October 9th, 2012
09:51 PM ET

Army to Congress: Thanks, but no tanks

By Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston

HERLONG, California (CNN) - If you need an example of why it is hard to cut the budget in Washington look no further than this Army depot in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada range.

CNN was allowed rare access to what amounts to a parking lot for more than 2,000 M-1 Abrams tanks. Here, about an hour's drive north of Reno, Nevada, the tanks have been collecting dust in the hot California desert because of a tiff between the Army and Congress.

The U.S. has more than enough combat tanks in the field to meet the nation's defense needs - so there's no sense in making repairs to these now, the Army's chief of staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno told Congress earlier this year.

If the Pentagon holds off repairing, refurbishing or making new tanks for three years until new technologies are developed, the Army says it can save taxpayers as much as $3 billion.

That may seem like a lot of money, but it's a tiny sacrifice for a Defense Department that will cut $500 billion from its budget over the next decade and may be forced to cut a further $500 billion if a deficit cutting deal is not reached by Congress.

Why is this a big deal? For one, the U.S. hasn't stopped producing tanks since before World War II, according to lawmakers.

Plus, from its point of view the Army would prefer to decide what it needs and doesn't need to keep America strong while making tough economic cuts elsewhere.

"When a relatively conservative institution like the U.S. military, which doesn't like to take risks because risks get people killed, says it has enough tanks, I think generally civilians should be inclined to believe them," said Travis Sharp a fellow at the defense think tank, New American Security.

But guess which group of civilians isn't inclined to agree with the generals on this point?

Congress.

To be exact, 173 House members - Democrats and Republicans - sent a letter April 20 to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, urging him to continue supporting their decision to produce more tanks.

That's right. Lawmakers who frequently and loudly proclaim that presidents should listen to generals when it comes to battlefield decisions are refusing to take its own advice.

If the U.S. pauses tank production and refurbishment it will hurt the nation's industrial economy, lawmakers say.

"The combat vehicle industrial base is a unique asset that consists of hundreds of public and private facilities across the United States," the letter said. The outlook for selling Abrams tanks to other nations appears "stronger than prior years," the letter said. But those sales would be "inadequate to sustain the industrial base and in some cases uncertain. In light of this, modest and continued Abrams production for the Army is necessary to protect the industrial base."

Lima, Ohio, is a long way from this dusty tank parking lot. The tiny town in the northwestern part of the Buckeye State is where defense manufacturing heavyweight General Dynamics makes these 60-plus-ton behemoths.

The tanks create 16,000 jobs and involve 882 suppliers, says Kendell Pease, the company's vice-president of government relations and communications. That job figure includes ancillary positions like gas station workers who fill up employees' cars coming and going to the plant.

Many of the suppliers for tank manufacturing are scattered around the country so the issue of stopping production or refurbishment becomes a parochial one: congressional representatives don't want to kill any jobs in their districts, especially as the economy struggles during an election year.

"General Dynamics is not the industrial base," Pease said. "It is small vendors."

But General Dynamics certainly has a stake in the battle of the tanks and is making sure its investment is protected, according to research done by The Center for Public Integrity, a journalism watchdog group.

What its reporters found was General Dynamics campaign contributions given to lawmakers at key times, such as around congressional hearings, on whether or not to build more tanks.

"We aren't saying there's vote buying" said Aaron Metha, one of the report's authors. "We are saying it's true in pretty much all aspects of politics - but especially the defense industry. It's almost impossible to separate out the money that is going into elections and the special interests. And what we found was the direct spike in the giving around certain important dates that were tied to votes."

Pease said General Dynamics is bipartisan in its giving and there is nothing suspicious in the timing of its donations to members of the House and Senate. The giving is tied to when fundraisers are held in Washington - which is also when Congress is in session, he said.

Lawmakers that CNN interviewed denied that donations influenced their decisions to keep the tanks rolling.

Rep. Buck McKeon, a Republican from California and chairman of the House armed services committee, said he didn't know General Dynamics had given him $56,000 in campaign contributions since 2009 until CNN asked him about it.

"You know, the Army has a job to do and we have a job to do," McKeon said. "And they have tough choices because they've been having their budget cut."

McKeon said he's thinking about the long range view. "... If someone could guarantee us that we'll never need tanks in the future, that would be good. I don't see that guarantee."

Similarly, his Democratic counterpart on the committee, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, who has received $64,000 from General Dynamics since 2001, said he is worried about the workforce if the Lima plant is closed for three years.

"Listen, we don't want to play Russian Roulette with the national security of this country," Reyes said.

Odierno explained to the committee that it would be cheaper to shut down the tank plant and then restart it in 2017. But his plea was ignored.

"Lima would cost us $2.8 billion just to keep that open and our tank fleet is in good shape and we don't need to because of the great support that we have gotten over the last two years," he told the committee.

But General Dynamics said it will cost a lot less to keep the plant open. Pease said the Army hasn't factored in the huge costs of closing the plant and the potential loss of skilled workers who will be needed come 2017 when the Army plans to remodel the Abrams tank.

"It's not whether they need those tanks, it's how much it costs to restart it," said Pease. General Dynamics, he said, will survive with or without refurbishing tanks over the next three years.

So how did Congress respond to Gen. Odeirno's request to shut down production until 2017?

The answer came in the proposed congressional budget for next year. It includes $181 million for tanks the Army doesn't want or need now. That begs another question: who will likely get the money for the 70 or so tanks covered by that contract when it goes out for bid?

"General Dynamics would probably get the contract for it anyway because they are kind of the ones that are out there leading the way on this," said McKeon.

The Army tank battle sends an unsettling message to the Defense Department, says Sharp, with the defense think tank. But it's a message that may not surprise a public weary from decades of battles and horse-trading that have defined Capitol Hill.

"The fact that the military is having such a hard time getting this relatively small amount of money to be saved, I think is an indication of the huge uphill fight that the military faces when it comes to Congress," Sharp said. "Congress is going to fight tooth and nail to protect defense investments that benefit their constituents and the people that live in their states."

Maybe the next time the generals go up to the Hill, they should take a cue from the well-protected tanks parked in California. Perhaps they might consider wearing body armor.

CNN's Sara Anwar contributed to this report.

soundoff (1,131 Responses)
  1. NNN

    These low-lifes will say anything to keep the spigot of billions upon of dollars flowing into the defense industry. They know next to nothing about tank warfare and technology or our needs. The same sleaze are also continuing operation of hundreds of useless military activities, usually employing thousands of grossly overpaid civilian bureaucrats, to no constructive end whatsoever other than to provide jobs for the locals in their districts. A very large amount of Defense spending is nothing more than welfare, and a very inefficient form of welfare at that.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • Pax

      would it help if I said thank you?

      October 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  2. saeed

    what is needed is force nuke usa and britain and drop 10 nukes on ireland dublin ad belfast also.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • 1ofTheFllen

      Spoken likt a true camel humper rag head. Praise AliButtButt.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  3. Al

    I hope these tanks are not needed to be deployed to keep our troops on the ground safe. I rather have our troops home safely and in one piece than see the Army be dollar dumb.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  4. USMC0351

    Just FYI. General are not always wisest. In the US, they are politicians fist. Who "elects" them? Well, Congress ofcourse!

    October 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
    • NNN

      That would be all the more reason for the generals to ask for more material and weapons than they need and not less.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  5. Cinman

    If the Army doesn't need more, it doesn't need more. There are still leftovers from the Cold War in the military industrial complex which need to end. Too often the Pentagon has been forced to have weapons and bases it knows are not needed.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  6. Eggs

    If any of these vendors went out of business, it would be their own fault. There's this simple expression of not putting all your eggs in the same basket.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
    • Harin

      You make a good point, but many small businesses, like these vendors do not have the financial strength to pursue multiple revenue streams at the same time. Retooling and reeducating sounds good on paper, but it costs a lot of money and small business just cannot keep paying employees and other bills while everyone learns a new skill while waiting on new equipment. Those businesses close down, lay everyone off and then the owners try to learn a new business to get into.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  7. JY

    And working with government contracts as part of my job, this is just the tip of the congressional/GOP waste in the DoD budget that they fight Obama on and choose over other programs, like medicare and Social Security. Ryan and Romney would rather make the big corporations a few extra billion than help make Social Security or Medicare more solvent.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • boonedaniel73

      did you read the story? I bet not or did you just miss, the fact that both sides get money on this deal.
      We will be in debt and never out of it until people understand that you do not need a TV in every room of your house!
      You do not need a brand new car every 2 years just because your co worker next to you got a new car.
      Thank you baby boomers for being the most spoiled people in the world and passing that wonderful trait to your kids and grandkids.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  8. Lee Oates

    Military-industrial overkill.

