Media Hypes Tea Party, GOP Split

Media Hypes Tea Party, GOP Split

Senior Republicans have voiced concern about whether Tea Party supporters will join Democrats in cutting the defense budget. Their isolationist and protectionist sentiments may, Sen. John McCain said earlier this week, lead to weaker support for the war in Afghanistan. Given what certainly seemed like quite a bit of sturm und drang we asked some of the most prominent keepers of the GOP flame — at the Heritage Foundation — to explain just how deep the split might be on defense issues between GOP stalwarts and the new kids on the Hill. Heritage’s James Carafano says the media is making a mountain out of a molehill. — Colin Clark

It’s not a conspiracy — but it’s close. The ranks of those on the sidelines cheering for civil war among conservatives over defense spending are getting pretty thick. For the most part, though, they’re trying to spark a debate that doesn’t exist.

The media wants such a war because it makes good press. So they’ve spent plenty of time manufacturing controversy.


Case in point: On Nov. 3, Wolf Blitzer interviewed Rep. Eric Cantor. Reporting on this interview, the Associated Press said, “The Virginia congressman said on CNN Wednesday that all discretionary spending should be cut to 2008 levels, including defense.” Yet Cantor never mentioned defense. The reporter apparently just extrapolated that from Cantor’s support for returning to ’08 spending levels.

Nor is Cantor on record calling for cuts in the top line to the defense budget. He spoke at The Heritage Foundation last spring. He sounded like anything but a congressional leader interested in cutting the budget. The title of his speech was “Recommitting to Strong National Defense.”

Cantor isn’t alone. When Rep. Paul Ryan, who will likely chair the Budget Committee, outlined “A Roadmap for America’s Future,” his own plan for fiscal responsibility, he zeroed on getting the cost of government under control — again, without gutting defense.

Voters agree. The Hill’s 2010 Midterm Election Poll clearly states “six in 10 Republicans and 53 percent of independents said they would not accept cuts to defense and homeland security spending.”

It’s also pretty clear that Howard (Buck) McKeon (R-Calif.), who will likely chair the House Armed Services Committee, has no interest in shortchanging the Pentagon. “McKeon,” Federal News Radio recently reported, “criticized the president’s plans to slow historic growth in the Pentagon’s budget and said Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s plan to redirect savings in overhead expenses to higher-priority programs may not cover necessary costs and investments.”

There is plenty of conservative leadership in the Senate as well that is solid on defense. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently spoke at Heritage, and no one would mistake him for a dove on defense.

Furthermore, the Republican pre-election “Pledge to America” pointedly listed both a “A Plan to Keep Our Nation Secure at Home & Abroad” and “A Plan to Stop Out of Control Spending & Reduce the Size of Government” as part of their agenda and conspicuously omitted any talk of scaling back on defense.

The media has also asserted that Tea Party candidates are going to join progressives in going after defense. According to The Daily Dish, “tea party leaders and allies contacted by Politico said that both fairness and common sense dictate that the military budget be scrutinized for such cuts, a view that puts them in sync with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and some of the most liberal members of Congress.”

Sure, there are libertarians in the Tea Party who traditionally have favored having little more than a militia. Tea parties, however, reflect the broadest swath of American conservatives — not just one set of narrow beliefs. They are united by a belief in fiscal responsibility and limited government, but would stand shoulder to shoulder and shout the traditional Reagan mantra of “peace through strength.”

A study by the Sam Adams Alliance provides some interesting data on the leadership of the Tea Party. According to the alliance, 79.6 percent see defense as a top issue. Furthermore, 91.7 percent see the budget as “very important.” That suggests overwhelmingly that the leadership of the movement believes Washington ought to live up to its constitutional obligation to “provide for the common defense,” but that government ought to be limited and federal spending restrained. That doesn’t sound like a crowd interested in gutting defense.

Furthermore, some of the strongest tea party leaders, including Sen. Jim DeMint, Sarah Palin, and Rep. Michelle Bachmann, are about as hawkish as they come. Don’t expect the House tea party caucus to calling for hamstringing the Pentagon anytime soon.

