If you hoped for change, you’re about to get it good and hard.

The Obama administration has asked the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff to cut the Pentagon’s budget request for the fiscal year 2010 by more than 10 percent — about $55 billion — a senior U.S. defense official tells FOX News.

Last year’s defense budget was $512 billion. Service chiefs and planners will be spending the weekend “burning the midnight oil” looking at ways to cut the budget — looking especially at weapons programs, the defense official said.

Some overall budget figures are expected to be announced Monday.

Good people are smoothing up alternatives for whatever USN size of the sandwich will be (yes, I like to mix my metaphors – wait for the volcano one).

Just use a USN 30% of the total as a baseline – $18.3 billion. What do we throw into the volcano first?




Posted by CDRSalamander in Uncategorized


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  • DavidB

    How close to $18B can one get making cuts in LCS and DDG1000? And what’s left of either then?

  • Eagle1

    Won’t there be a “peace dividend” from withdrawing from Iraq and closing Gitmo?

    Don’t we always cut personnel first because that’s the only near term cut that can be made? Time for reductions in the flag officer ranks?

    Traditionally we also cut flight hours and weapons training and tie up ships. How about closing some more bases? Stop F-22 buys and convert to the F-35. Reduce the M-1 Abrams force by 1/3 and use that dead 1/3 for parts? FRAM some ships instead on new buys?

  • Jay

    Eagle is on to some good ideas.

    Another BRAC might be in order, although those savings are not always realized as soon as anyone would like.

    Sec Gates might be able to kick it off, if not see it through.

    Speaking for Navy — really, really, really attach all the Reserves to their Active Duty commands. Take 1/3 of the FTS folks and put them in the AD commands to assist with the admin load. Delete the other 2/3rds of the billets. A separate Reserve structure is really an outdated & bad idea.

  • Jay

    LOL…I guess that should read — “Speaking about Navy”.

    :-)

  • Byron

    Kill LCS. Kill DD?. License build from a Euro design. Pass out a lot of gold watches. Is there a real reason why we have TYCOM?

    Do NOT mess with the Marines!

    Semi-agree on AF cuts. I think it would pay off to have the manufacture retain the jigs for F-22. It’s a helluva platform, and keep in mind that the F-15 Echos aren’t going to be with us forever.

  • http://smadanek.blogspot.com/ Ken Adams, Amphib Sailor

    You are all thinking small potatoes. This is a 10% cut in Total Obligation Authority. The top line for personnel is unlikely to go down, same for O&M. In that case, it means a 26% cut to everything else. I think we are looking at $48 billion out of the combined procurement and RDT&E lines this year — probably 130,000 defense jobs in industry. This cut is potentially big enough to eliminate every job at Raytheon twice over.

  • mike

    It takes 10 years after the BRAC decision to see any savings.

    The F-35 is not a substitute for the F-22.

    Reserve structure changes are a drop in the bucket.

    I agree with Ken’s assessment – small potatoes. These cuts are going to come out of big ticket items

    - The F-22 program
    - Virginia SSN
    - BMD

    On the surface, it sure sure looks like we don’t need any of these programs, right?

    We’ll feel the effects of this decision 30 years down the road when it’s clear we let a 2 generation advantage over our nearest peer competitor evaporate.

  • Moose

    Virginias are totally safe. Aside from being the only major DoD program that is ahead of schedule and on budget, the SSN industry in RI, Conn. and VA have powerful congressional delegations which together have the power to keep them well kept.

    I also think fewer programs will “end” we normally see in this environment and instead more will be slowed or pushed back. Amy Butler on Ares’ Check 6 podcast yesterday was pointing out that the USAF 2018 bomber was likely going to be pushed back past 2020, but in exchange it would grow more capable. There’s a good deal of money to be had simply slowing down things like FCS, F-35, BMD, etc. Coupled with reductions that will come from drawing down the Iraq force, and we’re not talking chump change.

  • Moose

    Another possibility is to forward all the bonuses which bailed-out banks are trying to pay out to the DoD instead, might not have to cut much after that.

  • Byron

    DoD coulda used Citi’s cute little jet too ;)

  • http://fredfryinternational.blogspot.com/ FFry

    “What do we throw into the volcano first?”
    – How about MARINE1?

    No good? Then how about having the military bill the White House and Congress for any travel they provide, at actual cost. Who pays for Marine guards at embassies worldwide? Shouldn’t the State Dept pay for that? And no, I do not think they are going to find too much savings with these types of items, however it is worth pointing out that a portion of the money DOD spends is actually for the benefit of other Government Departments.

    “It takes 10 years after the BRAC decision to see any savings.”
    If it takes 10 years to see anything out of a BRAC round, then perhaps BRAC needs to go. So how about shoving a base closure list back to Obama and tell him that DOD would like to save money closing these bases but Congress needs to change the law to permit action on it. In the current situation, are these extra bases still fully manned or are they open in name only? How far back can operations be scaled back at a base? If units are permenatly bases at them, how about ‘deploying’ them to a base they would end up at if their was closed.

    How much unwanted military equipment is forced on them by Congress. Cut that stuff too.

  • http://smadanek.blogspot.com/ Ken Adams, Amphib Sailor

    Moose, with these kinds of numbers, nothing is safe. This is going to gut the Navy. Looking at the details of what’s in the works, there’s not much room for a 10% cut without removing 20-25% of the procurement and R&D budgets.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “On the surface, it sure sure looks like we don’t need any of these programs, right?

