‘Doomsday memo’ ramps up DoD budget fight

‘Doomsday memo’ ramps up DoD budget fight

The House Armed Services Committee released a report Sept. 26 that says if the defense budget is cut any further, we’ll return to the military of “the post-Vietnam Carter era of the late 1970s” and have another Desert One debacle.

The HASC is drawing a sharp line in the sand with its so-called “Doomsday Memo,” seemingly saying anything beyond the $465 billion in cuts over 10 years would “transform a Superpower into a Regional Power.”

The report states that contemplated cuts would eliminate 60 ships, two carrier battle groups and over 200,000 troops through 2021. It’s a worst case scenario that puts several large programs at risk:


Army

  • Ground Combat Vehicle
  • Apache and Kiowa
  • Tactical Wheeled Vehicles consumed in Iraq and Afghanistan

Navy

  • Carrier variant (F-35C) of Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), in favor of more affordable but less
  • capable F-18 E/F
  • Shipbuilding (see above)
  • Construction of aircraft carriers extended, ultimately reducing number of carriers
    Procurement of OHIO class replacement extended and quantity reduced.
    Resultant cost increases consume most of shipbuilding budget

Air Force

  • Reduction to the buy of the conventional take-off and landing variant (F-35A) of JSF.
  • Next Generation Bomber
  • Aerial Refueling Tanker

Marine Corps

  • Likely elimination of the STOVL variant of the JSF (F-35B).
  • Marine Personnel Carrier
  • Limit production of V-22
  • Indefinite postponement of replacement for Amphibious Assault Vehicle
  • Reduction of amphibious ships

Interestingly — and surprisingly for a ‘progressive’ editorial board — today’s New York Times features an editorial that says Congress should take a close look at cutting benefits, arguing the cushy retirement incentives, cheapo healthcare premiums and bonuses are a legacy of tough recruiting times and are unaffordable in the modern economic era when a “retiring” 38 year-old has another 30+ years of work ahead of him.

One has to wonder if the current economic climate the the budget cutting microscope could serve as a tipping point to truly modernize the Pentagon long-term. Rather than pro-forma cuts to the highest cost technology and personnel programs, if cooler heads prevail, the Pentagon and its congressional backers could use this as a chance to really set the department up for success. Personnel programs and benefits that look more like the private sector, career paths that track more with skills and a warfighter’s resume than “promotion board” predilections. Ships, planes and vehicles that will last as long and be technically relevant for decades — the squeeze could be used to really make a force for the future.

We’ve been here before and we know that fundamental change just isn’t possible. And from this HASC position paper and report, it looks as if budget cutters are going to have to pull that money out of the committee’s cold dead fingers. Money quote from Grand Poo-Ba of Budget Critics Winslow Wheeler:

Just as clearly, [the HASC] need to be replaced, including the staff drones who wrote this party-line tripe.  (However, “party-line” is a misnomer; the Democrats (on the HASC) have basically bought on to this as well. The only amendment they have sought is to want higher revenues to protect current defense spending levels.)

 

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Been through this “scaremongering” during the Cold War. Bought it then; ain’t buying it now.

I’d like to see the real,honest-to-goodness, actual, factual, etc., costs of being the World Police. That’s where we should start cutting.

I joined the Army just before Carter became President, so I was too junior to fully understand what the effects of his gutting the military was. If Carter had instituted some of the things that are being proposed today like a 401K type retirement plan that could not be touched for years after retirement, or greatly increasing the cost of “free medical for life”, ther is no way that I would have stayed for 20+ years, and I don’t believe that today’s soldiers will either.

If the only cuts are to programs, then the Deptartment of State will have to do their jobs better; they will not have a DoD capable of stepping in at a moments notice. If the cuts are also to benefits, then we may actually see how well Defense can defend.

They keep going after the defence budget of our troops, but not once have I heard or seen any of them recommending cuts or total elimination of defence budgets to NATO and UN which is larger than the US military share of the budget. Cut those and we would be fine (yeah we need procurment refining but at least we would still be able to procure rather than cut). (and yes part of our defense budget does fund nato and un even though the politicians fail to make that clear).

You could cut ALL the things listed by the Chicken Little Pork Barrel …ooops, I mean the House Armed Services Committee, and the US would still be just as safe and just as able to recklessly blunder into costly and futile military adventures as it ever was.

PS: You got any links to credible documents supporting your claim of “defence budgets to NATO and UN which is larger than the US military share of the budget.”, Boomer?

If that’s what your poorly worded post is actually attempting to say, I mean…

We need a lean and focused military to defend the United States homeland. We need to clearly and specifically define the missions of the U.S. military which are not World Police Force, a nation building force, or a corporate personnel recruiting platform.
We have to be able to win wars against an advanced industrial power like China and also against stateless terrorist cells.
The Navy’s USMC/SEALS are the tip of our combat spear. We need to significantly increase their strength and provide advanced education and pay to ensure retention.
The consensus sounds like scrap the big wasteful expensive programs like the F22 and F35. Tell Lockheed to build 6 operational prototypes
using what they have developed to date. These planes can be used for training. The production of these planes could be ramped up in future if needed for a specific conflict.
Produce more new F-16’s old A-10’s and new design KC 46A tankers for the existing bomber fleet.
The Chinese are building carriers so we need to maintain and upgrade our carrier fleet. If the USS Enterprise
can still float and launch planes then keep her in standby and operational until a replacement USS JFK can be built.
Build two new design nuclear subs. Use them for training. Keep the production capability intact to ramp up future production.
Build nuclear powered ships only for the Navy to avoid foreign oil dependence.
Maintain the medical facility and one airbase in Germany and remove all other bases and troops from the EU.
NATO can continue to have meetings but at EU expense.
Remove all U.S. ground troops from South Korea. Maintain one joint airbase in South Korea if they approve.
Maintain one existing joint U.S. air base in Okinawa. Remove all other bases and forces from Japan.
Significantly upgrade U.S. military bases in Guam. Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Alaska.
Reduce and then redeploy all South America and Central America U.S. forces to Panama to ensure strategic functionality of the Canal Zone. The drug cartels can keep shooting it out among themselves. Brazil can build a Navy.
Reduce the active duty Army size by one half to combat units and advance logistic support units.
Combine the National Guard and Army Reserve and triple their size.Fund adequate training and pay to keep this force professional and ready to defend the homeland.
Substantially increase the numbers and use of existing commercial U.S. airline designs to transport troops, light equipment and weapons and supplies.
Reduce the Minuteman program by half. Reduce the nuclear weapons by stockpiling half of current inventory.
Close U.S. Embassies in in most countries except major allies and significant trade partners.. Rent space in hotels or secure buildings in foreign capitals for trade missions.
Significantly increase the HUMINT program worldwide. Set their goal to be as competent in gathering intel as the Chinese are. (con’t)

(con’t)Dedicate a sufficient part of NSA to actively eliminating with extreme prejudice any computer hackers that interfere with U.S. activities worldwide.
Increase UAV drone program using carriers.
Stop the LCV littoral ship program and revaluate it for future use.
Build many fast armed transport USNS. flag ships quickly using proven designs​.in the U.S. shipyards. to deploy troops, supplies and equipment. This fleet can also be used to transport civilian cargo to improve U.S. export program competitiveness.
Contract GM/Ford to build light, medium and heavy duty trucks based on existing proven designs for rapid economical military transportation.
Scrap the JLTDV program. Make it SOP to carpet– bomb a 1/4 mile wide buffer strip on either side of any war zone strategic highway if any IED activity is suspected or anticipated.
Build an EMP hardened alternate GPS system and Internet system for DOD use only.
Train all deployable troops in traditional light weapons skills, radio communication, land navigation and SERE.

Establish a new procurement system. Military contractors can be classified as Essential to National Security.
Necessary to National Security, or Approved Military Contractors. Each classification would have special qualification requirements and regular inspections. The Readiness ratings of these essential contractors would upheld as part of the strategic readiness of DOD. Higher rated and higher paid companies would be closely controlled by DOD to ensure readiness and audited by the U.S. Treasury Dept. and U.S. Congress to avoid corruption. Minimize any dependence on foreign countries.
The Homeland Security budget looks like a pork barrel. Define their mission and get their budget under control.

If we need a World Police Force then designate the FBI to recruit train and organize world police forces.
That mission has nothing to do with the military. The role of the military is quickly kill the enemy and destroy their capability to wage war on the U.S.A.
“Winning hearts and minds” duties should be assigned to the State Dept. and Peace Corps forces as it has nothing to do with the military.
Increase funding and training for NBC warfare defense for troops and build more U.S. P4 facilities.
Withdraw U.S troops from Iraq, Afghanistan immediately.
Upgrade U.S. base in Aviano if Italy and EU approve.
Cut Pentagon staff by 25%. Reduce the rank of senior positions by at least one grade. Prohibit any retiring officer from employment with any corporation he did significant government business with while on active duty. Increase military full retirement to 30 years of active duty service or age 65 with 20+ years of active duty service.
Increase enlisted pay at E-5 and above to increase retention of qualified and experienced personnel.
The military is not a social experiment and should be a meritocracy for all American citizens.

Do that and watch the DOD budget get manageable!

.

The right wants to be a superpower, the left wants to be a regional power.

Make your own choice.

Thing is the House can stand up for out of control military spending all it wants but doesn’t matter the Senate and White House are in Democratic hands and its up to them to cut spending. We will get bigger cuts and the spenders just don’t like it so there having temper tantrums about it.

The politicking is really annoying. I know this is what is going on in public. I certainly hope at least behind the scenes they are thinking about how to leverage existing programs and OTS options to accomplish the same missions. I know we have to preserve the skill set in industry for R&D purposes so the public opinion has to be to hold the line on cuts. I just hope in private the spend as much time being more creative with less resources.

The right wants the US to be the #1 superpower. The left wants the US to be a regional power and wants China to be the #1 superpower. And with Russia being the number #2 superpower.

Hilarious, still 10 times the next largest budget but can only dominate Canada and Mexico !