Nor is the conservative movement in general indifferent to calls to make defense spending more efficient, and to curb fraud, waste and abuse. As Paul Ryan put it: “There’s lots of waste that can be saved. And those savings should go to fulfilling the mission of the Pentagon.” A recent Wall Street Journal op-ed by AEI’s Arthur Brooks, Heritage’s Ed Feulner, and FPI’s William Kristol declares, “We should be vigilant against waste in every corner of the budget.”

They committed to a joint project that only looks to defend the budget from unreasonable cuts, but also advocated that Americans get the most bang for their security buck. Heritage has already identified potential savings of $35 billon. But it has also argued that these savings need to be plowed back into the budget to make up for decades of anemic modernization.

While the media would love a war among conservatives, they’re likely to get little more than skirmish. Even libertarians are going to be so thrilled with the conservative wave to stifle the welfare state and restore discipline to government spending that they won’t object much when the broader conservative movement insists on defending America from its enemies.

James Carafano directs the Heritage Foundation’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies. He producess a weekly national security column for the Washington Examiner newspapers

Join the Conversation

Doesn’t appear to be much more here than telling all those new tea-party ducklings don’t quack out of turn. Shut up, you guys! We’ve got an agenda to push!

I wonder when these “think tankers” will catch on that the waste in the defense budget, and the inability to modernize, are a direct result of the size of the defense budget? Oh, right, I forgot these guys are profiting (second hand) off it, too. Of course it needs to keep going up.

As a conservative organization, the Heritage Foundation naturally supports a legalized way to extract taxpayer dollars for themselves and their multimillionaire friends. Ask Heritage who pays their bills and high salaries. Follow the money.

Oh yes blame the evil Heritage Foundation. Why don’t the left-wing think tanks ever get the blame they deserve?

Fella, we get that you’re pro-military and military industrial complex, but please try and craft a more compelling argument than an eye for an eye cheap shot. You’re not adding much to the conversation.

“Voters agree. The Hill’s 2010 Midterm Election Poll clearly states “six in 10 Republicans and 53 percent of independents said they would not accept cuts to defense and homeland security spending.”

The voters also said they are worried about the deficit, but don’t want to cut anything that would have an effect on reducing it.

The media has continued to try and play this angle in an attempt to comfort themselves and their rank and file, becuase the next two years really look lousy for their side. Moreover, Tea Party candidates are Conservatives first and foremost, so apart from a few Libertarians, you won’t see too many Republicans breaking rank and voting with Progressives to make the cuts in defense that they often dream of.

I’m just waiting to see if Republicans will allow Senator John Kyle or any other Republican to cut a deal with the Administration about passing New Start during the lame duck session..

The left-wing think tanks are just as guilty of adding indiscriminately to the federal budget with uncontrolled social spending. But my hidden point is that DoDBuzz​.com should be publishing independent articles and trying to get at facts and underlying dynamics, and not “republishing” biased opinion (from whatever source). That’s not news. It’s yellow journalism.

Winslow Wheeler and others on the opposite side of this argument get their articles published here, what is wrong with Heritage’s say on the matter?

I’ve made my argument many times before as to why we need modernization of many of our systems. Yet most would rather acted outraged that we have 11 carrier battle groups without realizing that for every carrier on station, one is in transit and one being refit, and that we have commitments in the rest of the ocean too.

Winslow shouldn’t be published either.

Quite the opposite. The vast majority of the Tea Party DO NOT want to cut defense. It is poor (journalistic malpractice) reporting in the media of the LIBERTARIANS within the Tea Party who do as represenative of the majority & the ‘inside the beltway’ Republican Party (who are fearful of losing their control of the party to the Tea Party & other Conservatives) propaganda vs the Tea Party (& other Conservatives) which has put forth the FALSE premis that the Tea Party wants to or is likely to cut defense.

The reality is that most in the Tea Party know full well that defense spending IS NOT the sourse of the problem (& that defense is one of the few things the government should be spending money on) nor is cutting defense the solution to the problem.

It is YOU who should ‘follow the money”. As a conservative organization, the Heritage Foundation supports REDUCED taxes for everybody & a smaller government that does not spend tax dollars on things it has no business spending tax dollars on.