    We’ll feel the effects of this decision 30 years down the road when it’s clear we let a 2 generation advantage over our nearest peer competitor evaporate.”

    Amen, Mike.

    A “peace dividend” while at peace is foolish enough. (Isn’t the dividend PEACE?) A “peace dividend” while our nation is at war is unconscionable.

    The “peace dividend” RIF of 1994-5 has directly affected our abilities to maintain forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • Moose

    The Navy has been gutted over the past 2 decades, despite DoD budgets going UP the last 7 and a half the fleet has shrunk and programs have ballooned. Would ADDING $50 Billion or $100 Billion or $1 Trillion cure the DoD’s ills? I doubt it. Wailing and gnashing teeth and accusing THIS 2-week old Administration of “Gutting the Navy” based on a budget we’ve not even seen outlined yet is preposterous.

  • http://smadanek.blogspot.com/ Ken Adams, Amphib Sailor

    We shall see, Moose. A 10% top line cut when the administration has promised to increase Marine Corps and Army end strengh by 92,000 spells doom for procurement to me.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Moose,

    Excellent point. Lord knows, the entire DoD is in need of reining in project costs. Would another $100 billion make a significant difference? Not if it fed the rapacious appetite of these projects.

    However, talk of a “peace dividend” tells me this is not aimed at fixing the problems, but in reducing the capability, which, if similar to the RIF then, was described as “excess” and “redundant”. There’s the rub.

    I will be interested to see how much of the Defense Department is willing to do with the former (reform), and how insistent the Administration and Congress will be on the latter (reduction in capability).

  • steve usnr-ret

    how about scrapping the uniform changes?

  • sid

    Then how about having the military bill the White House and Congress for any travel they provide, at actual cost.

    Yout got that right buddy-boy…

    All this whining about corporate aircraft…Some folks need to look in the mirror.

    Oh sorry.

    This crowd -mules and elephants both- only peers through a looking glass when it comes to this kind of thing….

  • http://midwatchcowboy.blogspot.com midwatchcowboy

    How about mandating a 20% reduction in Contract Service Support – the contractors producing ‘analytic products’. That ought to be a few Bil.

  • Anon

    How about scrapping 90%of the mil spec requirments, and use the ASTM standard instead? Rationlizing the standards call-outs for materials would save a boat load of money, as would going over the material requirments for the existing ship programs. I’ve gone through serious pain and expense to the government getting the materials called out in the drawings. I did some research, and found that in many ways ASTM standards meet or exceed the mil spec requirements.

    So why are we still doing it this way? First, a bunch of civil servants make their living upholding these standards, second, mil spec sends us to one-of vendors. Anyone want to guess how many of these vendors have a congressman in their pocket? Also, the compliance requirements force vendors and contractors to add an expensive layer of paper pushers that the government ends up paying for. We (the contractors) have to add the cost of this part of our business to contracts, and for the vendor side, the destructive and non-destructive testing adds another layer of costs. That’s why you get $150 hammers and $2000 toilets for KC-137.

    Marine architects and engineers: the building programs wouldn’t be in such a mess (like the billions it’s going to take to resolve the wireway MCTs through bulkheads and decks issues on LPD-17, many of which caused compartments to be non-watertight)if the Navy itself had it’s own corp of dedicated personnel. All of our LARs, RLARs are written by the building yards. Most are good. Some aren’t.

    Congressional interference via the civilian and uniformed members of DoD into the construction program has to end if you ever want to get a program that can meet your initial requirements, works the way it’s supposed to, and doesn’t go billions over budget. Don’t let the contractors have a free-fire zone in which they can pimp their latest gee-whiz or push the Navy into accepting things like “sole-supplier” line items in the bill of materials.

    Yes, I’m a contractor. But I’m in the repair/conversion side of the business. For the most part, we dont’ have a lot of of wriggle room in which to screw the Navy over. We just have to get it done.

  • http://newwars.wordpress.com Mike Burleson

    This could be a time to expand the navy. A total freeze on Big Ship construction, since we already have enough battleships, 80+ according to Galrahn. And concerning the carrier race, I think we are ahead 11 to 1 against any potential foe, twice that if you count Harrier carriers.

    Now is the time to build up the littoral fleet, and I’m not talking about the half-billion dollar wonder USS Freedom. Small corvettes, FAC, OPV, patrol boats, backed by converted motherships to tame the shallow seas against pirates and terrorists smuggling WMDs. Also against rogue states like Iran who love to thumb their noses against our Big Ships. Savings from canceling new carriers, destroyers, and amphibs, even subs if need be, ought to get us a 500 to 600 ship navy, since for a single DDG-1000 you could buy 500 Stilettos.

  • Anon

    Mike, what kind of defensive and offensive weaponry could a Stilleto carry? What kind of networking ability will these fast boats have? Power generation required for comms/networking?

    Do you really want to see the US Navy become a speedboat Navy?

