Defense official says automatic cuts will cause 'absurdities'
May 31st, 2012
02:00 AM ET

Defense official says automatic cuts will cause 'absurdities'

By Mike Mount

The Pentagon's chief budget officer is ringing the alarm bell about looming budget cuts that could destroy the department's new defense strategy and force the defense industry to face "absurdities" as defense programs are shuttered.

"This is not the way to do defense planning and budgeting," said Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

Carter was speaking to reporters Wednesday in Washington about the effects of sequestration, a possible automatic cut in the defense budget of more than half a trillion dollars over the next 10 years. Sequestration would kick in starting in January 2013 if President Obama and Congress cannot come to agreement on cuts in the overall budget.

Carter is the latest senior Pentagon official to speak against sequestration. His boss, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, has called sequestration a "meat ax" while the nation's highest-ranking military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, has warned that the cuts would be catastrophic, leaving the military with a hollowed-out force.

"Sequester would have devastating effects on our readiness and our workforce and disrupt thousands of contracts and programs," Carter said.

The cuts would be piled on top of the already $500 billion in defense spending cuts set by the White House over the next 10 years as part of a longer-term budget strategy.

Panetta has said the Pentagon is not planning for cuts because the White House's Office of Management and Budget has told them not to until the summer.

"There is not a hell of a lot of planning I can do," because sequestration makes automatic and equally distributed cuts across Department of Defense accounts, using a "meat-ax" approach, he said.

In February, speaking before the House Budget Committee, Panetta said planning could start this summer if Congress had not made a deal on the budget.

In a letter sent in November to Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Panetta said the effects of sequestration would create the smallest ground force since before World War II, the smallest Navy since before World War I, the smallest tactical fighter force in Air Force history and the smallest civilian work force in the history of the Department of Defense.

Some in Congress are trying to warn Americans about what can be an obscure and often confusing topic for those who do not follow Washington's yearly budget dramas.

Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Virginia and a member of the House Armed Service Committee, has been on a nationwide "listening session," where those attending can share their stories, ask questions and voice their opinions on how massive cuts to the defense budget would affect their communities.

If the cuts move forward, there will be a potential ripple effect in the defense industry as small to large defense contractors and suppliers potentially see layoffs and businesses possibly close around the country.

"Our military and civilian program managers would face absurdities that result from the arbitrariness with which sequestration would take effect, " Carter said.

"This applies to the managers in the defense industry as well, our partners in providing weapon systems to the force," he said.

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Filed under: Budget • Congress • Pentagon
soundoff (75 Responses)
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  9. Wknight022ga

    All of you Tea Party folks are in for a very big surprise.
    Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and other large defense contractors will be having massive layoffs in 2013 because of this sequester. There are 10,000 or more contractors that provide parts and support for these projects that will be shut down. The people losing their jobs are the higher paid part of the middle class. Millions.
    Think it will be a good thing for you and your business?
    Retail,airlines, auto industries-Everything will feel the loss of these jobs.

    Get real and demand a more precise series of cuts before it's too late.

    July 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
    • superlogi

      Yeah, happy days. Government's first priority will be cast aside to butrice the welfare state and it will make you happy as a clam. But, if you're happy, I'm happy. And, of course, happiness is the government's number one priority.

      July 1, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  10. gb333

    To argue that we don't need budget cuts in our military spending is ridiculous.

    What was the figure? We can cut it by 1/2 and still outspend the next five biggest spenders combined.

    Its just completely ridiculous.

    There is no way that we couldn't structure our military so that in the event of WW3 we couldn't within weeks surge our military to today's size or larger.

    And people saying that we want to cut military so we can fund welfare? Have you looked at the overall spending?

    June 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • superlogi

      Have you any expertise of the subject and/or have you ever served with substandard tools to do the job? If so, please reply. Otherwise, your really shouldn't have made a comment in the first place.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  11. dreamer96

    The GOP agreed to keep your word GOP...

    June 3, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Reply
    • superlogi

      In the absence of putting together a budget, they agreed to it. Unfortunately, budgeting and social spending cuts for anything is the antithesis of progressivism. In any case, the GOP doesn't have any choice unless, of course, the Democrats go along with averting sequestration which they never should have agreed to in the first place.

