U.S. Army budget-cuts focus on PEOPLE not BOMBS 1 Year, 6 Months ago
The U.S. military (and the Neo-Con Cabal that pulls its strings) are currently whining about the TINY "automatic budget cuts" due to kick-in with respect to the largest war-machine ever created (and the $TRILLION+ mega-budget required to support it each year as it rampages around the world).
But "don't worry" the Neo-Con mouthpieces assure Americans (and the Rest of the World -- who get to play the role of Victims); because they plan on making sure that if any "cuts" actually survive the last-minute "compromises" from the Political Lackeys will NOT affect the precious Weapons Programs of the Death Machine Oligarchs.
No, all of the cuts are to come out of "combat readiness"; warn the Neo-Cons. But what sorts of spending are they talking about to make U.S. troops "combat ready"? Adequate medical care (especially with respect to endemic mental-health afflictions). Sufficient body armor. Less training. And when the NEXT war starts; it means longer tours of duty, more deaths, and an even more horrific downward-spiral in mental health.
"Protect" the tanks. "Protect" the fighter-planes. "Protect" the drone missiles. But the troops (i.e. the fodder) is expendable. And then after the military has CHOSEN to squander the lives of U.S. troops ahead of less (superfluous) "military hardware"; they will then USE the victims they created (and their families) as Martyrs -- to demand (naturally) "more military funding".
And then if they get any more dollars; 90% will go into MORE "weapons programs", and whatever PENNIES are left over will be spent on the fodder...
Automatic Cuts Risk Readiness Most, General Dempsey Says
The automatic budget cuts of about $45 billion the Pentagon faces this fiscal year will fall on readiness of U.S. forces more than on major weapons programs, according to the top U.S. military official.
“Some of the stuff in these big procurement accounts are already locked in for this calendar year and you just can’t touch them,” Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters today en route to a change-of- command ceremony in Afghanistan. “That’s why readiness is going to be so dramatically affected this year.”
The automatic reductions in defense and domestic programs, known as sequestration, will take effect March 1 unless Congress and President Barack Obama reach agreement on an alternative plan to reduce federal deficits. Defense programs would be cut by about $45 billion in the seven months remaining in this fiscal year ending Sept. 30 and about $500 billion over a decade.
“We’re just going to have to sweep up every bit of money that is not otherwise locked down,” said Dempsey, who is scheduled to testify to Congress on the cuts next week. “Most of the money you can get at, on such a short timeline, happens to reside in the readiness accounts.”
Readiness includes training for U.S. forces and operations and maintenance funds for war-fighting equipment.
If sequestration stays in effect for a decade, Dempsey said, about one-third of the cuts would be achieved by reducing the size of U.S. forces.
“The other two-thirds will come out of modernization, compensation at some level and readiness,” and major weapons programs would also be affected, he said.
Dempsey traveled to Afghanistan to mark Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford taking command of U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces there. He replaces Marine Corps General John Allen, Obama’s nominee to serve as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and U.S. Forces in Europe.
Allen’s nomination awaits Senate action. It had been on hold until a probe by the Pentagon’s inspector general found no wrongdoing in his e-mail exchanges with a Florida woman.
In addition to sequestration, Dempsey said the Pentagon is absorbing $487 billion over 10 years in reductions from planned spending mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act as well as reduced funding in a stopgap spending measure that expires March 27 and may be renewed by Congress.
U.S. military leaders really don’t want the defense budget cut, and they’re willing to do some serious damage to vital programs to prove their point to Congress.
With automatic reductions set to kick in soon, the Department of Defense stands to lose about $48 billion, or 7.4% of the $645 billion it is set to receive this year.
But both civilian and military leaders at the Pentagon are adamant about not losing this money, and have resorted to what some have called “hysterics” to convince lawmakers to do something.
During testimony before the House and Senate armed services committees, the deputy secretary of defense and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff reportedly depicted the coming cuts (referred to as sequestration) as unleashing “doomsday” on the nation’s military.
The Army claims it won’t have enough money to adequately train units to go to Afghanistan. Similarly, the Air Force says it will lack sufficient funding to properly train pilots, while the Navy says it may have to dock ships due to a lack of money for maintenance.
Observers insist that Pentagon leaders are exaggerating the effects of budget reductions, if they happen.
Citing data from a current Congressional Research Service report (pdf), Winslow Wheeler wrote in Foreign Policy magazine that even if sequestration takes place, the Defense Department will have more funding under President Barack Obama “than most other postwar presidents (and without the sequester he will outspend all of them, including Reagan). Moreover, it's all in dollars adjusted for inflation.”