  • chief601

    How about scrapping the Davis-Bacon Act that forces up the construction costs of all government buildings? Some years back we were forced to pay $109 a sq ft for housing that we should have paid $67 a sq ft for. I told you it was a few years back. We got substandard housing for inflated costs. I retired as a fire chief for the Navy. I found that the only thing you couldn’t believe from MOST contractors was what they said and what they wrote. Hold inspectors more accountable. At my last command, I found myself explaining to the CO (30 minutes into the job) why his brand new fire suppression system in his underground building didn’t meet code. I was standing next to the inspector who said the job had been checed by engineers and I didn’t know what I was talking aobut. I showed him pictures from the NFPA that proved him wrong and the story changed to it’s no big deal. The CO found that some detectors mounted incorrectly was a big deal to him. We can save mony but I believe Congress has to change the way they do business to have a major impact. Figure the odds of that happening.

  • Byron

    Chief, you can mark that up to the unholy alliance between Congress and the milcorps.

  • TinCanFutureSNA

    Good bye AEGIS BMD, I knew thee well.

    I’ve heard from aviators that during certain administrations in the past they were down to 10 flight hours a month. But hey, that will be good news for sailors and their families who will be able to see more of each other as their ships are moored more frequently.

  • doc75

    Does anyone remember what happened to the southern California economy during the last major reduction in defense budget?

    Forget asking about which Navy programs to cut. Completely wrong approach.

    Why on God’s green Earth is Obama even considering this during an economic downturn? He is going to kill jobs with this plan. Why would he tell DoD to trim $48-50B now when he is asking Congress to approve nearly $1T in “stimulus.” Isn’t that straining at gnats and swallowing camels?

    The only possible reason I can come up with is that Obama or someone on his team is allowing an anti-military ideology to drive this decision. Which is counter to the Obama campaigns claims of being without ideology during the general election. But if you look back at the more ideological primaries, this is what he said he would do.

    The argument should be that this is NOT the time to cut DoD budget by 10%. When the economy improves AND the war is over, then we should about budget drawdown. Until then, it’s up to us to keep our elected leaders accountable and expose this for the stupidity it is.

  • Curtis

    We already got rid of MILSPEC and MILSTD.

    We need to economize by getting rid of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Infantry Divisions and also the lightweight and therefor useless 82nd and 101st airborne. They just get into trouble anyway and have to be bailed out by SEALs and SOCOM.

    Those 4+acre of freedom things also have to go since all they end up doing is raining fire and destruction down on innocent muslims everywhere and serve no real peaceful purpose.

    We can get rid of AFRICOM since those Africans never did anything to threaten us and are best left to their own devices. Likewise, we can just ditch SOUTHCOM and 4th Fleet since it’s not like those idiots pose any threat to the US.

    We could fire every single person in NAVSEA and PEO Ships and puke better ships than they give the navy. So they should go to the wall too. Ditto SPAWAR. Honestly, if you want well designed, well built kit, you should buy it from the Marines.

  • Anon

    Curtis, every day I sit down with a material requistion form….and every day I go over archaic prints (in that they are sometimes 25 years old) to make sure I’m ordering the proper call-out in the spec. You’d be amazed how many times an out-dated milspec is invoked and there is only one, repeat, one vendor that can furnish this at a price of course. So I’m not sure why you say we scrapped Mil-spec, unless you are talking about LCS.

  • Marty

    Didn’t anyone read or see SecDef’s testimony? Horizontal cuts aren’t going to be applied here. Vertical cuts are the answer. Can Navy defend its program? DDG-1000, CG(X), LCS would seem to be the prime candidates…

  • FOD Detector

    One has to remember CDR Salamander’s source.

    An unnamed source. Fox news.

    That’s two strikes.

    One should also remember the supposed cut is to a Pentagon budget request. Unquestionably, there’s plenty of pork in there that could easily be trimmed.

  • http://smadanek.blogspot.com Ken Adams, Amphib Sailor

    Even in LCS, the Navy did not scrap MILSPEC and MIL STD. The LCS Capabilities Development Document (i.e., top-level requirements) calls out MIL-STD-461, 464, and 1399. The Naval Vessel Rules contained lots of references to individual specifications and NAVSEA drawings. A lot of the NVR sections were initially re-labeled GENSPECS.
    The current LCS RFP (N00024-08-R-2307, which you can look up at https://www.neco.navy.mil/), just in the basic solicitation, calls out:
    – Safety design IAW MIL-STD-882D
    – Drydock certification IAW MIL-STD-1625C
    – Unique ID IAW MIL-STD-130M
    – Product markings IAW MIL-STD-129

    There’s even more buried in the details. Just one sample of the language, from the section on provisioning technical documentation in the data requirements list:

    “PROVISIONING SUBMITTAL. PTD submittal shall include Component Identification Data (CID), Data Product Deliverables and Engineering Data for Provisioning (EDFP). The following documents provide detailed guidance on submittal of required information: MIL-DTL31000 Technical Data Packages (TDPs), MIL-STD-129M Marking for Shipment and Storage, MIL-STD-2073.1 Procedures for Development and Application of Packaging Requirements for DOD Material , ANSI MK 10.8 Material Handling Standard NAVSEA Technic Specification 9090-1500, Policies and Procedures, Provisioning, Allowance and Fitting Out Support Manual, Chapter 4., MIL-PRF-49506 of 11 Nov 96, Logistics Management Information (LMI) Performance Specification, OPNAVINST 4614.1F CH 2 of 28 Oct 95, Uniform Material Movement and Issue Priority System, NAVSUP Pub 437 of Jul 87, MILSTRIP/MILSTRAP, FAR 45, Federal Acquisition Regulations Government Property, SECNAVINST 5000.2B of 6 Dec 96, Implementation of Mandatory Procedures for Major and Non-Major Defense Acquisition Programs and Major and Non-Major Information Technology Acquisition Programs, DOD-STD 4100.38 of 1 Nov 83, DOD Provisioning and Other Reprocurement Screening Manual, NAVSUP P-719 of 6 June 1999 , Guide of the Assignment, Application and Use of Source, Maintenance & Recoverability Codes.”

