Where’s the Money? What to Expect in 2011

Where’s the Money? What to Expect in 2011

Earlier in the week we gave you our rundown of the top DoD policy and procurement stories of the last year. Now, it’s time to look ahead.

We asked Pentagon analysts David Berteau of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Loren Thompson (love him or hate him) of The Lexington Group, a couple of the most insightful players on all things DoD, to give us their perspective on what’s likely to happen in defense spending in the coming year.

First off, before we go and predict anything program-wise, there’s this little thing called the FY-11 budget which still hasn’t been passed. The Pentagon is currently running at FY-10 levels through March 4 due to a temporary spending measure lawmakers approved last week. This means Congress has to tackle the current budget before the Pentagon will even think about submitting its next budget request to lawmakers, notes Berteau.


“I won’t be surprised to see DoD delay the FY-12 budget submission, because to submit one without knowing FY-11 is bad management, and Secretary Gates will not want to support that,” said Berteau in an e-mail to DoDBuzz.

This means future spending plans will be “complicated by no FY-11 baseline;” a spending package that could set the stage for $10 billion in cuts or additional funds “in FY-12 and more beyond,” he added.

Once the current budget is settled, modernization accounts are likely in for more than their fare share of budgetary pain as a Republican-led Congress tries to tackle government spending.

Historically, when defense spending declines, the investment accounts take a disproportionately large share of the cut,” said Berteau. “The pressure to do so this time will be great, because we can’t cut force structure until Afghanistan goes down (2014?) and we can’t cut operations and maintenance because we don’t know how (we take money out but salaries and invoices must be paid anyway, so we reprogram).”

Thompson somewhat echoes these thoughts, saying that ground vehicle modernization programs will be particularly vulnerable to spending cuts:

“Ground vehicle modernization will be the big loser as Congress and the Pentagon balk at high price-tags for the Army Ground Combat Vehicle, Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle and Joint Light Tactical Vehicle,” said Thompson. “This will create an opportunity for continued production of legacy vehicles such as the Stryker and Bradley fighting vehicle.”

Taking a particularly bitter wallop will be the parts of the Pentagon who worked diligently to trim overhead costs under the DoD’s call to save cash on everyday things like energy use and redundant facilities to free up money for procurement, said Berteau. This plan, dubbed the efficiencies initiative, appeared to be Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ effort to show that DoD could be fiscally prudent while it against major cuts to modernization accounts.

“The final complication is that those few parts of DoD who were making Gates’ efficiency initiatives work (and using the savings to fund investment) will now be punished, while those who dithered will be rewarded with cuts from a higher base,” said Berteau.

The real bad news is that if we do cut modernization cash, we won’t have a lot to fall back on since much of our military gear is already ancient, he noted.

“What makes this different than the 1990s is that back then we had lots of equipment from the Carter-Reagan buildup, but today we have less of an investment cushion to rest on,” warned Berteau. “This will come to a head as part of whatever deal is made to extend the debt ceiling, maybe as soon as late February or early March.  It’s impossible to see defense unaffected by that deal.”

The CSIS analyst added that, “Wall Street has already discounted defense stocks in anticipation of declining revenues, but they make take a second swipe later this winter. We do live in interesting times, because unlike the 1990s, the threats are not declining.”

Thompson, however is a bit more optimistic, insisting that even a Republican Congress infused with Tea Party spending slashers won’t cut big defense programs, despite all the recent talk about chopping earmarks.

“The political system is not ready to make tough budgetary choices,” said Thompson. “Interest rates are very low, making more borrowing relatively painless, while there is almost no political support for cutting entitlements, defense or domestic programs.”

That being said, one place we may see less political support for is spending on the war in Afghanistan, according to Thompson.

“Afghanistan is a small part of the budgetary challenge, but it’s easier to get political support for cutting spending over there than over here,” said the Lexington Institute analyst.

He also sees the looming budgetary pressure will lead to the Pentagon abandoning its move to “insource” large numbers of contract service positions.

“The high cost of hiring tens of thousands of new civil servants will make large-scale insourcing unaffordable,” said Thompson.

The DoD will also “provoke a backlash among contractors by trying to transfer risk to suppliers through greater use of fixed price development contracts,” said Thompson. “Some companies will follow the example of Northrop Grumman in the tanker program by refusing to bid on excessively risky ‘opportunities’.”

Speaking of tanker, the Pro-Boeing analyst (Thompson) added that he sees an EADS win in the contest, followed up by, you guessed it, plenty of people on Capitol Hill losing their minds over the decision.

Airbus will win the Air Force tanker competition but [a largely pro-Boeing] Congress will refuse to fund the program,” said Thompson.

Thompson is also bullish on the F-35; to many who have followed the troubled program, this should be no shock.

“All three versions of the F-35 Joint  Strike Fighter program will make steady progress through flight testing and concerns about the program will recede,” said Thompson. “Having now beaten Pentagon cost  estimates four times in a row and agreed to early use of fixed pricing, Lockheed will  avoid further performance or political setbacks.”

He says this despite numerous reports that the short-takeoff and vertical landing F-35B is experiencing testing difficulties and that the Pentagon is likely to reveal a revised cost and schedule profile for the jet in the near future.



Join the Conversation

(1) Technical correction, John. Loren (love him or hate him) Thompson.

(2) There WILL be BIG cuts coming to the Pentagon, and it just won’t be to ground vehicles. Given the real threat (which is not 10,000 rifle-totting insurgents), (a) we don’t need a third of the Navy or Air Force (although 187 F-22s is too few) to maintain air superiority; (b) can move another third of the Active Forces into the Reserves; © can cut tactical F-35A and C combat aircraft based on incorporating more UAVs into the mix; (d) cut all acquisition, management and administrative staffs (especially all the generals and admirals — no general or admiral should another general of admiral for a deputy) in half.

(3) The Japanese have finally woken up about their own defense. Good. They need more submarines. We can just turn over a dozen of ours to them. Let’s help them protect themselves against their perceived threat. How about a carrier battle group? Just give it to them. It’s all sunk cost and we can save the current operating costs.

We want the Japanese to help us more and be an integral part of maintaining the current balance of power in the Pacific. But we don’t want them so strong they think they don’t need us anymore. Our defense spending should be tied only to maintaining U.S. superiority in all areas of the globe that are important to us. I don’t want to live in a time where the U.S. loses a war because of liberal over spending on the welfare state means massive cuts to defense spending and then we aren’t ready for a war and lose it.

I’m for more F-22As and we can take them from planned purchases of F-35As. 600 more F-22s and 600 less F-35As for the Air Force would be a good plan.

There has been recent articles about China’s new aircraft carrier killer ballistic missile. If we don’t already have a defense to this we should development one including pre-emptive strikes before launch and taking out their satellite system they would use for targeting.

It is not a matter of love or hate Thompson. It is a matter of his lack of useful statements as it pertains to the F-35.

Why we need the F-22? The Russian PAK FA Sukhoi T-50 plus the Chinese J-20

See: http://​defense​-update​.com/​w​p​/​2​0​1​0​1​2​2​7​_​j​-​2​0​.​h​tml

Quick Billion dollar savings…

Close US Military instillations in Korea, Remove the 20,000 US Troops and their families from Camp Cassey and at Seoul. Still provide South Korea with Intel and Commincations and Control capabilites.
Turn the bases instillations over to ROK Army. It’ been over 50 years now…it’s time to let go of their hands.

Close MCRD San Diego and move assest up to Camp Pendleton Edison Range (where 70% of Marine Recruit training is actually held at). MCRDSD is 482 acres of prime reestate that could be sold off for development in San Deigo. This would do away with a Base Commander and his Staff. all other assests could be folded into MCB Camp Pendleton easily. Freeing up Marine staffing position for a reduction of Corps manpower, and still maintaining the pointy end of the stick.