    October 10, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
  9. grinshad

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anniston_Army_Depot

    October 10, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
  10. Ike

    "If the U.S. pauses tank production and refurbishment it will hurt the nation's industrial economy, lawmakers say"

    Classic case of the military-industrial complex being deemed more important than both the actual military and our national defense.

    October 10, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • Squeezebox

      Another case of too big/important to fail....

      October 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  11. Brad

    America could be known for it's science, education, good living, food production, manufacturing, trading, friendlyness, instead, we are known as the war machine. I love America, my home, but I hate what it has become, a total let down. To many people think it is unpatriotic to ridicule your own country. I say it is unpatriotic to not ridicule it. You should always push to make your country a better place for it's citizens, and instead we are going backwards.

    October 10, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply
    • Tan

      I second that Brad. Thanks for telling us the honest truth. As a naturalized citizen and a veteran, I'm saddened by what we have become. We could be so much better than what we are. This is still a great and awesome place to be but we are rapidly letting all that generations before us have worked hard to accomplish.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  12. Dzee

    This is all Biblical folks. Romney doesn't believe in Christianity nor the apocolypse. His goal is to push Mormon fundamentals. The 'Christians' have been deceived (just as Bible says) they are now against the poor, the sick, and are backing the wealthy. They are so blinded by bigotry that they are electing somebody that thinks Christianity is an abomination. Everybody knows Romney's tax plan will destroy this country, and his stances that he has taken against Russia, Syria, Cuba, and Iran...are all part of it. The US gets demolished, it's in Revelations. The Republicans can bash this point of view, but reality is, I know many Christians who see it and feel this way. People need to look at the big picture and see what this really represents.

    October 10, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
    • Bill Duke

      At least he's not a muslim in chief.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • bob

      And you believe in Santa Clause too, don't you?

      October 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
      • Ron

        Bob you are an a$$. Why do you have to ridicule someone's belief? It's a free country after all.

        October 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • 1ofTheFllen

      This is simple folks. Obama is a closet Muslim. Why else would he bow the Saudi King and then go around the middle east apologizing for American freedom of speech values and tell the UN that the phophet muhammad should not be slandered? Obama wants to destroy Amerca the only way he knows how and thats by continuing to spend far more money than the US can pay for. Obama has spent over $6 Trillion in 4 years with only a few hundred additionl jobs to show for it. The tax increases of nearly $3000 per family next year will destroy our job market and allow Obama to $$Trillions more and add more programs that taxpayers already cannot afford. WE WILL BE BANKRUPT JUST LIKE GREECE.

      October 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Reply
    • Marc

      Mitt Romney, a supporter of the Vietnam war, who couldn't find the guts to serve his country when called to, went to France, with his father's support, to do missionary work. Now, he wants to give the War machine 2 trillion dollars, so he can send your sons and daughters to war that he supports, while his 5 sons who are protected because of an all voluntary military. I do not want this spineless, guttless, yellow belly coward to be Commander in Chief of our military and I think all voters should know more about his cowardices. A concerned veteran of the Vietnam War Era!

      October 14, 2012 at 9:06 am | Reply
  13. Dwayne

    It's real simple once you take the politics out of it. If you don't need tanks, then you don't build them. Expand your portfolio and build something else. GM, Ford and Chrysler went through the same thing when people didn't need or want their cars. They adapted with better technology, designs, job losses and help from the Obama administration. The tank industry can do the same if they want to. It won't be easy, but it can be done. Build something NEEDED AND WANTED!

    October 10, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
  14. Ben

    We don't need tanks to fight Taliban or AQ. Hoever, if there were a ground war in Iran or worse, something with China, we surely would. This is politicing while driving off a cliff...

    October 10, 2012 at 11:36 am | Reply
    • Turtle42

      "We don't need tanks to fight Taliban or AQ. Hoever, if there were a ground war in Iran or worse, something with China, we surely would. This is politicing while driving off a cliff..."

      Not at all. AFV's are nearly useless in war today. They're meant to kill other AFV's, something that can now be done with a $2000 hand-held anti-tank munition, not a $7 million vehicle.

      And, THESE ARE SURPLUS! The Army itself states they have enough AFV's to deal with any foreseeable threat already.

      And no politician in the US, of any stripe, is stupid enough to actually get into a serious shooting war with one of our largest trading partners, who does not pose any threat to the territory of the US.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:49 am | Reply
  15. WarHAWK

    Ship ALL of them to Israel along with some jets and bombs....let them overrun all of the muslim countries for us.

    October 10, 2012 at 11:33 am | Reply
    • Flatsguide

      You want the Israeli's to overun Washington DC?

      October 10, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
  16. mike

    These tanks were designed to fight the Warsaw Pact in Eastern Europe. There is no more Warsaw Pact to fight us and the old Soviet states just can't get it up. The Abrams had problems in Afghanistan and the Strykers had to be brought in because the Abrams was too heavy, too wide and it had a soft underbelly which was weak against IED's. This is a text book case of what President Eisenhower about in his farewell speech.

    October 10, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
  17. Pax

    hope we kept those buggy whip factories going–never know when we might need them too–peace, love and speed

    October 10, 2012 at 11:27 am | Reply
  18. Len

    Wait just one blazing minute! Fox News and the Republicans tell me the government doesn't create jobs yet this leftist-pinko-communist-fascist-secular-muslim-prolife-elitist-ivory tower-liberal media article says otherwise?!?!? Hah, you must think I'm some kind of fool with your talk of government created jobs! /s

    October 10, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
  19. Tom

    BEHOLD.... The Military Industrial Complex. And don't give me this bipartisan BS. We ALL know which PARTY chronically thinks DEFENSE SHOULD EXPAND and WE ALL KNOW WHY.

    Exhibit A: Dick and Haliburton

    October 10, 2012 at 11:22 am | Reply
  20. jim

    This type of special interest spending happens across the board, not just with the military. Everything from corn growers pushing ethanol & corn syrup to big pharma lining the pockets of politicians & our doctors alike. The problem we have are our politicians forgetting that the serve us, not the other way around. The idea of a career politician will be the downfall of our society if we don't change something soon.

    October 10, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
  21. jimbo

    Man, we're turning into North Korea. Building military stuff just for the sake of building it. More profit for supporters of the war machine. Conservatives complain that democrats are socialists but turn around and do this. FAIL

    October 10, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
  22. Edgar Friendly

    Socialism by any other name is totally okay with both parties.

    October 10, 2012 at 11:00 am | Reply
    • Duh...

      Right-O boyo! We say no to communism and socialism and anything when it comes to the govt. But gosh darn it if America doesn't like military and industrial welfare

      October 10, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
      • Burt Way

        One quibble with what you said. Welfare is getting something for doing nothing, which is not the case here. But of course we all are puzzled when congress forces on the military thinghs it does not want such thses tanks or the Global Hawk Model 30.

        October 10, 2012 at 11:25 am |
      • 6packmuscle

        I think the point is the right wing always cries about socialism and how everyone wants a nanny state, but when it comes to spending money on equipment and gear the military and generals themselves don't want. Well that is another story. I guess military socialism is ok right?

        October 10, 2012 at 11:48 am |
      • Sky

        Not puzzling at all. Look at the decentralized nature of modern industrialization.

        Even if the tank isn't assembled in their state, a legislator might try to force things into a defense bill becase the ball bearings or washers or piping is produced in their state. The military doesn't make all of its own weapons; even a dove understands that defense spending equates to a "soft" jobs bill.

        October 10, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  23. Jim

    Another example of conservative socialism

    October 10, 2012 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • Sharon

      Just another example of Liberal Socialism
      Instead of putting the money into something they say they don't need, why not pay our soldiers what they derserve. Put the money in salaries

      October 10, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
      • Baller

        Perhaps for officers and SF. However, a lot of enlisted guys just knocked up a girlfriend and couldn't get a job at Dairy Queen so he ran away by joining the Army and now does laundry in the desert. It doesn't mean we should pay a bunch of taxes and fund it.
        What happened to actual real conservatism where we decrease government (including military) and spend less?

        October 10, 2012 at 11:31 am |
      • Brad

        Because they signed up for the pay they got, not more and not less. I know a LOT of millitary people that signed up for the check, not to fight the good fight. No disrespect intended for the many that do it for the USA and not the pay check.

        October 10, 2012 at 11:41 am |
      • situationalawareness

        We do... housing, medical, food, and pay.
        It's just not good when a military wife comes into the picture.

        October 10, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  24. GatorDude

    Last time I checked the news, most of the bad stuff that happens on this planet happens in flat, hot, sandy, places that are just perfect for tank warfare.

    October 10, 2012 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • Duh...