Neither is Taxpayer & the like by attacking the the Heritage Foundation…

You would not appear so pathetic & obvious if you had posted that on one of the many “republishing biased opinion” items here rather than one of the few trying to get at facts and underlying dynamics.

On the contrary, there is A LOT that can (& SHOULD) be cut outside defense.

I don’t think anyone on DT / DoDBuzz supports sweeping disarmament, or standing down whole divisions.. besides Oblat. But some people have an attitude that cuts are not and should not happen, which is unrealistic. We need to prioritize, in defense and anything else.

There’s a big “sky is falling” mentality lately, but it really doesn’t change anything. The U.S. has a huge quantitative and quantitative systems advantage virtually everywhere in the world, along with an absolutely unmatched logistical and forward basing capability. Yes, gear is wearing out and we don’t have the post-Cold War inventories we used to, but that’s par for the course. We could keep our existing equipment and people mission capable if we stopped buying products that patently don’t work, like LCS.

I don’t believe cuts to modernization program or the overall force structure should take place, and I don’t think that is unrealistic. There are many, many, many other areas where the government is wasting far more money, and there are plenty of foreign bases we don’t need.

I understand what your saying about most people here, but sometimes it does seem like I am dealing with “the Air Force should have to hold a bakesale for their next bomber” types.

i agree on condition that defense spending is spent better and not waisted

I don’t disagree with modernization, but our current acquisitions process is busted. I mean, we have an EFV program that’s way too expensive per unit. We have an F-35 program that may not even get one variant off the ground. We have Navy ships that *are not watertight.*

Modernization means nothing if the products being turned out are crap.

Good Evening Folks,

Drake 1. I’ve had some rather desecrate contacts with Tea Party folks, and what you are saying is mostly myth.

First off there is no organized movement called the Tea Party, they are at best a group that have few shared values with smaller government and cutting taxes being the most common ideologies. Defense spending being the largest descretionary item in the Federal budget. is on the table, and from the limited contacts I have had calling committee meeting on defense issues seems to be something of interest.

While most of the Tea Party winners ran as Republicans they were mostly nominal Republicans at best. Few got any help from the RNC. The idea that they are a bunch of hockey mom’s and blue collar types doesn’t fit with the bio’s. Most of the 60 or so Tea Party elected to the House are female, have held local and state elected offices before getting elected to the House and have had to made hard decisions like closing down swimming pools in summer, closing schools, firing police and firefighters etc. These people are not a bunch of pansies waiting to be picked. The are very ideological, very serious and I would not be surprised very unpredictable.

The Dod is taunting them. Take Friday’s Contracts for example. The Navy sent $3,485,385,762.00 to LM for the F-35, $117, 569, 559.00 will go to Great Britain for work on the F-35B witch has been canceled.

The Navy again sent $252,779,055.00 to Navstar for 250 MRAP recovery vehicles.

The Army sent $797,889,223.00 to Oshkosh for 4,773 Med. Tactical vehicles.

These are just three of the largest and other days have had equally large contracts. This is not sitting well with the new members coming into the house, it appears that the DoD is spending the money before they can be sworn in. I would not be surprised that early in the next term DoD officials and military officers will called to answer what was the rush in spending hundreds of billions of dollars before the new Congress came. They may be some rather interesting answers.

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

And what makes you believe their solution to defense waste issues will be to start cutting and slashing?

The tea party wants to support the troops not the monopoly profits of the defense contractors so it’s hardly surprising the the Heritage Tank and Bailout Bill are up in arms. Both have a direct vested interest in making sure the cuts are to the sharp end of defense and not their waste.

It’s the difference between true patriotism and the patriotism that says I just wan to protect what is mine and the rest of the country can go to hell.

I take serious issue with the comments that this my column is just partisan spin. First, I pointed out bias and inaccuracy in media reporting. Second, I cited factual evidence to support my points. Third, I cited specific Heritage Research which is available on http://​www​.heritage​.org. In fact, the posts making these charges were themselves lacking any facts..they were little more than the mindless comments they railed against.