Re: U.S. Army budget-cuts focus on PEOPLE not BOMBS 1 Year, 6 Months ago
Earl, my fault here. I did TWO posts on this subject, and not only didn't I think to post the second one with this original post; I didn't even post it in the same section of the forum.
My only excuse is I was really P.O.'d when I did the second post, and not my usual, dispassionate self.
In fact, the comments I made in that other post are actually somewhat similar to the analysis in the article you posted. But let's just say the words are "a little stronger."
Amidst my loathing for the U.S. war-machine in general terms; my ire/disgust is especially directed toward the "Suits"-in-Uniforms -- meaning the high-ranking Generals at the Pentagon who time after time after time show that their SOLE allegiance is to the U.S.'s military suppliers (the Death-Machine Oligarchs); with the people in the U.S. military (civilian and military) regarded as nothing but pawns/fodder.
A few days ago; these sub-humans assured the Death-Machine Oligarchs that they would sacrifice "combat readiness" rather than even slightly reduce their purchases of excessive/redundant "weapons systems". As I noted in my previous post; "reduced combat readiness" translates as LESS body armor, LESS training, and LONGER tours of duty for U.S. troops: keep the bombs, destroy the troops.
Today these sub-humans were at it again. This time they were whining/threatening that if the U.S. government actually went through with (what are called) "automatic" spending cuts to the bloated budget of the Defense Department that it would also punish large numbers of CIVILIANS with lay-offs.
Of course what is so utterly vile here is these Liars claiming "they have no choice". The option of cutting redundant (and ridiculously expensive) weapons-systems from their budgets is not even considered. The token "cuts" in weapons-systems budgets will not (as they already stated) result in the cancellation of any of these programs -- merely slightly delay their time-lines.
It is one thing for a military to seek a "tactical advantage" in warfare. It's something else to have a war-machine FOUR TIMES bigger than the world's 2nd largest military. That is nothing but "overkill" carried to an absurd extreme -- especially with a nation which is already the biggest Deadbeat Debtor in the history of the world.
Like the dinosaur-regime of the Soviet Union before it; it is LITERALLY bankrupting itself with wildly excessive military spending. However, unlike with the Soviet Union; there isn't even any ENEMY to point this gigantic war-machine at...unless it goes out of its way to invent them.
And even then, these so-called "enemies" are so tiny in comparison that it's like swatting a mosquito with an aircraft carrier...
Bloomberg: U.S. military "manufacturing" crisis 1 Year, 5 Months ago
I continue to tell readers that while it may seem (from one day to the next) that "nothing is changing" that in fact we have been seeing a steady, subtle, but SIGNIFICANT shift in attitudes. And the best place to observe this attitude-shift is with the braindead shills of the mainstream media. When one of these talking-heads manages to "figure something out" we know that the BRAINWASHING IS STARTING TO LOSE ITS GRIP on the minds of the Sheep.
Can anyone imagine (even two years ago) a statement like this being made by a Bloomberg (i.e. mainstream) writer:
...The military is manufacturing a crisis to protect its wasteful, bloated, poorly designed budget.
If that isn't mind-boggling enough by itself, the Bloomberg writer then goes on to make the same, obvious observation I made myself a couple of months back: that the Pentagon could simply cut funding for SOME of the absurd/expensive/impractical/unnecessary TOYS which the Weapons Oligarchs build for them year after year -- for countless $100's of BILLIONS.
...there’s an alternative, at least at the Pentagon. Panetta and the generals could say to Congress: We accept that you politicians have backed yourselves into a corner and budgets have to come down. But let us point out several big-ticket items we can erase, rather than putting this process on autopilot.
What just happened there? A mainstream talking-head was TOLD something by the Oligarchs (in this case via their Puppets in the U.S. military), and the mainstream talking-head thought to himself "I don't believe this", and then came up with his own idea of what should be done.
Here we have a mainstream Serf talking/thinking/acting like a Citizen.
And just like the herd-behavior of "believing everything we are TOLD" is contagious, so is thinking for one's self. If the knuckle-dragging, couch-potato Sheep begin to see media talking-heads "thinking" and "getting ideas" then the rest of the Sheep will start thinking and getting ideas too.
And what do you think THAT means for the Oligarchs' fascist empire...???
P.S. To illustrate that this is a mainstream article worth reading (i.e. actual mainstream "journalism"), let me quote the last line:
...The generals light their hair on fire, and lawmakers protect the pork. Ah, democracy.
As sequestration hysteria grips Washington, top uniformed officials at the Pentagon have joined Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in warning that across-the-board spending cuts due to take effect on March 1 will cripple the American military and endanger the effectiveness of soldiers, sailors, and pilots.