      And I'm sure you'd advocate using the tanks in Afghanistan too? If anything we should only be deploying a small number of Abrams and bulk up our use of Strykers to forward outposts. They are better for moral and, while they are still sitting ducks in the valleys outside major population centers like Kabul and Kandahar, they are more maneuverable than Abrams.. Takes are slowly losing their place, especially in the age where drones can carry anti-tank munitions...

      October 10, 2012 at 11:01 am | Reply
    • mike

      Wrong, tanks are the new "battle ships". How many of those do we still need?

      October 10, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • Steve

      Tanks are only needed for occupation, and I'm certainly not in favor of occupation. A drone can hit any target a tank can hit.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
  25. johm

    This happens all the time. The military says "We need A, B, and C." Congress talks about it and the biggest states build A, C, and D so that's what you get. Sorry C, move your plant elsewhere.

    October 10, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
  26. amanda

    Simple example of our morons in the congress and government interrupting a free market economy.

    Demand drives production. Artificial demand creates jobs, money stolen from the tax payers to create those jobs...or printed out of thin air these days.

    Drop the production, the 14,000 people will have to figure out how to not live on the production and work of the rest of our nations people. It's the only way it works.

    October 10, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • Steve

      If congress is so worried about job losses from shutting down the plant perhaps they could find those people something cheaper to build instead of multi-million dollar tanks.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply
  27. Tanksabillions

    It's interesting that this story did not mention that the Lima plant will be producing foreign military tanks during the "proposed" Army pause in production, which will sustain skills that are critical to "national security".

    Also, interesting is that they didn't mention the hundreds of brand new tanks that will never be fielded. The Army produced those tanks and then reduced the number of tank brigades, creating an already excess fleet.

    What no one ever mentions is the fact that the Army never planned to break production. The future M1A3 tank was supposed to roll off the line directly after the last M1A2 tank was produced. That program was put on hold indefinitely and instead a modification to the existing version will be made in 2017. The delay caused the production gap because the Army stopped technology development while leadership made up their minds on what they wanted to do.

    If you look closely at the tank plant, you may notice it's like stepping back in time to 1970. The funding rules don't allow the Army to use the Congressional funding to build tanks to make investments into their facility so it's more efficient and flexible to produce other things. The plant needs $30M in repairs, like fixing the roof, repairing the rail line, and making the water tower EPA compliant. The plant is being used to produce other foreign vehicles and is prepped to produce a new vehicle for the Marines.

    It is the only plant in the nation that can produce a tank, or other heavy combat vehicle, so the argument that it must be preserved for national security is a valid point. It would cost nearly $822M to shut the facility down, layaway the equipment for three years, then start back up, rehire and retrain the workforce and requalify suppliers. It would've been nice to use the break in production to upgrade the facility and use the workforce to develop more efficient manufacturing processes.

    October 10, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • Tanksabillions is a Lima plant worker

      You sound like one of Romney's 47%, looking for government handouts for your Lima plant. Don't you know he doesn't care about you?

      Oh wait, I might be confused. Perhaps you have considerable financial holdings in General Dynamics. So maybe you're part of that 1% that he care about a LOT.

      I'm sure the Lima plant can find $30-million to do the repairs you are intimately familiar with, amongst the billions of taxpayer dollars being sent into that industry.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
      • Tanksabillions

        Lima is a government owned facility, including the equipment. I do not work for GDLS. I would rather see tax dollars spent on things that are more useful to the tank program than on tanks that will never be fielded. Doing so would allow the Army to produce the next tank more efficiently and at lower cost.

        October 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  28. Fearless Freep

    Lawmakers that CNN interviewed denied that donations influenced their decisions to keep the tanks rolling.

    Rep. Buck McKeon, a Republican from California and chairman of the House armed services committee, said he didn't know General Dynamics had given him $56,000 in campaign contributions since 2009 until CNN asked him about it.

    B U L L S H I P !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 10, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
  29. skylud

    Get rid of tanks 16000 jobs gone. Military is kicking people out right and left. My son 14yrs in the army not allowed to reenlist. Has a wife and 3 boys guess what moving in with me. no retirement 3 deployments. IF the defense budgets go though has planned watch and see now high the uneployment hits. but this will be after the election

    October 10, 2012 at 10:38 am | Reply
    • Fearless Freep

      Dont worry Skylud,
      If Romney wins we will be in Syria by February.
      Then you wont have to worry about being unemployed, just dead.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
      • ArmyMom

        No – Romney and "BiBi' Netanyahu want us in Iran, which has a strong tank division. Glad we have a surplus! Not sure how our armor stacks up against their Zulfiqar 3 though.

        October 10, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • johm

      Did he get hurt? Fall off a motorcycle or something? The government doesn't like when you break its property.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • ArmyMom

      Sky – I have to wonder what your son's MOS was. There are deductions being made in certain job classes within the Army.

      However, to Johm's point – it was the Army that broke my son while he was working on an Abrams in Ramadi after hitting an IED in 2005. His medical retirement is being processed now, it only took them 7 yrs. to get around to it. Not sure what he'll do when he gets out. He's 27 and known only the Army.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:39 am | Reply
    • Chris

      I'm sorry your son never learned any other skills besides taking orders and shooting people. To civilized people, war should be avoided at all costs, but American society requires that we always be fighting someone to keep people 'employed' in the war industry. It's quite sick, actually.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
      • ArmyMom

        Chris, He actually is only a couple hours shy of having his degree, earned while serving.

        We have a special needs child in our family. We had to reallocate college funds in order to pay for medical expenses. Unlike what a lot of conservatives would have you believe not everyone in the US gets government aide when they have a major life event unfold. Our personal health care coverage didn't cover it all and the money had to come from some place.

        He will come out meeting the goal he went in for – an education.

        October 10, 2012 at 11:59 am |
      • ArmyMom

        Chris, I might add he did well in the Army and worked his way up in rank pretty fast, and giving orders as well as following them now.

        He also volunteers for funeral details as a way to pay his respects to those that leave this world both in service to country and old age. He's a great shot and I know he's killed a few people – but he also learned a level of respect that isn't taught in civilian life any longer.

        October 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  30. Doug

    It's a nice gesture on behalf of my Alma mater but please America, get real! The U.S. Army is NOT turning down further production of the M1A1/A2, simply to save money. The Army is stating they don't need anymore of THIS particular model of the Abrams. The real deal is; they are in development and research for production of the M1A3. A lighter, better armored (including underbelly) tank with enhanced computer networking; it is slated for production in 2014 and to be fielded in 2017. Funding is NEVER cut in the Army, it's reallocated.

    October 10, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply
    • Tanksabillions

      Actually the Army isn't producing the A3 tank. It will be the M1A2 SEPv3 tank. The Army already put better underbelly armor on the tank and mine resistant drivers seats that have proven very effective protecting against IEDs. Production is scheduled to start in 2017, first unit equipped in 2020.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
  31. JackBeHumble

    Ceasing tank production and spending the dollars to build roads, bridges, offshore drilling platforms, local refineries etc seems like a wise thing to do now. When austerity measures are no longer necessary (we've balanced the budget and are starting to pay down the debt), we can invest in the next generation of drone tanks and drone infantry.

    October 10, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
  32. Nicodemis

    I thought they do not produce any more Abrams tanks, but spend millions refurbishing and upgrading them? There was a show on the military/history channel on this.

    October 10, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
    • JackBeHumble

      According to this article, the US has not ceased new tank production since WWII.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:28 am | Reply
      • Tanksabillions

        Correct, the Army has not produced a new tank structure since the mid 90's. That's why there are so many parked in Sierra. The Army just reuses those structures and upgrades them.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  33. Null

    I do not know why so many of you keep making GOP and Republican comments about this. Yes, the person they interviewed in the video clip was Republican. However, the video repeatedly stated that this was a bipartisan decision. Both Republican AND Democrats are pushing for this. Stop thinking that the GOP and Republicans are the ONLY morons.... Plenty of Democrats fall under that label as well! They are politicians and they have an upcoming election.... They are going to follow the campaign money, not the intelligent recommendations.

    October 10, 2012 at 10:26 am | Reply
    • Tanksabillions

      Exactly! Sander Levin, D, MI, was the first signature on the letter to the Army. Congress can't "earmark" funds anymore unless it's agreed upon by both the democrats and republicans.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:57 am | Reply
  34. fiftyfive55

    They actually used to make parts for these tanks in Chicago but Reagan cut military spending in 1982 and decided then to stop making tnks also so this is not the first time tank production has ceased,I know,because I lost a job at the place where they made these parts.

    October 10, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
  35. Dr Tom

    This is a perfect example of the industrial-military complex that Eisenhower warned us against. We should convert that tank manufacturing plant to manufacture something that is really needed.