After the performance in Iraq and Afghanistan I doubt they mean Mexico, and definitely not Cuba — they probably just mean Canada.

If Canada is the competition we can cut a lot more without any problem.

“We need a lean and focused military to defend the United States homeland.”

Since when ? the prime DoD objective isn’t to defend the US it’s the “keep the money flowing and add to it”.

all the Republicans have to do is to agree to tax increases and the military budget would be ok. Neither the Reps or Dems have the courage to cut entitlements. Therefore more revenue is needed. We have a spending problem, but it will not be addressed by even the most conservative politician.

Could cost ~$420 billion but we could (In less than 20 years) replace ~70percent of our electrical and around 35% of our total power usage with solar. That would reduce the amount of oil we need so low that we don’t have to buy around 50% of what we buy now and we would be producing well over half our oil used domestically. If we then work on replacing the few oil burning plants with natural gas we could find ourselves 100% independent. At that point we wouldn’t really care much what happens in the middle east anymore. I would think that would be something that everyone would be happy about.

Do that and the world will be in the hand of Chinese and Russian and become a regional power, unable to win a little war and after that pray for your security maybe god will help you

I’ll trade my “cushy” retirement benefits with one of the stock option and bonus packages most of those CEO’s get. I’ll even throw in all the fun-filled trips down IED-laden roads and rocket attacks which were always the highlight of a Middle East tour.…Now THAT’s a deal for them. If one chooses to act NOW, I’ll even throw in a year worth of MRE’s and a monthly shower run!

All you have to do is go to OMB website and search around, pages and pages of facts. Total budget for 2011 in billionswas 658.7 of which = Vets 118.2/ r&d not posted/ n.e.c. not posted/ foreing military aid 10.7/ foreign economic aid 43.3/ UN got 6.347/ NATO got civil 21.7394, NSIP 21.7499, military 22.4042.… SO OUT OF THE ORIGINAL 658.7 THE ARMY — NAVY — AIRFORCE AND MARINES GOT WHAT WAS LEFT OVER (AFTER R&D, NEC AND RECONSTRUCTION IN THE WAR ZONE). Foreign aid, NATO, UN, NEC, R&D, and reconstruction should be cut first, then overseas basing which is tripple of the cost of US basing before they even start gutting the military forces.

Oil is bought and traded on a GLOBAL market. The oil we pump is traded on the world market and our refineries aren’t able to use it due to EPA restrictions under the clean air act. If we stopped using oil imports the price wouldn’t drop; OPEC would simply cut production to keep the prices high. If we used only natural gas, we have enough to last 50 years with no imports. Then what are you going to use to heat your home? Natural gas is cheap right now because it’s not used on a large scale. That’s the ONLY reason it is so cheap. We should repeal NAFTA. bring the jobs back home, and export stuff like we did before NAFTA became law. Everybody else is STILL slapping huge tariffs on American goods, so what is the point of NAFTA; to help everybody BUT us?

Agreement is with Crusader. Mostly!

My point is that Solar power could cut more than 50% of the oil we use now. If your numbers are correct that natural gas in a 1 to 1 conversion would only give us 50 years, a Solar/Natural gas system would give us 125years or more. That’s a long time to figure something else out. This does not stop us from exporting our oil and/or importing/refining Canadian oil (Where we currently import 70% of our imported oil from). If we spend another 100 billion or so we could convert the rest of the electrical grid and push that number out another 50 years easy. By then (175 years from now) we could use more nuke plants, maybe fission instead of fission. We could convert more cars/transport to run on hydrogen and using electrolysis to make it from water. My point is that we can be independent from long enough to research what comes next. It’s not like the oil was going to last forever either.

They dont in congress but maybe more govnors will step up like FL did making it mandatory to pass drug screening for welfare, food stamps and other state/govt funded programs with total removal from the program if you fail or refuse for a minimum of 3 years… while not 100% it will still reduce a large number of folks from the program. (and yes the current tests can determine if your using fast orange or niacin to try and flush your system to beat the test).

I’m with ya on that one — let me know if you get any takers, I’ll even throw in all my old uniforms and medals for extra cudos for them.

Absolutely. They also need to look at overseas cutbacks like in Germany and elsewhere. Our service members and veterans should be top priority. The Wall Street Journal editorial and other idiots who suggest cutting those benefits need to walk in our shoes for 3,6,10, or 20 years and see how they feel about that.

Notice all these recomendations are done by NON SERVING and or the ultimate lowest of scumbag draft dodgers left over from 60’s. SHAD UP and put old military veterans on these boards. Then we can beleive where to cut.

May we call you Mr. President?
Or at least someone who knows ass from elbow and has their shit together?

Way to go Obama i hope all those who voted for this clown loves that so called “Change” it seems to be for the worse in most views.Talking about carter he is no longer number one in the worst president ever Obama has broken that record big time just because he is pandering for votes and not caring at all about America and our security. All he is doing is trying to please his radical left libby friends and ex– weathermen terrorists.

you don’t have a clue what so ever.

The closet commies in the Republican party will bankrupt the USA with big spending just like the USSR. Some good ones want to roll back spending to 2008 levels, which is 75% higher than 2001, but that is called extreme by greedy and selfish idiots.

Crusader makes the point of upping the size of the Guard and Reserve. The USMC has proven that they CANNOT deploy, conduct and sustain combat operations without the Trucks,Helos, drivers and mechanics of the Army Guard and Reserve. Most Marine units cannot move from Pendleton to 29Palms without the 63rd Support Com doing the heavy lifting. I say cut the Reserve and offer the Reservists full time jobs support the USMC, God knows in this economy many would do it. Overall the performance of the USMC in Iraq &
A-stan has been, being generous, quite poor. Paraphrasing Gen. Amos, we’re the tip of the spear, and its quite dull. We need a lighter more flexible USMC without the trappings of “Big Army”, think 2 Divs of 3 Brigades based on 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines. Armor/Heavy Arty from the Army, air support from the USAF/USN. Door Smashers & *** kickers. Save the Fighting Marines and deep6 the excess.

how about cuts to members of congress? you know the medical bennies and out of touch pay.I think we need term limits for members of congress and get rid of these lifers who gain power over time and minipulate the very system they are supposed to serve.Go after the rich? i think not go after members of congress you bet start cutting their pay/bennies/special projects and pork for friends/term limits/more work hours it seems every time we turn around they are on vacation for 2–3 months???.

funny they said my posting was to long and had to break it up, but it was no longer then some others in fact it was way shorter.The truth hurts and they try to mess with you.FACT!

Paul you retard i guess you have forgotten one simple fact or your so full of the Obama propaganda you don’t want to know.Obama spent more money then all of the presidents and wars combined since the very start of this great country of ours. Please you idiot go check the facts and then see who is spending us to fail.Also they had a super majority and could of fixed this whole problem but what did the super majority do? went on vacation. this is how much the dems really care about you and i.The reps are no better but not as bad as the dems who are trying to play the blame game.Yes we had a debt but you don’t spen more to fix it and at an all time record.

All of the marines on this board will probably shoot me for saying this but I could not disagree more with the thought process of some people on here saying that we need more marines. In my opinion the Marines are a force that was originally intended to be an initial entry force to gain a beachhead. Which basically means that in sustained conflicts, i.e. Iraq and Afghanistan they are obsolete. There is nothing that a Marine unit can do in a sustained conflict that a traditional light infantry unit in the Army can do. And the Army has the added benefit of already coming with all of the support needed. I honestly think that we need to do just to opposite and shrink if not eliminate all together the Marines. It will never happen though, there is too much history with the Corps but as a fighting force it really doesn’t make any sense.

Mexico? Yeah. Where every cartel member has a gun and knows how to use it. That wouldn’t be any more successful that Afghanistan, where every man makes his own rifle and history has shown drives off or kills all invaders. Our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan clearly show that we couldn’t have handled the Soviets, who at least killed more Nazis than all the allies out together.

NATO? They barely had enough ammunition ad bombs to handle Libya. They wouldn’t have been able to handle Switzerland, let alone East Germany.

Crusader3 , I am talking about the homeland and nothing else at this moment.The truth is the American citizen are the original homeland security and as japan knew at the time of WWII “there are guns behind every blade of grass”. Also if it came down to it we would kick china’s azz big time and they know it without any doubt at all. If this wasn’t true don’t you think china would of made the move already? and yes they would and the very first move would be taiwan. the only thing they have for the moment and not much longer are the norks which will fall out soon in our life times.Also china will without a doubt implode on itself, Nixon did the right thing by opening the doors to china and their citizens crave freedom. About 2034 we will see communist china end if not sooner.

Crusader is on the right track. Abolish the current Reserves. Convert one third of the Active forces to a new National Guard structure. Change training from two weeks each summer and one weekend a month to 3 months active duty, including a full training deployment. Pay employers full rate to hire temps to backfill. That would provide a full integrated force structure comparable to the integrated National Guard model used in Iraq. The Founding Fathers would greatly approve and it would save $42 billion a year for the same combat power. Doomsday! Not at all. The force was hollowed out in the 1970’s by the generals, admirals and political appointees making bad choices, which they blamed on budget cuts.

John Kerry? George Bush? Don Rumsfeld?

John Mccain? Duncan Hunter? Tommy Franks????? http://​abcnews​.go​.com/​B​l​o​t​t​e​r​/​s​t​o​r​y​?​i​d​=​4​1​4​9​4​3​7​&​a​m​p​;am

why accept cuts to defense? we are spending too much on health care. Simply change patent protection for new drugs back to 7 years from 20 years and introduce price controls. This alone would save 2.5 trillion dollars over 10 years without cutting anybody’s benefits or raising taxes. Why do pharmaceutical companies have to be a protected class shielded by the federal government allowing them as an example to demand 120000.- dollars for one treatment with a vaccine procedure called provenge extending the life of a prostate cancer patient by maybe 4 months with that pt demanding through the allocated Medicare benefit that society pays for it. Medicare cannot remain a program which is open-ended without price controls. So when Tea Party girl Michelle Bachmann rails against socialized medicine while defending Medicare we have a serious problem.