Eliminate 4th Marine Division Headquarters, band and other non-deployable personal. Split the reserves into MEF I and MEF II Assests. Once again eliminating a Command General Billet and Staff. Freeing up Marines for Manpower reduction in the future to maintain the pointy end of the stick.

BTW I have absolutely nothing against the Corps (I served 10 years in the Marines and Reserves)…but everytime there comes a reduction in Manpower..the Infantry, Arty, Tank and track units take the hit. I went to MCRD way back in 1979. It is a beautiful showcase facility…but, that being said, it’s not cost effecient to Maintain a Facility that can not expand, and does not provide 70% of a Marine Recuits training (Which Camp Pendleton does). Who says the barracks for recruits has to be Modern facilities? They’re recruits, learning to become Lean Mean Fighting Machines…Quonset Huts for First phase recruits would work just fine..Hell, their out in the Pit or on the Grinder 80% of their day anyways…then quick transition to Weapons training then ITS. And I’m sure all the other “Activities” at MCRDSD could move into older empty facilities on Camp Pendleton. Reduction of Security, Maintence, Motor transport and Supply and Admin personal could eaily be folded in too. Cost Savings plus the Sale of 482 Acres of Prime realestate in San Deigo..

Guess you also thought the F16 didn’t make much sense either. Big isn’t always better.

What you talkin’ ’bout Brad!? The F-22 is a better air to air fighter than the F-35A, and in one article I read the Air Force put up 5 F-15s to 1 F-22 in simulated combat and the Raptor shot down all 5 F-15s.

Read this Brad. (and no Brad Miller is not me BradM) hehe
http://​www​.popularmechanics​.com/​t​e​c​h​n​o​l​o​g​y​/​m​i​l​ita

One last thing before I get hammered by everybody…How do you get 1 Billion dollars savings from that? Well, I was just using Marine Corps and Korea as a few ideas DoD could save money on…I’m pretty sure the Army, Navy and Air Force has redundent or outdated facilities or Commands that could easily take the ax and not truly effect the readiness or capabilities of the Armed Forces. Call it a DoD Garage sale. We can no longer afford to continue doing business as usual and waste assests and funds on these things.
It’s time to clean out the Garage.

Kind of like Bill Sweetman.

I wonder how long it will be until a P-3 or KC-135 breaks up in flight?

Very few people realize just how badly worn out this hardware is.

Here Here Joe. I am employed at MCLB Barstow and this antiquated old dump should have closed years ago.
I never have seen so many lazy people that work out here . The Maintenance center in Yermo is a obsolete
repair facility that is outdated and never got modernized and the Marine Corps should not be in the tactical vehicle business doing it inhouse. It is simply too wasteful. Thompson somewhat echoes these thoughts, saying that ground vehicle modernization programs will be particularly vulnerable to spending cuts. The operation should either be closed and the work transferred someplace else and/or wholesale contracted out to the private sector​.It is possible to layoff federal silly service workers off and run a war at the same time.He also sees the looming budgetary pressure will lead to the Pentagon abandoning its move to “insource” large numbers of contract service positions.

“The high cost of hiring tens of thousands of new civil servants will make large-scale insourcing unaffordable,” said Thompson

That well may be a debatable subject. The Marine Corps insists where i work at hiring cheap beaner contract labor doing landscape and janitorial work that don’t even pay prevailing wage. Most of the workers don’t even speak fluent english and i wonder if some of these contract workers are here illegally in the United states.

Their landscape contractor ripped the Marine Corps off because they did a lousy job and the Marine corps is not renewing their contract. I suppose they will sue the Marine Corps for not renewing their contract because they are a minority owned contracter and they did’nt get the goverment contract.

Women are good for that too.The Marine Corps is indirectly involved with contributing to the illegal alien employment problem by not having routine inspections of any service contractor employment records by ICE. It’s so disgusting even after 9–11 the Defense Department is stiil quite lax about contractor worker back ground checks and the way the Marine Corps exploits hispanic people is just vulgar and disgusting But of course these contractor workers bring that on themselves.

Two areas I have a good deal of knowledge about is Korea and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle: You are so right about Korea, The ROK isn’t going to be kicked by anbody butt, they will do the butt kicking. If it goes down all they need is the USA Air Force and US Navy to assist. The Bradley is an outstanding vehicle — but where can you save money, get rid of the swim barriers. I have over 300 swims across Victory Pond (Fort Benning) and a couple hundred at other CONUS post and Germany. We haven’t use its swim capability in any war and never will. If you need to keep it , let the “Scouts” keep them. Hey each complete swim barrier with steel poles/rods may only be around $100,000 ; go ahead and times it by each BFV. Right on about San Diego also. Joe , Gates need to have you replace him when he leaves. Thanks for your comment.

Did you serve on the A0 or A1 Bradley? I think the A2 and A3 versions of the Bradley lost their swimming capability in exchange for better armor protection. Hopefully this means they removed those unneeded barriers and other equipment.

I’m not saying I disagree with your first point, but aren’t we obliged by some treaty to provide military support to South Korea? However with the current state of DPRK, I imagine the South Koreans could hold them off until we brought in some mechanized units by ship.

You are SOOO right…seen this at State run hospitals too…makes since why the FED doesn’t want to inforce immigration laws! Then their buddies might have to pay a living wage to give an english speaking man and get him off of welfare and give him a job! Running things the way they do give’s them power over 3 people and not freedom to the americans and “go back where you belong” to the other!

OR APA

The DOD budget was severely cut in 1989 and the results was the Clinton draw down. Now there will be another draw down and major program cancellations. This strategy will have to be implemented with a new political strategy not to engage in ANY more brush wars or “police actions” for at least 5 years. That should be sufficient time for Iran and China to pose a MAJOR challenge to the US in world affairs. If a political strategy is implemented, then another draw down will save money. I don’t think the present course of budget cutting is going to last, the USG can’t keep their promises to their allies if they do.

What is the future mission… do we arm ourselves to fight the last war again…will the terrorists be fielding super tanks and stealth fighters…do we really want to rearm Japan…will the Chinese let that happen…the world wants to know?

Time for members of congress to start travelling around the world when on their “junkets” by means of the 50+ year-old KC-135. They have so much faith in flying them forever, and not pushing for a replacement, that they should lead by example! The Air Force can break out the airline seats, I’m sure. p.s; Pelosi could have made it to San Francisco every weekend on one without a stop (lol).

?The Carter-Reagan buildup? Carter? What-you-talkin’-’bout, Willis?

As someone else commented, Chinese reaction probably precludes giving subs to the Japanese…but if you want to consider transferring current assets to rein in high op cost how about “lend-leasing” 3 or 4 Trident’s to the Brits? Heck, we could give them a carrier, too — they at least know how to run a flight deck. (Actually, the carrier is more problematic ’cause we’d lose exclusive operational control — with the boomers that wouldn’t matter, as we and the Brits arguably have congruent deterrence interests.)

I was thinking that if Korea war ever kicks off again (likely something to happen soon) maybe we should use a nuke from the start and end it quick. These protracted ground attrition wars are insane.

see my comment below about solution to Korean problem. Military support = nuke N Korea. Avoid protracted ground war and thousands upon thousands of casualties, especially civilian.

Taxpayer are you saying or advocating that the “top line” Pentagon budget will come down, or just cutting specific programs?
I don’t agree with any of your proposals except terminating the F-35 program completely. I don’t think you have any idea what the impact will be of “cutting all acquisition, management, and admin staff.…in half”

I hate all this China bogeyman should drive our force structure strategy. China has nothing to gain and all to lose by attacking us with conventional military means. They can take us over just by buying us out, why would they risk a nuclear retaliation?