    October 10, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
    • dreamisover

      Unfortunately Defense hardware is the only mfg. the US has left and that is only because it is protected from offshoring.
      The American people did this to themselves. You can stop reading now and cash your unemployment checks at Walmart and spend it on communist Chinese goods.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
      • ivanovich

        very well said! Let's bring our manufactory back to America and stop buying chinese junk!

        October 10, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  36. Vera Waitress

    B U S T E D ! ! ! ! This bloated boondoggle called the miliary– this corrupt $700 BILLION dollar a year corporate scam is OVER! The new military budget will be $250 billion per year, no matter how many staged military events the Halliburton executives create for the camera! PS: China is not our enemy, they just want to sell us furniture. Libya is trying to return to normalcy, and a few hired insurgents to throw a grenade into an embassy is not war. Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, we're leaving on a gold-dipped jet plane and we're never coming back. I say we take the new budget surplus from the military and give it to this reporter!

    October 10, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
    • cj

      I dont disagree that the industrial military complex is way out of control but you seem deluded on the issue of military draw-downs. The US IS NOT drawing down our out of boarders military presence. Forces and equipment will be moved to other nations, or brought home and laid off so new, cheaper, replacements can be stationed in another country.

      The current 'big deal' is that Uzbekistan passed a law banning foreign military basses. The Obama standing plan was to move many of the Afghanistan troops and supplies to a new base there.

      ALL of our government is beholden to the plan of globalizing our military...embrace the madness because fighting it if fruitless.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
    • tj

      You are a total idiot. Congress is the ones that are continuing the spending. Read the article again. Just a reminder – you would not be freely speaking if it were not for the ARMY!

      October 10, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
    • dreamisover

      Yeah, I remember when I was young and naive too....everyone can't be in a service industry honey
      and BTW, the Chinese don't want to just sell you crappy furniture...they want your food and water fro their 1B+ mouths

      October 10, 2012 at 10:28 am | Reply
    • Fug XU

      China not a threat? In what universe? They sell us their junk to fund their military modernization. Steal tech, then use the funds to build the platforms for that stolen tech...win win for them. Funny, by buying all the crap made in China, we are in essence arming the primary adversary of the United States.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
  37. m

    Get out of the war and dramatically cut defense spending...that's the solution. Sorry all you war mongers/bomb and bullet companies, you've money sucked this economy long enough, you have stolen enough coin by now.

    October 10, 2012 at 10:02 am | Reply
    • CJ

      Apparently you don't know how an economy works. Or even how the world works for that matter.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
      • Vera Waitress

        Companies downsize all the time. So can the military. Are you saying that the military should continue wasting hundreds of billions of dollars just because it employs people? Is the military the new welfare? Then cut it.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:06 am |
      • Dr Tom

        A war creates a need for war machine production. War machine production creates jobs. Jobs create votes. War machine production creates a need for war – that's how the world works – thanks for the insight CJ.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:10 am |
      • cj

        Nothing new about how the military exploits the poor.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:23 am |
      • mike

        Companies may downsize,but I'm having a hard time thinking of any other company that employs (directly and indirectly) upwards of 5 million people.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  38. Paul

    Only way that Republicans know how to make jobs are with war plain and simple.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:57 am | Reply
    • John

      "To be exact, 173 House members – Democrats and Republicans – sent a letter April 20 to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, urging him to continue supporting their decision to produce more tanks."

      October 10, 2012 at 10:05 am | Reply
  39. cj

    These referbed tanks are exactly what we should be selling, for a profit, to our 'allies' as we close foreign bases and move men and equipment home.

    Bus seeing as we will continue increasing our 'global presence' I cant say I'm unhappy to have a stockpile of near ready to use main battle tanks in country.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:56 am | Reply
  40. David

    Meanwhile, they're laying off Soldiers into the worst job market since the depression and it takes more than a month to get an appointment with a PTSD counselor at the VA (from personal experience.) Why not take that 3 billion and keep thousands of servicepeople employed, or help their kids have dental insurance (not covered by standard Tricare.)

    October 10, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
  41. Pat Jay

    If the Pentagon holds off repairing, refurbishing or making new tanks we could take 2 billion in tax savings wile still spending the other billion on job support plus machine retooling the industrial base. I strongly believe that we need to aid this heavy industry but we have new technologies coming on line in the near future. lets not be penny wise and pound foolish. we have to cut our military cost big time. but at the same time as an American I do love that new tank smell. I just want to waite a little longer for one with a cool laser with an anite personal sound system. that way we can burn down our enemys wile they scream in pain from the Beasty boys at half a million decibels.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
  42. moose4u2

    Tanks are sitting ducks for missiles as are aircraft carriers 1 well placed missile can sink it very easy, as proven in Lybia UN planes destroyed tanks at will with missiles. To keep these factories running to create jobs is putting a anchor around the taxpayer's neck we can't afford anymore keep pushing for higher taxes &there will be a revolution to get all politicians out of washington.& start over with all new people & new government that represent all people not just themselfs.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:50 am | Reply
    • CJ

      Nice to see someone who doesn't know what they are talking about. Let the adults discuss military policy. Go back to playing Call of Duty.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply
    • cj

      Anyone know where/if you can see the list of supporters?

      October 10, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
      • Tom

        Here is the letter with signatures

        http://culberson.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Abrams-letter-to-SECDEF-FY2013-FINAL-4.20.2012.pdf

        October 10, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
      • Tired of it

        I completely forgot about the 2012 letter. Looks pretty identical to the May 2011 letter which marked ~240M to continue tank production last year. At least this mark is less. Unless the Army can prove to Congress that the defense industrial base is not going to collapse, we'll be seeing another letter in 2013.

        October 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • steve

      Ummm, the only way 1 missile will sink an aircraft carrier is if it has a nuclear payload.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:14 am | Reply
    • Facepalmeriffic

      ONE missile to sink one of our aircraft carriers? Are you kidding me? Not only would it in fact have to be nuclear to sink that armored behemoth, carriers are surrounded by escorts of ships with both long and short range anti-missile protection and detection. The carrier itself is capble of defending itself against almost anything. Don't question the competence of our armed forces, question the competence of our Congress. The army knows what it's doing, Congress does not.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:29 am | Reply
  43. Oakspar77777

    The question is one of supply and demand. We sells these tanks to other governments, just not at a rate sufficient to keep the plants open – and the surplus has oversupplied the army.

    Since production has a minimium threashold, and we don't want production to stop (we do sell them overseas – a good export in military power that is not a return threat), what we need is a bigger market.

    I suggest opening them up to civilian markets. There is bound to be at least some pent up civi market for tanks, especially if you de-criminalize the munitions (another source of income). Considering that tanks are slow, bulky, and need a crew to operate efficiently, they would be a minimium risk to society (no "lone gunmen" scenarios other than a drunk person driving one down the road tearing up pavement and cars).

    Also, what would be better for national defense than tanks in the hands of American citizens who would gladly defend their land from any enemy force while buying munition and paying for the upkeep?

    October 10, 2012 at 9:49 am | Reply
    • Tanksabillions

      Hahaha! This made me laugh! You obviously don't know what a 79 ton tracked tank does to asphalt. The National Guard is being equipped with brand new tanks. They're in charge of defending home turf.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • doug

      I know Democrats like the ones in Chicago give guns to gangs to control the people and keep their great society trap going but even a Democrat is not going to sell a tank to the local gangs.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
  44. RinosRWinos

    Maybe they could just sell some of these to the public. Instead of neurotic soccor moms driving SUV's they could just drive tanks instead. That way if anyone gets in their way they can just run over them or blast them off the street.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply
  45. bspurloc

    So according to the GOP fixing the economy is NOT done with creating government jobs but we need to build tanks we dont need for government jobs increase.....
    2,000+ surplus just needing repairs should be REPAIRED before a new one is made.
    then we can take those 2000+ tanks and drive them around the country wasting millions in fuel then blame obama

    October 10, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply
  46. philabias

    please produce more tanks
    we will be needing each and every one SOON!

    October 10, 2012 at 9:40 am | Reply
    • TXJew

      An expert voice speaks. Thank God we have people who know better, a cadre of fat, bearded nerds who read Guderian's Achtung Panzer in 9th grade and now consider themselves the voice of wisdom in all matters of combined arms warfare.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • bspurloc

      try reading the story... there is over 2000 in surplus....
      and exactly what do we need tanks for? defense against CHINA boating billions of troops over the oceans?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply
  47. BSH

    The Army has been having their budget cut? When?

    Somebody please tell the Congressman that a reduction in the rate of increase is not a cut.

    And somebody please tell me, if total Federal spending is going consistently up and up, how are programs getting "cut"? Where's the money going?

    October 10, 2012 at 9:39 am | Reply
  48. Oscar Pitchfork

    Why don;t they just re-task the manufacturing plants to producing something we DO need? LIke wind turbines...

