d in Italy.

Anti-DOD hacks, Wake Up To Reality!

Defense spending IS NOT the problem! FY2010 DOD budget was just 3.65% of GDP (including spending on Iraq & Afghanistan STILL only gets you up to Cater Administration level). Spending on BS you have no business spending money on & steadfastly refusing to look at were the REAL out-of-control spending is IS!

Did anyone really look at this statement in this article?

“Defense consumes 19.4 percent of the federal budget this year compared to 19 percent for Social Security, 17.5 percent for other discretionary spending, and 16 percent for income-based entitlements”

We can see that the discretionary and income based entitlements account for 33.5% of the budget. This shows you that DemocRATS are more interested in having people depended on the Government for their day to day living.

All you saw in the Debt Commission recommendations was to cut Defense and Social Security. I see 2 other programs that could be cut also.

DemocRATS just do not realize that you need people WORKING and pay taxes instead of drawing welfare and unemployment checks to get us out of this current problem. But all the DemocRATS want is a voting bloc.

CONTINUED: be carried over each yr the Military would have a nest egg built up by now to support new programs instead of fighting for funds. This is the fault of congress and not the Military. Also the defence budget should only include the US Military period for ease in tracking and so the people are more informed — NATO & UN contributions and foreign military aid should come from the state dept so we know how much is actualy going overseas rather than being used at home thanks to our incompetent government. We can aslo save tons of cash by allowing open purchaseing of a lot of items that are cheaper to buy out in town rather than through GSA such as small arms, clothing items, tires, knives, tools, and so much more it’s not funny. MANY HERE HAVE COME UP WITH BETTER SOLUTIONS TO OUR PROBLEMS THAN THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO DATE, mostly because we actualy care about our country and constitution and those who serve in harms way, many of us unlike congress have been in the trenches defending freedom which is why I dont think anyone who has not served at least 10yrs active duty should be allowed to run for any federal office or serve on any military commitie.

“The mission and threat assessment behind the report sets priorities, something the DoD Quadrennial Defense Review did not do earlier this year.”

There can be no recommendation at all without setting priorities. At least this report started in the right place.

If we terminate the F-35 program, we pursue a less risky affodable solution. In addition, If we were to get into a war with Russian/India/China, we destroy their C&C and air forces on the ground with submarine and air launched cruise missiles. This will be preceded by offensive information and special operations and Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses to blind, disable, and confuse them.
If we actually lose our F-22 aircraft in air to air combat, we ratchet up the use of force against them higher and higher until they submit. We have multiple options and overmatch capabilities. No Nation State has anything to gain and everything to lose by challenging our Air Superiority.

BINGO.……why can’t the lawmakers suggesting such idiotic cuts realize this??????

Hey BOOMER.….I wonder how many Congressman and Senators look at this site. To your point, there are many good suggestions here that should at the very least be explored/entertained by our elected officials.

Only in Boomer’s world (or maybe the Boeing “shop floor”) are “experienced design engineers” considered blue color workers. You can bet that Tommy sees the class warfare going on here.

It would be an eye opener for some of them, I wouldnt even care if they claimed all the credit as long as they saw some of these ideals through.

I did have a dash in there to sep the blue collar’s from the eng’s. Point being that they need input from all sides on how changes affect the public.

we need cut all small base arround the world.Have only one base in europe (germany), 2 in asia (korea,japan), one in africa (djibouti) and find one solution of all troops stationed in middle east.
We have capable aircraft and navy for deploy troops arround the world, we don’t need to many base with thousands soldiers just for have one military presence.Seriously, who will one war in europe? russia?.…

The most urgent was the navy.The navy was the US power . without the power of the navy, nothing is possible​.In the future we are looking for new aircraft carrier, i’m sure they are going to was more small, more expensive and in few numbers.
We need developing one real marines group with large amphibious program and aircraft carrier assistance.
we can cut some submarine and drop old ship, but we can’t cut LCS program, that’s impossible

As has been stated, the problem is that defense spending has become too political in that it has become socially acceptable pork.

We cannot stop all new fighter development and continue solely with legacy fighters. A technology gap in that area would take years and even more dollars to overcome. The F-35 was fundamentally flawed by letting the STOVL version drive the design of all three models. About the best thing now would be to move away from the F-35B and consolidate the program into just the A & C models, but politics both inside and outside the military will prevent this. LCS is in a similar state. No decision forthcoming on hull design, no commonization in either hulls combat systems, (not to mention a flawed requirement on high speed that cuts too depply into the ship’s range.) Why? because who wants to tell the folks at home he did not bring home the bacon?

One program that should be axed before it gets too far is the Zumwalt class though. Way too many technology leaps at once for there to ever hope for a chance of success.

