11 April 2009

Mr. Gates Meets the Military-Industrial Leviathan

"This Job Blows"

The Secretary of Defense promised to really shake things up with his proposed DoD budget, and like The Dude getting fucked six ways from Sundays for standing up for the right thing, the creeps in Congress are ready to do whatever they can to bring home the bacon for their districts. It doesn't help that components for the expensive F-22 program are made in 44 different states, which Gates only wants 4 more of.

The list of DC weenies with a sudden interest in national security issues include Chris Dodd (D-CT), John McHugh (R-NY), and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) who is "disappointed". That's an awful lot of support for a platform that has never been used in Iraq or Afghanistan. I suppose I could ask why aren't our leaders in DC advocating for weapons acquisitions that are necessary for national security, but that would put this blog in the naive category.


subrookie said...

I think it's a little naive to think that all our present and future conflicts will be fought on an unconventional battlefield. I'm not saying we need all the weapons that were axed by Gates, but if we build an army/navy/air force completely around an unconventional battle space we are being dumb.

This is a time when Russia and China are increasing their conventional forces. The Chinese navy is not that far away from putting afloat ships larger than frigates and the Russian Navy is rebuilding from the mid-late 90's when it was gutted.

The Chinese AF is now building it's own fighters, when the F-22 program is less than 200 units it's not like we're fielding a huge armada of fighters.

I'm just saying, I agree with increasing our funding of unconventional forces, but we also should keep funding for rebuilding our air tanker program with post-1960 airframes, fielding a new class of CV, maintaining new aircraft, and ensuring if we fight on the battlefields of eastern China we're not in MRAPs but in M1A1s.

Anonymoose said...

I agree with subrookie, UCW skills are good and important but eventually there will be another conventional war SOMEWHERE and we can't get fighting the 2020s with 1960s-70s technology. If they can't find the money for it, cut the welfare budgets.

lela said...

I don't think anyone can ever accuse you (or this blog) from being naive...sarcastic maybe...but not naive! I really do think that Subrookie has it right. We need to look at the threats that are and that may be; not the threats that were. I understand the need for judicious spending; but just cutting pork would do a lot toward making the budget leaner and would allow for careful thought into what we really do need to buy!

Joe said...

Dismantle the military and hand over warfighting to Blackwater, unless the battlefield is Iraq where only Triple Canopy is allowed now. Fuck it.

Lisa said...


"If they can't find the money for it, cut the welfare budgets."

Talk about naive. Your attitude of "us versus them" (meaning your fellow Americans) will never save this country.

To a contractor, every weapons system is necessary. To a non-partisan realist, some priorities must change. If you're only about a beefy military, social programs be damned, welcome to the new Soviet USA. You, too, may enjoy a good 70-year run.


Nixon said...


No worries. That means the national Guard will be outfitted with those badass cargo pants and button-up shirts with the pocket on the sleeves.


The problem is that a lot of these spending priorities are, indeed, pork in the form of jobs for certain districts. I trust Gates because I have no reason to not trust him. Can't say that for ANY other cabinet member for the Obama administration.

olgreydog7 said...

Subrookie is right. Congress crying about jobs may be misled though. IIRC the same firm, Lockhead, that builds the F-22 builds the JSF. At least visually, the fuselage panels are all the same. I have my doubts that each plane is built be completely separate people, with different tooling, at different plants. I should probably look into that more, but this is the internet, I don't need truth or references to say whatever I want.

subrookie said...

The job of the SECDEV is not to arm our forces for the war of today but to prepare us for the wars of tomorrow. There are enough conventional threats on the horizon I am not for a wholesale direction change of our military procurement strategy. Tinkering with it, making substantive changes to better prepare for unconventional warfare..sure. But not big, sweeping changes.

The F-22 program may be co-developed with a partnership with Boeing IIRC. Word locally is 1,400 employees are tasked for this in the Seattle area. I'm not a fan of the favored F-35 because of the mid-fuselage exhaust, used for hover/STOL ops similar to the Harrier/Super Harrier. Mortality rate of pilots hit by SAMs and AAMs is very high.

subrookie said...

A late post on the subject, but the guys over at ID had a link to this powerpoint from a Naval War College instructor on the recent budget cuts for the military.


That's if you can bring yourself to watch one more powerpoint Nixon.