    October 10, 2012 at 9:39 am | Reply
    • Jackie Treehorn

      That's commie talk!

      October 10, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
    • midwest3

      Because it makes way too much sense.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply
      • Montre

        Finally, we hear the truth!

        October 10, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Oakspar77777

      (1) Different materials and fabrication methods
      (2) A lack of demand for wind turbines
      (3) A lack of infrastructure for turbines
      (4) A lack of materials (rare earths) for the magnets in trubines
      (5) Because turbines do nothing to solve energy issues and often result in an increase in total energy based polution due to lessened grid stability.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
      • Mike44

        What are you smoking dude?

        October 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Lou

      60 Ton wind turbines with cannons – that way we can defend ourselves from wind thieves.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:56 am | Reply
    • Daniel in Denver

      "He's gaining on us. Do you suppose he's using the same wind that we're using?"

      Inigo Montoya

      October 10, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
      • Michael

        You keel my fatha. Prepare to die.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  49. SB1790

    Vote for Romney and you'll keep getting more of this sort of spending. I'll agree that it does make people happy. But it's really a government subsidy when we're paying to keep something going that couldn't sustain itself if left to a free market. You can vote for Obama and get subsidies going directly to those who need it or you can vote for Romney and get subsidies in a round about convoluted path. Either way it's a subsidy. Luckily we now live in an age where information like this can be viewed by millions of Americans. Hopefully more transparency will come our way.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:35 am | Reply
    • Boom Skidly Bop Bop

      This has been going on for the last 4 years under the current president, you somehow believe that given another 4 years he will change?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • garbar

      this is happening under obama not romney. This has nothing to do with romney. Its a shame people like you are allowed to vote

      October 10, 2012 at 9:58 am | Reply
      • Lou

        Actually, it has nothing to do with the President. This is Congress not the President. when they are done, they will send the approriations bill for the Department of Defense to the President. He can veto the whole bill or he can sign it. He does not have a line veto power.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:03 am |
      • touche touche

        yet it has been happening the past 4 years under obama, it was brought in under bush an dcontinues under obama as we have been in two wars over that time. In the next 4 years, we will be out of those two wars and not ned the same spending. And plain and simple, Obama will reduce the spending going forward, romney will keep it just the same.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • 1Joesixpack

      LIke GM?
      Haven't seen too many Volts yet

      October 10, 2012 at 10:35 am | Reply
  50. Rupert

    This has gone on forever. We would keep putting tanks out for eternity if it was up to Congress. Here is part of your 47%, defense contractors dug in like ticks with 70 years of profits to throw at congressmen to keep the lines going. It's idiocy. Eisenhower warned of the military industrial complex, and he was absolutely right. We produce things that will be rarely used for the sake of "national security". "The troops" are pawns, a sacred cow that cannot be touched. We spend more than 10 counties combined on defense every year, and what do we have to show for it?

    Ever wonder why lawyers and businessmen will fight like dogs and do anything for a job that pays $174k?

    October 10, 2012 at 9:35 am | Reply
  51. truth

    " If someone could guarantee us that we'll never need tanks in the future, that would be good. I don't see that guarantee"

    This is a ridiculous statement. The Army says it doesn't need anymore, that's probably taking into account all contingency plans and potential scenarios and conflicts. We can always reproduce them if we need to do so. This is the hypocricy of Americans (especially Republicans since their the loudest), They want politicians to take the advice from the military when it comes to these things, they want to save money in our budget, but if that means they could lose that job they dont care. Many Americans criticize socialism and use it as a negative when talking about a politician they don't like, but they have no problem with government using the budget to give them a job that isn't needed. They also have no problem with taking and asking for subsidies to whatever industry. Yet they have a problem with the government helping people send their kids to school or buy food. I would really like CNN to do a report on how many things get subsidized in this country and how much that costs the government. How many Republican's voted fr the bailout of banks? How many of those same Republicans vote against sudent aid, food aid, etc of the people that need it. You banks billions of dollars while you have a problem with helping a poor American family with a few thousand.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply
    • Scott

      If you close down the factory and the workers (and expertise) go away, NO... you can't just build them later. You have to completely re-invent the tank, figure out how to make it, figure out what every part should be made of, where it should come from, etc... There is a reason we don't go to the moon in Saturn V rockets anymore... cause the gov't couldn't make one if it had to.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:34 am | Reply
      • truth

        huh? we aready know what the parts are made of and how to make them. I'm sure its recorded in drawings, schematics, etc, nevermind all the technologies we now have in manufacturing. Maybe the factory components will be modified to make other products but they can be reversed as well. You're arguement is false. There'll still be know how since we'll stil have the maintenance people who are taking care of the tanks already in inventory.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:46 am |
      • Ricky L

        Do the tank manufacturer's burn all their plans when they close down the production line?

        October 10, 2012 at 9:48 am |
      • JOH

        What ar eyou talking about? They'll "forget" how to make tanks? Why you smoking the crack pipe?

        October 10, 2012 at 9:49 am |
      • wagman

        Are you implying that there are no plans or blueprints w/ specifications for making a tank ? Are you implying that one or maybe a handful of people hold those plan in their heads and direct the workers on how to build a tank?

        October 10, 2012 at 9:53 am |
      • crazytrpr

        Other types of combat vehicles are coming on line along with smarter weapons systems. A light platoon armed with a couple of Javlin (fire and forget w/overhead attack anti-tank missile) teams can make tankers think twice about tangling with them.

        Also the nature of conflict is changing we aren't looking at a faulda gap scenario anymore. The US Army has been wanting cut the numbers of M1 since Desert Storm because of fuel consumption. What people forget in our Thunder Run into Bagdad and the complete mishandling of the post conventional phase by the Bush administration, is the Iraqis had the right strategy to defeat our heavy forces but couldn't execute it. If they had been able to shoot up those resupply convoys better while making our forces manuver, eventually we'd run out of gas and be sitting ducks.

        former cav scout

        October 10, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • JOH

      This truth guy is speaking the truth. Americans talk loud when it's convenient for them no matter how stupid it is; and often times they contradict their own principles/beliefs... but then of course when it is convenient for them, they stay quiet and say it isn't their fault. It must be Obama's right? I mean you guys are asking him to be socialist; CREATE JOBS, STOP GIVING OUT HANDOUTS TO SCRUBS, ETC. Then when he actually practices certain socialist policies, you all accuse him and ask for impeachment. Well, mostly Republicans.

      On top of that, some Republicans these days are just straight up delusional. They live in a fantasy world. Like to slander Obama, they would say that the unemployment rate when Obama took office was around 8.2. Now the YOUNG ADULTS fragment of the unemployment rate rose to like 16%. The repubs would just say Obama should be killed because it was all his fault for the BP oil spill, for the 2008 financial crisis, for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, for the civil war in Syria, for all the bads in Libya, and Iran.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:48 am | Reply
    • REALITY

      It seems you don't have the knowledge how manufacturing industry works!!

      October 10, 2012 at 9:49 am | Reply
  52. Scott

    Here is the issue... You can't just stop building tanks for X number of years and then later on decide you want to build them again. There has to be a factory, workers who know what they're doing, infrastructure, etc. You turn it off, that all goes away and then X number of years later you have to re-invent the wheel again.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
    • Dragon

      That has to be the singularly most disingenuous argument I have ever heard in my life. No you do not lose the capacity to build tanks. that manufacturing equipment gets mothballed and/or stored for use later if it needs to be. Auto manufacturing plants that are idled today can be fired up within days and start building cars again. You don't magically LOSE the equipment you already have in place to build tanks. You might lose a specific supplier for apart or two, but there are other manufacturers that can pick up that slack. You don't lose the tooling because that kind of stuff is generally not destroyed when a plant or factory goes idle unless that plant or factory is already out dated.

      We can shut down Tank production and as long as that tooling is still available, re-start production again within days or weeks at best. Sorry Scott, no offense meant to you but your argument doesn't walk.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply
      • Jim

        Do you remember the battleship Iowa?? abcnews.go.com / Archives / video/ uss-iowa-gun-turret-explosion-9862973 .
        They did not repair it because the tooling was lost and it would take too long to re-create. You appear to be saying that losing experienced employees is immaterial and that just like a cog in a wheel, easily replaced. An entire production line. Everybody think about what he is implying. Think about YOUR jobs and how easily one or two can be disrupted and the effect of your ENTIRE process needs to be replaced.