You as many are making too much sense to be taken seriously by the all better knowing congress, but I agree with you — especialy in regards to the ZUmwalt class needing to go away, Besides naming a ship class after that looser (that nearly destroyed the Navy) is almost as big a slap in the face as the USS MURTHA was (nevr should have happened). I would still rather see LCS go back to its originalconcept in being a modifed and gunned up super freighter transporting MK5 SOC’s, MK5 Patrol boats, other SWCC boats, helos, and troops and acting as a mother ship while they performe true littoral and high speed interception operations at way below the cost of the current LCS platforms because the whole system would have been off the shelf and supported by corvetts bought from germany and sweeden, but that too made too much sense because regular Navy obviously know more about littoral combat than SPECWAR in thier bloated egos.

Neither F-35 nor LCS could ever survive such harsh budget environment under “normal” circumstances. If Def. Sec. stands up for F-35, even knowing how fundamentally flawed this plane is, to me it means that even USA gave up on any transparency/accountability ideas. Just glueing more feathers won´t turn this F-35 lame duck into an eagle. Overweight draggy striker (aka small bomber) is not a fighter just because Robert Gates and LockMart say so, so I don´t think there is any difference between F-16C and F-35, if you look at it from 2020 T-50 pilot´s point of view (well, at least the F-16C accelerates better…)

With unemployment near 10%, I think you’ll find that Congress will be loath to cut programs which cumulatively employ hundreds of thousands of people in the defense industry. If Congress doesn’t believe F-35, LCS, and EFV are at least worth their value in defense, they’re likely to treat the programs as welfare projects until the economy gets rolling again. Its a Catch 22.

Bye bye Byron. You talk out of both sides of your face daily. On Monday you argued for an ALL UAV future and how silly it is to look back at history. Today you are incoherently preaching about studying history for some sort of insight into the future of Europe? Lay off the sauce.…… Your posts are becoming as entertaining as a daily comic in a newspaper. Maybe you should just go back to speakers corner in Hyde Park?

increasingly wishful think SWMT$. We just lost an F-22 by the way and I hope we did not lose the pilot.’ There are several incorrect claims made above. One huge one was confusing the VICTORY dividend between 1985 — 1998 with the environment that exists today. I’m all for squeezing more value out of the shrinking dollars but air superiority is getting to be a fiasco. Hypersonics and DEW undoubtedly are a needed game changer (and capable delivery systems) in light of reports the author does not include regarding proliferation of precision missiles, stealthy materials and of course WMD proliferation ofter guarded by facilities presently too deep to destroy without nukes or expeditionary forces the author also excludes. Lost are very recent reports of NK activity, the growing Chinese Navy and missile business as well as increase pressure on the US in light of allied reductions. Norway just pulled copters from Afghanistan as JSF sales decline.

Straight talk? Obviously we need to increase our GDP. The same could have been said in 1930. It was and looked what happened. Stream line yes, but with a logic that is plausible in conditions that are honestly set forward.….

So you insult me and then change the subject in multiple ways? Come on man, learn how to debate.
This is the proper way to communicate with someone. Talk about things they talked about. For example.. I support pursuing Hypersonics and DEW. I support developing defense systems to counter the range of threats around us and developing multiple options. That doesn’t mean we have to tolerate an improperly structured F-35 program.

The F-35 IS NOT fundamentally flawed. The F-35 is a better fighter than the F-16 could ever hope to be. A COMBAT LOADED F-35A accelerates & turns as well as a CLEAN Block 50 F-16C.

2020 T-50 pilots won’t be as hopelessly ignorant as you concerning the F-35.

Do you REALLY think that Congress doesn’t support and fund specific programs because of what it brings to their districts and States??? Come on. That’s just ignorant. Of course they do, and yes, it is still considered PORK.

Everyone thinks funding Pork barrel funding is always negative. If Congress has no specific line item vote (aka: Pork) about where tax dollars are spent, guess who gets to decide exactly where all of the federal budget gets spent???? The President.

pfcem do you underestand DoD Acquisition process and proper systems engineering? The LRIP aircraft are not production representative aircraft because the software and integration are not complete. They are worthless to the warfighter. In order to get MS C you are supposed to be ready for production., In this case they went into production without having the product properly developed. No one in government who is in the know on the program and has been looking at the data concurs with you that just because it accelerates and turns fast, it is a successful program. It certainly is possible that given infinite time and resources F-35 can be a solid weapon system, unfortunately infinite time & resources is not how the government works. And by the F-35 getting away with improperly estimating and structuring, every other PM in Defense asks the question, “why should I have to follow the rules if they can get away with it?”