      June 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  12. DallasNE

    I'm not sure we are even talking about real cuts as I believe this is just a slowing in the rate of increase. Check out the increases over the last several years. The 2013 cut would amount to about $30 billion so if the average annual increase is over $30 billion then this is just a slowing in the rate of increase. "Hallowed out military" my arse.

    June 3, 2012 at 2:12 am | Reply
  13. acajunthatsagun

    There weren't supposed to be automatic cuts. The boneheaded legislators were supposed to work a compromise. The entire purpose of the Budget Control Act was to make sure something like this didn't happen. It just goes to show how selfish and stupid the Republicans are. Everyone one of them should be expelled from Congress for failing to perform their constitutional responsibilities.

    June 1, 2012 at 12:17 am | Reply
    • Eggman38

      It takes 2 to tango...both parties are guilty guilty guilty of not being able to work together to come up with compromises...everyone wants to do things their way or no way and that is why the ENTIRE US CONGRESS is so unpopular with the people of the country. Don't try to take the high ground and say that your party is right and the other is wrong and that is that...that's what the politicians are doing and it's getting them NOWHERE.

      June 2, 2012 at 3:29 am | Reply
      • glennrobert

        You are right. Congress fails. Military systems planning is being accomplished by industry not by the military. They will sell what they manufacture so we will go on fighting the last two wars. Why can't we get rid of the F-22 which has been a bad idea for 20 years. Army tanks, manned aircraft and surface ships should be history as they fail against any serious enemy. They should be cut off at the wallet!

        June 4, 2012 at 6:55 am |
  14. phil fugate

    I did a little research last night. If we cut the DoD budget to the combined level of the next 4 biggest spenders-Russia, China, U.K. and France- we would save $340B. That's 340 followed by 9 zeros. How can anyone say all this spending is needed. We have 12 active Aircraft Carrier groups. Britain has none, China and France have one each. Russia has one, but no one has seen it leave port for a decade. India has one, with a second on the way-two oceans, two ships.

    We also have 3 more Carries in the pipe line. The USS Gerald R. Ford is being fitted, with 2 sister ships in the works. To bad, due to a design flaw the F35 can't land on them. The cherry on top is the new DoD budget has the US spending $88B in afganistan next year. $1.7B per week!

    Does anyone else think this is a little much?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Reply
    • superlogi

      When you do that, you should also consider that some of those countries per capita incomes are less then 1/7 of our own. But then, that would never occur to a parasite. It shouldn't also come to you as a surprise, America has been carrying Europe's defense on its shoulders since WWII and for good reason. The fact is, if you want to suck hind tit, say so. Your President has all but relinquished America as the super power. Frankly, unless you don't like being the number one pup on the planet, then emigrate. It is your right. But, as far as I'm concerned, being king of the hill provides you and yours with all the privileges you enjoy, but have obviously, never fought for.

      PS Have you ever been on an aircraft carrier in a war? I have.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Reply
      • NN

        Well that's just it, an ostensibly large military presence may be a deterrent to outright military aggression by our adversaries but how effective has it been to deter economic aggression? The bottom line is the US is sinking economically and a bloated military has been a contributing factor to that rather than a preventative.

        June 1, 2012 at 9:42 am |
      • Cheese Wonton

        NN, right now I would much rather be an American economic policy maker than his or her Chinese counterpart. The Chinese economy will come apart at the seams in the next few years because the US has been very deliberately inflating the Chinese economy. Most Americans think the US has gotten the short end of the stick, but the reality is the Chinese trade surplus and their buying up US Treasuries has inflated their economy badly, just as the Japanese did in the 1990's. Now China has few options as her manufacturing sector declines and prices rise to truly amazing levels. Consider that a 1 kilogram (2.2 pound) fresh chicken in a Shanghai grocery store now costs 100 Yuen, which is about $15 US. Pork is similarly expensive. These are staple foods for the Chinese. Fresh vegetables in Shanghai cost $3.00-$3.50 per pound, where Americans can often buy fresh vegetables 2 pounds for .99 cents. Rents in large Chinese cities rival those in the San Francisco Bay area. This is what happens when you short circuit the natural feedback mechanisms that are supposed to be present in an honest free trade regime where currency values change and these changing currency values affect prices to counteract trade deficits and surpluses. Now China is awash in cash, but that has made it's price level and wages skyrocket and made it uncompetitive.
        China has very few good options now, and when the decline comes, their government does not have the tools to contain popular anger. While the Japanese are passive, the Chinese have sharp elbows and their leadership very much fears ending up like Kadafi or Assad.