        Your disregard for the irreplaceable talents of highly trained employees is evident.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:55 am |
      • Dragon

        Jim building a Battleship and building a tank are two entirely different things. The Iowa was built many many years before that turret explosion, not to mention the minor thing about battleships no longer being built period because they were so anachronistic in a time when a single cruise missile launched from any number of other ships could do as much damage as their guns, and far more accurately. The fact is, Battleships were retired for a good reason. That the Iowa continued to operate after being taken out of mothballs was for more than anything else, a publicity stunt that lasted a cpl years and then.. said dinosaur was put right back where it belonged. Into retirement.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • LDP

      The technical data package will still exist and repair parts can easily be produced to refit the tanks in the Nevada "parking lot"

      October 10, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply
    • Alex

      Apparently the Army thinks that they can, so yeah, thanks for your opinion I guess...

      October 10, 2012 at 9:56 am | Reply
    • Squeezebox

      Do you know what happens to mothballed plants? They get their equipment sold to China, their buildings sold off to developers, and their personnel find other jobs wherever they can. OTOH, starting from scratch and reimagining the tank may not be such a bad idea.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  53. Owl96

    If you want to keep building tanks, paint them yellow, slap an H100 logo on them and send them off to GM dealerships. Watch them roll of the lot! That mutt that does his business on my lawn...he's history.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
  54. Badly-Bent

    Finally, Congress is beginning to realize the precariousness of losing our manufacturing base and is doing something about it? Too little, Too late.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
  55. Ludwig

    In other words, Congress wants to keep getting kickbacks from defense contractors. As usual, Congress only cares about liking their own pockets with our tax dollars.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:18 am | Reply
  56. geff

    "Lawmakers that CNN interviewed denied that donations influenced their decisions to keep the tanks rolling." Is this what CNN considers investigative journalism?

    This statement makes fools of readers. CNN interviews lawmakers and asks if they have been bought out by military industrial interests. Buck McKeon said he didn't even know that he had received $56,000 for G.D. I love it when reporters dig deep and hold our politicians accountable.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:18 am | Reply
  57. GonzoinHouston

    You see things like this all over the military. I can remember when a contract for C-130's was jammed down the AF's throat because they were made in Newt's district.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:16 am | Reply
  58. Novo1

    Big Bird or Tanks? That is the question.

    Instead of debating the fact that we need to spend less. How about THOSE two debate the fact how can we come to a conclusions on spending less. If you look at the amount of land that unused military equipment sits on (tanks, planes, boats,ect) and the number of people who have been killing on our city streets, forget about protecting other counties all the time. How about be start protecting our own streets!!! Including Sesame Street, one of the only good things we waste our money on.

    Just think if we used every dollar fixing old war machines and gave that $ to the VETS. These VETS, who are not robots or machines need the money more than we need tanks. We can still create more jobs in metal and physical rehab for our VETS by not building tanks we no longer need.

    I am not genius, just a teacher. Seems like a pretty simple plan. The problem is the how do we come to this conclusion of doing what right and not what the 1%ers invest into politically?

    God Bless the USA and DA BEARS

    October 10, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • You are a Teacher??

      Uh how could you possibly be a teacher and use wording like this " I am not genius, just a teacher". Your paragraph has lots of things wrong that are worth mention, there are numerous misspellings, improper sentence structure and punctuation mistakes.

      What do you teach?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
      • insidiousalgorythm

        Pot? This is Kettle, can you hear me?

        October 10, 2012 at 9:45 am |
      • Hello

        Have you been in a classroom lately? Some of the teachers are not the brightest bulbs. I had a former soldier get certified as a teacher and now teaches 6th grade. Noble cause for sure but this guy could barely read.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:53 am |
      • andrew

        "...DA Bears"

        A CHICAGO teacher...this now explains a couple things.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  59. Too Much

    Its just a microcosm of the larger problem. This is proof that BOTH parties like government spending...that is a fact. How anyone can support either party in the upcoming election is beyond me. Vote for someone who will actually balance the budget. Gary Johnson 2012.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
  60. Tommy Jefferson

    Oh better order more tanks I am taking them out on my XBox360 by the dozens and this game looks real so it must be... We need to keep building tanks, it is good union jobs and Obama needs the union vote, so keep the wrench in your hands boys.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:12 am | Reply
  61. Doug

    Isn't this the same kind of excuse we used for the auto industry... We gave them a huge bailout because the trickle down would have destroyed the manufacturing industry!!! And pretty similar to that whole 'too big to fail' excuse we used for big banks!!! And we gave them money. So if we were 'FAIR' wouldn't we just ignore the inefficiency and give the tank manufacturers a bailout of some sort?!?!

    October 10, 2012 at 9:11 am | Reply
    • vince

      The auto bailout was an investment. The US loaned the auto industry money to stay afloat, and in turn, required a plan by the auto industry to retool and keep itself viable. Some of the money loaned has been payed back, with interest. The money spent on tanks in this situation, is truly wasted. No one will ever see any return (except for the companies manufacturing the tanks). Welfare at it's worst.

      Further, the auto industry is not being paid to build things no one wants (sure, you can argue that demand is down, but automakers reduce manufacturing when demand is down).

      October 10, 2012 at 10:10 am | Reply
      • John

        Sorry, but I think you are confused between the Auto Bailout and the Wall Street Bailout... both of which I think stink.... However, the WS bailout was paid back with interest... the Auto Bailout is a hands down money loser... it will not make a dime and in fact will cost us close to $25 billion due to losses on stock valuations of the Auto Dealers...... And for the record if the Army says they don't need tanks then I agree, we dont need them.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  62. JW

    Eisenhower was right.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:09 am | Reply
  63. sean

    Welfare for Defense Contractors.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:08 am | Reply
    • Jackie Treehorn

      That's the Republican kind of welfare. Middle class taxpayers subsidizing the rich. There's your redistribution and class warfare for you.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply
      • John

        "To be exact, 173 House members – Democrats and Republicans – sent a letter April 20 to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, urging him to continue supporting their decision to produce more tanks."

        October 10, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  64. TSB8C

    These are congressmen trying to keep money flowing to their districts where tanks and parts are made and assembled so they can keep those jobs afloat in their districts. Keep making stuff we don't need at tax payer expense so I can look good come reelection time in my district.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:08 am | Reply
  65. Pablo

    So here you go – Congress is proposing to "cut programs", but at the first hint of one being cut, they all shout "jobs!". Fact is you can't cut programs AND preserve jobs. It is an either/or choice.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:08 am | Reply
  66. Aj

    Will, think of it like this: you have have a house and you don't have furniture. will you buy a watching dog to guard the house or buying a nice furniture so you can feel home.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:07 am | Reply
  67. Jim in PA

    And THIS, my fellow conservatives, is why the "Fiscal Cliff" is nothing to fear. When the automatic cuts in defense spending are triggered, the military will have no problem finding wasteful and unnecessary programs to cut. This isn't a left-vs-right issue. It's a military reality-vs-Congress issue. I'm on the side of military reality. Whose side are you on?

    October 10, 2012 at 9:04 am | Reply
    • Brent Jatko

      I'm a liberal, but I support your position on this issue. Congress is trying to preserve defense jobs (pork for their home districts) to get re-elected, nothing more. Let the military decide what it needs.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:24 am | Reply
  68. BG

    The Army is probably right, they have enough tanks. However, stopping the production won't save the country. Now, when you look at the F35, how much could be saved by not buying that? We have the F22, what else do we need?

    October 10, 2012 at 9:03 am | Reply
    • Canada

      My Country wanted the f-22, but you guys wont sell to anybody, which is pretty smart to holding air superiority. so now we're stuck with the f-35... But here's what we'll do... we'll trade our Stealth Slingshot and catapult technology for a f22 contract... sounds like a good deal yes?

      October 10, 2012 at 9:08 am | Reply
      • situationalawareness

        Or make your own weaponry...

        October 10, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • blah

      The F-22 and F-35 are different planes with different roles.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:15 am | Reply
  69. Kong

    We don't need more tanks! We already have enough tanks to defend this country national security.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:02 am | Reply
  70. A.J.

    I think they got confused with North Lima in Eastern OH.

    October 10, 2012 at 9:02 am | Reply
    • CJ

      Actually it's Lima in Western Ohio.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:27 am | Reply
      • situationalawareness

        Quote from the article:
        "Lima, Ohio, is a long way from this dusty tank parking lot. The tiny town in the northwestern part of the Buckeye State is where defense manufacturing heavyweight General Dynamics makes these 60-plus-ton behemoths."

        So yes, it's in the northwestern part, you are correct.

        October 10, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  71. Jim in PA

    Let's see if I understand this; Spending tax money on tanks that the military doesn't want or need – Patriotic and Manly. Spending the same amount of tax money on badly needed infrastructure maintenance for the country – Marxist and Wasteful. Yeah... that makes sense...