    By my count, there are ten DoD-unique requirements and one commercial standard (ANSI MK 10.8) in that single sentence.

  • http://cdrsalamander@hotmail.com CDR Salamander

    FOD,
    You nibbled around the edges, now you have stepped in it – you are acting like a Troll.

    Do a google search – there are plenty of sources out there. I keep politics out of the USNI blog, if you want to be petty and not contribute to the issue at hand, comment over at my home blog on or someone else’s posts.

    Play that game again on one of my USNIBlog posts and I will Delete it.

    You are put on notice.

  • Jay

    How again are any budget matters & major acquistion programs not political?

  • Compound Fracture

    I read in my new issue of Proceedings how a person could come here and expect civil discussion. I hope that’s the case. Because I’d like to make my case as to why the Navy needs to cut itself by almost half. The rest of the services need to do so as well, but this is the USNI blog, so I’ll focus on our Navy.

    I was born and raised on a Navy base, then served 7 years active duty. I still work in naval aviation. Those are my qualifications to at least address the subject at hand.

    Our country, in the past 5 months or so, has created about one trillion in new money. Depending on what the Senate does over the next week or so, it looks like we’ll be creating close to another trillion. This is all debt. There are no assets to sell, or taxes to collect to create this two trillion. This new debt is on top of our already existing ten trillion dollar debt. If you stop and think about it, the creation of debt like this is really a stealth tax. This new debt our government is currently printing is backed by nothing. It is fancy paper, or in some cases, just an electronic credit. Either way, it has no value but for the words, “THIS IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS PUBLIC AND PRIVATE.” In effect, all of this massive debt creation is a tax on the future. We will pay it, and our children will pay it, and so on.

    We can no longer afford this giant Navy or military. This country is broke. We are rapidly moving toward insolvency while we enslave future generations to a debt they have no control over, and had no say in its creation. Not only is that foolish, it is immoral. Something must be done. The Navy should lead the way by mothballing at least five CVBGs.

    As one intimately involved with the legacy Hornet, I can tell you that this rapidly aging aircraft is becoming difficult to maintain. Don’t get me wrong, the jet can be maintained, but many, if not most of the aircraft, have gone well over their flight hour design life, and the need-list for repairs to areas we’ve not needed to repair in the past, is growing.

    By mothballing at least five CVBGs, many of the oldest Hornets could be sent to AMARC. We could pick out the most desirable aircraft and use the rest for badly needed parts. Of course there’d be a drawdown in pilots and their attendant costs, and there would most definitely be savings in not having to put at least five carriers to sea. Manpower and the associated costs, e.g., retirement, medical care, housing, training, regular pay, all would be reduced. More Super Hornets could be bought. Those are but a few of the positives.

    Negatives? I read a post here about how cutting the Navy now, in this time of economic turmoil, would be foolish. Point made, and point taken. However, by not cutting now, we’re only going to make the inevitable crash that much more difficult to contend with.

    I see this as a way to strengthen the Navy, not weaken it. We’d have more money for training, more money for fresh aircraft, and we could strengthen the reserves.

    I know I’m a bit radical here, but I think we need to return to the sort of military our founders envisioned. Our Army should be brought home and reduced. Personally, I’d like to see us move the Army to a “Swedish Model.” We need to stop entangling ourselves in places like Iraq, and going to a Swedish type Army would put a stop to such adventurism.

    Our Navy is constitutionally authorized (unlike the standing, professional Army we currently put afield) and thus we should feel no shame in advocating for a professional Navy.

    The U.S. Navy has always led from the front. Even with six or seven carrier battle groups we’d still have three times as many as any other nation on the globe.

    I’ll stop there and listen to your counsel.

  • http://cdrsalamander@hotmail.com CDR Salamander

    Jay,
    No hijacking either. If you want to do that, start your own blog.

  • http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com CDRSalamander

    FOD,
    I told you I would delete your post (that is why it ain’t there no-mo) if you didn’t de-troll yo’self.

    Now, get along and play on someone else’s porch. Your cigar and single-malt privileges are revoked – at least on my porch.

  • http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com CDRSalamander

    Do that again (after two more deletes) and I will SPAM you .. which may drop you off the site for good.

    You are now abusing. She-who-must-be-obeyed at USNIBlog may overrule me, but for now … I’m guarding my porch.

  • Paul

    Tiptoeing past the current carnage, the news reports coming out today indicate that it’s a 50 billion dollar cut compared to what the JCS asked for, but a 40 billion dollar increase over the previous year and basically what the Bush administration was working with.

  • http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com CDRSalamander

    Now THAT is a good comment. The truth can change, or gather more nuance. Paul, do you have a link to share?

  • http://informationdissemination.blogspot.com/ Galrahn
  • FOD Detector

    The truth can change…

    How ironic.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Wonder how this is going to tie in with events on and around the peninsula that shall remain nameless. You can bet that a large portion of that potential conflict will happen on or under the water.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jjz-1FsdSMQjYDWp3qoa60B4b_jwD962QN180

  • Anon

    Saber rattling. Small naval actions at sea. Kim screaming, “Death to Imperialist running dogs!” Demands for more money from US and UN to not make nukes.