        June 1, 2012 at 10:31 am |
      • stacknef

        The Penatgon is a trough of waste and mismanagement and our national defense (or OFFENSE as its currently practiced) will survive just fine considering their budget has doubled in 11 years. $50 billion a year is peanuts to the Military Industrial Complex.

        Guess those defense contractors will have to reconfigure to civilian uses.....maybe build a better car?

        June 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
      • Anvil of Reality

        So your argument is that we (the US) have more money, so we should spend more on the military?

        Two problems with that.

        One, we don't have the money, we are borrowing it. The USSR didn't fail because Reagan gave good speeches, they spent themselves to death.

        Two, the size and power of the US military is an excellent deterrent to other nations with conventional armies. Do you really think the next war will be conventional? The lack of any nation in the world attempting military parity with the US should provide the answer to that. We need smarter, smaller, adaptable and efficient defenses.

        PS, just because you have painted an aircraft carrier, doesn't give you particularly special insight into national defense.

        June 3, 2012 at 10:53 am |
      • glennrobert

        On an aircraft carrier? No. But I have been shot at by people who had every right to kill me. Korea 1953. You sound mad by what right? Stop and think. You don't like entitlement and welfare. Killing people is better, right? Our military budget is 50% waste,stop it now!

        June 4, 2012 at 7:06 am |
      • superlogi

        To Glenrobert. The following is a quotation from John Stuart Mill who was as you probably know a very liberal economist and philosopher in the 19th Century. But he crystalizes the necessity of war:

        War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
        John Stuart Mill
        English economist & philosopher (1806 – 1873)

        June 4, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Cheese Wonton

      Phil doesn't know what he's talking about. The US has 10 aircraft carriers, not 12, and those being built are replacements for existing carriers that are to be retired. Consider that USS Nimitz was commissioned in 1975 and the soon to be retired USS Enterprise was commissioned in 1962 when JFK was president.
      The Royal Navy is in the process of decommissioning her three existing small carriers and replacing these with two new and very large aircraft carriers that are nearly the size of our last non-nuclear carriers. Those ships are under construction now.
      Russia currently has a single carrier, but it has been at sea as recently as last year with Chinese officers aboard to observe how the Russians operate her. She has operated in the Atlantic and the Med in the last two years.
      China has one aircraft carrier commissioned and three to four more under construction in addition to a large surface force of destroyers and frigates of a very modern design.
      Spain has two small carriers and the Australians have two of the Spanish ships under construction in Australia Italy likewise has a pair of smaller carriers. Japan recently commissioned two "helicopter destroyers" that are for all intents and purposes small aircraft carriers that could easily operate Harriers or F-35B's ( and likeiy will when a USMC airwing "trains" aboard them ) and two more of a larger design on the way.
      To tell you how things are, the French have had to send their aircarft carrier to the Indian Ocean to provide air support for US and NATO forces in Afghanistan as the US doesn't have enough to meet all her committments.
      And therein lies the problem. To keep one ship at sea continuously, you need three total ships. If you want to keep one carrier stationed in three places in the world, you need a minimum of nine ships. We used to have twelve so we could keep one on station all the time in the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and North Atlantic. We can no longer do that, so some parts of the world are not patrolled constantly.

      June 1, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
      • superlogi

        Good analysis. But the bottom line is, we, currently, have control of the seas and I wouldn't want to give it up in favor of the welfare state, particularly when the welfare state is bankrupting the not only our country, but most of Europe as well.

        June 1, 2012 at 10:41 am |
      • Vaibhavi

        military is a great way to go.which service deedpns on what you want. if you join the army they give you a ton of cash all branches offer the same as far as educationlook at it like this, airforce = smart people, harder to get inarmy = not so smart, their desperate to get peoplenavy = travelers, not so hard to get in, a lot to domarines = killers, sharp and tough, you will be busy always..a lot of pride

        June 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  15. Indra

    Israel is forcing the US to supply them with unlimited capital resources.

    Israel is the only country to commit crimes against the US, between them and Iran.

    Israel attacked the USS Liberty for an HOUR, killing 30 brave sailors.

    This new virus is fitting, seeing how the nation it hails from is itself, a virus. Israel controls the US, as you would a puppet…

    Michael Mukasey Recently appointed as US Attorney General. Mukasey also was the judge in the litigation between developer Larry Silverstein and several insurance companies arising from the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001.