    October 10, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
  72. RodRoderick

    If there is such a surplus – they should be looking at converting the design to a light-wieght mobile troop carrier and replace the soft shelled road vehicles that get troops killed by IEDs. Keep the workers employeed making something the Army actually needs. I'd also recommend placing all these tanks along our Mexican border and randomly man them. would help deter those running our borders.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
    • old gaffer

      Rod, you've hit on a key feature of the old Soviet centralized economic model; the central government essentially dictating to producers WHAT they will produce, thus keeping capable people employed doing something (never mind whether it needed doing or not – like building tanks the Army doesn't want or need).

      And we've seen just how sustainable that Soviet central-government model was, which is to say, it wasn't.

      And apparently all the hoopla about "flexible manufacturing centers" that would enable industry to turn on a dime just didn't materialize as expected.

      So what we're left with is the very real dilemma of what to do about maintaining a base of relatively highly skilled manufacturing jobs in small-to-medium sized business that feed assembly line jobs at military-industrial giant plants, while not bankrupting the country.

      It used to be that we could count on enlightened politicians to tackle the problem (or that's how the history books read). Alas, that seems to no longer be the case.

      One potential set of conflicting requirements seems to be keeping capable, productive people employed, while paying for a fairly large(and growing?) non-productive segment of society at a level sufficient to keep them from actively rebelling.

      Of course, in the coming class war, both groups will be rebelling, the question only being that of "against whom"...

      October 10, 2012 at 9:33 am | Reply
      • radiosparks

        'Of course, in the coming class war, both groups will be rebelling, the question only being that of "against whom"...'

        ...but at least there will be plenty of tanks to go round!

        October 10, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  73. Irony

    I'm not the accomplished businessman that Romney is, but it seems to me that continuing to produce a product that has no demand, simply to keep the workers employed, is not an efficient business model.

    To put it another way, how is that different from just letting them stay home and giving them free money every payday? At least that way, the gov't would save money on materials.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:47 am | Reply
    • Carlos

      we need to start blowing up our own tanks. Or maybe sell our own weapons to our enemies so we actually do have demand for them. Then we blow em up and make more!

      I'm being sarcastic, Congress is dumb. All of them.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:06 am | Reply
  74. Charlie

    Proving once again that US politicians suffer some sort of mental disease in the realm of perception. And their foolish citizens keep re-electing the same ilk.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:46 am | Reply
    • Irony

      The disease is called Greed.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:48 am | Reply
    • Canada

      perhaps collecting cheques from arms manufacturers like in 'Iraqi freedom' Haliburton doesn't want to hear they've lost their main customer. might as well pull some strings.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:12 am | Reply
  75. Josh

    "Rep. Buck McKeon, a Republican... General Dynamics had given him $56,000 in campaign contributions "

    I guess that answer that. Yet another Republican selling his Congressional votes, and for a measly $56K.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:44 am | Reply
  76. snowdogg

    How could any branch of the US military know their weapons and logistic requirements better than Congress? What's wrong with these Generals and Admirals, don't they know that Defense funding is a bottomless pit and if you cut back in one area you may have to cut back in others? How dare they try and save the taxpayers any money!

    October 10, 2012 at 8:40 am | Reply
  77. WRONGCNN

    LIMA OHIO IS IN WESTERN OHIO, NOT EASTERN OHIO... GET IT RIGHT

    October 10, 2012 at 8:38 am | Reply
  78. Paul

    This reminds me of Senator Proxmire, Wisconsin (ironically noted for the Golden Fleece Award) who pushed for the Army to purhcase more trucks than it wanted from Oskosh Truck (now the Oskosh Corporation). For many years the Air Force was forced to purchase more C-130 J model airplanes than it wanted. One question, why are there "ancillary positions like gas station workers who fill up employees' cars coming and going to the plant."

    October 10, 2012 at 8:34 am | Reply
    • Carlos

      It's sad, Congress believes in continued manufacturing of low-tech, low-efficiency, and unnecessary tanks and the discontinued manufacture of high-tech, high-efficiency, and unnecessary jets.

      The reason why the Military spends so much of our GDP? Congress.
      Let the Military cut their own budget. We would have an army as ineffective and insufficient as the Vietnam War army otherwise.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • Squeezebox

      What was meant by 'ancillary positions' is that if you close the tank plant, people won't be able to afford gas and they won't have a job to drive to anyway, so the gas station will close.

      October 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  79. anothermuse

    And such is the state the defense budget is in. We honestly don't need maybe 15-20% of our capacity today. Huge tank armies probably will be replaced by more mobile armor (though that's what they said about battleships we've brought out of mothballls several times. But to the point, cut the defense budget for new equipment, and that is cutting jobs. No way around it. If we eliminate the construction of 1 aircraft carrier, it could cost 20,000 jobs for 5 years. There are no east answers.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:32 am | Reply
    • Jim in PA

      I have an easy answer – Put those same 20,000 people to work building up and modernizing American infrastructure. Same job creation, but with a useful outcome. Not just highways and bridges, but also build a nation-wide smart grid to modernize our power transmission system, and build a national high speed rail system between major cities, etc. And as much as people may debate the necessity of such projects, they are infinitely more useful and beneficial than an unecessary aircraft carrier.

      October 10, 2012 at 9:08 am | Reply
  80. greg

    Ron Paul

    October 10, 2012 at 8:32 am | Reply
  81. chill

    Of course it is vote buying. How stupid do they think we are. The military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned against is the biggest welfare queen of all. Where are all the capitalists begging the government to let market forces prevail. If there isn't a sufficient market for tanks, then it should shrink.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:31 am | Reply
    • ialsoagree

      While I generally agree with you, and definitely agree that the MIC is completely overgrown, there are industries within it that must maintain contracts with the government to stay alive, and we need them to stay live.

      Submarines are an excellent example. The Navy has insisted on keeping two submarine production companies in service, in the case that one of those two companies were to come under attack and was disabled. For some industries, regardless of need, it's important to keep the contracts going for national security purposes.

      I don't think the companies producing tanks fall into that category, but thought it was worth pointing out that we also can't abandon these industries entirely even if the need declines. Primarily because, if the need ever rose in a hurry, there would be no way of meeting that need unless you keep the industries designed to meet that need alive now.

      Retooling factories to produce military parts isn't an overnight thing. It can take months or years to regear a car factory to produce tank parts. When a nation comes under attack, that's months or years you do not have to sit around waiting.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:47 am | Reply
      • Irony

        @ialsoagree

        You've a good point; however, battlefields have changed, as has modern warfare. Instead of producing a combat force capable of fighting our previous wars, we should look to produce one capable of fighting in today's climate. That means a smaller, smarter, force. Sure, we need a good stock of tanks, jets, etc... just in case China decides to go all Tom Clancy on us, but unless it's China or the combined forces of Europe, I think we have enough vehicles.

        Justifying production merely to keep the workers employed is a socialist (or is it communist?) concept.

        October 10, 2012 at 8:56 am |
      • Carlos

        It's a Russian thing. It's why they have such a big army and why they supply Syria with weapons, why the Kalashnikov brand is the biggest arms brand in the world.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:08 am |
  82. HJA

    The Machine is hungry.....FEED THE MACHINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You don't need no steeeeenking health care!!

    October 10, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply
  83. chris

    and this is news how?? this story is 50 years old!! that IS precisely why we have a budget problem!! whoever wrote this clearly has never looked into how our defense procurement shstem works. c-17, f-35, f-22, presidential helicopters etc etc...OF COURSE congressmen dont lobby for defense spending because they are such patriots...they do it because these are job creation programs. which is why bleeding heart liberals like barbara boxer can all of a sudden be hawks when i comes to boeing's production lines in long beach. can we get journalists who know their stuff instead of 25 year olds who stumble across something everybody else knows and then scream out because they are so excited??

    October 10, 2012 at 8:25 am | Reply
    • Kiwi

      You are really thick, you know that? Did you use enough buzzwords to make you feel good about yourself? I hope so, because you couldn't be more wrong if you willfully tried.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:36 am | Reply
    • Irony

      Because it has been running rampant for 50 years makes it even more contemptible and worthy of reporting, not less.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
    • Vera Waitress

      This is a start to re-awakening people's perceptions about this issue. War spending is a boondoggle for southern corporations, billions of dollars are unaccounted for, and this is just the beginning of the end. No more war for profit. We have no enemies. The military should learn to expand and contract just like every other corporation. It's time for the military to start playing with the big boys.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
  84. Jim P

    Why not just stop making new tanks and put the funds into repairing these ones sitting in the parking lot? Mayby even try to identify why we have 2,000 broken down tanks in the first place. I thought a lot of the components of the M1 were supposed to be modular, easy to change out and keep them going. Mayby it's the turn signal switches that are broken and back ordered?

    October 10, 2012 at 8:22 am | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

      We don’t have 2000 broken down tanks. Pay more attention or stfu.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply
      • Jim P

        CNN was allowed rare access to what amounts to a parking lot for more than 2,000 M-1 Abrams tanks. Here, about an hour's drive north of Reno, Nevada, the tanks have been collecting dust in the hot California desert because of a tiff between the Army and Congress.