    You know, the usual.

  • Jay

    As a life member of USNI, I take exception with *anyone* deleting anyone else’s posts, with the obvious exception of comments that are beyond the pale — (profanity, personal attacks, and the like).

    Censorship always strikes me as, well, unAmerican. Feel free to do it on your own blog, but USNI ought to exercise that control, not guest bloggers.

    Criticism keeps your ideas sharp, lest you fall into the morass of group think.

  • Jay

    Compound Fracture,

    You prob won’t get a whole lot of support for whacking more than 20% out of the Navy here. Folks who are/were flying or sailing, or under the water have gotten used to being a 911 force for the nation (the Marines used to call themselves that), and the only way to achieve that somewhat quick response rate is to have ships forward deployed & ready to go. That requires (due to maint cycle, training, down time, etc.) a certain amount of platforms (whether carriers, planes, etc.).

    We’d have to take a serious look at whether or not we would want to afford not having a carrier always in/near the PG or IO or the Western Pacific (not just the GW homeported in Japan).

    I am prob not saying anything you don’t already know, but mothballing close to half of our CVNS (not to mention the rest of the ships that make up a battlegroup/strike group, although that the number of escorts can move all over the place) is very likely a non-starter.

    Navy fought for a long time to keep 15 CVN groups (with some older CVs in the mix). I think with KITTY HAWK’s decomming, we’ll be at 11.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Anon,

    We shall see if it is business as usual. Tough to tell in a closed society, and guessing wrong (Dean Acheson?) has some severe consequences.

    If Dear Leader either is no more or isn’t quite so dear, the equation changes immeasurably.

  • RickWilmes

    Jay Says:
    As a life member of USNI, I take exception with *anyone* deleting anyone else’s posts, with the obvious exception of comments that are beyond the pale — (profanity, personal attacks, and the like).

    I am also a life member of USNI and agree that such posts should not be deleted. I don’t necessarily agree with the commenter’s posts in question but as far as I can tell his posts have not violated any of the USNI blogs rules.

    Well reasoned and thought out rebuttals take time but are far more effective than the delete button.

  • Jay

    Here is the Danger Room post (most of it) from Wired.com:

    Conservatives howled, when word leaked that the Obama White House might be looking to “cut” the Pentagon’s budget request for the next fiscal year. But it’s only under the odd rules of Beltway bizarroland that this can be considered in any way a trim.

    As CQ’s Josh Rogin reports, Team Obama wants an eight percent, $40 billion increase in the Defense Department budget — from $487.7 billion in 2009 to $527.7 billion in 2010. But this uptick is only about half the size as the one the Joint Chiefs originally requested, in a $584 billion draft budget, complied last fall. So cue the all-too-predictable cries of Obama-as-hippie. “When it comes to the budget it appears that the choices Obama is making are all too reflective of a man who not long ago had the most liberal voting record in the Senate,” sniffs Max Boot.

    Oh, please. The $527 billion figure is “what the Bush people thought was the right number last February and that’s the number we’re going with,” an Office of Management and Budget official tells Rogin. “The Joint Chiefs did that to lay down a marker for the incoming administration that was unrealistic. It’s more of a wish list than anything else.”

  • RickWilmes

    Compound Fracture,

    Thank you for your post. I hope it will generate some discussion. Whether the Navy likes it or not their budget is going to be reduced because of the economic meltdown this country is experiencing.

    Those individuals that are on active duty will not consider any attempt to reduce the size of the Navy because their job may be on the line, and looking for work outside of the Navy in this economic climate is not going to help the situation.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Jay,

    How is it that Max Boot gets a derogatory reference and an “oh please”, and Josh Rogin is considered unbiased in his comments?

    Does Boot being a conservative make him somehow more biased than Rogin, who is a liberal, and therefore somehow not biased?

  • Jay

    URR,

    Dunno’. I copied the entire thing from the Wired.com site. Speak to the writers over there.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Oh, and Jay,

    You said “mothballing close to half of our CVNS …is very likely a non-starter.”

    Here is one problem I see. When we have retired ships with half of their service life remaining (a good article in Jan 09 PROCEEDINGS on recapitalization), none of those units were mothballed, or preserved in any way. Foolish. They were allowed to deteriorate to the point where, apparently, major work and cost would be involved in putting them back in commission should they be needed.

    If we were to “mothball” some units, truly preserve them as we did after WWII and Korea, we would leave some flexibility to reactivate when needed. But(it would seem) as soon as they are decommissioned, these technically advanced, highly useful and expensive to replace vessels are not preserved at all, unless they might draw a dollar in FMS.

    If we had preserved the Spruances, the FFG-7s, the non-VLS Ticonderogas, and perhaps CV-67, we would have a lot more flexibility in what our Navy’s mix of warships might look like.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    I copied the entire thing from the Wired.com site. Speak to the writers over there.

    You might get known by the company you keep!

  • Chap

    The link tag works just fine. Let’s see if the blockquote tag does too.

    Hey Phibs, this might change the game a little…

    The Obama administration has given the Pentagon a $527 billion limit, excluding war costs, for its fiscal 2010 Defense budget, an Office of Management and Budget official said Monday.