So you’re saying the Pentagon is a jobs program? If that is the case, you can’t claim that welfare recipients and other unworthies (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) should be thrown off the public dole or their benefits cut back. The real problem is that the federal government is spending too much, period. That money should go to other purposes, or, –don’t say it–SAVED for your retirement and future health care. Instead, whether the tax-and-spend Democrats or the borrow-and-spend Republicans are in charge, if NOTHING is done to stop the hemorraging, the money flow will stop. The United States is technically BANKRUPT, but you prefer we mortgage more of our grandchildren’s future so your wife and kids can keep going to the mall and you can keep being a season ticket holder for your local professional football team? We need to realize sooner rather than later that we need to fall back a lower standard of living and stop expecting the government to subsidize our spendthrift habits.

Part 2. For defense, that means it needs to weed down the 300 major programs it doesn’t manage very well into the 100 or 150 it can manage. The military needs modernization, yes, and I agree we should do it, but the Pentagon waste is far larger than you can imagine. They want a percentage of GDP because it guarantees them a steady budget. Their topline should raise and fall as they go through modernization cycles piled on top of their fixed costs. And they need to change their culture to one where affordability through a high-low mix of systems represents the best solution against the threat. Right now, they want cutting edge for everything, even though the threat is not there.

This is just knee-jerk right-wing horse manure. How about speaking to the issue?

Well there’s success! We’ll pay how many billion for a plane that performs as well as a plane designed 30+ years ago? Hot Dog! While the concept of the F-35’s SA suite is indeed attractive, many thought that the the notion of a gunless F-4 was also attractive because the AIM-7 and AIM-9 were going to change air warfare forever; how’d that go?

To DoDBuzz, considering is some very good input here from time to time along with the usual mud slinging and BS, To actualy ask the readers here for actual input to adress such matters as ways to realisticly reduce military spending, that you could actualy offer to your contacts at the pentagon for consideration. I’ll give an example — If Stateside units were permitted to purchase COTS items ( small arms and parts, electronics, auto parts, clothing,bottled water,clothing items and so forth) directly/ localy which is 90% of the times at a lower cost and definately faster than buying through GSA, not only will the military save millions every month but they will also stimulate the local economies substantialy. This will also allow even greater savings due to the fact that they will be able to take advantage of sales and clearances, not to mention shipping costs alone transporting ordered goods cross country on a daily basis. To me it’s a no brainer, and I bet others here can come up with legit ideals as well. (GSA will still be needed for deployed and overseas units but the size could be greatly reduced)

Ah, the Airforce decided that too small wings, a poor thrust to weight, poor wing loading, etc. were a good idea for a fighter.

Nobody understands the DOD acquisition process and proper systems engineering, it is not understandable. ;)

LRIP ARE production aircraft, just production at a lower rate of production (becasue you can not go from zero to full rate production overnight). IOC software & integration WILL be applied to LRIP aircraft BEFORE they are declared operational.

I never said that because it accelerates and turns fast, it is a successful program, I was informing Firefox od the facts of the F-35’s flight performance vs the F-16 (note he was dissing the plane itself, not the program management/performance of the developement program).

No, it preforms better than the F-16 could ever hope to.

The days of all out flight performance being the deciding factor in combat effectiveness have passed.

Chicken Hawks need to rest. Defense spending and a strong defense are two separate entities. Cut the pentagon pork of spending money on waste that our troops never need or use. China and India have no desire to take us on, they have their own populations to keep happy let alone having military eyes on us, grow up chicken hawks!!! I have young kids in my family who are in the desert and you are all back here defending waste that isdestroying our way of life. Cut the Defense Budget start with double dippers who are getting paid for there “views” and provide no strong defense.

What are you talking about? How does that have ANYTHING to do with what I posted?

No the right sized wing, thrust to weight & wing loading on par with the F-16 combined with (among other things) stealth & MUCH superior avionics…

“defense spending is one of the very few things that is NOT pork” See the connection? Of course it’s Pork. Most people think Pork is all bad or negative. It serves a purpose in the process, not all of it good, but the pop-rhetoric of “Eliminate Pork” is not understanding the process and throws the baby out with the bathwater. Again, it would put all the DoD programs in the hands of the President. Do you really think this WH wants your F-35 in any variant? It’s Congress that is keeping it alive in reality. But that could all change with the new Congress.……

The purpose of the LRIP is to have production representative jets for IOT&E. So if you do IOT&E with the jets as is, the IOT&E is invalid as soon as you modify the jet again. This is what is known as “regression testing”. Worse, the unbelievable political pressure on the Independent Tester to produce a ‘satisfactor test result’ undermines the integrity of the whole process.
So, Sorry the LRIP aircraft are not production aircraft, because the program is not done with development. This is why you should accomplish a MS C before entering LRIP. I hope you understand the acquisition process & systems engineering better now.