        The U.S. has more than enough combat tanks in the field to meet the nation's defense needs – so there's no sense in making repairs to these now, the Army's chief of staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno told Congress earlier this year.

        "Scuse me? What exactly did I miss?

        October 10, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Derek

      The writer did not do his research, there has not been a "new" tank made since the 1980s all the M1 Abrams are actually refurbished, there is a process to do it that spans across the entire US. 1000's are employed in this program. But hey, no one cried when some of the defence budget cuts were to veteran care. Why? Because that only affects less than 1% of the population. Oh, well guess we should inflate social security and continue letting congressmen and women take money out of the program to fund whatever they want instead of I dunno, maybe preserving it for the young people of today.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:39 am | Reply
    • NullPntr

      You must also realize that they were not necessarily put in the desert because they were broken. Some of them may have been broken... but I suspect that the majority of them were put there because they were not needed. This means much of the work would fall under two categories. First, sitting in the desert would cause some minor wear... but probably nothing to major, as they are designed to work in those conditions. This work would basically be maintenance work so they are ready for use if they were needed. Second, many of them probably need upgrades. Technology has grown by leaps and bounds since the 80's. The targeting computers, control computers, sensory equipment, communication equipment, etc would be outdated on some of those tanks. Also, the main gun/cannon on the tank used on the earliest models is different from the one used today.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
  85. Odinson

    I can respect this general in a way.

    "Dear Congress

    The United States military has enough tanks currently to blow the everloving s!@# out of anyone dumb enough to mess with us. I'm all for overkill, but even I have my limits. Guys, seriously, we have enough.

    Gen. Raymond T. Odierno"

    October 10, 2012 at 8:22 am | Reply
    • midogs2

      Nicely put............LOL

      October 10, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply
    • NullPntr

      Very nice.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:49 am | Reply
  86. Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

    Yea.. you civilians should just do what your told!
    Um..no.
    The military is famous for wasting money not saving it. They are also well know for training for the last war.. not the next. Something more going on here. Whether it’s just politics or the military is bucking for a new tank design down the road. Whatever the issue is…it’s not about saving money.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:20 am | Reply
    • correct bank summary

      Tom, you have a very shaped view of the military. Besides NTC which I'm sure most have heard of you should look up JRTC at Fort Polk. Besides active combat the only thing the military does at all is train and for the 9 years I was an officer in the Army we trained on ONLY perceived threats. Yes, we trained for Iraq after Gulf War I but you should interpret that more along the lines of our intelligence community being hell bent on going back to war there....not that we continued to train on obsolete past missions.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:34 am | Reply
  87. Dagnia

    Obviously the restraint of the congress bewilders the heart of the American public. Thingamajigs are required for a fully functional nation for they are the root of butthurt on bothside in the tank and out.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:13 am | Reply
  88. daperkins

    Three words "Military Industrial Complex". Google it.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:12 am | Reply
  89. lizzard`

    Have you heard of "RECYCLING"?? Those tanks don't have to be sold to America's enemies. Or maybe they are waiting to be picked up by Iran?

    October 10, 2012 at 8:11 am | Reply
  90. Stephen

    Romney's Plan – kill PBS with tanks we don't need. Nice.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:10 am | Reply
  91. jim

    Do what we say, not what we do!!

    October 10, 2012 at 8:10 am | Reply
  92. BuckeyeGrown

    Rather than pointing out that everyone knows we need to stop spending money we don't have but that no one wants their part of the pie cut – be it tank making jobs or big bird – I'd just like to mention that Lima is in the WESTERN part of Ohio! GO BUCKS!!!!!

    October 10, 2012 at 8:09 am | Reply
    • Mike

      You're spot on with that comment. Everyone wants the government to stop spending so much money but of course they think again when those spending cuts affect their own job.
      It is the "not in my backyard" syndrome.
      Then again, there probably are some who think the government needs to spend more. Those are the silly people. You know, the ones we keep electing to Congress and the Presidency?

      October 10, 2012 at 10:52 am | Reply
  93. Jed

    OK – we need to keep the production lines running because if we don't, we'll lose our ability to manufacture things like tanks when we need them in the future. That makes sense. How many consumer products have we forgotten how to make because they've been made in China for so long. But there's just not enough demand for tanks – even in other countries – to keep the production lines going at a sustainable level. So we have to do something to increase demand.

    Here's a thought. Set up tank playgrounds where people can come, pay some amount of money, and drive a tank around for fun. There are lots of urban and rural areas that have turned into ghost towns. Let people pay for the thrill of driving an Abrams tank into town and blasting away at buildings. Who needs bumper cars at an amusement park when you can have your own tank?

    October 10, 2012 at 8:04 am | Reply
    • Matt

      They have something like this in Arazona, its pretty expensive but totally worth it! I was in the USMC and was a M1A1 Driver and its a blast!

      October 10, 2012 at 8:20 am | Reply
  94. Duc749

    Tanks are outdated? You've obviously never been involved in combat with a tank in support. Please leave your opinion of military tactics to those of us who are actually IN the military.

    What did the United States do after WWII? Keep building ships because it created jobs? What about in the 80's when the DOD was at it's largest in modern history? We scaled back since then...

    The Army should be commended (and that's tough to say since I'm a Marine) for having the foresight in identifying a cost savings opportunity due to surplus. With the amount of parts in those 2,000 tanks we can keep our operational tanks working for YEARS.

    Shame on you congress...

    October 10, 2012 at 8:03 am | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

      You don’t have to be in the military to know tanks are not out dated. That kind of thinking is as!nine. If you think the Army is doing this to save money…you really are a jar head.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:25 am | Reply
    • rocco

      These decisions are killing America from economy to defense!!! Quit talking about who is better in the prez spot, we need to start with elected congressman!!! you cant do anything with approval hardly! Why not have them create drones instead of tanks???? they can build other stuff we need, im sure theyre more than capable if they can build tanks! SMH #Congressfail

      October 10, 2012 at 8:27 am | Reply
  95. EdR

    Wait a minute. We have 2000 tanks that broke down and can't be used? The company that makes them should be fired, never mind pushing for them to build more. An Romney wants to dramatically increase the defense budget to pay for projects just like these! And half the country thinks he is a great choice? OMG this country is messed up.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:01 am | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

      No, idiot. Did you even read the story? Most of them are in working order. ALL machine need maintenance…as they pointed out they’ve been making these sinse the 80s.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:26 am | Reply
    • anothermuse

      Wow..that's a well..really ridiculous statement. These are super complex machines, 70 tons I think that can run at 50 miles an hour that we used in deserts they were never designed for. They break. Period. Really not the issue.

      October 10, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply
    • karl kuehl

      These tanks don't need repaired. They are not broken. They need refurbished with up to date armor and new technology. If fact, most tanks in the field today are refurbished earlier versions. I don't believe any "new" tanks have been produced since the 1980s. So please don't berate the manufacturer for producing shoddy tanks. Not the case.

      October 10, 2012 at 10:26 am | Reply
      • Mike

        I'd rather the government spend money to create jobs in the military or military support sector than simply by giving people money (welfare) for doing absolutely nothing.
        If the military doesn't want the tanks then sell them. Spend the money on other military needs, like soldier's pay, benefits, and hospital expenses. Lord knows we don't treat our men and women of the military with enough respect as it is. Use the money there. They have "earned" it.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Nick

      You are the voice or stupid so stop posting. some are in maint and some are just being stored. The military rather wait to upgrade them in a few years instead of doing it now and then again in a few years. And just so you know a tank is a beast in battle only because the about of care put into them from the military. But they aren't that hard to break durning normal training ops.

      October 10, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
  96. Impeach

    someone please puT this red herring to bed and look up JCIDS

    October 10, 2012 at 7:56 am | Reply
  97. Mike Hayes

    So... How can I buy a used tank?
    I'll support the military industrial complex, and park where I darn well want.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:54 am | Reply
  98. topper

    yep, let's just make stuff just becuase....congress are their own worst enemy. This is a sample of why we are broke and there many more in DOD.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:42 am | Reply
  99. crazeelegs

    Mitt: Aww, c'mon I've already told my rich friends they were going to get richer when I became president. Don't take away my new polished tanks that look so good in a parade. If President Obama is re-elected, I can always say he is not for job creation by building more tanks–so what if we don't need them. I only want to spend on military, not to help the middle class-losers or those lazy-bone seniors. I am Mitt Romney and I support this message.

    October 10, 2012 at 7:36 am | Reply
    • CavPilot

      Amazing how you demonstrate what a complete buffoon you are in one sigle post.

      October 10, 2012 at 7:54 am | Reply
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