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Pentagon Chief Calls for Cuts; Congress Opens Fire

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posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 04:25 AM
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Pentagon Chief Calls for Cuts; Congress Opens Fire


www.washingtonpost.com

"We will end production of the F-22 fighter," Gates announced matter-of-factly in the hushed Pentagon briefing room yesterday, dispatching Lockheed Martin's $140-million-a-pop aircraft without even a hint of regret. "For me," he added, "it was not a close call."

The soft-spoken Kansan delivered the news not from a lectern but from his preferred position, in a leather armchair set up behind a table, giving the impression he was on the set of Jim Lehrer's "NewsHour." But the understated delivery obscured the boldness of what Gates was attempting: Calmly and methodically, he posed a direct challenge to the military-industrial complex.
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Boeing's Future Combat Systems fighting vehicles -- kaboom!

Lockheed's multiple-kill vehicle: killed.

Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics' DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer with Raytheon electronics? Gates sunk their battleship.

The Lockheed VH-71 presidential helicopter and Boeing's C-17 cargo plane? SecDef shot them down, too.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 04:25 AM
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Defense Secretary Gates is being portrayed as an outsider to the cozy Pentagon-MIC procurement process, and his latest budget, delivered to Congress yesterday, proposes killing a number of the military's favored hi-tech and staggeringly costly toys for big boys.

With the Pentaqon budget larger than the rest of the entire world's defense spending, sanity is on his side, but the question remains whether congress, during this depression, will accept the financial pain that lost contracts will inflict on their home states and districts.

www.washingtonpost.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 06:03 AM
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Originally posted by gottago
...but the question remains whether congress, during this depression, will accept the financial pain that lost contracts will inflict on their home states and districts.


The only pain most of them care about is whether or not they are re-elected. And even then, it doesn't matter. They're still getting paid.



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 06:16 AM
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When you weigh the pro's and con's of half the US Military's porkbarrel projects, there's little justification left to spend so carelessly on some ultimately useless technology.

The Commanche, the XM2001 Crusader self-propelled artillery, the OICW, Future Warrior progrrame, DDX Destroyer; were all amalgamations of yesteryear's technology with some shiny gimmicks and flashy new bells & whistles added on, that offered little improvement over current Standard Issue gear or even made soldiers more vulnerable.

The DDX was proven by a dozen Navy Intelligence reports to be seriously undergunned and vulnerable to a variety of anti-shipping missile/submarine threats:
www.washingtonpost.com...

The Crusader was less accurate than the M109:
www.senate.gov%2F~armed_services%2Fstatemnt%2F2002%2FMay%2FRumsfeld.pdf&images=yes

The OICW was bulky, difficult to use, and it's touted "20mm airburst munition" was too underpowered to provide lethal results at range.

Even the F-22, which a lot of people regard as the pinnacle of USAF engineering, you have to remember was conceived during the Cold War for an entirely different air superiority threat than the United States faces today.
The insanely high unit cost is not justified, considering America's air superiority in terms of numbers, technical superiority and air power projection exceeds every other country on the planet.

And that will stand for decades to come. Air power shouldn't even a be primary concern for the Pentagon, considering no other country in the world even has a 5th Gen. Fighter in service at the moment.
Nor are they any where close to see viable results.

I see this as a "refocusing" initiative, not a corner-cutting measure.

There is seriously way too much money being poured down the drain by DARPA, Skunkworks, USAF and other Black Project groups that goes absolutely no where and produces no viable results:

The Aurora, Blackswift, X-51, Urban Warrior/Future Warrior, the M-16 replacement debate have consumed trillions of dollars after decades of development.

And what do they have to show for it? Failed prototypes, hangar queens, mothballed designs, and fancy blueprints and simulations.

It's time to take the power away from the tech-nerds and whizz kids who've held the military budget hostage with their little pet projects and useless designs which just aren't practical.

[edit on 7/4/09 by The Godfather of Conspira]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 06:29 AM
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Instead the money will be spent on more of the Pentagons pet projects and maintaining a trillion dollar empire around the world all while, tankers, for example, seem to be neglected. It's almost an endless cycle. In pro-defense years, massively expensive projects like the Commanche are created, THEN in anti-defense years the project will be cancelled. The cycle, often for the same requirement, will happen all over again; just like it did with ARH / F-22, and so on. Make up your mind, America.