Wikipedia says there are only 3 T-50s and only one can fly. ooh i’m soo scared. http://​en​.wikipedia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​S​u​k​h​o​i​_​T​-50 To commit so much DoD political and economic capital to counter this “threat”, especially when we have alternative means to countering it, is ridiculous. See my comment below on China.

Will someone in traditional defense media please, please, please stop going to the Loren Thompson altar every time they need an easy quote or analysis? It gets tiring, then sickening to see Defense News in particular quote the guy in every other story. So lazy, so predictable, so flat in their perspective and chummy ties. Colin, I know you have a background there, but can’t you do better now that you’re not an “old school” player? Please, please, please…someone deliver us from the old school/big defense business (ie, shilling for large contractors) rantings of Loren Thompson?!!!

Plus if you look at his website, Loren has no military experience and didn’t even work in the defense department. Mr. Arm Chair if I ever saw one. So why is he an authority? Colin, John, drop him.

But I like lots of the ideas expressed. We need to set up our own budget team and offer up a well researched change (cut, with an occasional add) each week. How about that Colin?

we need at least 300 f-22 150 for the east and the same for the west if not more it was stupid to cap that plane at 187 i wonder what they were drinking makes me want some

Do you only take action after the fact and when its too late? Plan for what the Air Force needs from present through 2020. The Russians and Indians plan on introducing a version of the PAK FA after 2015 and the Chinese J-20 could be ready about the same time or 2–3 years after. The Russians/Indians want about 400 of their 5th Gen fighter and probably the Chinese will want the same amount. So the USAF needs BY 2020 600–700 F-22As. I fear the F-35A wont be up to the task for air-air combat vs these fighters by 2015–2020. Remember also the possibility of the PAK FA and J-20 being sold by Russia and China to other countries like Iran and Venezuela who also dont like us.

They want Taiwan back. And they write about themselves as the rising superpower facing off against the USA Hegemon. Their whole naval strategy is one where they will configure it to fight and win against our Pacific Fleet if they decide to reunify with Taiwan by military force. The way to prevent that is Reagan’s strategy of “Peace Through Strength”.

Read the People’s Daily and look for opinion pieces and articles on how China sees American military moves.

Here’s one of them: http://​english​.people​.com​.cn/​9​0​0​0​1​/​9​8​7​0​5​/​7​2​4​5​767.…

Read this too: http://​www​.heritage​.org/​R​e​s​e​a​r​c​h​/​R​e​p​o​r​t​s​/​2​0​1​0​/​12/

There’s too much Uncertainty in what the world will be like in 2020 to commit vast amount of resources into a failed engineering project like JSF. What analysis do you have that we need 600–700 F-22s? The USAF is on record as saying 381 was the ideal #, but that they would live with less than that: http://​www​.aviationweek​.com/​a​w​/​g​e​n​e​r​i​c​/​s​t​o​r​y​.​jsp?…
Brad you need to broaden your perspective on defense analysis.

The USAF originally wanted 750 F-22s, then the cuts began with SecDef Cheney and forward. I base my numbers off what the USAF originally wanted and what the Russians, Indians and Chinese plan to buy with their 5th Gen fighters. 400 plus 400 plus another 300–400 respectively. We dont have to buy all them by 2020 but keep ahead of them (Russians, Indians, Chinese) in numbers combined with the retirement of F-15s. The F-35A is supposed to replace aging F-16s. The JSF isnt a failed project its overcost and delayed in the B model but they are starting the first purchases of the A model in 2011. Correct?

so 750 was a Cold War number based on fighting the USSR in the air. come on man. u have to make enemies out of countries who are not our enemies to justify this tacair modernization dream. none of those nations have anything to gain by challenging us by conventional military means, and they have everything to lose (nuclear destruction) by doing so. and there are other ways to defeat them than just air to air combat. like destroy them on the ground with cruise missiles. JSF is a failed project, it’s overbudget, and it’s not even scheduled properly (LRIP before MS C). they’ve intentionally created a “too big to fail” program when what we need is rational defense force structuring.

Heritage is biased. it’s hard to take them seriously considering they were big proponents of FCS. and if you think we should make force structure decisions based on newspaper articles, then you are really sad. all they have to do is come up with “China research this” “China research that” whatever uber technological dream you can think of and you think that justifies our pathetic profile of exotic, failing programs.

Buying a squadron of F-22s (say 24 planes) a year from 2012 forward while watching the developments of Russia-India-China would be a good take it slow approach. Buying new F-22s, the numbers per year, should also be considered in the context of how many F-15s will be retired in a given year. In some years we may have to buy more than 20 to 24 to replace retiring F-15s. Thats my opinion!

Read this:
http://​forum​.pakistanidefence​.com/​l​o​f​i​v​e​r​s​i​o​n​/​ind

As a Reagan Conservative I guess I’m biased too in your eyes! ;-) You wrote “if you think we should make force structure decisions based on newspaper articles, then you are really sad” Now why do you have to start with personal insults? You should apologze for that. But unless you are privy to CIA and NSA briefings, to keep informed you have to read the available articles online, in magazines, and in newspapers. I see nothing wrong with that!

The F-22 line isnt shut down yet. They still are building planes to reach the 187 number. We recently lost one so I’m wondering if they will build an extra one to replace it? The Air Force wants to keep the tooling available for future maintenance and upgrades of the 187 planes. So it wont be totally shut down. But in 2011 I dont believe there would be any new start up costs to keep the line open and buy 24 planes per year in the 2012 budget and forward.

u do seem a little biased, and i do apologize. my point was that if we followed this ridiculous logic, then all the potential adversary would have to do to bankrupt us is to make the most outrageous claims in their media. there’s plenty of open source info with which we can make rational decisions than just quoting some Chinese paper

I was told it’s in Israel

That would only be true if, as I say I’d like us to have 600–700 F-22s by 2020, that we buy them all in one year or by 2015 (approx) before the Russians, Indians, and Chinese have even deployed their 5th Gen fighters in numbers greater than 100. We should have enough F-22s to keep American air dominance continous from present until 2020 when 6th gen aircraft will probably be what we are talking about by then =)

LTCJimbo, One of the hard truths of covering the US
military is that few sources provide much of the information.
Service folks leak very specific info about their bailiwicks. OSD
folks fight policy battles through leaks, though thi s has dwindled
under the fearsome gaze of Gates. Loren and a few others like him
possess access to a wide array of folks in industry, in the services and in OSD. And for their own reasons, Loren and his colleagues are willing to speak on the record and in some detail. It’s just the way it is. If service folks and OSD spoke more often and with more consistency on background everyone in the defense world would be better served.

Happy New Year!

Colin

This is the happy path that Brookings and CNAS have been touting, but the window is closing fast. CSIS and Lexington are more realistic in their projections, and that is what’s coming out in this article.

This is false. He went from being a congressional aide (under Jake Garn) to be the Asst Secretary of the Air Force for RDA in the Reagan Administration. Yes, there’s a bit of a blue suit bias there, and even more so because the USAF gets cosier with its defense contractors than the Army. But he is a sharp dude and when he talks, I listen.

Yep!

When people speak of change or a revolution of ideas, they forget the concept of “for the better”. Change can go either way but the innovative thinker will be for the betterment of our military, not detriment. We cannot
use downsizing to our detriment. There is no need to not think about the missiles of North Korea or even China when the country seems to be stepping back and looking at the whole enchilada…

Sounds like the problem with Defense Acquisition is that people listen to people like Loren Thompson. The Pro-Status-Quo Defense Acquisition establishment can keep promising and promising and promising, bait us with these notions that we can save billions by simply being more “efficient”, all in the name of avoiding to make tough choices to cut back on failed programs. It doesn’t matter how much objective evidence is brought demonstrating that the current way of business is flawed, the establishment can just keep making promises. And then call people like me unpatriotic.