To set another realistic example of how to make budget cuts, lets do the federal government side this time. In this day and age of technology it would be more finacialy responsible and efficient for congress to stop traveling and use VIDEO TELECONFRENCING. This would reduce the need for congressional aircraft and/or first class travel, GSA provided vehicles, perdium and travel expenses, and give them more time to do thier actual jobs rather than traveling back and forth to Washington every week end, saving the taxpayers millions. They could all long on at 0800 every monday thru friday morning instead of having 3 day work weeks and hopefully get more done and have more time to read bills they are going to vote on, heck with the extra time they could take turns reading aloud to each other.

Other things such as limited weapons load without compromising stealth, short legs (except for C model, which is really the only version worth anything), and non sealing fuel tanks.

Regarding the three planned Zumwalt class DDGs, personally I believe they can be useful technology demonstrators for our next real classes of destroyers and cruisers. It makes sense to build a small batch of ships with that hull design to see how successful or problematic they are in the real world.

Regarding Admiral Zumwalt himself, I understand he was very unpopular in many circles of the Navy, do you know of any good books about the subject?

Generally the F-35 has the same internal air-to-ground weapons load as a F-22, although the A and C model can carry 2000 lb JDAMs and JSOWs internally. The F-35A and F-35C are not short legged by any means, as they carry over 18,000 lbs of internal fuel. The F-35B only carries 13,400 lbs but that is still as much as a F-15C (without CFTs) carries internally. The F-35 shouldn’t be more vulnerable to ground fire than a F-16 or any other modern fighter.

My greatest concerns about the F-35 are the weight of the aircraft and it actually getting into production on time and in large numbers.

Good Morning Folks,

To finish what I couldn’t fish last night is the 12 minutes I was allotted.

The idea that we are going to be able to with draw troops from the middle east is simply a dream, it won’t happen in this generation. The idea of taking our European troop levels below 100,000 is not going to happen. The only thing keeping these people from acting normal and killing each other is the US military. The presence of US forces is all that is keeping these regions stable.

We need to cut our defense spending, despite what we are facing regardless of what happens in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Africa and Europe a huge bill for modernizing and reorganizing our ground forces is necessary.

The length of the current conflicts has made obsolete the equipment and formations we entered these conflicts in now ten years ago. The existing COIN is no longer working, if it ever did. Personally I favor soft/smart power and with drawing for Power Projection to a Power Presence position.

The USN made on move on Nov. 3 and up staged the other services including it’s own ba**ard stepson the US Marines. For better or worse the US now has 1 and 1/3 Army’s. The Marines need to be reset to that reality, it won’t be cheap and it will be bloody with in the senior leadership.

Cuts must be to programs and not over all like what Bush (41) did in 1991 when he cut across the board 40%. This created shortages in fuel and ammo for training and eventually when 9/11 came logistical problems when we had to go to war. The military wasn;t ready or properly trained.

The Clintons didn’t ever for see any future role for the US military in the world, they were not a very bright bunch.

The conditions the many Americans are bit**ing about now about the deployments and costs are what we intentionally created, hey all of you voted for the politicians that got us here so clam up.

Now the mission for the US military is to do the best they can with the resources the country can make available or for the politicians to change the level of responsibilities they want the US military to maintain. It;s nonsense to talk about percentages of GDP or of the over all Budget with out cutting what you expect of the military.

I will remind all war number four is coming up, the arms build up in the Gulf is as much of our making as anybody elses, our defense industry has profited greatly for this build up, not just the “evil” Russian, North Koreans and Chinese.

To BOOMER. I agree withy you regarding NTC San Diego, it always seemed the perfect place to train new sailors. On the passed over officers of course I agree with you.

The “Tin Fish” don’t bother is just another yuppie joint, no self respecting, or even non self respecting submariner would go into the place. Better dives over on Rosecrans St. Next time out this way give me a heads up, we can have a couple to those who are still out on patrol.


Byron Skinner

It is easy to make an unqualified comment like that. But it is hollow without the specifics. What systems would you suggest cutting on a DDG to save $100M per ship?

I suspect that if you were to ask the people making decisions on these, they might point out that the Arleigh Burkes are in such high use and high demand because they have a lot of capability, the quality you suggest degrading significantly to remove 10% of the cost of a new ship. So be more specific about what you would suggest removing.


I think Lockheed Martin should start eating some of the development costs related to engineering problems. They’ve had enough time to fix the problems yet some of them remain. But I’m still in favor of the program going forward but with more F-22s being purchased too now that we lost one and will only have a max of 186. Unless they build one more to replace the one that was lost yesterday.

Russian and India are busy. Russian will have T-50s in 2015.

India will buy 300 T-50s 5th Gen fighters from Russia. How many will the Russians buy for themselves? 300–400 most likely. Then the Chinese probably by 2020 will start to deplay theirs too. More than 200 I would bet! Now we will only have 186 F-22As unless the next President post-Obama re-starts the program.