Raise taxes (bring back war taxes and war bonds), only buy made in American weapons (by human not job taking machines), nuke russia and china, reintroduce 3 year draft so pain can be felt collectively to ungrateful fat ass civviies.

SGT ROCK we could use Trident nukes on 100 Chinese cities and quickly reduce our national debt, solve the military budget crisis, and bring many jobs back to the homeland. Somebody would have to do the manufacturing.
Where is Harry Truman when we need him?

Agreed, I fail to see how spending a couple trillion and losing a couple thousand lives in Iraq helped further the cause as US as superpower or reduce terrorism (John Allen Muhammed, Major Hassan, et al were not Iraqi agents for Saddam nor working for Osama!).

Good Evening Folks,

Sorry but I don’t see the world coming to end, even if all the mentioned cuts were imposed 100%. From what is coming down right now the defense budget over the next ten years will be trimmed by a little over a $ trillion ($1.2 trillion is the number working around).

Just a quick glance. Lets see replacing vehicles lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m assuming the vehicle in question is MRAP, with over 44,000 in Army Inventory and of about 25,000 in Navy/Marine inventory we have enough for any future contingency.

The Apache/Kiowa both are old air frames, the US has the oldest AH’s of any country in the world, that are at the maximum use of their design. The Army seems to have plenty of both in the inventory. A new attack helicopter that better meets the needs of the 21st. Century battlefield would be better for the USArmy.

The Navy/Marines two GBG’s has already been vetted and the consensus is that nine CBG’s is what it’s going to be. The Marines they flat out don’t need an APC and the EFV cost wide is just jot justified. The F-35B and C.

The STVOL’s combat record and costs have not been impressive and the E/F-18G is far more cost effective and can handle any foreign aircraft currently in the air and any projected in the future including what every China decides to do with the J-20.

Submarines. A dedicated SSBN would seem to be a waste of money. A combination SSGN/SSBN that could be used in other then nuclear war would be a far better choice and more cost effective.

But don’t get to worked up. Todays announcement of the Army being left with 520,000 active is about 50,000 more then most senior Army officers were expecting to get.

The USAF losing the F-35A is not the end of the world, as far as a B-3 goes, nobody has yet shown a need.

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

The bubble has been reinflated so the cuts are relatively minor, getting rid of all the pay for fail programs is a no brainer.

It’s pretty clear that once the bubble goes down again the cuts will have to come from the meat.

The US funds for the UN amount to around $12 billion (http://​www​.heritage​.org/​r​e​s​e​a​r​c​h​/​r​e​p​o​r​t​s​/​2​0​1​1​/​0​4​/​c​u​t​s​-​i​n​-​u​s​-​c​o​n​t​r​i​b​u​t​i​o​n​s​-​n​e​c​e​s​s​i​t​a​t​e​-​b​u​d​g​e​t​-​a​u​s​t​e​r​i​t​y​-​a​t​-​t​h​e​-un). Hardly equal to the $700 billion budgeted for the DoD. I don’t mind reducing the UN and NATO funds, it will not offset a significant amount but would be a start.

Everett Dirksen once said, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”

He actually chose not to nuke China in Korea ya know

Entitlements? I am so tired of hearing this. For 42+ years I have either been in the armed forces or worked in the defense contracting business supporting our service men and women. During the entire time I have done this, the US government (we the people) has, at gun point, taken social security (tax) money from me. The governement (we the people) has stolen it on a daily basis, especially since it was moved into the general fund, and now that it is time to give me back MY money as promised.….…..now it’s an entitlement? Quit letting the propaganda machine brainwash you and find out about these “entitlements”. Fix the system yes, finalize the theft of my money by cutting entitlements — #@***&%%#. And thats all I have to say about that!

I agree totaly — the constitution only refers to paying compensation for time in office, it no where indicates they shall continue to recieve any form of compensation after they leave office. or that they be provided 600 an oz steak, 16 dollar muffins, 10 dollar esspreso an so on. and I cant find anything anywhere that permits the so called first lady to have a budget — staff — and so on.

I dont think most on here consider SS — medicare-or even military retirement as an entitlement as much as we do wlefair — food stamps — unemployment — SS to dope heads and criminals or the spouse of one shot during a drug bust, or SS given to illegals or non us citizens in US territories. In other words entitlements is giving tax payers money to leeches that dont deserve it.

they were all ring knockers — they dont count as treal military when it comes to knowing whats broken. Enlisted run the military from the inside and keep it moving while coorecting ringknockers mistakes and fubars.

Obama’s war/s isn’t in Iraq, Afghanistan or on the southern border of America they are right here in America with the Tea Party, Republicans, and millionaire/billionaires. The democrats don’t need a standing Army, Navy or any armed forces that could defend us from an outside threat, they have the unions, black panthers and disgruntled welfare recipients who are prepared to fight the rest of us from within. That’s why you have heard most of the knuckleheads from the left openly saying to include our president that they are in a war with the rest of us. Their worst enemy is a strong Department of Defense capable of protecting us not only from an outside threat but from their inside threat as well. History has seen more than one leader who tried to create civil war from within to defeat his internal enemies.

The world would be a better place if the US ceased to be a superpower and became a regional power. There’s something obscene about a country whose defense budget exceeds the combined defense budgets of the rest of the world. Our government, the military-industrial-complex and American warmongers are not interested in the ‘defense’ of the US — they are interested only in adding blood money to their coffers through waging unjust, immoral wars. The primary purpose of the US military is to act as Israel’s surrogate. Our troops are being used as expendable cannon-fodder, waging aggressive imperial wars against supposed Arab, Islamic and Persian enemies at the behest of Israel and the Judeo– Zionist who dominate the US government, the media, the financial and monetary institutions, the educational institutions and the so-called Christian-Zionists. The hand writing is on the wall and the United States has been weighed in the balances and found wanting. Our country is on a fast-track to moral, ethical and financial collapse. Our only hope is to throw off the shackles of the Israeli-Jewish oligarchs and to restore some semblance of moral decency to this once great nation.

The so called “right” claims to want to run the country like a business. Since when do successful businesses throw good money after bad? We have a defense industry where 80 cents out of every dollar spent goes overseas. It is an industry where failure is rewarded over success and the only answer the “right” has is to reward that failure with more money? I think it is well past time we looked at who these people who claim to be on the “right” really are and what their agenda really is. If it is to bankrupt our country and send all of our industries and jobs overseas, then I want no part of that. If anyone wants to stand up with me for a country that honors the capitalist principles upon which this country was founded and look out for our own economic interests first, then and only then will this country return to the greatness it once had.

Bring back the draft if you cut or alter the 20 year retirement. Every Flag that briefed or spoke about retirements being too expensive NEVER offered to take less! Ever. It was always anyone beneath them. I could care less.
Less than 1% of America serves. I will be politically incorrect and say good.….…so PAY UP! You dont want your precious Johnny Sue and Jimmy Joe to serve, then shut up about my retirement.
When Congress axes its own good deal I might consider listening to anyone on the hill or in the DoD about cutting benefits. No thanks!

The US. worry to much about other countries more than its own. I have to admit NATO do help other countries but how long will we have to fund them? and what about the UN, they get the most of the cut and they always come before the US. They did in Somalia yrs. ago and now again. Hopefully we would get a new President with common sense or knows atleast something about Economics.

Who would want to serve in today’s military anyway? The troops pay and benefits are being used as political capital for most politicians who want something for their chances t stay in power, and the government as a whole is corrupt and inept and the current whining by the DoD for money is proof. Who would wan to serve in a military when congress is wanting to change promotion and advancement systems to relate more closely to the civilian world? That would equate to no chance for advancement, stagnant rank systems, and career NCOs and officers who do nothing for nobody, not even their own troops under their command. Who wants to serve when the politicians want to change “free” medical care for the military and military dependents? I mean come on.…a soldier goes out and loses a leg or an arm, or their lungs “serving” politicians who could care less about the troops because they are too worried about their “stock” holders wanting to put them out of power. So, in closing I say this.…..who ever would want to enlist to serve in today’s military is a fool or just plain stupid. Because as we all know, this wonderful country could give a care less about the troops serving, and those veterans who have served anyway.

If this man had served 19 1/2 years in the active military with no retirement, he might feel a bit differently about the money he has paid into Social Security. It is easy to be ruthless towards others when it is you who is being taken care of first.

Here is something to think about. If you serve five years in the military in peacetime or in combat, you get no retirement benefits. Ten years — nothing. Twenty years, you get 50% of your modest salary (much military compensation comes in the form of benefits and bonuses). At thirty years you get 75%. Do the math, and what you get in retirement compensation is not enough to live on. What is really valuable are your medical benefits, and those last a lifetime. Fairness would imply prorating retirement benefits for first term enlistees so that everyone gets something for the time they serve honorably. I know there are educational benefits, but those come and go. And extend the retirement age, so that people can serve longer in uniform as long as they can meet the physical fitness standards — the longer you serve, the more retirement you get.

That is a problem. We don’t need to make things worse by shafting those who are now serving in uniform — or making them feel as if their sacrifices are worth nothing. That is why we must always fight to win and never, never, never, never give in. The next generation always pays the price when our nation is weak and takes the easy way out.

My military retirement is in no way enough for anyone to live on, I dont know why so many of you sand crabs seem to think we get a big check and everything is free to us, Welfare pays more and has more free benefits with 1000 X the people recieving it. So I do care about all the money I paid into SS and dont like the fact that it is given to people who never paid into it or are recieving more than they paid into it.