I just read Loren’s essay here: http://​www​.lexingtoninstitute​.org/​d​e​f​i​c​i​t​-​c​o​m​m​iss
Have to totally disagree with you that he is a “sharp dude.” His essay does not address any of the engineering & programmatic failures of the EFV, JTRS, and JSF programs. His final contention that a force built on legacy forces “won’t win in wartime” is pure opinion not supported by any fact. What everyone needs to realize is that when you have built a program on a foundation of CRAP, yes, it will sink.
We need incremental improvements to proven systems in MDAP acquisition, not more foolish promises. High risk technology development does not belong in MDAP’s. It should be done by DARPA, or other appropriate deveopmental agency.

I am sick and tired of Repubs constantly crying to cut our budget. Unless it’s REALLY fraud and waste leave our budget alone! It’s such BS, when times are REALLY bad we need to be growing our government not the other way around. Tax cuts albeit stimulate the economy with a higher GDP, dollar and stock market performances, but this only makes the rich richer and the rest of us poorer. As spenders we spent more these past two years than ever before, placing many of us in high debt. Since the problem with our economy is intimately tied to jobs and foreclosures, the consummate cry is how can we fix it? Tax cuts do not create jobs, whereas government spending does, something FDR learned early in his administration.

Trickledown economics was hardly a factor under Reagan which, and certainly has had little affect under Bush and Obama considering the ever growing Global Economy. Any free dollars are NOT spent on hiring Americans rather are shelled off to cheap labor markets abroad in the Far East. Heck the fact that we hire so many illegal aliens to keep our produce/service costs down is an attest to the OBVIOUS that we all make too much money. Do we have the time for the world labor markets to even up in costs or is it our turn to take a hit along with our cost and standard of living? Is that something we want?

If the Repubs get their way and cut up the government seeking privatization everywhere not only will our economy get worse, socialism will get an even stronger foothold. Reason, once they cut whatever spending that is keeping unemployment under double digits, foreclosures will dramatically rise even further, propelling more bankruptcies everywhere spinning us right into a depression. So if you want socialism prop up the Repubs ’cause that’s where we’ll be heading.

Actually (I know, not what was taught in school), FDR’s spending and government programs may have employed people — my dad among them — but did not correct the Depression, as witnessed by history.

WWII did that. And WWII was probably the *only* event that could have jump-started the economy.

Government spending may or may not create some jobs, but it doesn’t fix the economy.

The answer to fixing the economy is to increase overall productivity. We need to get people off government assistance and into jobs where they can support themselves and their families. We need more investment in education & training for the poor. But more important we have to fix our sick culture. I actually support New Deal type work programs. We should have tried to create many low cost jobs and get people into the health care, education, and technology fields. Unfortunately Obama failed to execute the 2009 Simulus program accordingly.

Yes WWII leveled the playing field, literally, which is what capitalism usually ends up doing. When nations and empires push to the limit of what can be had in the marketing game the victors rule the roost until next time.

The problems on this go around the wars we are fighting serve no purpose on getting after our REAL economic adversaries in the Far East. Furthermore, right now any destruction of these cheap labor markets will just cause us more grief.

So unless we stop all this right wing BS on tax cuts and help grow the government with directed job spending like Defense, coupled with tax hikes on the rich we are most undoubtedly screwed.

Forget about those on welfare, who cares what these people do. I know this angers many righties and some lefties on why we give any money to those sitting on their butts. Here’s the basics confusion, stop looking at these people feeding our social decadence as a source of our economic problems, they are by far are not. Money spent on welfare has had little effect on hurting our dollar, GDP or even the stock market. They do however have a tremendous job growth impact for all those who surround and support welfare. So many jobs are affected from money spent on the poor directly/indirectly for private/public jobs. In fact keeping these people out of work not only drives up the job market, it reduces the number of slackers out of the workplace, opening jobs for real workers. Same goes for all SS recipients minus the slacker social decadence description.

To date investment in our entitlement programs brings about tons of home grown jobs ranging from simple to very complex. Conversely money given to the rich these past 10 years has been a dismal failure since little goes towards helping create jobs. Trickledown economics was hardly a factor under Reagan , and certainly has had little affect under Bush and Obama considering the ever growing Global Economy. Any free dollars are NOT spent on hiring Americans rather are shelled off to cheap labor markets abroad in the Far East. Heck the fact that we hire so many illegal aliens to keep our produce/service costs down is an attest to the OBVIOUS that we all make too much money. Do we have the time for the world labor markets to even up in costs or is it our turn to take a hit along with our cost and standard of living? Is that something we want?

If the Repubs get their way and cut up government seeking privatization everywhere not only will our economy get worse, socialism will get an even stronger foothold. Reason, once they cut whatever spending that is keeping unemployment under double digits, foreclosures will dramatically rise even further, propelling more bankruptcies everywhere spinning us right into a depression. So if you want socialism prop up the Repubs ’cause that’s where we’ll be heading.

There are “opportunity costs” in the money that is spent on welfare. The money that could be going down some welfare pipe could be going down an educational/training pipe that helps someone not need money from the welfare pipe at all. Plus there are plenty of unfunded needs in our society that compete with dollars that are going into some lazy person’s wallet.

the entitlement programs are unfunded to the tune of $50 Trillion + in govt liabilities. They are example of bad policy that hurts our econmic, and thus, our national security. When the government starts reneging on these benefits, the political conflict that will ensue will be bloody. The time and cost expended in these political conflicts are time and money that COULD be expended in.. increasing investment, increasing our economic securiyt, and increasing our national security.

The repubs as you mentioned dont want to cut the military budget they want to cut the government budget which it desperately needs although I doubt they will be effective at it. Defending welfare leeches against the rich is crazy, social programs cost us many times moore than the savings you say the rich are getting. We need jobs back in America — in order to do that we need lower taxes to offset our higher incomes here, which is why I’m a fan of the 10% flat tax for income and profits (evryone pays the same equaly — no deductions what so ever — no tax rebates — everyone is equal), state income and profit taxes need to be completely abolished (NO DOUBLE TAXING!!!).

I got a great policy proposal to lower the unemployment rate.… repeal the federal minimum wage. Let each state decide if they want to pursue the insane policy of dictating the minimal price for labor. Boomer we should let each state decide if they want to have a state income tax or not. Governments need revenues somehow.

In reality if the 10% were split 60% to Fed and 40% to remain in the state were taxed it amount collected would be huge for both, this would induce states to bring in more employment to thier areas. Min wage is stupid as layed out due to fact that while min wage is almost the same everywhere (within a couple of dollars) the cost of living is not. Min wage should be based on job type and skill level just as they are in most state and fed govs. but in order to make this work the cost of living must be capped and the same from state to state.

what you propose is politically posible, though.. and it’s too radical too. what would your proposal do to government revenues? Fed & State governments have liabilities to meet now and in the future. I support policies that help nudge us in the direction of getting better, but radical changes are too risky.

It’s not as risky as the games they are playing right now. The fed govt needs to be reduced back down to a manageable size. For starters the fed gov could be effectively reduced 60% and more controll returned to the states as originaly intended (all states sharing the same laws of the land as dictated by them) the fed would no longer be required to man dept of ed, homeland security, irs, dept of trans, dept of interior or numerous other departments that states already have offices for. The fed gov only concerns would be to oversee that all state are complying with the laws they all agreed upon. This alone would save billions in taxpayer dollars every month if you crunch the numbers which could be used to supplement education, the military, medical research, and so on.

Some nice discussion going on here. (1) Regarding Loren, if he’s been on the Hill and in the Pentagon he should say so in his website bio. But that doesn’t mean he should be one of two people DoDBuzz and DefenseNews quote all the time.