See: http://​en​.rian​.ru/​n​e​w​s​/​2​0​1​0​1​0​0​7​/​1​6​0​8​6​7​5​8​2​.​h​tml

Good Afternoon Folks,

To JRT. The Navy has more or less made its decisions, it will build DD-51’s, LCS’s, Virginia SSN’s, new Boomers. No new money for LPD’s DD-1000’s, LHS’s, MV-22’s, EFV’s or JTLV’s for the Marines. The F-35B is yet to be decided as has Naval support for the F-35C.

To Brad M. India is making under license from the Russian Federation 160 Su. 35’s (T-50’s), the Russian Federation will buy 50–60 Su-35’s. Yesterday Rosoboronexport signed an agreement of intent with the PRC to talk about The Russian Federation selling the PRC an undisclosed number of the Su-35. Generation 4+ Multi Purpose aircraft with the Russian 117S engine. This agreement to talk is valid till 2020. I would not make that bet if I were you.


Byron Skinner

Military pay has grown 86% in ten years AFTER adjusting for inflation. This is why retention is so high. GIs earn 2–3 times more than civilians. I vote to roll back the Uncle Sugar pay increases to FY2008 levels to pay for keeping a larger force structure and helping employ more folks. Of course the selfish money grabbers and cry babies here will object.

Yeah, that’s exactly what America needs, red, white and blue Junkers. Do you understand the Constitution you fought to defend?

“No, it preforms better than the F-16 could ever hope to”.

A: Please do tell, where is the evidence that your basing that statement on? Its certainly not from flight testing which is years behind schedule. What we have at this point are a bunch of semi-flyable LRIP test mules with absolutely no combat capability, and riddled with technical problems.

“The days of all out flight performance being the deciding factor in combat effectiveness have passed”.

A: Again, a totally unsubstantiated claim which runs counter to the last 50 years of air combat history. Speed, P/W ratio, and maneuverability still are important, and the F-35 is middle of the pack at best.

The Su-35 and T-50 are different aircraft, also the Chinese had no problem reverse engineering older models of the Russian Flanker, expect them to do the same with any brand new Su-35s they get.


The SU-35 is the latest version of the Flanker and is a 4.5+ generation fighter. The T-50 is the PAK-FA is the new Russian 5th generation aircraft, which is the basis for the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA fighter project with India. They are completely different aircraft with the SU-35 in low rate production and the PAK-FA in testing with one flying prototype.

The Indians signed a contract to purchase 250– 300 FGFA (T-50) stealth fighters from Sukhoi over the next ten years for approximately $30 billion dollars, with India co-developing and producing avionics, parts and systems for the fighter.

India is presently co-producing and purchasing 140 the SU-30 MKI advanced Flankers, with 124 already in service, and with a total 280 to be in operation by 2014–2015. The SU-30 MKI is a completely unique and customized fighter with Indian, Russian, French and Israeli avionics, radar, and weapons systems.

On the Russian bid to sell the SU-35 to China, the sad thing is that its unnecessary at this point. China has recently start LRIP of the several new completely indigenous types of J-11’s that have most of the capabilities of the SU-35. The J-11BS/BHS is a two seat home built Flanker copy equipped with a Chinese made X-band AESA, center mounted IRST, and advanced avionics developed and built in China. The much improved 4.5 generation J-10B has also entered early LRIP production with somewhere between 8–10 aircraft in testing at this time, and also flying with the same X-band AESA. center mounted IRST, and home made avionics.

Attached is a photo of one of the new LRIP J-11B’s in flight testing. Note the two place cockpit, larger nose for the new AESA, and the center mounted IRST (quite different from the Russian off-set mount):

Wow, this sites software is doing strange things tonight to my post. Perhaps the encrypted browser? Lets try again!

Attached is a photo of one of the new LRIP J-11B’s in flight testing. Note the two place cockpit, larger nose for the new AESA, and the center mounted IRST (quite different from the Russian off-set mount):

Dick Chaney will be glad to see the V22 finally killed, something he tried unsuccessfully to do as SecDef.

But it took 3 Republican Presidents to do that.

Now lets be FAIR, if you add what Obama has done in 2 years with what Carter and Clinton did then I believe the DemocRAT Presidents have won the deficit title

Travel was actuall addressed in the Alan Simpson / Erskine Bowles report. They are calling it $4.22B savings over 10 years. They also addressed cutting Congressional and White House budgets by 15% (great idea). They point out that Legislative Branch spending has doubled from FY2000 to FY 2010!

I would like to see better transperency in the travel budget when they use MilAir. I understand that when a congressman uses a C37 (Gulfstream) to fly somewhere they only have to account for the price that a commercial ticket to the same destination would cost. They should get charged (to their office account) the full cost, not make the USAF eat the cost.