Even the F-22, which a lot of people regard as the pinnacle of USAF engineering, you have to remember was conceived during the Cold War for an entirely different air superiority threat than the United States faces today.

Also applies to the F-35 which they are giving more funds for. More pet projects but then I guess the excuse could be made claiming the F-15 was too, designed for a different time. Guess it will be F-15's for the next 30 years. Wonder how many more will break apart. Not that I think there should be more F-22's, rather, I wonder whose decision it was to start a MIC wet-dream and whose decision it was to prolong, draw out, cut, cancel and bloat the programme. None of them are responsible leaders.

When will the F-15 replacement programme start? Let me guess... when the current president is voted out as yet again the worst president of all time, and the new administration promising 'change' enters? I guess that 'change' will be an F-15 replacement, right about... 2013.


And what do they have to show for it? Failed prototypes, hangar queens, mothballed designs, and fancy blueprints and simulations.

Not always the fault of the tech-nerds. One reason they become mothballed designs is because the leadership after inception deems them too expensive, or, inappropriate thus cancels, reduces, or changes the requirements of said programme which in the end results in the price bloating ala F-22. What needs to be done is responsible programme creation, and also consistency throughout the entire procurement process - which is what is lacking and always has been lacking.

$50 says half the programmes cancelled will then be recreated and then cancelled again. Gates is not anything different, he's just a long line of leaders who recreate past issues and past problems, and not preventing them.

[edit on 7/4/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 07:08 AM
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Gates explains the rationale behind the cuts as a shift away from traditional war-fighting toward counter-insurgency operations. Essentially, policing actions. This doesn't require expensive hi-tech toys, but straightforward hardware for troops, as well as support and logistics.

If this is what they're after--glorified policing and SWAT teams--it pretty well indicates that Iraq and Afghanistan will preoccupy the US military for the foreseeable future. Basically good news--no more pre-emptive conquest-adventures on the table, at least none with a ground component.



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 07:10 AM
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reply to post by gottago
 



This doesn't require expensive hi-tech toys, but straightforward hardware for troops, as well as support and logistics.


No I believe that's what every military needs.

Viable, valid, proven weaponry that can actually do the job it's supposed to. Not fanciful drawings and postulations of some nerd down in SkunkWorks who thinks Chemical Lasers are the solution to every military problem.

It's been almost 15 years since the DOD launched a programme to develop something as basic as an M-16 replacement, and they still don't have an answer.

That's got nothing to do with a shift from stand-up wars of attrition to counter-insurgency, but rather the stranglehold the Military-Industrial Complex has over the military and foreign policy.

There's just so many competitors, so much revenue squandered on innovation when troops on the ground are dying now because their ancient M-16s or M-249s have cycled through about 10 billion rounds in their lifetime and jam up on every 10th shot, conveniently when an insurgent has them in their sights.

In my opinion, the entire problem revolves around Bureaucracy and a focus on the "near-future", instead of the here and now.

The United States military brass just have this imperialistic tendency to rule the world.

They want to pioneer space-based warfare, lasers, railguns, phasers and Death Stars (and god knows what else) before any one else does just to have the upper hand in some potential global struggle in the future.

When right now, they can't even wrest control of a country the size of Texas from a bunch of a teenagers with AK-47's and RPG's.

[edit on 7/4/09 by The Godfather of Conspira]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 07:19 AM
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reply to post by gottago
 


What's amazing is in present day "warfighting", rather, illegal occupation, the C-17 is stretched absolutely thin, F-16's are grounded from cracks, F-15's are breaking apart, and tankers are either grounded or will be soon. Yet these are the same programmes that keep getting cut or cancelled. Instead Gates wants to give the F-35 more money (which is fair enough, good plane); but itself is really not needed for "counter-insurgency operations". Thus all he's doing is either giving his own pet projects more money, or simply continuing the problem while appeasing the masses about "military waste". The budget, after all, has still increased by 50 billion dollars, and Gates, too, has been in this position for the past three years, thus it truely is a case of "same crap, repackaged."