(2) I like the flat tax, but only for the feds. What the feds don’t need to pay for the set of programs it should fund, should be cut from the budget. After we pay off the outstanding debt, any excess can be returned to the taxpayer in the form of tax rate cuts. If states want to pick up those programs because their residents like them, then let them tax at the state or local level. We shouldn’t be using a federal tax to finance state or local programs.

I say if they want to cut the military, then let them. But at the same time, no out sourcing to private security firms for the ground work that the infantry could have done. We do not really need a military of any size except the following:
5000, or one reinforced brigade for the Army. 1 platoon of helicopters for transport and attack.
1 Wing for the Air Force, combining tanker, transports and fighters. Decommission all bombers, recon aircraft, and strategic missiles. Transfer all space based assets to NASA.
10 ships for the navy, no aircraft carriers or aircraft, or submarines or strategic missles
1 battalion for the Marines. 1 platoon of helicopters for transport and attack. 1 amphip landing ship.
Disband the coast guard. Put the navy in charge of coastal defense

With the savings I propose here, we should be wasting trillions again in no time propping up puppet dictators, and arming the rest of the world so we will have to fight them when the time arises.

I bet you love reading Don Quixote? Listen as Jesus even says there’ll always be the poor to what extent and size they occupy and how well they live in comparison to other countries is a fine measure of a civilization’s success. On education, we have free public education in place with all sorts of modern technology, certified teachers accompanied with aides to open our children’s minds. On how well they do is purely the responsibility of the student and the parents to push them. If they refuse to grab the horse by the reins, it’s their fault. To use another horse sense analogy, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Again stop confusing social decadence as a problem for the economy. Capitalism doesn’t care what the product is so long as there is money to be made with jobs to make it.

If you’re talking about Welfare, it’s already been trimmed to the bone as far back as Clinton. All increases we see of late is money dedicated to take care of the recently unemployed of the near 10% level. On Social Security, what would you expect with numbers at $800 billion and matching Medicare at $900 billion? We have a lopsided age grouping with way too many old people running around due to modern technology. Despite our less than average ability to cover everyone where 100 million have poor or no health insurance, we still can keep these old codgers going many past 80 years of age. With all these entitlements, again the enormous amount of jobs they support and create is off the charts, nothing compared to the piddly stuff created by handing over billions to the rich, which predominately all goes to China. BTW that $50 trillion figure, if that’s all of our assets I might believe you, but on GDP that’s about a whole world’s worth of cash.

You like most righties are caught up time back even before Reagan. Listen trickledown economics is dead. It hardly did much under Reagan and it’s doing nothing today with the capitalistic narcosis of seeking the best deal in the Global Economy crack house and that’s certainly not in America. Many of the rich in this country as well as the rest of us can care less about honor and patriotism to hire Americans when it’s so easy to offload everything abroad. I know as a lefty I I still go to all the cheap places in town for my food, clothes and fuel, caring less if it were made in America or not.

When Jefferson was in the throes of setting up our free government he said we need to get rid of slavery, even knowing he had slaves himself. You would think he free his own slaves but like anyone at that time or now, he wasn’t going to do it unless everyone else did too. So you’re NOT going to see any movement for business big or small rich or poor, moving to hire any Americans based on some sort of patriotic gesture…Remember in capitalism it’s about what’s in it for me!

You’re either very lost in the right wing chatter of lies and impossible promises or very rich which is it? Listen to solve our problem we either go to war with our economic adversaries and they are NOT in the Middle East, or firm up a good Robin Hood methodology. The latter one we need to tax the daylights out of the rich and take all that money and spend it on businesses in America that are basically forced to hire Americans as commodity types or by meeting the But Americas Act, like construction and our military respectively. Tax the rich because they basically have given up on spending their money on high paying American labor when they can buy all sorts of cheap stuff from the Far East to sell here to the typical capitalistic consumer chumps. If we don’t attempt to take the money out rich hands and let capitalism play its greed game we WILL go into a depression and then my friend don’t worry about whose sending jobs abroad for cheap labor, we’ll be in that category in spades.

3 trillion dollars in reserves was avail when Clinton took office because Regans plan did work, he said at the outset it would take 10 yrs which it about did, Bush sr continued the path. Clinton took office and tried to take credit for it on the news and promptly blew all of it before he left office putting us back in debt mode. I never mentioned patriotism, I said at 10% we would be one of the cheapest countries in the world to manufacture in. GD — SOny — and such do not pay sweat shop labor in those other countries despite what many think, the pay is nearly equivalent to here, the taxes on profits is just far less. Greed would bring them back even if patriotism wont. Also putting a TARIF of higher sales taxes on non US goods would also work as it did in the past which is why we have Toyota, Honda, and others now producing here in the US in order to keep selling there products here.

Oh yeah I’m so worried about you believing me, because I made that number up myself. Not. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2007–05-2… $50 trillion was just one prediction 3 years ago. The more recent Medicare trustees states the unfunded Medicare liability is $37 Trillion for Medicare alone. The $50 Trillion is not “all of our assets” — it is the unfunded liability — the disconnect between projected federal revenues and federal promised liabilities. People like you are cheerleaders for these entitlement programs that are the biggest contributor, even bigger than George W Bush, of driving us into the ditch. Then when the programs fail you cry for even more entitlements and engage in class warfare against the wealthy.

I have no idea how to respond. Good bye.

Why do we need F-35 when we have F-22 and that F/A-18 Super Hornet? F-22 has kill ratio of 144 to Zero RIGHT??!! In that case we don’t need any more F-22’s either.

ALL OF THOSE RICH you want to tax more have already said they would expatriate and move thier accounts and business over seas (don trump, bill gates, cattapillar, oshgosh, and others have said publicly) just as many movie stars have already done claiming primary residences over seas to avoid paying taxes in America on thier income, they come back to the US enough to keep citizenship but have no US income to tax. All you would do with more taxes is create more job and lost revenue to our economy. I am not rich (drive a 91 truck with 280K miles — rent a house — bust my butt every day). If I was only taxed 10% I would have an extra $900.00 a month in tax savings to go out and spend instead of living paycheck to pay check as would everyone else in America. That would reduce the debt strain on most Americans and stimulate the economy considering most folks would be spending the additional income for some time before they start saving for larger items and retirement. No I think you are the one with blinders on.

In order for it to work all the states need to pull together. Every state has a dept of ed, DOT, Occupational health and safety, parks and wild life, enviromental control, stae police, state court — they all need to pull together and establish the laws and rules of the land equal throughout all states, then set wage standards and cost of living meaning a 1200 sq ft house or gallon of milk in CA or NJ cost the same as one in Rural AR instead of 10X more. It can work but would require a major overhaul of the corruption we currently have.

@7thwave is just a moron … Join the military and say that again, and besides, the Navy can’t handle coastal defense, that’s why the CG has done it the best for the longest, the CG is the only branch with law enforcement authority …

I just found some more poor analysis from Loren Thompson: he advocated for FCS in 2008. This is an indicator of pro-industry bias vs what is in the Nation’s best interest. Heritage (Mackenzie Eaglen) analysis had the same flaws. In Loren’s flawed thinking, he proposes that FCS is required due to the casualties from the Iraq War. Well, this is non sequitir logic. Iraq War casualties are not from a force on force conventional maneuver ground war like FCS was supposedly designed for. Most casualties are from roadside bombs of trucks. We have the answer for that with MRAPs. Loren also apparently feels it’s acceptable to disregard the technological impossibility of the program’s goals, as well as the Army’s poor execution. Thank God Gates saved us from this train wreck, based on quality, objective, professional analysis from the Pentagon staff, and not the wishful thinking of Loren Thompson.