Both the Norfolk and San Diego areas have more than a few community colleges or universities, so why do we need the taxpayer to pay to send Navy SEALs to charm school? I was in the Navy and paid my own money to learn such things. What about joining Toastmasters? This is blatant waste.

From FedBizOps — Solicitation Number: H92240-11-T-RW10-Speaking
Naval Special Warfare Center requires a contract for a regularly scheduled “Effective Military Leader Speaking Course”. This requirement includes course materials and instructors. The required course end state is to produce students who are effective public speakers. 1. Evaluating Speaking Strengths and Weaknesses 3. Developing Audience Perception 4. Techniques For Convincing And Persuading 5. Personal Demeanor 7. Dress and Grooming 10. Proper Ways to Use Notes 11. Audiovisual Aids: b. Using PowerPoint effectively.

Answer to question in solicitation Amendment 1:

“This course is being taught to Navy SEALs. As you probably know, the actions SEALs perform in the line of duty are significantly different than that of the general population. Hence, it is essential that the course instructor have a knowledge of the specific tasks that Navy SEALs perform, as the course will be taught to allow the SEALs their properly express their combat experiences.”

I understand completely — where above did I say anything about buying any junk — I can but the same stock number items and part numbers that gsa does many time at a 25 to 50% savings localy. Do it all the time when parts are not avail within the time frame allowed when permitted so I know what Im talking about.

Junkers were the Prussian noble class, noted for their militaristic conservatism,long before the word came to be synonymous with crap Amaerican-made cars.

Gotta laugh at the idea that serving in the military will somehow magically transform an ignoramous into someone fit to govern. Much less someone qualified to decide who should be allowed to govern.


Good Morning Folks,

To Cocidius. Thanks for the updates. You may be interested that it was announced on Wednesday the Russian Federation is getting ready to send the second allotments of Su.34’s to The Russian Federation Security Services. You also may be interested in a French company Thales a French Defense Equity Company who owns Angenieux an optical company is selling electro optical targeting systems to the Russian for the “new and improved” T-90 Tank, the Su.35 Flanker and a coming generation of Project 15a DDG’s and the project 17a FFG’s.

Also the Chinese WJ600 shown this week. Of course the meaning of all this is that both Russia and China re developing or trying to weapons platforms, which shouldn’t surprise anybody. Both countries still have major hurtles to overcome to being considered even a near peer to the US.

To Lt. Col. Fritts. My point was that the Africa Command is not HQ’ed in Africa. From what you are saying it doesn’t appear to be either a stable nor a command that is very far up the Army’s food chain.


Byron Skinner

Even worse is the complete disregard to the fact that the % of the budget spent on defense has be DECREASING for decades while that for Social Security, other discretionary spending, and income-based entitlements has been INCREASING.

Try looking at who controlled Congress…

Talk to the US DOD, the & the 7 partner nations…

How about not accepting the BS assertion that defense spening is the source of the porblem &/or that cutting defense spending the the solution…

Shades of post WW2 and all the disasterous cutting by those who knew so little, but had so much influence? It appears we are doomed to repeat history, until we have no more history to repeat????
The Democratic Party has always had the misfortunate to get Our country into wars,(other than GW Bush) but never seem to have the common sense it takes to win those wars??? Yet, the Americans continue to vote those idiots in power, and never seem to learn, that we can’t always come from behind, and correct all of their mistakes????
Their goals ha ealways been Social Prfgrams over that of the Military Programs, and contiue the Welfare State, created by Linden B. Johnson (he replaced JFK after hs asassination, for you younger troops)

Steve, Retired

I did not say everyone — just the Pres and VP along with anyone serving on a military commitee. No civilian — especialy no civilian with any type of military background has any ideal of what the military goes through or needs to get thier job done. these no background civilians are the ones that drove up costs wanting things like central tire inflation and monitoring systems, power steering, automatic transmissions, heavier armour, single source fuel, and so on, trying to make all mil gear have the same bells and whistles as thier BMW’s, they are also the ones because of thier lack of knowledge are convinced and bribed by lobbyist to push for other junk the military does not want.

Byron, your personal attack in reference to the Marines is disheartening. If you feel that way about a US military branch you need to move to another country. There is no professionalism, and honor in your comments.

BOOMER is right on, used to do the “use or lose it” dance every august with our money, and if your “wish list” wasn’t filled out, your squadron, or unit would take your money and spend it on furniture, flat screen TVs, copiers, etc. GSA was wasteful, could have gone down to Home Depot and bought the stuff for half the price sometimes, and got it the same day.