    If enacted, that would be about $14 billion more than the $513 billion allocated for fiscal 2009 (PL 110-329), including military construction funds, and it would match what the Bush administration estimated last year for the Pentagon in fiscal 2010.

    But it sets up a potential conflict between the new administration and the Defense Department’s entrenched bureaucracy, which has remained largely intact through the presidential transition. Some Pentagon officials and congressional conservatives are already trying to portray the OMB number as a cut by comparing it with a $584 billion draft budget request compiled last fall by the Joint Chiefs of Staff for fiscal 2010.

    The $527 billion figure is “what the Bush people thought was the right number last February, and that’s the number we’re going with,” said the OMB official, who declined to be identified. “The Joint Chiefs did that to lay down a marker for the incoming administration that was unrealistic. It’s more of a wish list than anything else.”

    Defense budget experts have said the draft by the Joint Chiefs, which was never publicly released, was designed to pressure the Obama administration to drastically increase Defense spending or be forced to defend a reluctance to do so.

    Defense officials in past outgoing administrations have left inflated budget estimates for incoming officials in the hope of raising the spending baseline. The Joint Chiefs’ draft budget was never scrubbed by President George W. Bush ’s OMB, which had told federal agencies to submit draft budgets based on current services.

    Huh. Maybe a little gamesmanship instead?

  • RickWilmes

    Chap,

    Thank you for the link, it cleared up some of my questions concerning this topic and the related comments. Two issues remain for me.

    1. How does the USNI blogging community solve the claim of bringing politics into the discussion when the topic IS about politics? For me, personally, when I see this issue being raised then I know the individual raising such a claim has a weak position on the issue. I think it is a subtle form of arguement from authority or intimidation. Not quite sure which but this issue needs to be addressed and solved so that it is no longer raised in future topics.

    2. Back to the topic at hand, and this more from an economic perspective. In the link Chap provided the following was stated.

    “Adm. Mike Mullen — the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, who, like Gates, is a Bush appointee — has long advocated large increases in base Defense spending. He champions pegging the Defense budget to 4 percent of the gross domestic product. Along with conservatives in Congress, Mullen believes that number is feasible and could ensure steadily increasing investments, at least when the economy is growing.

    In contrast, most economists and Defense budget experts believe Defense spending should be based on the need and the threat, not on an arbitrary economic figure.”

    I am curious how the 4% number tied to GDP was determined? Is it an arbitrary number as claimed in the article?

  • http://cdrsalamander@hotmail.com CDR Salamander

    Chap,
    Here is an interesting thought, if

    Defense budget experts have said the draft by the Joint Chiefs, which was never publicly released, was designed to pressure the Obama administration to drastically increase Defense spending or be forced to defend a reluctance to do so.

    is accurate – then we do have a political problem.

    A lot of our (Navy Officers) intellectual capital in our official capacity is our “best military advice” towards the civilian leadership. If we play other games, then we are just part of the political landscape, which in a representative democracy is perhaps not a good thing.

    Let me outline it another way assuming that the JCS is not acting like a 4th branch of government or 3rd political party; if I am building a covered, wooden bridge with an honest contractor and he tells me in order to stay on schedule in the next phase to build the requested two lane bridge with a 20-ton carrying capacity he needs X amount of money to purchase 5,000 board-feet of lumber – and instead I tell him that, no, he is only getting .89x of the money he says he needs and probably less next year – then I should expect that he will tell me that either I am going to have a one-lane, an uncovered, and/or a lower weight carrying bridge as a result (not counting the additional redesign fees).

    If, however, I am working with a dishonest contractor that I am sure is inflating his costs, then I would expect my .89x to be taken with a shrug, some noise; but he’ll get on with the program. Of course, if I am working with such a contractor, I am all in his business making sure that he is buying the right lumber, using the correct number and type of nails and fasteners. I will ensure he is using the correct number and type of supports, is hiring properly certified sub-contractors, qualified workers, etc …… generally we are going to hate each other because I won’t let him do his job, and I can’t do mine because I am too busy checking everything he does.

    Then again – I would never hire a contractor I couldn’t trust – or would fire one that I lost trust in.

    Which story do we match, if either? What problems as an institution do we have in each situation?

    As for the comments RE censorship and such – I both appreciate and agree with most of them. You will also note that no one since FOD has been deleted, and most have raised the points in the same direction he was going in. The difference is with tone and intent. USNIBlog is not CDR Salamander or DailyKos. Free comments without oversight would if left to get out of control, degrade the standing of this institution.

    Politics is a necessary part of what we do to build and equip our Fleet – but there is a difference between discussing the impact of politics and being political. USNIBlog is not a place for “Fox-is-evil to MSNBC-is-insane” type discussions. That is not why I came here, and I doubt why others post here (there is a difference between posting and commenting BTW). I invited FOD to make those comments at my home blog – a little less of a class joint than USNIBlog-, and would have left them there if he had if for no other reason than to let the deck crew there chew him up and spit him out.

    All that being said, with just a few sharp elbows thrown here and there – I think the back and forth in comments after the Phib-vs-FOD throw-down has been about right. One news report comes out – another follows with more information and perhaps a different agenda, discuss – rinse;repeat.

    I believe SECDEF Gates gets the final word.

    The Pentagon refused to comment publicly on why it would need the higher amount. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has said the fiscal 2010 Defense budget must contend with the realities of the bad economy and stop the trend of steep increases in military budgets since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    Gates also has said the department will deliver Congress a formal request for a second tranche of fiscal 2009 war funding “in the coming weeks.” He sent Congress an estimate for that tab of $69.7 billion.