General Ray Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff, has declared that the cuts—a $46 billion reduction in the Pentagon’s fiscal 2013 budget, barring a last-minute political compromise—could curtail training for 80 percent of ground forces. The Navy has delayed the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, leaving just one of the gigantic vessels in that volatile region, even as tensions continue simmering with Iran. The Air Force is talking about slashing flying hours, leaving two-thirds of its pilots below an acceptable level of readiness. And so on.
Flapdoodle. The military is manufacturing a crisis to protect its wasteful, bloated, poorly designed budget. Sequestration, which mandates no-thought, across-the-board spending cuts, is a dumb way to force fiscal discipline. But there’s an alternative, at least at the Pentagon. Panetta and the generals could say to Congress: We accept that you politicians have backed yourselves into a corner and budgets have to come down. But let us point out several big-ticket items we can erase, rather than putting this process on autopilot.
A devastating series by our colleagues at Bloomberg News shows that “the defense budget contains hundreds of billions of dollars for new generations of aircraft carriers and stealth fighters, tanks that even the Army says it doesn’t need and combat vehicles too heavy to maneuver in desert sands or cross most bridges in Asia, Africa, or the Middle East.” Read this comprehensive expose and weep. Or read it as an implicit road map for how to shrink the military in a rational way.
For the benefit of harried members of Congress and their staff, not to mention the president and his aides, here are five ideas for major Pentagon budget cuts that would actually improve the national defense by instilling a new spirit of budget discipline:
1. Ground the glitch-ridden F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. The F-35 was supposed to produce state-of-the-art stealth jets. It is seven years behind schedule and 70 percent over cost estimates. At almost $400 billion, the F-35 has become the most expensive weapons system in U.S. history and one that offers only marginal improvements over existing aircraft, according to Barry Blechman, co-founder of the Stimson Center, a nonprofit policy institute in Washington. (On Friday, the Pentagon grounded its nascent 51-plane fleet of F-35s after discovering a cracked engine blade in one jet.) The F-35 is “worth killing, particularly given its technical problems,” Blechman said. “Putting the F-35 into production years before the first flight test was acquisition malpractice,” Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s acquisition undersecretary, said in February 2012. So, um, let’s do something about it, Frank.
2. While we’re at it, how about parking the Ground Combat Vehicle? With wind-downs in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army’s strength is due to decline by some 72,000 by 2017. Still, we’re poised to spend as much as $32 billion to buy 1,904 new Ground Combat Vehicles, tank-like replacements for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. What the Army actually needs is improved, smaller vehicles to get modest-sized forces into trouble spots with greater alacrity. The 70-ton Ground Combat Vehicle won’t be easily transportable by air or sea, raising questions about “how quickly it could be deployed in the event of a conflict,” according to a report (PDF) issued in January by the Congressional Research Service.
3. On the topic of Army gas-guzzlers: Even the generals admit that they don’t want or need an updated version of the familiar M1 combat tank. The M1 was originally built to face off against Soviet tanks in a land war in Europe, which thankfully never happened. Congress, however, intends to keep doling out billions to gut and renovate old M1s. That makes no sense.
4. Dock the Littoral Combat Ship. The Navy is building two versions of the troubled vessel that was once billed as a low-cost, versatile coastal patrol ship. The LCS has doubled in price, to more than $440 million a ship. Evaluators have determined that its guns aren’t effective, meaning it might not survive in combat.
5. Excess bureaucracy must go. “One need only spend 10 minutes walking around the Pentagon or any major military headquarters to see excess and redundancy,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in September at an event organized by the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington. He should know. As defense chief in 2009, he culled 20 weapons systems he thought unnecessary or too expensive, including the F-22 fighter. One place to start thinning the bureaucracy: the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That office has more than tripled in manpower, to 4,244 in 2012 from 1,313 in 2010, according to the Pentagon’s annual manpower report. (Fewer bureaucrats means fewer memos and fewer meetings. Win-win-win.)
Why is sensible military budgeting so difficult? Because lawmakers, including small-government Republicans, protect defense business in their home states with the ferocity of Spartans. Even if the Pentagon offered up the cuts we’ve outlined here, Congress would almost certainly reject them. The senators and representatives don’t have the political courage to face voters and tell them that the republic simply does not need the weapon under construction in their hometown.
Consider the F-35. Primarily made by Lockheed Martin (LMT), the plane has 1,300 suppliers in 45 states supporting 133,000 jobs, according to Lockheed. “It’s got a lot of political protection,” according to Winslow Wheeler, director of the Project on Government Oversight’s Center for Defense Information in Washington. “Very, very few members of Congress are willing to say this is an unaffordable dog and we need to get rid of it.”
So rather than making strategic spending reductions that might produce a leaner, more effective military, sequestration will result in fewer pilot training hours and under-prepared soldiers. The generals light their hair on fire, and lawmakers protect the pork. Ah, democracy.
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