Jim Carafano, Heritage

Most of your posts consist of insulting America and Americans, and now your claiming to be a patriot because you support cuts to everything? Oblivious Oblat is nothing but a troll.

Britain hasn’t cancelled its LRIP F-35B aircraft yet. It HAS (at least for the moment) apparently come to its senses about the benefits/superiority of the F-35C & a CTOL CV vs the F-35B & a STVOL CV. Of course it is likely that Britain will still procure some F-35Bs — if not they will likely change their LRIP4 F-35B to a F-35C with the contract with LM being modified to reflect said change.

Good Morning Folks,

To Mr. Carafano. The purpose of this site is to be critical, in the past Heritage Foundation posts have been found wanting for accuracy, and accurate reporting, just as yours is. You cite only speculation as “factual evidence”, the only facts about the Tea Party people, is that with two exceptions, they have been elected to Congress everything else about them is speculation.

The Heritage Foundation is a for profit company that is a thinly vail lobbyist for the defense industry. What you put out as facts is nothing more then propaganda for the defense industry and attempts to arm twist law makers and military officers to buy from the folks who contract you. The Heritage Foundation will deal with any one who has money witch includes the PRC which is a Heritage Customer.

You point out the bias of the media reporting, thats a rather strange claim since much of the media routinely reprints the winger tank stuff, with out the courtesy of giving you a byline. These are nothing more then paid placement by the defense industry.

Any claims of seriousness on any issue first must be filtered through who is paying the bill, including the article of the current discussion.

Heritage Foundation is who it is, and nothing more.

ALLONS,

Byron Skinner

Perhaps you would provide some evidence to back up your accusation of past Heritage Foundation posts have been found wanting for accuracy’…

Perhaps you would provide some evidence to back up your accusation of citing only speculation as “factual evidence” & nothing more then propaganda…

Perhaps you would provide some evidence to back up your accusation of nothing more then paid placement by the defense industry…

The Heritage Foundation is NOT a lobbyist for the defense industry. It is a foundation which promotes CONSERVATIVE VALUES — support of national defense happens to be one of them.

Good Afternoon Folks,

I would say that any company or group that takes money from The people’s Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party to lobby the United States Congress is neither Conservative nor Patriotic.

Conservatives like Liberals believe in the United States and don’t like those who sell it out which includes The Heritage Foundation.

It’s us Liberals who do the fighting for their country and it The Heritage Foundations that try and make a buck. Forty four years ago today on a road in South Vietnam I had Chicom ordinance fired at me an several friends, four of them died on 11/21/66.

The transaction between the Heritage Foundation and Communist China has been documented on this web site by the way, go look. Don’t give me that crap of Conservative Values.

ALLONS,

Byron Skinner

That doesn’t change the fact that Heritage is pushing a viewpoint. Nor, in fairness, does that make it wrong.

I think people are getting at the idea that you can almost always guess where Heritage will come out on an issue. It’s not a comprehensive analysis of facts, just like the NRA. But, again, in fairness, that’s the role that Heritage fills.

The complaint actually seems to be with DoDBuzz using it as a source of unbiased information, which is legit.

Why don’t *you* ditch the dutiful Vietnam Soldier bit and actually post some links about Heritage involvement with the PRC. You don’t seem to understand that burden of proof is on the messenger, not the audience.

Good Evening Folks,

To @Earlydawn, Well it is on this site, we have done this argument at least twice before. The information includes names, amount of money and where the transaction took place, it’s all there. You can also look into the archives of the WSJ if you like.

Yes Heritage is entitled to their opinion, I doubt if anyone here seriously have questioned that. Heritage makes itself the issue. It’s not a public corporation, it doesn’t have public financial statements bit it is involved in lobbying the United States Government and employees retired military officers who had while in service contact with Heritage.

Thanks to a Clinton era (1996) law, backed by William Perry now a Defense Consultant himself, the DoD can’t keep track of its retired officers post retirement activities.

I wonder where those who can find a National Security problem in almost anything are not on top of this obvious breach of national Security?

ALLONS,

Byron Skinner

Let me add to what pfcem said by reminding you of the outlandish conspiracy theories you have made up about heritage, the ones involving me and many others supposedly being paid by Heritage to argue for a strong defense. You are hardly a neutral spectator Mr. Skinner.