    “I believe that the FY 2010 budget must make hard choices,” Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Jan. 27.

    That being said, about our bridge contractors …..

  • RickWilmes

    Actually, reality is going to have the final say on this one. As is being pointed out in the following, our economy is on the verge of bankruptcy.

    California Economy Near Collapse .

    As far as the bridge scenario, there no longer is any capital available to build the bridge. It doesn’t matter if the contractor is honest or not.

  • Compound Fracture

    Thanks for the reply. I’m going to like it here. Let me be clear about something if I wasn’t already. I love the Navy. Always have, always will. I love our country. I’m disturbed by what I see before me, and here is a chance for the Navy to lead in a big way. I wonder though, has the power that comes with a large fleet of CVBGs become an intoxicant that those that guide that power? One they just can’t give up? I suppose that gets political, but somebody better do something before we’re forced to do so.

  • http://cdrsalamander@hotmail.com CDR Salamander

    And they are deleted again – because you have moved to personnel insults.

  • Frank Antinucci

    There is no 10% cut. CQ debunked that story yesterday:

    http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docID=news-000003022493

  • http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com CDRSalamander

    Frank,
    Read it again – and do a little research on Dr. Gordon Adams’ background, who is the primary source for the CQ. It isn’t so much a debunking as a different spin. I wouldn’t read that GQ bit as gospel just another angle from a DOD budget critic that some of us have been reading since Reagan was President.

    Good for discussion though. SECDEF’s quote applies.

    As a side note – as an example of someone who is trying to answer the question in the post (thank you for reading and not emoting) please look at Ken Adam’s blog.

  • Chap

    Gosh, that link looks familiar.

  • http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com CDRSalamander

    Smarty pants ;)

  • http://informationdissemination.blogspot.com/ Yankee Sailor

    CF said:

    Our country, in the past 5 months or so, has created about one trillion in new money. Depending on what the Senate does over the next week or so, it looks like we’ll be creating close to another trillion. This is all debt. There are no assets to sell, or taxes to collect to create this two trillion.

    We can no longer afford this giant Navy or military. This country is broke. We are rapidly moving toward insolvency while we enslave future generations to a debt they have no control over, and had no say in its creation. Not only is that foolish, it is immoral. Something must be done. The Navy should lead the way by mothballing at least five CVBGs.

    Negatives? I read a post here about how cutting the Navy now, in this time of economic turmoil, would be foolish. Point made, and point taken. However, by not cutting now, we’re only going to make the inevitable crash that much more difficult to contend with.

    Why do you believe that such a dramatic cut in forces won’t increase regional instability and conflict, thereby slowing the global recovery and lengthening the time it takes to pay off all that debt? After all, as economic activity increases, so usually do tax revenues.

  • CF

    YS,

    I didn’t realize I was challenged before. I must have missed that post. I think I see what you’re referencing now, but I never took it as a challenge.

    I see this as math. Twelve trillion? Somebody tell me how we’re gonna pay that bill. That’s just the known debt. How are we going to pay our government’s unfunded promises – e.g., Social Security, Medicare, prescription drugs, military retirement, military health care, VA, etc. How? The estimate on that bill is somewhere between 40 and 55 TRILLION.

    I do not know that such a dramatic cut won’t lead to regional or even national instability. It very well could. I’m still not sure why we need 10 more CVBGs than any other nation in the world. Moving to six or seven would suddenly cause the world to fly apart? Bringing our Army home and structuring it more in line with the vision of our founders would cause the world to explode? I’m not saying you don’t have a point. I can’t deny that such moves would create some vacuums – maybe more than I’m seeing.

    I guess, YS, it comes down to beliefs. I believe we need to quit interfering with other countries. With the cessation of interference, it is my opinion we will find we don’t need this gigantic military. While I don’t miss Saddam, I still view that entire operation as a mistake. We should have finished the job in Afghanistan. Completely. It seems that after 8 years of presence there, we’re just now getting spun up for an even bigger fight – with an enemy who’s greatest weapon is nothing more than a .50 caliber mounted in the back of a Toyota, and a particularly good cave-hopping skill. But we’ve got 600 legacy Hornets and at least a couple hundred Super Hornets to cover it.

    I think I’m kind of getting all over the place here. Let me see if I can pull this together. Math tells me whether or not we like a giant military, in short order, we’re going to have some very difficult choices to make. It’s my personal belief that our military has been abused because it is there to be abused. I believe that by aligning ourselves with the vision for the military our founders had, we can give great pause to politicians wishing to use the military for anything but the defense of the U.S. My position is that the Navy, our proud and wonderful service, can and should lead in this matter. Our Navy has always set the pace, and should do so now – leading – rather than being forced into difficult decisions brought forth because there is no other choice. Yeah, I know, I’m naive. Congress would probably cancel any plans the Navy made should the Admirals actually try and mothball a few CVBGs.

    Thanks for the chance at back and forth. Keep making me think. I may have this all wrong, but the math is there. This is unsustainable. Printing money to pay the bills for our present profligate ways is foolish, and as I mentioned above, it’s immoral to tax our future, our offspring and so on.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    CF,

    Some excellent points. It would seem that the size and effectiveness of a military force is not always related to how much it costs. Hence, our myriad debates regarding project costs, etc.