I laugh when I see people refer to the Dems. as dumbocrats, but they sure are, and the republicans are not much better. I think when they get elected and go to DC. they bore a hole in their heads and vacuum their brains out. If they really wanted to do something about the deficit, they could start with an import tax of about 30% or more for all american companies that pulled out of the USA. but sell their products that they have made outside our borders, to this country. The other companies that are actually foreign owned and run can pay at least a 25% import tax. I see big bucks comming, or the companies comming back home. And how long can we keep paying this unemployment? Some people will never go back to work.

I don’t see why everytime the damn dems. get in office, they either want to dip into the SS. fund or cut the benefits to the people who worked and contributed to it all those years. Yet, they will pay people unemployment for a hundred weeks or more at $300.00/wk. We all know that a lot of these people could find a job real quick if that check stopped, but it won’t because its a form of vote buying used by the democrats, and the responsible people in this country are paying for it.

AMEN Boomer, Those panty waisted polititions, most of them never had a real job. Let alone served in our military.

I work in the aerospace industry with several branches of the military. You want to save money without hitting the programs. Get rid of all the red tape inside the Gov’t. There are a dozen Gov’t administrators for each project making $100K+/a year in salary that are incompetent or just lazy. I have to work with them everyday, which is why I have a job; they either don’t know how to prepare the Documents required by the Gov’t or just to lazy to do them, so they call on the private contractor to prepare it for them. There are hundreds of projects out there that consume twice as much money as they need too! With the FED doing everything it can to devalue the USD on the world market, it looks like it may be profitable to make things in the US again very soon. We need to pull all the funds spent to care for countries that hate us, back home and pay down the deficit. The politicians who want to serve should do so without a paycheck; they spend too much of our money on themselves anyway, private jets, chauffer driven car, offices and 100,000 dollar conference room tables. If at the end of the year there is a surplus of funds and the budget is balanced, then they can receive a small % bonus check for keeping this country on track. Lets face it, politicians are responsible for getting the USA into this $ crisis. To the gentleman that wants to cut spending on missile defense; N. Korea and Iran, not to mention our old USSR buddies are the current conventional threat to the USA and all have large missile capabilities that continue to grow everyday. Missile defense isn’t a luxury on the world scene you either lead the way or you die… there are Billions of dollars to be saved by cutting Gov’t out of all the areas they intrude into our lives everyday, abolish the IRS, kill the FED Reserve Bank and let the US Treasure do it’s job. Cut pork barrel spending and ear marks; make it a rule, that no bill be larger than 1 legal page in length. (Make it simple stupid). Defense is and has always been the responsibility of the Federal Gov’t, so be careful to do your JOB! The USA is still the envy of the world. I’ve been deployed too many times to count in her defense and nowhere else on this planet do the people have the rights and freedoms we enjoy. Tread lightly on Her, she is worth saving for our children and grand-children.

I just retired from the Air Force; last duty station was HQ US Africa Command (AFRICOM), which is at Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany. US Army AFRICA, the Army component of AFRICOM, and therefore subordinate to AFRICOM, is in Italy. AFRICOM is in Stuttgart because Africa used to fall under European Command (EUCOM), so when AFRICOM was stood up (only a couple of years ago, by the way…VERY NEW) it made sense to do it close to EUCOM. Where AFRICOM will be in the future, who knows, but the present location was for standup, NOT a sign that AFRICOM doesn’t want to be in Africa. Give it some time to grow up a little more.…doesn’t happen overnight, or even in a few years.

Normally I ignore this crap, but in the mood for an argument, I guess.

Old391, are you calling all Democrats “rats”? Are you calling me a rat? My brother (served in the Marines); my dad (carpenter with ham-sized sandpaper hands that would snap you in a moment; also served in the AF); my wife (former AF also)? What did we do for that name? Avoided drugs, jail, criminal records, joined the military before I could drink, and retired 20+ years later with honor? That makes me a rat?? First, argue points with facts. Next, if you want to call people names (antics from high school, by the way), attack the person, not the group. Like me saying all Republicans are crooks (Nixon & DeLay); it’s stupid, like your comments. Grow up & become an adult. Your name is “old” after all.

To all others, I apologize for lowering myself & diverting the true discussion/debate; old391, will go to some other blog to discuss so we can avoid messing up this discussion; just name it.

Everybody makes mistakes, hell, Reagan was a democrat once.

Who created the debt? Politicians, and they should be the ones who suffer! The 1 trillion dollar bailout was nothing more than theft and fraud. For many years politicians have gotten filthy rich off of government contracts, as well as their rich friends, family members, and campaign contributors.

We trusted politicians to run this country efficiently and they screwed all of us. Now this deficit should be taken out of all politicians hide!

As much as I would like to see the U.S. military have every high piece of gear they can have, it’s not sustainable. Defense cuts are nothing new, but hopefully we will not make the mistakes we made after WWII, Vietnam, Cold War — stop laughing everyone.