I don’t remember if it was 2008 or 2009, exactly, but I distinctly remember reading a piece by Loren Thompson prior to FCS restructuring (e.g. in April 2009) in which he said that Defense Transformation was dead, that pork barrel politics would be driving the train since no one had a coherent sense of threat, or even a strategy that focuses program development. He wasn’t saying it was a good thing, and events since that time have pretty much confirmed that perspective. Now, as far as FCS is concerned, the above commentator is simply dead wrong, and I have voted down all his comments accordingly. What was doable and worth doing in FCS could have made it out to the field with sufficiently creative and flexible leadership at the top and management in the middle. Instead, all the Army got was some spin out prototypes and sour grapes. And there’s no shortage of sour grapes these days.

No you are wrong and I’m right actually. And I know cause I worked in the Pentagon during the sad time period that Army leaders forced FCS on everyone. I know the staff officers who endured PM after PM lie to them at the annual WSRs, of course they saved FCS as the best for last you are aware of that right? Do you understand Uncertainty & Monte Carlo Simulation in cost estimating? I’m guessing you don’t, and neither did the FCS PM, and neither does most of DoD for a matter of fact. Soon this will change. The 2009 WSARA requires disclosures of Confidence Levels for estimates to Congress. We’ll see how much longer DoD can get away with failing to properly manage Uncertainty & Risk. Too bad you waste your time voting me down, you honestly have a lot to learn from me.

You don’t even produce a source of where Loren said defense transformation is dead, and SO WHAT anyway? Did he recommend canceling FCS? No I didnt’ think so. I produced the source where he put blind faith into FCS, due to ignorance and/or bias, just like you. I look forward to debating you anywhere anytime on defense acquistion. The taxpayers, defense acquisition workforce, and warfighters (and our national security) have suffered long enough from the corruption & incompetence. I’m not taking it anymore.

He starts out that way but if you take another look at his last para it’s clear he is just mocking what the gov is proposing in one way or another.

The text of his remarks was on Lexington’s web site, and if it is no longer there, I’m sure that they will be glad to provide it. As far as “blind faith” in FCS, I’m much too prejudiced by my own experience for that. But there is a very special kind of stupidity rampant in Washington policy circles that deliberately ignores the FCS program’s rationale, its history, and in fact the acquisition strategy the Army put in place. It is a very convenient sort of amnesia for the people who are committed to put this nation on a path of strategic risk taking, and to the devil with the consequences if we guess wrong.

The $59 trillion in liabilities you cite is not today’s dollars so to speak. It’s what we are on the hook for over the life term of the bonds we use for payback. Your link shows how we had to borrow 2.3% more money than what’s coming in taxes since 2006 for entitlements. There should little mystery here since we have many more people retiring, all falling apart. This pattern was inevitable knowing how our population growth ran these past 50 years or so with many people living past 65 hovering around 80. Had they just died in their 60’s or 70s, there would be little concern on any money owed…

Listen if we were to go into a depression that $59 trillion would disappear. Disappear because all the elderly and poor would be dying in the droves. May sound morbid but like in nature with death, capitalism parallels in kind. In both arenas it’s not only unsound to keep life in an almost immortal state, it’s not practical, and whatever you know about life, nature and money, it’s all about being practical. If we did a SS Means Test or cut entitlements drastically we could buy some time, but eventually death is the best answer despite its political incorrectness. Also as I stated earlier cuts in these areas will reduce jobs, the source for sustaining tax revenue. So again you’re biting the hotdog at both ends. Our destiny is failure, one that we can only hope to defer as long as possible.

Well, I just voted you down again. This is getting a bit closer to my passion than you might realize, and I am quite familiar with the models FCS used to estimate and contain cost. Now, one may dislike those models — I would not argue either way — but FCS used standard and approved models for cost estimation, both on a program-wide basis and to do software cost estimates. As far as technical risk, maybe ole Red will come back on to get slapped around again. But I would challenge the commenter to explain how monte carlo simulation techniques enable one to assign the rather arbitrary confidence levels that go into a risk analysis for a program as large and complex as FCS. The Army had risk reduction baked into the program from the time it restructured into the core program and spin out segments. All they really needed to do was follow the plan and let the chips fall where they may. If you think that it was possible to forecast what actually happened to the program back in 2001/2002, well, that is a supreme level of faith in the state of the art of systems analysis. Personally, I have a different set of hang-ups and biases and would prefer to keep those to myself.

OK then if you see no issue with death then why dont we put our military on the border to stop the invasion of criminals and authorize deadly force to stop them within 100 yds on our side of the border, that would save billions alone and create a number of jobs to get folks off of welfare. Then why dont we mandate a death sentence for murderers — drug dealers — rapist — child molesters — and terrorist, that these trials must be carried out within 60 days of apprehension and sentece to be carried out within 60 days of conviction, this would save billions more. The death of those who deserve it is better suited than for those who raised and cared for and defended us during our younger years — THE ELDERLY DID NOT TURN THIER BACKS ON US AND LET US DIE OF SICKNESS OR STARVATION WHEN WE WERE NOT ABLE TO DEFEND OURSELVES SO WHY SHOULD WE TURN OUR BACKS ON THEM NOW!!?? YOU MUST DEFINATELY BE FROM THE ME GENERATION OF LIBERALS…

Again you’re all caught up in right wing slanted ancient rhetoric. No Reagan’s and GW’s tax cut plan (assuming here) did not work. Remember that during both Reagan and GW there was a huge amount of spending, the real jobs driver. Furthermore let’s not confuse the large drop in prime rate inflation back in 1982 as anything to do with tax cuts and spending, as this was all Fed head Paul Volker’s doing in his effort to break the back of inflation. George Bush Sr who in his campaign against Reagan had it right, supply-side trickledown economics is indeed voodoo.

On the tariff issue I would love for this to work, beat up on our competitors abroad instead of slapping our own around to buy American, but unfortunately all it does is create a mess. It may have been a good alternative years ago when the economy was not so global and fast, but in today’s dependent frenzy environment in my best Al Pacino voice, fuggetaboutit!!

Look I could have accepted FCS if they used mature technologies. Here’s the history: they promised C-130 deployability. I would have accepted the program if they stuck with that, because deploying a brigade by C-130 is something we don’t currently have. Then when they refused to accept the armor tradeoff, they gave up on it. At that point I recognized the direction the program was going in. I don’t have a problem with the program’s rationale, just it’s execution. Your last statement is off the charts. “to the devil with the consequences”. You are not living in reality, sir. MDAPs have very difficult independent cost estimation & test & evaluation procedures & a political environment that needs to be navigated carefully. You can bury your head in the sand all you want and thump your chest righteously, you will have failure after failure if you proceed with that mentality.

Trade agreements and power plays go a long way towards getting people to man up. Yes the rich will try every which way to wheel and deal, it’s up to our government to be the consummate player. It’s what they would expect, so stop coddling them like some pampered baby. They need to be slapped around and really for their own good. In Robert Reisch’s book” Supercapitalism” he states that the wealthy in this country need to stop looking to get the best buy for cheap labor. Take the hit in taxes or hire Americans because its Americans that will be buying their product. With so many out of work, who will keep them in the black buying their wares? How foolish is it of them to run around cheating every little bit or crumb while the whole turkey is burning in the oven. They stand to gain more by doing the right thing, end of story.

That huge amount of spending to rebuild the military and economy was done without going into debt and built up a cash reserve to boot by controlling government spending and handouts, so how can you say it did not work when we were in deep trouble thanks to carter. Then clinton turned it all upside down and bush jr who made a lot of mistakes himself listening to the wrong folks was stuck with a mess compunded by the two war fronts, but the current admin really sitred the poo pot and made things stink even more with thier policies. You have to save to spend (buy reducing your budget and increasing income, buying anything on credit only only drives up the cost of any purchase.

