The Risky Rush to Cut Defense Spending

Discussion in 'Military' started by cduebelhoer, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. cduebelhoer
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    cduebelhoer Member

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  2. RoccoR
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    RoccoR Gold Member

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    cduebelhoer, et al,

    From a practical standpoint, there are always little places you can cut and save. However, on the wider issue, a decision has to be made:

    • Is the US going to maintain an Armed Force of the first order: Persuasive in Peace - Invincible in War?
    --- OR ---
    • Is the US going to back away and maintain merely a "defense force?"

    This is going to be both a Political Decision and a Military Development. The military needs to clearly understand how the Political Leadership is going to employ the Armed Force in the future and under what circumstances. It needs to be clearly understood who is responsible for the "Exit Strategy" and the factors that determine military closure.

    This will not be easy, nor is anyone going to willing address it. But to mold an effective force for the 21st Century, it will have to be addressed, or we will be at a sever disadvantage and each such military adventure will be gradually more and more expensive.

    (COMMENT)

    There are a couple issues in play here.

    • First:
      The US Military, as an offensive force, now has no SECRETs. Due to the close and continuous sharing over the last decade; every nation of any consequence has seen the inside of the battle command, how it works and what its weaknesses and capabilities are. They have seen us naked and know every little detail. With this information, they now have the insider knowledge to defeat us, in terms of material and how we think.

      If you are going to mitigate that, the US Force C3 and the MDMP (Military Decision Making Process) is going to have to modernize and quickly. This is big bucks.​
    • Second:
      It was a conscience decision, more than two decades ago, to reduce the size of the active armed forces by contracting out all but the Combat Arms aspect of the military, particularly in the Army.

      You simply cannot just cut the contractors. They feed us, keep the communications going, armor-up our equipment, and keep the lights on - fuel flowing. They run the systems beyond the expertise of the Combat Arms. They do all the research. It is not something you can turn on and off. If you want to cut contracting, then you have to reinstate the Combat Support and Combat Service Support from the top down --- and that will take decades, not to mention tripling the size of the military. You simply cannot shelve it until you need it. Expertise has a shelf-life.
    We made a set of decisions, way back when, and we now have to decide if those decisions were right or wrong. We have to seriously consider if that decision making process, that lead to todays totally force structure (military, civilian, contractor) was sound and valid. If not, then we have to make adjustments in multiple aspects on the way our leadership is trained to make decisions.

    More importantly, we have to purge the leadership --- if we change course. It was the leadership thinking (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities) that was common throughout the process that brought us to this point, and the pipeline of officers (the leadership) is filled with cloned leaders that have been (like lawyers) trained to think a certain way. If we scramble that now, we have to purge the radiator, and put a new kind of officer (leader) on deck. Now none of the leadership is going to admit to making poor decisions.

    • Honesty will be critical. And the leadership is trained to only convey commentary that supports the decisions they made; and deny, dismiss, distort or alter the information which may tend to challenge their decisions. The leadership is universally cloned to do this.

    On the other hand, we are not getting our moneys worth out of the contractor. And the biggest reason for that is that the roll of the contractor is scrambled. Both active duty military and our civil servants all have a "love - hate" relationship with the contractor. This is not just true of the military, but of other types of agencies - like the State Department. Why would a contractor, who is hated and treated like dirt, work for less when they are not going to be treated like "one of their own?"

    This is not unique to the "contractor," --- in the perspective the "Govy" has. I have heard many a Foreign Service Officer speak disparagingly of the Military Counterpart.

    The "roll" issue and relationships need to be professionalized, particularly in the hostile theater.

    Most Respectfully,
    R
     
  3. Kuros
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    Kuros BANNED

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    Why Defense Cuts Are Nothing to Fear

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  4. Sallow
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    Sallow The Big Bad Wolf. Supporting Member

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    Funny those who want "small" government don't see our military as part of the government.
     
  5. The Gadfly
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    The Gadfly Senior Member

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    Oh, I think they do, Sallow.I know I do. National defense, after all, is one of the few truly "indispensable" functions of government ( along with making foreign policy, providing for a common currency, and so forth. Now, here's the problem, in a nutshell.Over the last twenty to thirty years,America has been on a credit binge. That's local governments, state governments, the federal government and yes, the American people. All borrowed, and spent, more than they could pay for. An awful lot of illusionary "prosperity" was built on that; easy credit, and a flow of relatively cheap goods. Now, the situation has changed, and the bills are due. We overspent; societally, individually, and governmentally. Everybody, from the bankers and brokers, regulators, and politicians, to the rest of us, ALL played a role-no one is entirely blameless for this economy. When an individual does that, or a business does that, the only cure is to go on a credit diet, and now, government is going to have to do the same. We have reached the limit of what can be done by simply printing more money, and issuing more debt.

    That is going to mean making tough choices; the kind politicians don't like to make. Like it or not, we have put the country in a situation it cannot tax its way out of, or spend its way out of. We are going to have to decide, among other things what government MUST do, , what we would LIKE government to do, and then, prioritize. That in turn, means EVERYTHING has got to be on the table. What is not absolutely needed, has to be subject to cuts, even elimination; even what DOES have to be spent is going to have to bear careful scrutiny. We no longer have the luxury of thinking in terms of what we would "like to have", and "MUST have> It's not going to be easy to reach a consensus on that, but we have to; we can't afford to continues not to.
     
  6. Stashman
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    Stashman No Soup For You!

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    The answer is obvious to me. The United States of American has troops in 130 countries and maintains 700 bases over seas. The cost of maintaining these has to be ENORMOUS.
    If we bring ALL of our troops home and closed all but the most essential bases the savings to defense would be significant to say the least.
     
  7. bill5
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    bill5 Member

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    Agreed. Of course it's not that simple to say the least. For ex. defining "the most essential bases," even if it was done honestly and absent from political agendas (which of course isn't ever going to happen), is subjective and would have no pat answer. And bringing all our troops back (I assume you mean in the Middle East conflicts, not all troops everywhere) is something I am all for but is also not so simple.
     
  8. Stashman
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    Stashman No Soup For You!

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    No I mean all of our troops from everywhere. Not only for economic reasons, but also because our military is spread out so far and wide that our country itself is vulnerable. Would be great to have them all back here guarding our shores.
     
  9. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Well, the Military IS mandated in the Constitution, unlike ObamaCare. You could argue the SIZE of the Military but not it's existence.

    That being said, yeah the Military could use some downsizing. We don't need that many bases overseas. Let's bring 90% of the troops home and work on getting transportation systems in place so that we could project that power if need be.

    Besides, I saw a quote from one of our founding fathers (I can't remember which one) who said that "standing armies shouldn't be maintained as they can be used against the populace". That's beginning to worry me as well.
     
  10. bill5
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    bill5 Member

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    Except that we don't need them back here guarding our shores. We have plenty available here for that already and most of our security dangers (certainly the biggest ones) are not from troops storming across the Canadian or Mexican borders. They are from long-range weapons, cyber attacks, and more to the point, attacks on our allies, which is a large part of why we have a presence in so many of them. Further, we have already cut back considerably in that regard.

    I'm not saying more can't be done or you don't have a good point in general, just that "bring em all home" is not workable or even advisable.
     

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