    Michael Chertoff Former Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, at the Justice Department; now head of Homeland Security.

    Richard Perle One of Bush’s foreign policy advisors, he is the chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board. A very likely Israeli government agent, Perle was expelled fromSenatorHenry Jackson’s office in the 1970′s after the National Security Agency (NSA) caught him passing Highly-Classified (National Security) documents to the Israeli Embassy. He later worked for the Israeli weapons firm, Soltam. Perle came from one the above mentionedpro-Israelthinktanks,the AEI.Perle is one ofthe leading pro-Israeli fanatics leading this Iraq war mongering within the administration and now in the media.

    Paul Wolfowitz Former Deputy Defense Secretary, and member of Perle’s Defense Policy Board, in the Pentagon. Wolfowitz is a close associate of Perle, and reportedly has close ties to the Israeli military. His sister lives in Israel. Wolfowitz came from the above mentioned Jewish thinktank, JINSA. Wolfowitz was the number two leader within the administration behind this Iraq war mongering. He later was appointed head of the World Bank but resigned under pressure from World Bank members over a scandal involving his misuse of power.

    Lawrence (Larry) Franklin The former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst with expertise in Iranian policy issues who worked in the office of UndersecretaryofDefense for Policy Douglas Feithand reported directly to Feith’s deputy, William Luti, was sentenced January 20, 2006, “to more than 12 years in prison for giving classified information to an Israeli diplomat” and members of the pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

    We are being played. Like a fiddle my friends….

    May 31, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
    • professor of hydrodynamics

      It is in large part due to aipac that the country finds itself in this current predicament.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Reply
    • inforeview

      Your slanted views are what's keeping any progress from being made. At least we can be sure that the assistance we give to Democracies, who share our core values, will not be turned against us. Stop sending money to all of the countries that burn our flag, call for death to our country and President.
      Maybe you should move back to the courntry who you profess to support? Good idea!

      June 1, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  16. NN

    Who cares what some ignorant political appointee has to say on the subject. The only absurdity here would be able to allow this massive fraud and waste operation to continue unabated. DoD has had decades to clean up its act, with nothing to show for it.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • superlogi

      So has every other department of government operation. But if I'm going to allow waste fraud and abuse for a specific use, it would be defense, our number one priority and certainly not our least priority in producing nanny state dependents.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Reply
      • NN

        It's not an either/or situation, it is a clean it all up mess. DoD has been working the PR making it look they're being victimized and their outrageous budget is a national defense necessity when in fact they waste vast sums of money and are a pathetically mismanaged operation. If you want to know what the biggest threat to US national security, it is the DoD itself because they are squandering our ever dwindling national resources. The only way to make them straighten their act out is to starve them.

        June 1, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Cheese Wonton

      Do you know anything about Ashton Carter? He is a very smart man and he has already done things to reduce weapons system costs in the DoD. He could do more but the DoD is often constrained by laws passed by Congress that tie their hands. Find out why the DoD doesn't have data rights to most of it's weapon's systems. Without data rights the DoD is tied to the contractor that built the weapon for repairs, overhauls, upgrades and spare parts. IF the DoD had the data rights to it's weapons it could compete production lots to the lowest qualified bidder and use it's very low cost organic depots for repairs, overhauls and upgrades rather than being raped by the defense contractors. The problem is the contractors call their designs "proprietary" and refuse to allow the DoD to buy the drawings and software code for any price. It will take an act of Congress and probably a court fight that will end up in the Supreme Court to change this. Meanwhile, the DoD is force to go back to the people who built the weapon for all of their support, and believe me the contractors know they have them by the short and curleys.

      June 1, 2012 at 10:15 am | Reply
      • NN

        DoD has always had the option of procuring the data rights. The problem is they are incompetent to specify the data needed. From a recent GAO report of progress DoD has made towards properly managing the data rights acquisition:Among other things, DOD should clarify the level and type of detail required for acquiring technical data and technical-data rights that should be included in acquisition strategies and acquisition plans. In other words, the plan is not working so well. The truth of the matter is the DoD is way over its head in high technology system acquisition and has been so for the past 20 years minimum. Now you need to ask yourself, if they lack the intellectual horsepower to even competently spec out the deliverable data, then what on earth makes you think these same clowns are going to deliver on all this pie-in-the sky flexibility, cost savings, improved sustainability, blah blah blah DAU lingo inserted here, once they have the data. The answer is they won't. If you think things are bad now, just wait until the in-house cowboys are allowed to tamper with these systems with their ad-hoc shoot-from-the-hip type of "improvements," a major disaster in the making.