How can you possibly believe the media is biased towards the right? When is the last time you’ve watched CNN or MSNBC or listened to NPR?

In the last exchanges on the matter you’ve claim the same thing, that the sources and information have been listed in the past, and are right in the open. Yet so far nobody has actually seen these sources. If we want to go by rumors and hearsay, there are more than enough claims of important Democrats and liberals taking PRC money.

And why would the PRC pay Heritage to take a hard stance on China?

Then post a link, big guy. What, you can’t find the time out of your much-dramatized “fifteen minutes” to have some integrity and post a link? Your credibility is on the line.

Here’s all the evidence you need that Heritage’s analysis is biased and flawed. Mackenzie Eaglen, Heritage’s star analyst, advocated for FCS back in 2007: http://​www​.policyarchive​.org/​h​a​n​d​l​e​/​1​0​2​0​7​/​b​i​t​s​tre
Any analyst and any organization that would support an analyst that could not have recognized FCS as wasteful junk is… biased and flawed.
Earth to Washington DC: Give the warfighters real weapons, not retarded joke programs.

Heritage Foundation 0– the political think tank of the Republican party. Along with the American Enterprise Institute, it exists only to support the Republican party’s talking points and to offer a place of rest for those repub political appointees who got kicked out in the administration change.

James Carafano’s “facts” are what other people consider “fiction.”

To be fair the concept behind FCS and the capabilities the vehicles were supposed to achieve had merit, it was just that the program seemed to be going nowhere. Hardly Heritage’s fault.

It exists to promote conservative values in general, not support every republican that comes asking. Go back to whatever Soros funded disinformation center you prefer.

FCS was a foolish concept backed by pitiful execution. You and the supporters of it demonstrate a disconnect with systems engineering, mathematics, physics, risk management, and political realities that frankly weakens our national security. The issue wasn’t whether Heritage was to blame for the program going nowhere, the issue is Heritage was as wrong as you are to try to stick up for that program.

Are we talking about the Manned Ground Vehicle program here, or the entire Future Combat Systems bundle? In regards to MGV, I don’t see anything in the later specifications that was unachievable or unrealistic. Yes, there was no way the vehicles were going to be as well armored as an Abrams but that was a trade-off that was understood. Yes, unlike most programs these days there was significant risk involved. Yes it was poorly managed. but I certainly believe the United States has the capability to develop a new generation of armored fighting vehicles.

In fact I expect our next AFV program to resemble MGV but scaled up to at least 40 tons weight in basic configuration and not mismanaged.

It is just a defnsive reaction by the GOP due to the Tea Party folks openly stating that they do not approve of the GOP but that they were not as radical as the Dems is why they supported them. The tea parties — 912 ers — rent is too high and a bunch of others are just banning together to vent thier dislike of what is happening, and they are a mix of pubs — dems — indep citizens not just concervatives. The only issue I have with them is that they do not provide any logical answers to fix anything which would give them a better standing. There is a lot of knowledge at these rallys that should be put to use — speak of issues and then go on line and put out answers and input for improvements to place before the goverment.

FCS total failure. MGVs Active Protective System, remote controls, radars? give us a break. And of course the whole thing dependend on the networks and highband RF antennas. How is JTRS and JC4ISR programs doing? failures.
The thing is, it would be possible to build a networked brigade of tracked combat vehicles using current technologies. It would even be possible to build them light enough to fly on C-130s, like the M-113 or British Scimitar or Scorpion. All of this would require actual tradeoffs and DECISION making by the Army. As soon as I saw them reneg on the C-130 deployability requirement, I recognized they were trying to pull a fast one on DoD and the taxpayer. R.I.P. FCS we’re all still suffering from your crummy program.

The British are cutting their miltary size, the switch from F-35B to F-35C is undoubtedly the result of diminishing its capabilities to a point where it cannot support the type of forward based warfare F-35Bs are intended for. Comparing the F-35B and F-35C is silly, because of the distinctions of their operating condition; yes an F-35C can carry more but the F-35B is intended to be stationed so much closer to combat, that in a given time fram the F-35B could circle back and re-equip making its diminished attack role payload mitigable and not an inflexible problem.