Dfens. the issue is a choice between hyper-globalism or nationalism . Global corporations, even though they started out in the USA, have no mission except to increase their profits anyway,anywhere they can. They have no requirement for allegiance to the American people. They do not have to make their decisions based on maintaining the American standard of living..
We are cutting our DOD budget today because Hyper-globalism is a failed Clinton-Greenspan experiment and the result of it is today’s world economic collapse.
What is good for Small Business is good for Americans, Small business hires Americans. Small town American capitalism is good for Americans. Investing in America is good for Americans.
Spending our tax dollars outside of America is not especially good for Americans. What is good for mega global corporations is seldom good for Americans. Those corporations are are making bigger profits investing in China and foreign countries. Profit is good, but these corporations are creating jobs in foreign countries not in the USA.
We have a military budget crisis because our government has favored global corporations for the last 20 years and they are not generating tax revenues in the USA to maintain and operate the DOD. Our infrastructure is worn out, we wasted money on military programs for pork barrel politics.
Our military needs a strong American located economy to generate the tax revenues to pay for a strong military. Our military is used to maintain global stability for corporations to operate internationally but these same corporations don’t want to pay taxes to support our military budget. Why does GE have 10,000 corporate tax attorneys on it’s payroll to avoid paying U.S. taxes? When you support politicians who are owned by global corporations that don’t want to pay their share of U.S. taxes to support our DOD budget…who are you benefitting?

OR, we could avoid all the theatrics and just let the Bush tax cuts expire in their entirety and whammo, horrible budget problem solved. But, now we have “x” number of dollars being spent by DoD (and every other agency) pushing around PPT’s regarding a politically created scenario that is easy to solve. Also, if everyone hasn’t noticed, the implementation of all these draconian cuts in January 2013, after the election. So it could all be undone (and it will) by the lameduck Congress after November 2012. The debt is very manageable, with minor tweaks to everyone. Talk about chasing your tail.

Umm… how would letting the Bush tax cuts expire fix the budget problem? Have you looked at the math on that claim?

When you consider what these cuts represent, they are pretty much downright unacceptable if we want a military that isn’t only operating 30+ year old equipment by 2021.

FANTASTIC reference on the provenge drug. you’ve greatly expanded my thinking and you hit the nail on the head with the greatest threat to our economic & national security. wikipedia says the cost of treatment is $93K.

I like Paul Ryan’s proposal to make Medicaid a block grant program to the states. perhaps we need to do the same thing with Medicare. Peg the Medicare / Medicaid program funding to its current % and $ figure of the US federal budget, ration out to the States, and stop health care from threatening our entire discretionary spending program… You could argue health care spending increases are a threat to Social Security as well.

I’ll settle for a country that doesn’t allow Dick Cheney to increase the value of his stock portfolio at the cost of 4,400 American lives.

In the words of wisdom uttered by “DAFFY DUCK,” Obama is despicable, simply because

he is not one of “US,” but one of “THEM.”

alot of people would, especially in today’s economy. so you need to add “opportunistic” to the list of attributes of the people who want to enlist. you should also add “patriotic”.

JRL, what are you trying to comprehend in your secure world that we, the trust, the dedicated military have provided for you? Oh, wait a minute, do we give the orders to take action, or do we fellow them? Wake up you over privileged child.…there is a balance in all this…the peace loving, wanting the world to be in LOVE, and the reality of being at the mercy of world idiots…make sure you point your finger in the right direction, or next time maybe you get your finger cut off.…was that me being a war monger? Oh, sorry, that might have been training taking over! Thanks for your vote of confidence…did I get all the spelling right?

you got 3 kinds of people in the world, you got your d*s, p*s, and a*s.…

Medicare and SS aren’t funded by the general fund, they are funded through FICA collections. Different funding issues than Medicaid. Medicaid is funded through the general fund. Money is distributed through matching funds to the states. The states were willing to put control measures in place, but Congress ala Obama mandated they maintain standards of coverage if they wanted matching funds.

Problem is recent rising costs are that more people are out of work and accessing the program. We need to get the economy moving before we go throwing the poor people under the bus because the bottom line is sick people are still going to show up at ERs if they have no choice, and if they have no money Medicare still eats the cost. Pass it all along to the states and they just go belly up. A balanced federal budget doesn’t do us much good if our cities and states start going bankrupt. Block grants don’t solve the problem, they pass it along to local jurisdictions.

Medicare and SS can have their issues solved much more easily. Bumping up the full benefits age and applying means tests to SS will fix it. Bumping up the age for Medicare and applying a co-pay to Part A would go a long way to helping that out.

The Medicare solution you propose does not address the open ended nature of health care costs identified above. Increasing the FICA contribution, Bumping up the age and increasing co-pays I could see, but don’t think a means test for SS is good. People pay into SS they expect to get their money back that was promised them. The thing about Block grants and capping/cost control is that you would be sure to address the fiscal problem of the health care programs, which is how we would make room in the budget for the discretionary investments required to sustain and improve the economy.

Boomer, you sound like the military’s version of Obama promoting class warfare. The results are the same. Divide and conquer.

I disagree. But personally, I could care less if you call the US a world power or a piss power. When we use that well trained, well equipped military to tke you out, then we’ll see whos got the power. Ultimately it is not the American right to be THE world power. It is that mindset that fuels a unsustainable foreign and national policy.

It does address the costs in Medicare. Retirees pay zero for part A coverage, any of them, regardless of their means. That isn’t realistic. So it does address the rising costs issue, it requires those that can pay for that service to pay for that service. I also never said anything about increasing the FICA pay in.

In regards to SS it is either an increase in the pay in, a means test, or the trust runs out of money and people settle for 75% of their promised benefits, which is what happens when the trust runs out of money. It can only pay out that much based on projected collections from current workers. Of all the entitlement issues frankly I see that as the least of the evils to address, because I can’t imagine anyone in their 40s or even 50s counting on SS as their sole income. A bump in full benefits age is probably politically the easiest to implement, might not fix the whole problem though.

You aren’t getting my point in the issue of block grants. All that does is solve the budgetary issue for the federal government, it doesn’t solve the cost issue. It just passes it along to the states. They are still going to have the same needs, it is just going to boil down to cutting benefits for people, or cutting other local level services, or raising taxes at the local level. It’s also a tremendous cop out on the part of the federal govt since Medicaid was their idea. The block grants people are just trying to dodge the bullet and pass the blame onto the states.

thats the cost of the drug only

Clinton was a free trader and so were both Bush’s. Now tell me which party is controlled by “globalists”? Hell, that’s why Ross Perot ran against the first Bush and Clinton. As far as he was concerned he had to go to a 3rd party because there were no differences between the traditional 2. Trump ran as an anti-globalist and how long did he last?

I should have said 93000.- is the cost of the drug only without scans/clinic fees etc.

I would rather see us spend the $ on an ultra powerful military than the idiotic giveaway social welfare programs and aid to foreign countries such as Pakistan. Money spent on a strong military generates USA jobs in which Americans have to actually WORK (and thus have funds with which to pay taxes) for the money they receive. All of the political left’s welfare programs and stimuli only flushes money down an endless black hole with zero positive return. Ask the Germans of the former West Germany how they felt about the influx of the Communist trained “Osties” from East Germany when the Wall came down. I was there for five years. Obama and our Left would turn our own citizens into the same ridiculous, welfare minded, no work ethic, dependent upon the government type of peope the West Germans got from the newly arrived East Germans. THere are essentially two types of Americans, those who wnat to make it on their own without the freakin’ governments supposed help and those whiners who think the gov’t is the answer to everything and who can’t make it on their own initiative. ‘Nuff Said!

Ok, don’t cut the military budget and you’ve still got a military that’s operating 30+ year old equipment. Big deal. You lose either way. Might as well spend the money on something that benefits Americans like roads or playgrounds. Most of all defense dollars go overseas. It’s not like we’re losing our expertise in weapons design as weapons designers were made obsolete by military contractors 20 years ago. What we have is not worth keeping, but now that it’s budget crunch time — “oh no, you can’t cut the military industrial complex, they keep us safe”? Safe from what, being able to spend our money on something that matters?

Joe,
I have to agree with you in full. In fact as both a veteran and a military spouse, I felt so strongly on the matter that I started my own petition. Anyone interested in signing it can go to Change​.org and search “Tell Obama Not to Gut our Military Retirement”.

Lots to comment on.

–The SEALs are going to be a pretty dull spear if you don’t keep a leading edge nuclear sub option deployed.

–You can’t keep a production “intact” without building stuff. That means paying people to sit around and do nothing which is far more wasteful. Also modern weapons aren’t cans of beer, you don’t just pop them out 10 a minute. It takes years to build many things and by the time you’d have them the conflict would be over.

–An all nuclear navy would cost several times more than what we have, no money for that.

–We are already upgrading our bases in the Pacific and honestly we don’t have much left to scale back in Europe. Not a huge amount of savings to be had.

–Closing embassies except in allied countries and increasing HUMINT are completely opposite one another.

–You upgrade carriers with what flies off them, so scrapping advanced aircraft makes that statement oxymoronic.

–We pulled out of Panama, so not sure what we need to go back for. The Gulf of Mexico is already our personal bath tub.

–The airline industry already receives payments to pull flights for national security needs if a situation arises.

–The X47 has to actually work before we can increase it.

–The LCS probably does need a hard look.

–Carpet bombing a 1/4 mile of MSR would be very expensive, not to mention genocide in most places we operate, people tend to live next to roads.

–We already train all troops in basic soldiering skills, although not sure why a cook needs SERE training.

–Full retirement already is 30 years I believe from the military.

What kind of a price tag do you put on liberty? I would like to ask anyone, If we are not going to be at the top of the food chain, then who do you suppose should take over that position? Come on people. We are not so naive to believe that this kind of resposibility can just be passed to anyone!

You Have your head so far up your south point of contact your eyses float!
You need to wake up and see who is footing the bill for this party buddy, the other 99 percent of the country. We are the ones who have to put up with this whining crap from all sides. If your not a vet, your a piece of crap, if you are a vet your a piece of crap. Thats all I have heard since I was old enough to read this garbage.

What YOU Rickster and the people like you in America need to do is stand up, be proud of what you did and who you are and take enough responsIbilitiy TODAY to make a difference. Not all battles are fought by soldiers. You can fight new battles for ALL Americans by quit whining, shut up, suck it up and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Picket, protest right your congressman, piss on a spark plug, something!