        June 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • inforeview

      Choctaw 78, Let's cut all support to everyone around the globe. Hungry, we'll trade a barrell of wheat for a barrel of oil!

      Your obvious bias speaks volumes, probably go to church on a regular bais.

      How good has this country been to those that have been abused for almost as long as the white christians first came to the shores, believing their way is the only right way.
      Not much has changed since then.

      June 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  17. bob k

    Why did Panetta send a letter to McCain instead of Reid? Reid controls the Senate's business, not McCain. The letter should have gone to Reid and the majority member of the committee, not the ranking member.

    May 31, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • superlogi

      Because Reid wants to gut defense in favor of entitlement and welfare spending, so he knew it would have been a waste of time.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  18. onlyfacts61

    Mipolitic, You are an idiot! Keep the war going so the troops can get a paycheck? The enlisted personnel will still be enlisted, but stateside, the reserves can hopefully go back to their previous careers...without the fear of being blown to pieces. TYPICAL, money over life Obama hater!

    May 31, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
    • Chris

      Not true, cuts to the military are happening regardless of the situation in Afghanistan or Iraq. They (the big wigs) are anticipating an end to war, and are prempting that by cutting down numbers now.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Reply
      • Cheese Wonton

        If you read the literature put out by the DoD, they are shifting resources from land war to being prepared to fight an air and naval war against the Chinese. You won't need Strykers or MRAPs if we get in it with the Chinese over a freedom of navigation conflict in the South China Sea, or defending Taiwan or South Korea against an invasion, but you will most definitely need better anti ship missiles, better radars, more low observable aircraft to survive the sort of meat grinder China's very modern air defenses represent (most Americans are completely ignorant of the huge improvements China has made to it's military in the past 6 – 7 years) and a lot more air and missile defense missiles to protect Navy ships and places like Guam and Japan from Chinese attacks (if the US Navy operates out of Japan, the Chinese would not think twice about retaliating against the Japanese, read Chinese military literature). Look at the budget documents and you will see this is where the spending is being directed.

        June 1, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • inforeview

      How many times can the USA blow the entire planet up? With thousands of nuclear weapons, weapons systems that don't work, or we don't need is the basis for so much destruction world wide.
      President Eisenhower said it best, "beware of the military – industrail -CONGRESSIONAL" alliances. For the last 50+ years, we have been spent into poverty, by the Military & Government, paid to keep workers poor, and the industrialists richer and richer.
      So who will stop the insanity? No one I've seen speak up yet?

      June 1, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  19. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    The GOP solution: Turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Unemployed, and Gay people into slaves. Then whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Employed, and Straight. Or until they are dead. Then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
    • superlogi

      It is good you're on the other side. Although after your screed, I'm not sure the other side would want you.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
      • What

        No really.....What?

        May 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  20. BLKmanWHOvotes

    The repuks in Congress is the cause of such 'absurdities'.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:50 am | Reply
    • superlogi

      Actually, Republicans tried to stop the sequestration.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
  21. JayBee

    The only thing that is absurd here is how cool the pentagon looks. It represents the most powerful institution in the world, and it looks good to boot.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply
  22. griffbos

    Congress needs to get it's act together, cancel their summer break and do what we have been paying to do thier job.I am disgusted members of my party( republican) have had control of the house yet have failed to fix this mess............or even attempt to

    May 31, 2012 at 9:38 am | Reply
    • JayBee

      I am a dem. and completely agree. however both parties are to blame.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • John T

      The Republicans have passed several budgets, but the Democratically controlled Senate has refused to do anything for over 1000 days now! I'm not saying House budget was great, but at least they did something. Obama's proposed budget was defeated what 99 to nothing? I mean both Obama and the Senate need to get serious and do something -99 to nothing says Obama was not seriuos. The House has done their job -passed at least two budgets, again you may not like their proposal but at least the Republicans did something.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Reply
      • Indra

        No. Your stupid. The gop are inbred yokels, who want a religious theocracy.

        Dumb fuck.