I think the F-35B program is a real mess and probably should have been a separate program all together. Its just what we have now and we can either go “in for penny, in for a pound” or cancel it to start up a whole new VTOL program, since the unique capabilities outweigh the short comings for the intended mission.

ho knows what your talking about, youre not even an American anymore Bill.

Getting back to my basic concern. The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank. The Brookings Institute, a lberal one. I don’t have a problem with either expressing their views. My earlier comment was with DoDBuzz using their articles (some would call propaganda) as if they were real facts for public discussion and comment. In this instance, DoDBuzz should use their reporters to lay out facts and stay away from just trying to fill in their postings with biased opinion. Just have a sidebar with links to related items.

Who is ho? Are you a ho? I am indeed an American and one not bent on transforming my country into whatever leftist fantasy you have.

But all of those things, active protection systems, remote controlled weapon systems, millimeter wave radars have been demonstrated and in some cases used in actual combat. I can’t comment on the communication and network systems but a series of 25–30 ton vehicles using those technologies was certainly doable. Yet eventually people started expecting armor levels and IED resistance comparable to heavier vehicles.

Regarding the C-130 requirement, we should have some armored fighting vehicles light enough for C-130 transportability but I don’t think such vehicles can by the mainstay of our armored forces.

Good Evening Folks,

Boomer. I think you have profiled the typical tea Party type. The one very noticeable thing about them is that they didn’t run on the bread and butter Republican social issues like abortion, anything Christian, gay rights etc. This I’m sure is causing the Republican Party a lot of heart burn as well as those who are pushing for a $725 billion defense budget.

To those who don’t think the Heritage Foundation’s stuff should be posted here. Take a moment to think about it. The Heritage Foundation and a hand full of other “conservative tanks” who are private corporations, don’t have to make public things like sources of income and where that income goes, need really to have influence over at most a few hundred people to do their job,which is to have a major say in how about $7 trillion dollars of US taxpayers money will be spent.

Their concern is not the defense of the United States, American Jobs or even plane old Patriotism its corporate profits, and investors equity, excessive profits that don’t find their way back into the US economy but into hedge funds and derivatives.

Heritage and the small number of others are accountable to nobody, the 437 members of of Congress, a few hundred DoD personal and perhaps a hundred people in the White House are the only one’s they have had to worry about. It been a cushy little world and has created a lot of wealthy people. This is not how Government should be run.

With site like this even a bad post here draws thousands of hits, Heritage can’t hide, they cant’s cover their tracks with “press kits” that the media rips off the Heritage byline , makes a few minor changes and prints or broadcast as news. Out her in the vast land of mil​.com they are naked and are subject to the abuse they so rightfully deserve.

Far more people read these post, world wide the would ever be exposed to any of the typical articles of someone like Mr. Carafano. The largest number of people to ever see his name have followed this discussion. His attempts at trying to peddle right wing speculation as fact has been exposed. For many thousands of readers world wide who see this posting will forever associate his name with that.

The questions being asked the past two years in defense procurement have only been asked because of sites like this. The incoming members of congress who know little about defense issues cam come to the buzz or DT and see arguments from all sides of these issues and take that information to Congress and ask questions to industry and question the Heritage types who come around with envelops and offers to cover campaign debt. They know that they are dealing not with an issue but with $7 trillion dollars and the people who support heritage want there share of the taxpayers money.

Colin, bring ‘em on, put their opinions out in the open. The will have their defenders as well as critics, but at least the debate will be in the light of day, not in some secluded place where an envelope is exchanged.

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

The Heritage Foundation is not part of the government, so its speech is protected. It serves a purpose, just as liberal think-tanks do. Also, I notice that you’ve chosen to dance around the citations issue, so I’ll just let your silence speak for itself.

Mr. Skinner, why is it that you liberals believe that a right-leaning think tank like Heritage only stands for corporate interests while at the same time you believe your own left-leaning think tanks and special interests groups are patriots defending our liberty or something like that? Indeed Heritage has a goal, and a noble one at that in my opinion. Regardless however, I don’t think anybody here is arguing they are a politically neutral organization.