With defense cuts should come the elimination of the Departments of Education, Energy, Health & Human Services, etc. For every $1 saved on defense $5 should should be saved on entitlements and federal departments that duplicate state departments. I’ll get off my soapbox.

Once it is feasible I believe we should roll back manpower strength to pre-9/11 levels.
Build more F-22s!
Cancel F-35 or at least the F-35B
Cancel the EFV. 22 million a piece — give me a break
Build more C-17s
Build future bomber
Cut carriers to five
put off GCV, upgrade M1 and M2 with new engines, possible remote turret for M2
Stryker IAV w/double v-hull as Marine MPC
replace SAWs with LSAT LMG
cancel LCS
build more subs — that’s how we will counter the Chinese
buy more LCACs
Enough Gator Navy to move a MEB. The ships to move a second MEB in the Navy reserves

OOps;l Like the current policy, too quick on the draw. The debt we’re dealing with is the Democratic Parties fault and is contrived by the same party. The $100B you want from the Defense Dept. can be repaid by the ” The Sky is Falling” Afghanies and the Iraqies who plead for our services and got it; the debt is theirs to repay. They said from the start that it was driven by oil was the Dem’s outcry to get people to think less of the Republicans; they now are making it so. They want us there, make them pay. In the future make it so before spending our tax dollars to help anyone else. We need cheaper oil; quit bull sh_ting to us and make it business up front. After seeing what is on the news as of late, it is very clear to me the Middle East is a mistake, the Arabs planned this up front to help turn the world against us and did for a time; they now are being rebuilt by us; doesn’t anyone else see this. We need to do away with the Reparations Act permanently. If you want to fight we’ll turn your home into a pile of crap; how do you like us now???

This has merit Boomer; the Congressmen and Senators are always up her in Alaska just in time for the King Salmon fishing supposedly doing their fact finding missions. The always make a quick trip up North to get the Environmental vote but taking nothing of any real knowledge gained by in depth investigating so the truth is clear; no they tell their spin, whatever gets them votes back home. They make the trips to have a good time on the tax payers dollar. We could make this an issue for the next election. Thanks for this B.

Put a freeze on all Gvt spending, and review each line by line for nessesity. The government is running on taxes that it pays itself with, kinda like Madoff was doing. Think about that. Eventually, about five years, there will not be enough. And yes, cuts should come from the top, the top of government. What does it cost to run the Senate, Congress and such. Do we need all the Congress. Redistrict and cut the numbers across the board. Redo the retirement for them first. Lead by example.

I agree with you there; these are the same idiots who propose cutting programs for platforms built here in the US and at the same time propose buying foreign-built equipment.

Broadly speaking, I agree with Gordon Adams’ piece. Deregulation under Bush led to the housing bubble and near-collapse of the world economic system, even while two wars were paid for by driving up the national debt. Thanks to globalization, we’re looking at a “jobless recovery” because our workers directly compete against Third World workers who work for pennies an hour. Add it all up, and you’ve got a rich country that has artificially maintained a post-World War II level of global responsibility, much of it military, and as a result is way beyond bankrupt.
Even though I work for the Navy, I recognize that the Navy and other services cannot expect to maintain present funding when the bottom has fallen out of the money barrel. If we don’t make the cuts, we will go the way of Greece and Ireland, and drag half the world down with us. I think that would look something like the Great Depression all over again.
Let’s stop mourning our lost 1950’s greatness (such as it was) and deal. Either we ramp down gracefully, and stay powerful, or we don’t and we become Greece II.

The Social Security program is self-sustaining and not a cause for budgetary problems. The U.S. government has raided this program and owes billions. Social Security is a right wing target and has always been so.

I just found this on ausairpower​.net. I’m not an active or retired USAF fighter pilot so for those of you who are you can critique this sight for me. But according to them we need more than 350 F-22As in the Pacific Area. It looks like we need a one for one replacement of F-22As for F-15s in our inventory. And also a navalized version of the F-22A.


Please ensure Congress acts promptly to reverse the projected 28% cut in Medicare and military TRICARE payments to doctors that will occur Jan. 1, 2012 unless Congress changes current law.

Access to quality care is the #1 healthcare problem faced by members of the military community. Deployed troops shouldn�t have to worry whether their doctor will refuse to see their sick spouse or child because of these large payment cuts.

Please ensure Congress reverses the 28% cut for 2012 and fixes the statutory formula that keeps causing these recurring annual healthcare threats.

The Department of Defense is bankrupting America. We have seen the incompetence, cronyism and political gamesmanship within the acquisition community, and it is a sham of monstrous proportions. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been poured into useless weapon systems, designed for Cold War Operations, and yet, they are funded by Congress. After the ‘check’ clears, military contractors then proceed to push for production of weapons BEFORE THEY ARE TESTED! Americans are saddled with a system of military acquisitions that is broken, corrupted and out of control.


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