[edit on 7/4/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 07:29 AM
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i find it interesting that the presidential helicopters are cut...these have been around for along time and need to be upgraded both mechanically and with new electronic counter-measures. but since gates or the pentagon chiefs don't ride around in them, who cares right? on the plus side, the f-35 will be far superior to anything we have now and will be a joint strikefighter for all services. and the drones will get massive upgrades as far as weapons, speed, and range.



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 07:35 AM
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reply to post by jimmyx
 



i find it interesting that the presidential helicopters are cut...these have been around for along time and need to be upgraded both mechanically and with new electronic counter-measures.


When you've got a trillion dollar deficit, two wars costing billions per month to sustain and a really pissed off public at corporate and bureaucratic greed, it helps to be thrifty and prioritise your attention.

Presidential Choppers is something we can do without. Obama can use a car. It'll take longer, but you'll get there.



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 07:38 AM
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reply to post by jimmyx
 


The UNIT cost of the VH-71 was about 400 million dollars, per helicopter. That's about as much as two brand new 747's, completely redefining; WASTE. At least, many of these cancellations are good things.


[edit on 7/4/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 07:52 AM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 


I don't think any of us are under the illusion that all the cut programs were put up for the axe on purely logical grounds. You can be sure that a number of them are symbolic cuts and that the Pentagon politicos know they'll get them reinstated in the end. Happens far too often.



[edit on 7-4-2009 by gottago]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 08:38 AM
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I say continue with all of our U.S. military on going projects including defensive and offensive and I say get out of Afghanistan. The money saved will pay for our Constitutional mandated defense of The United States Of America by getting out of Afghanistan.

Yes, alot of behind the scenes individuals are getting rich from the poppy fields in Afghanistan and it will be hard to let go of this golden egg. Many will say we are there to keep stability in the region I say it is all about money. Arms and drugs are the 2 most lucritive businesses on planet Earth right up there with oil, natural gas, gold, alcohol, food and coffee.

obama will strip our military to the bones watch and see what I tell you. My opinion is obama is setting our Nation up for a take over slowly but surely. Listen very carefully to every word obama says because it will affect your life drastically now and in the future.

You are seeing change in fast motion and obama degrading our Nation in Europe in front of the whole world. This is The United States Of America that We all reside within and our forefathers died for and to be disrespected like that is deplorable. The real question I must ask is whose side is he on ours or the NWO's you be the judge?



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 10:11 AM
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And you can bet that those *delayed* programs will be ended next. *Delayed* is simply fancy government speak for *we'll cut that next round*. I want to know where the INCREASED budget money actually WENT.

The former Soviet Union had Boris Yeltsin. We have Gates and Obama.


In the Navy, all three DDG-1000 ships will be built at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in Maine, while the Pentagon will try to “smoothly” restart the DDG-51 Aegis destroyer program at Northrop Grumman’s Ingalls shipyard in Mississippi. Even if these arrangements work out, the DDG-1000 program would end with the third ship and the DDG-51 would continue to be built in both yards, Gates said.

Gates said he planned to go forward with the replacement for the Air Force air refueling tanker fleet, taking bids this summer.

Aviationweek


Looks like the DDG-1000 is still being built. The ship that costs almost as much as an Aircraft carrier. That one.

513 F-35 in five years? That's INSANE and will never happen. And yet he wants to gut the F-22 / C-17 because 'it's not needed'? 55 LCS? MORE DDG-51? These guys smoking something or what?

[edit on 7/4/2009 by C0bzz]

[edit on 7/4/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 11:14 AM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 



The ship that costs almost as much as an Aircraft carrier. That one.


Not to mention having a fraction of the firepower, an inherent vulnerability to anti-shipping missiles, and extremely limited Naval Gunfire Support for a Destroyer ship. (Unless they actually managed to integrate the proposed Rail Gun system they originally envisaged for the DDX, which is a bottomless pit within a bottomless pit project).

And this bottomless pit is now estimated to cost per unit, 81% more than what the Navy originally quoted.

[edit on 7/4/09 by The Godfather of Conspira]



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