The FCS PM had a disjointed LCCE spread across multiple models. As such their analysis was quite flawed, not even worthy of independent evaluation. as far as software cost models, they depend on parametric estimation which is not good for reasons to technical to explain here. Have you ever made a Monte Carlo Simulation model? In MCS the analyst applies uncertainty to Input Variables, which should be derived from analysis of data. There should not be a need for “arbitrary”, every thing should be based on fact of some sort or another. FCS PM never did MCS, so they really had no basis for having confidence in an estimate. Plus they apply learning theory. Learning theory all depends on stable production configuration, something they never demonstrated they got close to achieving. Also all Federal Government methodology currently treats Inflation as a “Certain” variable. Unfortunately history does not demonstrate that Inflation is stable and certain. You can learn all you want if you buy my book. I’ve got the problems & solutions in print: http://​www​.amazon​.com/​C​o​s​t​-​O​v​e​r​r​u​n​s​-​W​h​a​t​s​-​W​r​o​n​g-e

Reread history again, you’re not accurate in much of what you say, but you’re not alone. Inflation under Carter was caused by the post Vietnam War recession followed by Reserve Head Paul Volker’s upping the ante on the prime rate to break its back in order to increase the value of the dollar in the long term. Reagan benefited all from Volker, keeping his job when the prime dropped like a rock in late 1982 opening up all sorts of low interest loans. To address the high unemployment of double digits Reagan got Congress to pass the Tax Reform Act while allowing them to spend a way so long as they fed his military machine in the tune o f 186%, the greatest amount in the history the United States spawning the greatest deficit of all time. He also signed off the Garn St Germaine Act, a deregulation of the bonds market which caused the savings and loan disaster under Bush Sr…

In effort to try to pay for the Persian Gulf War Bush unwillingly had to raise taxes only to be met by the S&L fiasco. It so damaged Bush it cost him his reelection. His tax increase along with Bill’s helped to balance the budget in the late 1990s after the Repubs pretty much cut everything to the bone. They also passed a very bad legislation of financial deregulation with the repeal of the Glass Stegal Act which later on under GW pretty much gave Wall Street and the big banks carte blanch to play uncle greedy.

Under GW the economy went sluggish forcing him to fix it with tax cuts and massive spending. Coupled with fighting two wars and the mortgage crise he doubled the national debt and blew the rich up to their greatest level in wealth of all time. The market crashed in 2008 and Obama’s been trying bail it out ever since.

Hold your horses my friend, I surely do not want to see any of our seniors take the pipe since I am right around the corner myself. It’s just what it is, unfortunately that’s what capitalism is all about, unless you want a socialist system?

As for killing illegal aliens, again way over the top. If ANYONE is really serious about fixing the the whole illegal alien thing just fine the living daylights out of those who hire them, even it causes their bankruptcy. Do this a number of times and this whole illegal alien surge would stop dead in its tracks with no extra money spent…Thing is the consumer would feel it big time at the market since like China’s cheap labor they keep our produce and service costs way down.…

On you’re blabbering about criminals whether illegal or not, mostly not, crime is a product of a fast growing tightly crowded society with a bunch of freedom. Want to stop crime or slow it down a bit legislate massive strict laws like in the Middle East and china where perpetrators are cut up or shot. Don’t want to do that? Then spend money on prevention and penal solutions, keeping welfare in the fray to calm the beast, otherwise like the rest of us suffer.

You were the claiming it is better to let the old on SS die than to disrupt welfare. I just wanted to see how liberal you would go.

As for killing illegal aliens, again way over the top. If ANYONE is really serious about fixing the the whole illegal alien thing just fine the living daylights out of those who hire them, even it causes their bankruptcy. Do this a number of times and this whole illegal alien surge would stop dead in its tracks with no extra money spent…Thing is the consumer would feel it big time at the market since like China’s cheap labor they keep our produce and service costs way down.

The system wil not let me answer you here the way I want so I am keeping this way short…No I don’t want old people to die…

Your prediction of the future is as sad as it is arrogant. Our future is not destined for failure, the future is UNCERTAIN.

Yea It’s pretty obvious…

Failure is what results of our inability to adjust quickly to the winds of change that capitalism dictates.

As it dictates we can prominently see capitalism for what it REALLY is, an unending unstoppable force. As a force, of the Newtonian kind, it parallels life as it evolves from one state to another at speeds akin to whatever technology is in place. Capitalism does not care if your white or black, deist or atheists, rich or poor, free or enslaved, quality or cheap minded, American or foreign, democrat or republican, liberal or conservative, smart or stupid, greedy or giving, good or bad; all it cares about is the bottom line supply the demand. Those who are able to see the winds of change are winners while the rest of us clamor up to kiss their ass…

Capitalism cannot be defeated on any plane of existence because as I said it’s a consummate force and not some propped up patriotic concept. Some say communism is the opposite of capitalism, it is not. Communism still must supply a demand, but in doing so it cages capitalism up like a drugged out wild tiger, all beaten down. Because communism involves such tremendous energy to fare the intense waves of change from capitalism like stones in a river bed its destined for failure. Yet if no attempt is made to tame this wild beast or ride its powerful wave, this feral element will surely eat you alive. With a mixture or hybrid if you will of socialism and capitalism can we provide the perfect receipt for success, that is if we’re smart enough to jump on the bandwagon. It’s what China has learned and it’s something we need to do if we want to regain our competitive edge or else share the arrows of pain and misfortune, plummeting to a dismal depression…

Because, like the Energizer Bunny or the Terminator, capitalism cannot and will not be stopped until all of us are dead!

Man you are a trip. You are so arrogant to insist that we are destined for failure. Then you don’t even respond to my point that the future is Uncertain. Here’s another nugget for you to dwell on, since you need to be humbled and realize you don’t get to define everything for the world: Failure is Subjective. For most Americans, our current regulated Capitalist system works just fine. You are so narrow minded and obsessed on hatred of Capitalism. Capitalism is just a system, maybe even more of a theoretical model, then something that you can just label as the cause of all mankind’s problems. Since you need to be enlightened, you must realize that SIN is the cause of all mankind’s problems. It doesn’t matter what system, Capitalist, Socialist, Anarchist, Communist, yadda yadda, if people, including the individual, not just those in power, are sinful, then suffering results.

So you have no response to my position that the future is UNCERTAIN, you just narrow mindedly believe you get to define everything uniliateraly? You need to be humbled and enlightened. Failure is more than you suggest, it is also SUBJECTIVE. For the majority of Americans, the regulated capitalist system works just fine. You are also short sighted in your hatred of Capitalism. The problems we see are much deeper than whatever political/economic system is in place, be it Capitalist, Socialist, Communist, or even Anarchist. The probelms are a result of mankind’s inherent SINFULNESS. Individuals are accountable for their outcome in life too, not just those in power.

C130 is an in-theater aircraft and would never be sufficient to deal with the USA’s strategic mobility dilemma — a dilemma that will just keep getting worse as our alliance and basing structure erodes. The armor tradeoff is important, but the Germans have a cost-effective solution in the field that goes down to 30 tons. There is a pretty wide gap between 20 and 30 tons; FCS vehicles would have done better than the Puma chassis. What I find unacceptable is the impractical demand for optimization that comes from the ORSA community, which will not accept practical engineering solutions that one can actually put in the warfighter’s hands. Now — there was a lot more to FCS than just ground vehicle design and technical readiness levels…a lot of baby got thrown out with all that bathwater. Mature systems got thrown under the bus, engineering dollars wasted, learned lessons forgotten. The invincible ignorance of those who deliberately misunderstand the underlying rationale for FCS continues to raise my ire. There is a Future Force out there to be built, that will in fact be very different and very achievable. We have a duty to speak out and complain about what was done and is being done to our Army.