        May 31, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • frg

      My brother was in the Marines for 6 years and his beiggst regret was that he was unable to do any school. He deployed halfway through every single class he took I'm in the USAF, so I am prejudiced towards it, and can't speak about the other branches.We offer a Tuition Assistance program that pays for $4500 annually in school. I've been going to school online, and fulltime since I joined 3 years ago and have finished an associates and am about half way through a bachelors. We also have many, many commissioning opportunities if thats what you want also.To reach the higher enlisted ranks you have to have certain degrees, and the same for officers. School is STRONGLY encouraged in order to get good marks on your annual ratings. The new GI Bill is beautiful too, no matter what service you're in. Working fulltime and school fulltime will be hard no matter what branch you choose, but it sounds like you can handle it, esp if you've been working two jobs to stay afloat right now.Ignore the people that tout their service as better for suchandsuch reasons, unless those reasons are the ones that are motivating you to join the military. Its a sacrifice and a commitment that only you can make, and just be sure you're doing it for reasons that satisfy you. Don't do it because you want to be hooyah.

      June 29, 2012 at 4:02 am | Reply
  23. superlogi

    Eh. National Security isn't all that important anyway. Don't sweat the small stuff. Besides, if we shrink it, just think of how that would increase Obama's stash of goodies for the poor and downtrodden.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:47 am | Reply
  24. michaelfury

    Since 2001 the Pentagon budget cancer has grown out of control. These "cuts" would merely slow its growth. Absurd indeed.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:35 am | Reply
  25. SayanIndia

    One way to “tackle” the shrinking military budget is to enter into joint military Research & Developments with reliable allies that will however require considerable flexibility as United States traditionally have been very protective in such spheres.


    May 31, 2012 at 7:07 am | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      Joint weapons development has gone on for many years. How about the AV-8 Harrier? The AARGM missile is a fine example of a joint US/Italian effort. The F-35 is another, albeit very costly, example of joint development. It was tried in the 1970's between the US and Germany to produce a common tank, but failed when the resulting design was hideously expensive and really satisfied neither country. The Germans went off and built the Leopard II and the US built the fine M-1 Abrams.
      Joint development was also tried with a family of air to air missiles including a short range infrared missile with the US, UK and Germany cooperating. This too ended in failure as the Germans wanted a more maneuverable dogfighting misslle while the Brits wanted to sacrifice maneuverability for greater range so they could engage further out. In the end the US abandoned the program and built nothing while the Brits built their own missile. The Germans, meanwhile got their hands on some ex-East German Soviet made Infrared dogfighting missiles and when they saw how maneuverable they were, teamed up with the US to build the AIM-9X, a truly excellent dogfighting missile.
      The US and the Swedes have been working together on minesweeping equipment. The basic jet trainer of the US Navy is a British design, the Hawk and the primary trainer is a Swiss design from Pilatus but license built in the US. The C-27 is based on an Alenia (Italian defense conglomerate) design. The latest US Army light helicopter is a license built copy of a Eurocopter design, based on an earlier superb Messerschmidt, Bolkow and Blohm and Voss helo, the BK-117. It is fast, fully aerobatic, twin engined and relatively inexpensive, especially compared to the USMC's latest version of the ancient Huey.

      June 1, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
  26. mipolitic

    Well Folks by 2014 260,000 troops will recieve there discharge papers from obama , so just what will these defenders of freedom do without jobs mr obama ?

    May 31, 2012 at 6:40 am | Reply
    • Hahahahahahaha

      There's seems to be many, many republican created jobs out there!!!!!!!!!!! Hahahahahahahahaha

      May 31, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
      • superlogi

        Political parties don't create jobs, the private sector creates private sector jobs which create wealth and the public sector creates public sector jobs that consume it. The problem comes when the privates can't keep up with the publics and that time is fast approaching. But, who cares just as long as Barry has his stash we can all fall back on. Life is so sweet if you're a mushroom, although the smell isn't.

        May 31, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  27. Choctaw78


    May 31, 2012 at 4:23 am | Reply
    • superlogi

      Yeah, that $3 billion helping to keep the only true ally and Democracy in the middle east is going to be our economic salvation. What a moron and an anti-Semitic one at that. If you haven't figured it out yet, we provide that money to Israel more for our own benefit than for theirs. But then that $3 billion might cut into your part of the Obama stash.

      June 29, 2012 at 8:27 am | Reply

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