The retirement benefit is not a recruiting tool, it is used to retain senior personnnel. The United States military is not like IBM, Microsolf or any other civilian corporation. You can NOT go across town and hire someone to fill a management (leadership) position in the United States military. A VP or director in a civilian company can easily fill the same position in another company. Not true in the military. It takes years to develop warfighting skills and they are unique to only the military.

Why don’t we make congress-critters abide by the same benefits our troops do? We’ll save tons of $$$. They’re much less important and they don’t even get shot at!!

DREAMER! Some good ideas, but mostly just speculative ideas with no foundation in reality!

I doubt you really mean the Tea Baggers are on the left, do you?

Is that why all the services quit recruitment bonuses and continue to meet quota? I thought that had to do with the recession and high unemployment.

@psyferg: I’m afraid that your observation is twisted in the wrong direction. It’s your repug tea bagger ilk who are at war with anyone who does not share their benign logic of no taxes and massive spending cuts on everything from the military budget to social programs. Most of this falls on GW Bush, who instituted the moronic tax cuts in the midst of two wars. Please explain to me how can the U.S. maintain its military capabilities, let alone its economy, without a consistant stream of tax revenue? If you are retired military, I’m sure you want your checks to keep coming in. If you are a disabled vet, I am sure that you would like to receive whatever assistance the VA and other veterans programs provide to you. You need to consider those issues before you make idiotic, one-sided, and divisive statements like those in your previous post.

Hey, Crusader3, just wondering if you can offer an idea of how to fix this mess, or expand on your brief reply above…lol. I wish more people would approach a question with some reasonably thought out ideas like you have. Then these ideas can be debated out in the open, politics aside. I like many of you thoughts here. Nice to see someone put them down on paper.

We are borrowing money from China to spend $700 billion a year on the military budget we have now. No one sees anything wrong with that? What do you think is going to happen? The bill will never have to be paid? Hell, at this rate they won’t have to take us over, they can just buy us out and send an eviction notice. I’m sure our federal government will be more than happy to help them walk us out of our homes, since they bought those bastards years ago. What are you people trying to “save” here? A defense procurement system that doesn’t work? A government that has been over extended for decades? Wake the hell up! It’s time to do things differently.

Did anyone read about the domestic terrorist who was planning on flying RC planes laden with c4 into the pentagon and capitol? Be prepared for more asymmetric commercial off the shelf threats that a multi billion US paid for European missile defense shield cannot fight against.

Hmmmm.…What is the average congressional/house/political salary? Not too sure why no one has made that connection yet. None of these people care about the military or the average citizen. They only care about keeping that 200k plus job for as long as possible. None of them are actually in touch with what matters to the average American ir the average American soldier. Most all of them come from money and have never truely had to sweat over whether they could make their mortgage payment that month or whether to buy groceries instead. So don’t try and sell me that either side of the debate has our best interest at heart, because they don’t. The sooner everyone realizes this and starts putting back in place the limits that were originally intact on government itself, the better off we will all be. Check your constitution and declaration people, the only place government was intended to be in our lives was to protect us from being screwed by foreign entities. Other than that they were to insure our right to life liberty and happiness, period. Nothing else. Our representatives were elected from among the common people because their peers felt that they could do the best job. Not because they had a massive wealth behind them and could out up the best campaign. Know your history people and it will show you just how far off base we have been led.

Very thoughtful comment. Thanks for sharing your time, energy, and analysis with us. Great “food for thought.”

Warren

Agree Vet 1970–1992. Trained for battle, but all for show of Force. Never combat, therfore didn’t fill need for VA intervention or assistance. Todays soldiers are different breed and fought the battles, gave the sacrifice, and adapted to overcome. they deserve the best, shouldn’t have to wait or compromise benefits earn and paid in breakable fragile promises. First they don’t know the meanings of you get what you pay for. Commitment and honor out weigh expectation. They should not be force to wait for what was earn with Blood, Sweat, Tears and some cases Life.

Here we go again. Dejavu, Post Vietnam slash& cut until the armed services are almost impudant. And we are still involved in 3 wars(Irag, Afganistan & War on Terroism). Time to break out the slingshots & swords we will be going back to the real old days.

Yes, cut ALL the things listed JRL. So we don’t need a new Tanker aircraft to replace the KC-135s that were built in the 1950s. If we have no tankers, then our “global” force just becomes a close to home force. No humanitarian assistance to help save the world, no extension of fighters or bombers. So yes, lets cut all of it. Then all of our equipment that has been overworked and overflown during two wars will finally be at the end of it’s life, and we’ll all sit in bases at home waiting for some chump to walk across the border or sail into our ports. You should be one of the new czars for defense with that great thinking.

Amen brother! They want to take a shit on the small percentage of Americans who are actually willing to go fight for this gaggle f**k! They’re little Pee-On retirement wasn’t good enough to repay troops for what they do in the first place. Now they want to cut it and make us wait longer to get it. They all sit on Capital Hill and get fat and rich and don’t do a damn thing to deserve it. They can have it! Don’t come knocking on my door asking me to go fight when China’s navy surrounds the continent and Russia’s army walks all over us.

Folks, this trash isn’t even worth debating. Congress can gag on it. Hundreds of thousands of men and women have lost their lives defending this country so a handful of fat, two-faced, embezzling politicians can run it in the ground. They’ve carried us from world power to world joke in 10 years. Take a bow you pieces of shit!

Lets see folks, have we thought about all the money we give Mexico eacn year. How about all the money we spend to keep illegals in the country. How about all the Aid we give to countries that want us all dead. Ops sorry!! its best to support those that want us dead and a military to defend us. Our Socialist government wants a give-away program . Yes I said Socialist thats where the working few pay for those that don’t work or never worked that vote the one in office that gives to them what they need . So lets get of our buts and put somone like Regan that supported our troops-govenment and took no bull . Our President has made it know he wants to controll our every move and control our lifes. Stand up folks or you loose what freedomn you have left.

We have connected the dots and realize that both parties have supported all the same military actions and budgets for the last 20+years. Both parties have voted in NAFTA, GATT, open borders,and the Free trade globalism that have gutted U.S. jobs and our economy. Only the global corporations that finance politician’s elections to stay in power have
benefitted. Clinton-Bush –Greenspan removed regulations on global business. Now U.S. Small Businesses can’t get a loan and Americans are losing their homes. Now the gov’t has to cut the DOD budget. The U.S. is bankrupt. Who won that war?

Obviously you have not served in the military!! Not only is the fleet of aircraft aging but all the support equipment is aging as well! So keep cutting the budget and we will be flying on commercial jets and cruise ships to get to where we need to be! We will be protecting the US with sticks and stones. If you want to cut wasteful spending start at the top!!

The Congress esp the republicans talk about big government but they are not looking at that regarding the defense cuts. They need to streamline the DOD corporation. Reduce Brass and SES positions, consolidate paper commands and reorganize. That is what a corporation would do. Someone with some brains needs to show them that big governemt is at the DOD. If one looks at the personnel and money spent by departments the congress will have to come to some sense over this. Keeping a million man civilian worforce and buying less is just plain stupid. Cut the insfrastructure now the is the time to do with all of us old farts leaving .

Your comments suggests to me that you do not fully understand the Marine mission, only what they used to do in the 50’s. Your only correct assessment is that Marines are a predominately offensive force. An airborne unit can handle smaller threats in just a few hours, but with the navy’s off shore presence, Marines bring enough manpower, close air support, supplies, ammunition, and air superiority (via Naval Fighters) to sustain a capital engagement until more forces arrive. Do you know how many Marine Expeditionary Forces are deployed at any given time? While Soldiers get to go home each day to their wife and kids (until something does happen), the Marines are already there, ready and waiting for it to happen. If you took Soldiers and put them on a ship and staged them around the world ready to fight, wouldn’t you have Marines anyway? Let the Marines do what they do best and sleep easy tonight.

This is true, but if you don’t mind my saying so, it is a bit overstated here. For one thing, the longer someone serves in the military, the more they think the way the military does things is the best way and they only way. For people like that, transition to civilian life can be very difficult. In this environment, everyone has to keep learning and unlearning new things. I don’t necessarily buy the argument that you have to incentivize people to stay in the service — for many of us, it is the best thing we ever did or ever will do. Given our personnel policies, it is tough making promotion cuts that enable to one to stay in under our “up or out” system. Why do our officers have to get old before we let them command a battalion, a brigade or a ship ? If the system works, that same officer can do a field grade command at 30 just as well, in some ways better than at 45. But once the Peter Principle kicks in, you’re done. Some people just are not cut out for that higher level of responsibility. Why keep up the fiction that everyone can make flag rank ?

Yes.

Shows what would have happened had they been left as is: http://​thinkprogress​.org/​e​c​o​n​o​m​y​/​2​0​1​1​/​0​6​/​0​7​/​2​3​860

Expiration closes 75% of the problem in the first five years and 40% over the next twenty. http://​www​.americablog​.com/​2​0​1​1​/​0​4​/​s​i​m​p​l​e​-​s​o​l​u​tio

This assumes stagnant growth, which is unlikely. The reason Bush41 and Clinton levels worked out so well was that they gave Wall Street the stability they like. The street was safe in the knowledge that taxation was at a level that maintained a certain level of social stability. There wouldn’t be liberal mobs with pitchforks demanding confiscation, nor would there be crazy Randians running around saying let the world economy collapse because that’s what F.A. Hayek would do. Stability is a good thing, consequently there was money for social programs (like F22, Comanche, etc.). Its amazing what poorly thought out reductions and two wars will do to a national economy.

If only it were that easy.…but smaller is not inherently better. It is just smaller. The conversation the country needs to have is what we want our military to do, and how we mobilize our resources to meet the predictable crises we will face in the future. I’ve never seen so much real respect and support for our men and women in uniform — and so little trust in our military as an institution. Our military is a meritocracy, the most survival-of-the-fittest competitive institution in the nation. If we want to be a kinder and gentler nation that takes care of its people, one place to start is to show our uniformed military some respect. I do fear that our volunteer military has lived apart from the rest of the nation too long. If we really want the many who have not served to make more sacrifices for the common good, how is a tax rate in the mid-30 % of upper middle class income such a horrific blow to our liberties ? One reason we have a nation full of people who just don’t care is the media and politicians pander to their lowest instincts. Live abroad for just a little bit, you get a whole different point of view.