They sold FCS for C-130 deployability — that was the underlying rationality. If it isn’t that important now, as you suggest, then they shouldn’t have sold it that way in the first place. The bait and switch tactics used are nauseating. As soon as Pentagon & GAO realize the wool a fast one is being pulled, they act to expose the flaws and get programs killed. The Service’s solution with their acquisition strategy should not be to put us in these situations in the first place. The British Scimitar light tank is only 8 tons. If FCS was based on realistic achievable light tank designs with modern comm/networking, and not exotic unachievable technologies, I could support. The Army is to blame for failing to produce the “Future Force”. They put all their eggs in the FCS sorry basket. I agree with you on ridiculous optimization. We need to become “satisficers” not “optimizers”. In my research I’m finding that the root causes could be unrealistic TRADOC Capability Managers, but again, they do what Army leadership tells them.

In point of fact, FCS did MCS to a fault…its entire technical performance baseline was based on such methods. They also tried to update their models as they learned, at least up through SOSFR. So in that sense your claim is utterly false, and you get another –1 score. Also, since the cost baseline changed every year (this would be thanks to John McCain and our friends in the HASC), lifecycle cost estimation became, well, problematic. Again, I’m doing my best not to inject my own opinions on this subject. But I do continue to be mildly impressed by the arrogance of this contributor. Most of my colleagues who are into the porfolio management thing are rather more humble about the limits of their tradecraft, and I am in turn quietly impressed by the things they do.

maybe we are talking different things, maybe you are just out to get me. Read this very slowly, k? John McCain did not force the Army to increase the number of systems from “14+1+1″ to “18+1+1″. Stop attacking me and say the “my claims are utterly false”. I’m talking facts, and you are self admitting to your biases and opinions. And atleast I’m not resorting to childishly giving you “-1s” like you are doing to me. Now take a deep breath. Look forward to chatting with you some more.

As the Colonel said in “A Few Good Men” — you couldn’t handle the truth. At least I didn’t take a whack at you on COCOMO and software cost estimation. But what would be achieved by that ? DoD doesn’t even know how much it has spent on software licenses across the enterprise, so if we don’t know what the Department has “bought” what difference does it make to spend tons of money updating function point and SLOC estimates in the standard and accepted models ? Or did you miss the part where Charlie Cartwright had to get up in front of Congress and explain how delays in FCS Battle Command software were holding up the program ?

Well, they don’t have the LSI to kick around anymore, it is all on the TCMs now to figure out how to put the puzzle together.…but there is more than one way to look at putting all the eggs in the FCS basket…I remember seeing that go in. Everybody knew what the deal was, and nobody had a choice. Old timers like me remembered General Wickham and the 500 sortie light division. And to read the Stryker O&O plan back in 2000, well, that was under Shinseki and before Bush and Rumsfeld. At the time, I said to myself — “Here we go again”. I remember General Gorman and his little “Fombler’s Ford” demo. I remember Tom White losing his job over the cancellation of Crusader and Commanche. But both at the beginning and the end of FCS, you had a SecDef and a Pentagon bureaucracy lording over Army leadership and basically putting it at the back of the bus. If one reads Bacevich’s book on the Pentomic Army, it is clear just how long this sort of thing has gone on.

so now you have to resort ot unoriginal quotes of fictional movies.. interesting. i’m not sure what you are getting at with the COCOMO reference, but i’ll go on record as stating parametric estimation is bad and needs to go. if we can’t do bottoms up estimating because we don’t know what we are doing, then we don’t deserve to be spending tax dollars.

Restart would include the cost of procuring components no longer in production, and thats a big problem not limited to the F-22. Where those are obsolete or unavailable, design updates would be needed, and regardless availability other design updates might be worthwhile since the F-22 is not a recent design. They also need to more quickly close the gap on advanced IR detection capabilities.

It might be time to revisit arguments for a navalized variant of the F-22; because while a tanker can refuel, it cannot rearm, as a carrier can. The shorter distance from a carrier is a force multiplier. F-35 doesn’t answer the stealth problem with its external stores, or the air superiority problem. And with the looming shortage of carrier fighters, there will be no shortage of space on the carriers.

And while we are ordering from the menu, get a navalized and modernized variant of the A-10 for close air support for the Marines… maybe with STOL capability.

what about Super Tucano or something like it? But that project went down in flames I believe. I’d also like to know why not just have Marines organic CAS provided by Cobra helicopters, and if they really need a jet why can’t they just call in USAF or USN or Army Apaches? Could USAF ETACs be embedded with Marines?

Super Tucano might be useful in low intensity conflict, has good endurance, carries two12.7mm M3P guns (.50-BMG) and 3300 pounds of bombs and rockets from the hardpoints. The pilot is lightly protected with kevlar armor and enjoys little redundandancy in critical systems.

A-10 Thunderolt II is designed to operate over a battlefield in the presence of groundfire. It has 1200 pounds of armor, the pilot in a titanium tub, operating flight controls with multiple redundancies. The A-10 carries 1174 rounds of 30mm fired from a gatling cannon (much larger, faster, heavier than .50BMG), and up to 16,000 pounds of various bombs, rockets, or extra fuel hanging on the hardpoints.

Attack helicopters are more expensive to operate than the fixed wing A-10, have less endurance, less unrefueled range, lower cruise speed from/to base, and can’t absorb as much damage. But it can operate from places that an A-10 can’t, and can hover behind obstacles in defilade.

Overlapping capability is a good thing, as is having varied tools to choose from.

thanks. what i’m really getting at is their a real need for F-35B or can we get the job of supporting Marines with CAS by better alternatives? And is Super Tucano really going to happen?

Capitalism cannot be defeated on any plane of existence
because as I said it’s a consummate force and not some
propped up patriotic concept. Some say communism is the opposite of
capitalism, it is not. Communism still must supply a demand, but in
doing so it cages capitalism up like a drugged out wild tiger, all
beaten down. Because communism involves such tremendous energy to
fare the intense waves of change from capitalism like stones in a
river bed its destined for failure. Yet if no attempt is made to
tame this wild beast or ride its powerful wave, this feral element
will surely eat you alive. With a mixture or hybrid if you will of
socialism and capitalism can we provide the perfect receipt for
success, that is if we’re smart enough to jump on the
bandwagon. It’s what China has learned and it’s
something we need to do if we want to regain our competitive edge
or else share the arrows of pain and misfortune, plummeting to a
dismal depression…

Stop declaring war in my name! Where’s all the money going? Why is the military working for the Corporate interests. Why is so much money used for propaganda to perpetuate one war after another, after another?
Don’t any of you guys ever get tired of killing? Aren’t you worried about why all these military actions, are started by the CIA? A narco-terrorist group. Let’s all wake up to this evil. Don’t let America fall, let’s return to the Constitution.

northwest gold has deposits in the pacific. not just the pipeline from canada to oregons hub in the pacific or the contracts with the lottery they buy up in canada bring it home to the us I say!

Any General or Admiral that is over 55, can’t pass the APFT, is non-deployable to a combat zone, isn’t in a mission critical command slot ( read redundant = worthless position ) hasn’t been in command of a unit in the field in a combat zone for 10 years or more and has a less than exemplary military career should be retired !
Any non-essential General or Admiral slot that is basically a stateside dog and pony show needs to be considered for elimination. An 0–7’s staff of a position like that out to be axed as well. Top heavy command staffs that basically get in the way of in country zone commanders daily decisions regarding combat operations in AFGN or IRQ need to be re-evaluated for removal. The US can no longer afford to keep all these extra brass hats and their superfluous staffs operating as status quo.

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