Thursday, August 27, 2009

Robert Gates-Traitor or Fool?-2

"The Department of Defense's rationale for canceling additional F-22s--a Cold War design not needed for today's war on terrorists--contains a major flaw. Since it takes many years to bring a complex modern weapon system to operational status, how do we know whop our enemy will be far into the future? ... There is no alternative to keeping our top-of-the-line weapons systems avaliable in viable quantities at all times", my emphasis, D. Randall Kent (DRK), letter to the WSJ, 1 August 2009, link:

"High-end conventional war is characterized by the clash of industrial forces. It's armored, mechanized and increasingly air-power centric. Few are equipped by training or temperament to understand the phenomenon, especially as it concerns air warfare, a relatively recent aspect of the human experience. ... But the bottom line is that in high-end conventional war, neither our Army nor Navy can be defeated unless someone first defeats our Air Force. ... When Saddam Hussein tried us on for size in the early-1990s, the ground war was a four-day walkover that followed the initial 39 days of aerial combat. So today, no one in his right mind wants to fight us in a conventional war. Many are saying this another way: that we have 'no peer competitor,' that there is no threat of high-end conventional war. I wouldn't bet the ranch on that, but, if it is so, it is a desireable condition and one that didn't happen by accident. ... But it seems clear that in this sort of war our existence is not threatened, that we can regulate the resource input. It can be expensive in men and material, but we cannot be defeated militarily. ... The future air combat capabilities we should build are based on the F-22, a stealthy, fast, maneuverable fighter jet that is unmatched by any known or projected combat aircraft. But the F-22's production run may soon come to an end at just 187 planes, well short of establishing the fleet size we need. ... In an argument they seem to think makes sense, critics say the aircraft has no worthy opponents--as it we want to create forces that do have peer competitors", my emphasis, Merrill McPeak at the WSJ, 10 August 2009, link:

I disagree DRK. There is one: defeat. Hmm, you mean it takes time to build weapons unlike Zimbabwe Ben's printing dollars? Amazing.

Look at 1967's Arab-Israeli War for an idea of what future high-end conventional wars may look like. I agree with now retired Air Force General McPeak. The argument against building the F-22, that it has no current competition, strikes me as insane. Do we want "peer competitors"? If so, why? I can't believe even Gates is this stupid. What's really going on here?


jg said...

We are broke.

Let's get back to 'Fortress America': two oceans, Canada, and Mexico buffering us.

Abandon our overseas posts, now.

Radar, surface-to-air missles, U.S.-based air forces, and submarines will keep the Chinese and Russian aircraft and fleets away. Army or Marines will keep our borders and coasts secure.

No need for power projection forces -- e.g., aircraft carriers -- in this configuration.

During this incipient Greater Depression, we will have to move from offense to defense; we can afford nothing else.

No need for an F-22 when there are good air-to-air standoff missles and good surface-to-air missles, launched from land or sea.

Anonymous said...

We are NOT broke, or, if we are, why is Gates straining at the F-22 gnat (at most, $13 billion over four years for 60 world-class fighters) while Obama and others are swallowing the auto, health care camel (billions and billions and trillions)? Gates has simply made a bad decision--namely, that we won't face any strong national military for quite a while. It's the same kind of mistake made by Stanley Baldwin and that crowd in 1930s Britain. Unfortunately.