I also want to say something about the old farts, and particularly those “million civilians” In the 1990s, DoD froze hires and systematically offered early retirements to get its workforce numbers down. Maybe there were increases under GWB, but those weren’t old people hired back on — they were young people. Inexperienced people. And now they want to cut contractors and replace them with government workers. More young and inexperienced people. The bottom line is that even as the Boomers retire, you are not going to cut the DoD civilian workforce just by attrition. Serious cuts means RIFs, and like the 70s, you take out the people with the least seniority. That is how you get age bubbles and skill gaps. So don’t just say cut, cut. cut. Look at the numbers, look at the long term effects of what you are doing as well as the impact on the real people and real jobs in this economy.

DoD froze hiring again this year. The Gov also capped our cost of living increases. Remember BRAC? It is still going on as well. Yes contractors are the first to go because they are inherently more expensive than Gov workers. If the contractors are not enough, then they start getting rid of the temps and terms. If that is still not enough, then they get rid of people like me, fully vested civilian employees. They are not replacing any one right now, especially with new perm hires. Yes there were new replacements under GW, but guess what…those replacements come fully trained from within the military that they are trying to cut. All they lack is a couple years of experience at whatever facility they hire on to. No skill gaps, just fresh blood to replace an aging work force. BTW, attrition does work. Just takes time to come to fruition like everything else in life. In my facility alone there was roughly a two hundred person loss just to people retiring. Add to that the early retirement incentives that were offered and you get a four hundred person reduction. Thanks to that we have yet to lay off any of your precious contractors. I agree that a long term view is what must be taken, but some of your statements leave me wondering if you know what that means.

You sir, should run for president.

What’s the chances of someone waiting till you load you weapon before the kill you. Get real. we’ve be there before and it cost lives while we were getting ready.

If Social Security is going to end up where my money is taken, held for decades, and I only get a fraction of it in the end, then they need to make it a part of the general fund and regular tax system. At least then when they take our money and we never see it it’d be no different than how they treat the rest of our tax dollars.

Thank you Indyson 18. I clearly don’t have all the answers but you are right about the value of opening a dialogue. I think military people’s unclassified opinions, free from politicians getting re-elected and corporations making money, are some valid input. People in here like S Templar for example have current knowledge and can make more useful suggestions.

Sure, but don’t you think it’s realistic if when the program was first implemented years ago with a average life expectancy that was much lower, it’s at least reasonable to bump the age for full bennys up?

I think we need to get rid of 65% of all the parties,they are worthless,can not do there job all year round but they can do it to pass bills to make their pay safe and non-stop,ad give themselfs raises,and of course pass bills where they get kick backs from. This takes what 45 to 65 days a year.and to top it off they get full retirement bennys after one term that is over 200k for the rest of thier life.I bet we could cut the whole damn amount if we got rid of them.….

Raising taxes back to a level they were at when the economy was in good shape won’t make things better now. That would likely have a very poor effect on growth which is something you definitely don’t want. In regards to your point about restoring confidence, a good way to start might be with ending the doubts businesses have other benefits and overhead brought on by the healthcare bill, the cap and trade non sense, an EPA wildly overstepping it’s regulatory bounds. In addition not spending more money than you take in is also a good idea.

In addition from a more practical stand point of fixing problems, your attitude only serves to feed the partisan vomitus we are forced to suffer though daily from both sides of the aisle. A lot less rhetoric and a lot more work is ultimately what is really needed.

So you gut all of the modernization plans for the next 50 years. We lose that expertise we still have as evidenced by the fact we are producing some of the finest aircraft, vehicles, ships, and weapon systems in the world. Millions of Americans lose their jobs, the military becomes a gutted hollow force, you’ll have a**holes like Iran stopping our oil tankers and causing other problems, China will do whatever the hell they want in the Pacific, and frankly there won’t be much of a reason to be proud of the shadow our country will have become. Oh and our industrial and technological sectors will be weakened by this destruction of the defense industry you want.

Money on something that matters? If these programs continue we won’t be operating old KC-135s and F-16s in 2040. Defense is something that matters!

Right, and we cut the military budget and the politicians spend all of that money elsewhere on all sorts of waste, and we are still trillions in debt, but this time without a world-class military. Doing things differently? By running our country into the ground as fast as possible?

The armed services was originally intended to be just that, a service. Since the elimination of the Draft in the 1970’s the dynamics have shifted with a all volunteer force. In order to entice hence recruit new members requires career entitlement incentives. A costly alternative to appeasing those young anti-Vietnam war activist and tree huggers in the day. We need to go back to the basics. The military should not be intended as a “main stream” career alternative. A capital based society cannot continue to sustain this way. The salaries have exploded exponentially since I was in and has expanded into many other major cost consuming incentives. This simply cannot not be sustained. I know my reply will create a whole lot of saber rattling and rhetoric but the numbers (cost) do not lie.

Look at the State Departments budget.…that’ll be a fantastic start

Everybody seems to be looking at war from the one component — military action. War has SIX components — military, psychological, social, economic, political, diplomatic, and economic. Lose just ONE of those components and you WILL lose the war, sooner or later. Just look at what happened with Vietnam — political will went, the country’s civilians turned against it, the support of the locals was lost and it cost more than the US government was prepared to pay. Just match up those six components to Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, and all the rest. It would seem as if the politicians are more than willing to launch a military war without thinking of the other components. Before you go and throw away the lives of thousands of your citizens, make sure you can WIN. As most of the wars are counter-insurgency wars, bear in mind that only ONE in the recent history of the world has been won on a permanent basis — Malaya, and that was 60 years ago.
Please look at the BBC videos on the first Gulf War — look how the military refused to move until the objectives and the exit strategy were worked out and agreed — that is why the tanks never ended up in Baghdad.
Contrast that planning with Bush jnr’s efforts during the second Gulf War — patently the military chiefs did not have the balls to stand up in support of their profession. Without that, any military adventure is doomed to cost a lot of useless deaths, while the arms suppliers and their allies in Congress get fat.
By the way, I AM a vet — of a counter-insurgency war that we lost thanks to Kissinger and his ilk.

The right wants to cut your benefits so they can keep buying weapons to fund the executives of the major defense contractors second and third homes. Who knows what the left wants…it changes daily.

You, sir, do at least understand the multifacited aspect of warfare in the modern world, and that I appreciate and applaud. Here in the US, we have a tradition and in fact a foundation stone of our country, that the civilian government, for all of its faults, owns and commands the military. In our military, if the civilian government says “Jump” the military has the sworn duty to jump, even if that is a dumber than dirt option from a military standpoint. We can debate the point, but when all of the possible debate has passed, a good US soldier will salute smartly and proceed, or. . hand in his resignation, and the later has happened, perhaps just not quite often enough.

Well Major, unlike Obama I can honestly say after 24yrs of active duty that the military can survive without any officers but would end today without any enlisted, and I have met very very few officers above 05 that were in touch with the needs of the enlisted or the right gear needed any longer. A lot of the junk being purchased and pursued today proves it. Enlisted train junior officers to become functional warriors and how to do thier jobs until they make 06 and start hanging around the o club too much and reading too much of the propaganda in thier cushy offices making them believe they not only know better but are better. And in reality the military is a prime example of class warfare except they call it fraternization keeping everyone separated by rank and status.

Increasing the FICA contribution was my idea, sorry I didn’t word it very well. I still don’t see how your Medicare proposal addresses the open ended nature of increasing health care costs as the result of all kinds of new procedures and drugs that will extend people’s lives on and on with no cost control. As far as block grants go, I see the federal govt budgetary issue as a greater threat to economic and national security than the health care cost control issue. We have got to cap the health care costs as %‘s of the federal budget and ration accordingly. The more we cut in the discretionary, the greater risk we run of economic and national security setback. If we cut defense/security, eg. we increase our risk of another 9/11, and ensuing defense/security spending binge again. If we cut education spending, we hurt our economy in the long term. We need to stop the pressure on the discretionary budget, so we can then use it to make investments to grow the economy. We need to invest wisely, with greater payback that grows the economy at a faster rate than growth in fed govt spending, and we can eventually grow our way out of this mess.

we already have, and the end result was the World Trade Center 2001.

I hear ya’. It seems to me like the less substantial the differences in the two parties become; the more they try to emphasize the trivial differences. I know too many people who feel they can only vote for one party. These people have given up their freedom and become slaves to a single party, and they don’t see a problem with that. Instead of that making their issues more important to their party of enslavement, their issues become less important because their vote can be taken for granted. America is a country that lacks Americans. As long as the big corporations and their media can divide us, they can conquer us, and they have conquered us for quite some time now.

What expertise? We don’t have weapons designers anymore. They are gone for the last few decades. They were replaced by systems engineering trade studies done by new hires straight out of college. Haven’t you heard? Our defense giant contractors already are hollowed shells. They don’t build weapons. They assemble them out of parts subcontracted to countries all over the world and increasingly to India and China. We are already the thing you fear, you just don’t see it. What we have is not worth saving. We spend at and above Cold War levels and get next to nothing for it. One program after another gets cancelled before production starts and we are left holding an empty bag. If you really think defense matters, then you’ve got to think it needs to be fixed, and throwing money at it is not fixing it. We should get more for less. Instead we get less for more.

Or maybe they could spend that money paying for the debt we’ve already accumulated. When it takes 2 to 3 decades just to design a new fighter airplane, then at what point in the future do we get so far ahead of the Russians and Chinese that we start paying off that debt? Never? We just keep printing money and hope no one figures out the dollar has become the most common commodity on the face of the earth? We keep borrowing from China and sending our heavy industries over there and that makes you feel safer? You feel safer having to build our tankes and ships out of Chinese steel and paying for it with Chinese money? It’s time to wake up. This is a dead end road and we are too far down it already. The sooner we stop the safer we’ll be.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue graduating the age requirement to draw SS, but I have a problem with some of the plans out there that flat out tell me “we’re going to draw FICA for the rest of your working life and you’re never going to see any of it.”

