Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Obama Saves Money

"Normally, it would be unusual for the secretary of defense to announce program cuts before sending the Department of Defense [DOD] budget to the White House. ... Earlier this month, InsideDefense.com reported that Secretary Gates would be making such an announcement to give the administration political distance from responsibility for weakening American security. What was surprising was Gates's incoherence on a tactical level and his failure even to acknowledge the growing funding crisis his department is facing. It is hard to see what strategic or tactical military ends his recommended cuts are designed to achieve; it is by no means certain that his decisions, even if Congress endorses them, will end up saving money; and in any event, the secretary simply ignored the elephant in the room: the fact that without a large and immediate increase in procurement funding, the [DOD] cannot buy the new generation of ships, planes, and tracked vehicles that are necessary to meet the threats America is confronting. ... But the F-22 is designed to ensure air superiority against the growing number of sophisticated Russian-built MiG and Sukhoi aircraft, and against China's advanced fighters. Strike and air-superiority fighters have differet capabilities because they are designed for different misisons. Buying a strike fighter in lieu of an air-superiority fighter is like buying artilley when the military needs tanks. ... As the [US] gradually increases the size of the Army and Marine Corps while continuing to reduce forward basing of their troops, it becomes even more nececessary to ensure adequate and reliable lift capability, so that the Pentagon can quickly move forces and equipment to where they are needed. ... The secretary also made a point of saying that he wanted procurement reform. Fair enough. But the last three secretaries have said the same thing. The current procurement system, which Mr. Gates appropriately says is broken, is itself the result of 15 years of reform, going back to Secretary William Perry. ... It is the duty of our regional combat commanders, such as General Petreus, to prosecute current conflicts sucessfully. It is the task of the Joint Chiefs to prepare our forces for future ones. Those future threats are real. ... Even the Obama administration must understand that America's military has to have the capability to deal with different kinds of threat at the same time: Russia, China, and Iran are not going to disappear just because the White House would rather not have to deal with them while also conducting its Afghanistan operations. ... His department is facing a shortfall of at least $50 billion per year in the modernization funding that is absolutely necessary to maintain America's military predominance", Jim Talent, 15 April 2009 at National Review.

Quoted without comment.

6 comments:

Brock said...

We can't afford our military. Final answer, full stop.

Independent Accountant said...

Brock:
But we can afford: Goldman, Citi, AIG and the rest of the "ten plagues".

CriticalEconomy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brock said...

No. We most certainly can not afford that either. We're flat broke.

Anonymous said...

Money quote :::: "As the [US] gradually increases the size of the Army and Marine Corps while continuing to reduce forward basing of their troops, it becomes even more nececessary to ensure adequate and reliable lift capability, so that the Pentagon can quickly move forces and equipment to where they are needed...."

Less funding for Goldman Sachs and more funding for defense spending... (which on a purely social basis provides more equitable jobs ... fewer million dollar quants and more $150,000 engineers... eh real engineers that is...)

Independent Accountant said...

Anonymous:
See my 29 November 2008 post: "Military Morons". Paraphrasing Jefferson, "Tens of bllions for Goldman, only a few millions for defense".