You seem to have a grudge against this particular organization to the point where you are making claims of them taking money from the PRC and behaving treacherously, yet you refuse to post any evidence of your claims. They are not going to be discredited by your word alone or the lefties screaming about the vast right wing conspiracy. It is a good thing for their commentary to get a wider audience, but not because of the reasons you state. Heritage nor Mr. Carafano need to hide as your claims have no merit.

This argument about our defense has been going on for decades now, what new questions are being asked? Waste has grown to unacceptable levels, but the battle lines are drawn much like they always are, those who support radical cuts on one side, and those who want to see our forces modernized and well funded on the other.

Yet according to you my support of Heritage clearly means I am paid by them.

That is not among thre reason the MOD has given for the switch…

How is the F-35B program a mess?

All three SHOULD have been separate programs, unfortunately Congress was unwilling to put up the money for three separate programs (note that the USAF & USN programs had merged some time before all three were). And for all the naysayers who complain about the program cost, just think how much MORE three separate programs would cost…

That is no evidence at all. There were A LOT of people (including people who know more about modern combat than you) you TOTALLY believed in the FCS. Personally, I thought the FCS was a good idea for dedicated airborne units but equipping 1/3 of the Army as such was just mad.

Still waiting for evidense of The Heritage Foundation ‘propaganda’ in THIS article…

I’ve worked on both the FCS and WIN-T programs, I know the people in the program offices and in the building. High risk, long development time programs do not survive the process. All this stuff has to meet operational test requirements, meaning an independent tester in OSD has to sign off on everything. If you have infeasible operational requirements (like 99% Ao, 99% Net ready blah blah) you have set up an impossible test situation. The people in the Pentagon do not believe the PMs. They are wise to all the games. As soon as the PM starts lying their ass off, they make enemies. I too agree we should have C-130 deployable tracked vehicles (we do in fact have M-113s, we need a replacement). FCS started off with the lie that they could make them C-130 deployable, then they fudged off on the requirement. It was an absolute debacle. So basically the system and the people are broken, integrity and trust are broken. The only way to fix it is to break the cycle of kicking off the foolish programs.

sure lots of people know more about modern combat then me, but I have unique knowledge that they do not. I worked for the Army I know many Army officers. the consensus is the Army leadership apparently did not want to believe that the laws of physics applied to FCS. There never was a plan to equip airborne units with FCS. The original sales pitch was for C-130 deployability. I would have supported the program if they stuck to C-130, but they caved in on that requirement (you have to accept lighter armor as a tradeoff). I also would have supported the program if they had cut back on the high risk technology and focused on integrating current state, ie, realistic program. I would have supported the program if FCS PMO demonstrated systems engineering ability to actually solve problems. But since they couldn’t do much more than churn out PowerPoint and Buck Rogers style youtube videos, I’m glad SecDef canceled the MGVs. It’s total crap that the Army put the SecDef in that position, btw.

Lemme see if I’ve got this straight.

You start out with the comment that any suggestion of a conflict between the so-called Tea Party and (for want of a better word) ‘traditional’ Republicans is ‘close to a conspiracy, but you’re not spinning?

Unless this is a tacit admission that the Republicans who were elected are the new boss, same as the old boss who sold a bill of goods to the folks who identify as Tea Party but are really just the same-old-same-old, you’re not fooling anyone who actually listens to what a large number of those so-called Tea Party people are saying.

Congress says American we hear you and know what you want, but we don’t understand! We want to cut government spending and manpower, but everytime the Republicans reduce the size of government jobs they increase the number of private contractors to replace them!! Now you have less Government workers but the private contrators you hired are going to cost you just as must or more in wages as you were paying the Gov’t worker? Truth is alot of the contractors we hire are past government workers we just let go/retire. So now we are paying them again!!

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.

All retired military and Veterans need to come to together to make sure the Tea Party and Michelle Bachmann(especially her) do not elected to run for President as she is against the military and tried to cut 4.5b from the VA. Not what you would call a very good American.

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