That’s silly. California is using nearly 2000 acres to install a 500 MW solar and wind generation facility. A 750 MW coal plant could be built on 40 acres and doesn’t have to depend on having the sun shine to reliably deliver power. Here in Texas our wind generators only provided 18% of max capacity this year during the long hot spell we had because the wind didn’t blow to get the electrical generation needed to power factories, homes, schools and offices. Had to depend on the coal, gas and nuclear plants we already have.

We can get off foreign oil by developing and using our own fossil fuels, of which we have more than anybody in the world in the form of coal, gas, and oil. Doesn’t even take nuclear into account, which we are also not exploiting properly. Developing our own oil fuels will also lower the world price and lead to a better economic environment. Get the envirowackos out of the way and we won’t need anybody’s oil and let Europe defend the middle east.

Don’t get me started on veterans preference. Now, there are some civilian jobs that are interchangeable with the uniformed military — so you will get some benefit from this latest crop of war-era veterans who are released from active duty and need work. There are other jobs — mostly engineers and scientists — where the skill set is not uniformly comparable to the uniformed military. This is the area where age bubbles and skill shortages hurt the most. Contractors do both kinds of work. One of the ways to survive as a contractor is to be as flexible as possible and keep learning new things as you go. The civil service does not encourage this, what they mostly do is layer managerial and leadership skills on top of core engineering (or other SME) skills and knowledge as an individual rises up the chain. Pay banding has helped, but the key is to incentivize people to stay in civil service and not just go out and double dip as contractors. There is also the issue of public sector unions because there was a move towards unionizing the civil service back in the 90s, and that does have effects on productivity and workforce management.

The term “American Interests” has been used too long as a buzz word during presidential and congressional political campaigns. It needs a real definition especially when spending of any kind is involved. China and Russia have been portrayed as the boogeymen since the administrations of Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. What is the purpose of making treaties with them? To buy time until one has enough firepower to lower the boom on the other guy? Yet our corporations make business deals with China and Russia. Something is wrong with this picture.

The following comment is not part of the NY Times article it is referring to. you have completely misquoted this publication, please clarify where you got this information from.

— today’s New York Times features an editorial that says Congress should take a close look at cutting benefits, arguing the cushy retirement incentives, cheapo healthcare premiums and bonuses are a legacy of tough recruiting times and are unaffordable in the modern economic era when a “retiring” 38 year-old has another 30+ years of work ahead of him.

Interesting… but not entirely true. The military engineers and scientists that come out of the several officer training schools are better trained and more knowledgeable than most of their civilian counterparts. They also invariably find their way into the civilian service when they are done. Again, no age bubble, again no knowledge gap. Contractors are not flexible. They are hired to do one specific task and that is it. Civil service does not encourage flexibility!? Hogwash!! We have to be masters of several different trades and disciplins as we progress up through our career paths to become journeymen! We are constantly being fed training regarding our fields and anything related to them. Yes, we also receive leadership training as we rise through whatever ranks we belong to, but that is to make us more effective at leading and training the new ranks as they come in. Paybanding was such a horrible idea that it has been repealed and will be gone within the next few years. There is not a single civil service person that I have found that is willing to leave until they reach their retirement. If they have the opportunity to cone back as a contractor after that, then more power to them as they have done their duty and are now supplimenting their retirement! Lastly, the civil service is unionized, and has been for quite some time. They are not allowed to strike, and their only purpose is to protect the employees rights. This has absolutely no impact on productivity, and the only impact on management is that decisions that will affect the work force must be taken through the union before implimentation. Supervisors still have as much control over their employees as ever, it just gives the employee the power to act against an unfair situation without fear of reprisal. Can private sector say the same when they can be fired for simply expressing a contrary opinion? I think not. I am not saying that civil service is perfect, or that cuts do not need to be made. Nor am I saying that the civil service way of thinking does not need to change. Without these things we would stagnate and become a non useful tool. I am just saying that these issues need to begin with our leaders actually leading the way as any good leader or manager should! Lead by example is the fire motto for us and this should apply to the members of congress and all of the politico types in Washington as well. Once this gets through their heads then maybe we can make some actual progress.

‘Ten — HUT!

Here is a little article that perhaps a lot of us discussing US defense policies and such should read, particularly those in the military, civil service or elected service of the US. For that matter, toss in industry and general public citizens of the US as well! Warning: This article does NOT discuss career advancement or political expediency, fiscal responsibility or entitlements, or even personal sociopathic narcississism; it just aludes to that “higher motivation” that we should all perhaps consider.
http://​threatswatch​.org/​c​o​m​m​e​n​t​a​r​y​/​2​0​1​0​/​1​0​/​t​h​e​-li

OK, Im off my soapbox!

I don’t think any idea that will reduce our dependence on external sources of energy and is a proven tech is a silly idea. So what if it takes 2.2 square miles of land to put in the power plant in order to save green spaces, Solar plants along with wind have been shown to be reliably predictable sources of power. If used correctly they can even be base load plants (Like in the case with solar thermal collection plants). Not saying shut down the coal plants tomorrow or anything, just that we should do whatever it takes to be of imported power sources and reduce our use of non-renewable resources.

That actually isn’t true though. The actual projections based on growth and demographics etc., are when they trust does run out of money, SS can only pay out at about 75% of promised levels using contributions being collected at the time. That’s why I always say they big SS doomsday is a bit overblown since I highly doubt anyone in their 40s thinks of SS as sole income when they hit 65.

Medicare and Medicaid are the programs that need the reform, very little needs to be done to SS.

The problem with Medicare is the politicians not the market. They have never been able to implement the reforms needed. Things like bumping up the age, like applying means tests. You do those two things alone and you are passing costs back to the people drawing the services, if of course they can pay, at the moment, alot of what is covered has no means test at all. So for an example, the elderly wealthy person in failing health, has some sort of issue or malady and say every couple three weeks they call the paramedics are a taken to the ER to be checked out. Medicare pays it all, the whole thing. That is a lot of money and it happens alot. I don’t begrudge some poor senior citizen access to emergency care if they want it, I just think if they’re able they should foot some of the cost beyond what was collected by FICA.

Mind you are also confusing the block grant proposal I think. That was in regards to Medicaid not Medicare. Medicaid=poor people healthcare. Medicare=old people/retired/SS age people healthcare. Medicaid=general fund. Medicare=FICA funds. The block grant thing was for Medicaid. That’s a different beast.

The healthcare plan was making attempts at medicaid reform but it of course tuned into this social welfare boondoggle and political mess.

The requirement to have people buy insurance was the mistake, at least the approach, but the idea is correct. Increasing coverage would decrease costs in medicaid. I’d be more inclined to use a bit more carrot than stick, something like offer people a tax credit to purchase catastrophic healthcare plans. Don’t require them to get them but reform bankruptcy laws and make it clear that if you run up a huge medical bill you will have to pay it, no more bankruptcy. Catastrophic plans are very cheap, particularly for young people.

The problem with medicaid is all those young people without coverage that assume they are bullet proof. The 22 year old that has no coverage, gets in a bad car wreck or whatever, and runs up $100k+ in medical bills, with no coverage they are on public assistance/medicaid, if they skip or declare bankruptcy medicaid still eats it. That would go a long way in bringing down medicaid costs.

Boomer, 1st of all, thank you for your service! No one I know retired from the military is getting near what they deserve for the sacrafices they have made, and I don’t care what branch or what your job was. If you wore the uniform and retired you deserve way more that you are getting. Thanks for your words on entitlements. I tend to get a little hot on the subject but framed the way you look at the term I agree 100%. I live here i Florida and support Gov. Scott’s drug tests for welfare. I am tired of the arrogance when someone crys about their rights as they take money forced out of my hands by the government who then redistributs it into theirs.

i understand Ryan’s plan is to make medicare a premium support, medicaid block grant. i think we should consider making both programs block grants, stop them from destroying the federal government further. Block grant it to the states and cut the strings so they can row the programs in ways that are best for them. Then we make sure we invest wisely with the discretionary program so we get economic returns, grow the economy and revenue to solve all the problems.

I think block grants would make more mess than fix for medicare, 50 states doin their own thing sounds like chaos. That’s part of why medicaid is already a mess.

Medicare is also FICA. It has zero direct impact on the general fund. If anything the general fund has been a disaster for FICA since administrations liked to use the positive balance from it to ‘disappear’ debt from the general budget.

Block grants for medicaid just kick the can down to the states. Like I said, it doesn’t address growth, it doesn’t address cost, it just passes the buck. Sure, it may clear up the feds spread sheet but it doesn’t solve any real problems, just makes more honestly. Sates end up left with three choices, cut benefits Congress and the President didn’t have the balls too, raise taxes to maintain services, or cut other services to find more money to support medicaid. I still say that’s a cop on the part of the feds.

It is a crying shame the way the system has gotten this broken — my mother used to manage some apatments in Houston, she had a tennate recieving 1800 a month SS because he was unemployable, he wasnt handicapped or nothing, he had just spent most of his life in prison and was illiterate on top of being a murderer. She is retired now after 40 yrs of paying into SS and gets a whopping 517.00 a month while her neighbor who has only been in the US for 8 yrs gets a check based on the cost of living VS lifetime income earnings so she gets 2,500.00 a month, and that is common for immigrants, non US citizens in the territories and illegals. It is just messed up — if the govt was not giving our money to people that dont have any claim to it there would be no issues with SS and our American citizen, US born, law abiding parents and grand parents should be getting the bigger check and all the others a bus or plane ticket outta here.

Thanks for the excellent article. I swore the oath to uphold and defend the Constitution 49 years ago
and it is still foremost in my heart and mind.

So what, lets gut the military and welfare programs now, let boeing, northrop, raytheon etc sweat for a few years, once they have trimmed away all the pork lard from the businesses and government, maybe then we can start rebuilding the military with wuality instead of quantity. If they go out of business, so be it, someone else can do what they do cheaper and better.

Mr Christian Lowe, I recommend that you send all these comments to the Congressional staff that issued the Doomsday report. The Congress needs a corporate raider to come in and take over the Pentagon and straighten out the bureacratic mess. Yesterday it took a few hundred government civilains to buy F15s NOW it takes about 31,000 civilians. Someone needs to have GAO and the IG look into the creation of thousands of cushy GS14,15, and SES positions in NAVAIR over the past few years. This growth has not added to any savings, productivity or tech increase, it added waste and it continues today.

the point is that we have to fix the health care to a % of the federal budget, or else it continues to grow like cancer and eats up more and more of the discretionary budget. Then we will have to cut investment and/or raise taxes, making draconian decisions that will grind our economic and national security down further and further, possibly reaching a tipping point, then we lose the whole country, at which point, no one’s federal Medicare insurance will matter.

You are right that the waste is shocking. We could do so much more good and we would not have to cut anything vital if we could just stop wasting so much. But you need to realize that downsizing the government creates new risks as well.

The military and military contractors have grown complacent,and lazy. Instead of making a few things at a reasonable price that work correctly, they seem to have the attitude of spend until you get it right, make a million different things to fill one need so everyone is wealthy, but the tax payers are the ones who end up with the bill. Ita just not right. Downsize the governement now before its to late.

ah, there’re some white hats fighting the good fight, eh?

Thank you for your service, SIR!

My first time was 6 July 1972! Strange how some dates stick in your brain! LOL!

Thank you F451. We are doing something about it. i for one will never vote again for someone that is anti military. And to answer your 99 percent footing the bill. Military members pay the bill too. We get taxed just like anyone else. I do like the part of write my congressman, piss on a spark plug. But I think I will reverse that process.

First, I want to thank all the servicemembers who served. I too served. But, second, when did serving one’s country become an entitlement program? Work for 20, collect for 40, 50, 60. That is definitely NOT what the Founding Fathers envisioned as the citizen-soldier. Their vision was a national guardsman who served when called, went home when danger passed, and maybe collected a small one-time pension payment. Today’s military pension and health care is an unsustainable business model. While I understand the argument for maintaining a well-trained military and its reward system, we have to be better than just another welfare class. In the old days, the Roman army pillaged its conquered countries. Today it seems we pillage ourselves.

Regardless of all of the bureaucratic red tape and how just about everything is designed by committee, we still have weapon designers. Hollowed shells? Our industrial capability isn’t as strong as it should be, but that doesn’t mean we are incapable of setting up the entire manufacturing and supply chains here in the United States. Outsourcing is an issue across the entire economy including defense. Yet in most military programs you see a lot of subcontractors from European countries and Turkey as opposed to China and India. Here is an example from your favorite F-35 program:
http://​www​.flightglobal​.com/​a​s​s​e​t​s​/​g​e​t​a​s​s​e​t​.​a​spx?…

Now there is a good portion of the work being done in the US but partner nations get a good share under the plan that they’ll foot some of the bill.

So what would you like to see done? I would love to see (insert program here) built entirely in the United States but then you’ll have to accept that the costs could well be higher. Plus, many push for outsourcing like that for foreign relations reasons.

When you adjust for inflation we don’t spend nearly as much on procurement, research, and development as we did during the Cold War. We spend a lot on actual conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan however.

Yes procurement needs to be fixed, but gutting everything and leaving us with no plan and a much weaker military across the board is not a fix.

Regardless of all of the bureaucratic red tape and how just about everything is designed by committee, we still have weapon designers. Hollowed shells? Our industrial capability isn’t as strong as it should be, but that doesn’t mean we are incapable of setting up the entire manufacturing and supply chains here in the United States. Outsourcing is an issue across the entire economy including defense. Yet in most military programs you see a lot of subcontractors from European countries and Turkey as opposed to China and India.

For some reason I can’t post a link to the (much criticized) F-35’s supply chain, but you’d see that none of the work is in China or India. While there is still a good portion done in the United States, partner nations get a decent share under the plan that they’ll foot part of the bill.

I would love to see any military program built entirely in the United States. Yet people would have to accept that the costs could be higher. Plus many push for outsourcing due to foreign relation reasons.

When you factor in inflation, we don’t spend nearly as much on procurement, research, and development as we did during the Cold War. Rather we now see much more of the defense budget going to other areas, including a large figure for the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yes procurement needs to be fixed. There is way too much red tape and bureaucracy yet this has done nothing to stop inefficiency. The services themselves often change their minds half-way through a program, or they get cancelled for political reasons. Gutting everything and leaving us with a much weaker military is not a fix.

For some reason all of my comments need approval, I’ll try again if none of them get through.

Yes, but you reduce the % of the budget by creating opportunities for people to obtain their own coverage other than Medicaid. Reducing Medicare isn’t going to happen with the population aging so just cutting benefits isn’t going to work, reforming programs to includes means testing and adjusting age eligibility will.

eh?? that was a reference to Team America: World Police

West Point is certainly a bona fide engineering school; if you are RIFing USMA grads involuntarily, that’s cutting pretty deep. Naval Postgrad School and AFIT are excellent institutions, but that population is very small. Usually their graduates go to full retirement and then the private sector. Unlike Navy ROTC, Army ROTC does not require technical or scientific degrees for commissioning into any basic branch. Branch training is what it is. We’re not talking about training people to be technicians or managers here. I’m not impressed by the civil service’s career management system. It does not encourage interdisciplinary teamwork or thinking. It lets people get stale in their jobs. The fact that one has to learn “outside” the box going up only exemplifies the problem. Yes, military officers and NCOs — who are trained as generalists, do have an advantage if they are technically competent. On the other hand, the statement that “contractors are hired to do one specific task and that is it” betrays a rather profound misunderstanding of what contractors are capable of doing and will do if managed properly. I’m sorry that some people feel threatened by this.

To cut costs there are many things that can be done:
1. Continue reduction of general officer corps.
2. Cease the time-hornored practice of modifying specifications/designs during construction (all services!). Build now with future expansion/enhancement in mind, modify later.
3. Remove WW2 relic: “cost plus”.
4. Extirpate current acquisition process, replace with one similar to that used by the British (i.e. remove congressional input from weapons acquisition).

you forgot don’t pursue unrealistic concepts and mature technology properly. Don’t see #4 happening either, Congress has Constitutional authority to raise and support armies and navies and militias.

Looks like the baby is aflight with the bath water to me! LOL!

First off! Dead on target with your first round! There are WAY too many bosses and WAY too few indians in the mix. Bosses tend to want to find something to boss and.… Oh well, we all know what happens then!
Second shot, bad corrections! MOST specification changes have good reason. They fix significant deficiencies, either because of missed requirements (sadly true!) or bad mechanizations of good requirements. Mistakes DO happen, and the corrections that fix mistakes are good. The “corrections” that are intentionally delayed implementation of known requirements bust your budgets and schedules. Third round a bit closer! A properly managed “cost plus” works for both the customer and the vendor, but properly managed is a bit ephemeral. Finally.… with congress out of the mix you would be freer to manufacture for performance and cost instead of pork, but.… that would take a congressional “abdication” and they wont voluntarily abstain from pork production.

I was thinking more of Norman Schwartzkoff, Forget Bush, he would forget to go. Rummy might be ok.

As far as my head in the south point.….….…..probably. But I saw Cantor, Boehner, Demint, Ryan,Coburn and some other Rescumlican Traitor Trash draft dodgers there too

I too have backed off from “cost plus” is the enemy. I think the notion that we can go to “FFP” for development contracts (a la John McCain) is ignorant of contracting, development reality and is a dream. The real problem is pursuing development contracts with too much risk in the first place. A cost plus contract on a reasonable, executable concept shouldn’t scare anybody.

Maybe if we cut some of the expenses coming from the oval office we could save a few bucks.

The real reason Military costs have skyrocketed is: the Defense contractors were allowed to to merge to such an extent that there is no long a viable competion for contracts. No encentive to control costs. Having worked for one of the companys, I can tell you that there is a lot of waste charged back to the Government as part of the Contract funding. Years ago companys used to invest their own money to when a contract, best one won. Now it is all politicts.

In a round-about way, I think that I probably agree with you. The consolidation cost some competition, but it made the peacetime budget more affordable (since DoD did not need to pay to keep two assembly lines busy doing the work that one could cover). The thing that you may be missing is that if a production line is not making money, the company management has the obligation to the stockholders to shut it down. SO… if you really wanted to keep the Raytheon AGM-109 assembly line open, AND the old Hughes AGM-109 assembly line open, you either have to subsidize a lower than profitable rate for the two, or accept that you will loose the surge capability. That is what happened and the choice was to give up the surge (and the competitive aspects as well). You want to see waste? Think of the waste of paying to keep an assembly line open that is not producing anything! :-) But then… that “waste” ends up looking really smart when you need that extra production capacity.… :-(

the UN — NATO — foreign military aid — foreign economic aid — R&D — and NEC all come from that 700 bil. the US military see’s very little of it in actuality.

Ya know, I have scanned over quite a number of these posts. Bottom line ? If we don’t wake up, stand up. and DO SOMETHING, the fools we have elected,allowed to be elected/appointed
will succeed in the bankrupting of our country.
Which will lead to our submission into a World Economic system, soon followed by a World Government. THEN…who’s gonna be fighting who.? The Sovereignty of our beloved country hangs in the balance here folks.!!
All the rest of this B—S— is irrelevant.!

I think it would be a good idea if the enemy who cause a war would pay for the tab or cost of war. Ex. is if Iran cause a war on us that will cost 3 trillion dollars. Iran should carry that tab they cost after they lost.

I wasn’t talking about production lines. I was looking at Concept, R&D and T&E costs. At one time they were funded at each stage and not concidered part of the production costs. In modern days their funded as part of the overall production contact. A lot of room to hide waste.

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