    Two points:

    Iraq, comparatively, represents what was a MINOR operation in WWII. The current force levels are roughly equivalent to MacArthur’s forces in New Guinea, with significantly fewer ships.

    Second, a drastic reduction in the size of the US military is always an option on the table. However, doing so would relegate the US to the role of observer in world affairs, with limited ability to influence or react to events.

    And the THIRD of my two points (*cough*) is that a small military does not preclude foreign involvement, witness the large number of US commitments in and around the Caribbean between 1914 and 1935.

    But the question remains, regarding our present “profligate ways”, does CVN-77, at $6.4 billion, provide enough increase in capability over CV-63 to justify the cost?

  • Byron

    URR, you do mean CVN68, don’t you?

  • Byron

    Oh, and one more thing to remember:

    “When your enemy is strong, retreat; where he is weak, attack”

    Sun Tzu

    And by the way, the US military are by far not the the only people to read “The Art of War”

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Byron,

    Nope. I mean Kitty Hawk. Her place in the fleet is being taken by CVN-77. Was she so out of date as to require replacement? I know she was an oil-burner, and refueling requirements were a drawback, but how much of one? Was she no longer capable of completing missions assigned? Were there not mods and upgrades that could have kept her in service another decade or so?

    I equate this to the LPD-17 situation. At $1 1/2 billion, apiece, they are NOT going to replace the LPD-4s one-for-one, or even at a pace that would allow maintenance of amphibious lift capabilities. So we fall away yet further from the 2.5 MEB lift capacity we set as a bottom limit, and replace older and less advanced, yet still highly capable, vessels with units that are many times more expensive. A net increase in procurement and operating costs, a net loss in capability.

    “And by the way, the US military are by far not the the only people to read “The Art of War”” Amen. You think we’d have learned that by now. Ditto for Mao.

  • http://www.usni.org admin

    CDR and FOD:
    “She-who-must-be-obeyed at USNIBlog may overrule me, but for now … I’m guarding my porch.”

    Each Guest blogger here has the permission to delete comments or call into question those who comment. The authority to block an IP rests with the moderator.

    Well, after having the double wammy of moving and spending an inordinate amount of time at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, I have come late into the game on this issue – I apologize.

    We are trying to take a very light hand in the commentary; to inspire the free exchange of ideas – which is our charter, from 1873. Apart from spam, we have deleted less than 3 comments and blocked no one.

    Make no mistake: personal attacks and belittling comments are beneath the type of discussion we hope will happen. That discussion is now being played out in the post http://blog.usni.org/?p=1084 Bringing Politics to Sea…

    Not trying to distract from the thoughtful debate happening here, just trying to address CDR’s comment and remind all of you that yes, I must be obeyed. (kidding)

    Mary – Moderator

  • Compound Fracture

    Ah, see, I like this place. Forced to think. Thank you, URR!

    “Iraq, comparatively, represents what was a MINOR operation in WWII. The current force levels are roughly equivalent to MacArthur’s forces in New Guinea, with significantly fewer ships.”

    And with the troops on the ground our military leaders had originally asked for, we’d probably be gone by now. However, I stand by my original position: we shouldn’t be there in the first place. And I assume you mean “roughly equivalent” in numbers? Because the lethality and speed of the forces in the Iraq war theater has got to be at least 2x magnified over what MacArthur put to field. If I’m reading you correctly, in a round about way you might be missing, you’re telling me one F4U Corsair is equivalent with a Super Hornet in terms of ordnance carried to strike a target.

    “Second, a drastic reduction in the size of the US military is always an option on the table. However, doing so would relegate the US to the role of observer in world affairs, with limited ability to influence or react to events.”

    That is a possibility. Personally, I’m tired of “influencing” events, though it’s probably better to influence them before they influence you. I still don’t see how having 7 or 8 CVBGs is going to suddenly relegate us to “observer” status. I do see your point though.

    “And the THIRD of my two points (*cough*) is that a small military does not preclude foreign involvement, witness the large number of US commitments in and around the Caribbean between 1914 and 1935.”

    True. Only good leadership equipped with good sense and lessons learned can do that. In my opinion, the number one problem plaguing the entire country is lack of good, solid, real, damn-the-consequences-we’re-seeking-truth leadership. That sort of leadership would, if you ask me, be very careful – judicious with a capital “J” – when it comes to using our military.

    Hmmm. I don’t think I’ve made my main point very well. Remember back in my original post where I said our Navy is the only Constitutionally authorized, standing military force? I want that Navy strong and well-trained. I want it to be the very best. I’m not educated enough to know exactly what that means in terms of size. All I know is we can’t, math and money being what they are, maintain our current force. Hard choices must be made. In the end, all I’m advocating for is that the Navy lead and make those hard choices before they are forced to do so. If I could underline that last sentence, I would, for that is my polemic. Maybe the Admirals are making some hard choices and I just haven’t recognized it yet.

    I’m not comfortable with spilling my personal story here – the waste that I see – waste our Navy pays for, without, I’m convinced, really knowing the waste is even taking place. Let me put it this way, there are people in the DON, and I mean a lot of people, that are strictly there to enrich themselves while gaining a higher position. We must all check ourselves and be sure we’re serving with the interests of the nation at heart, but honestly, at least around me, I see so little of that.

    As to your last question, I do not know.

    I ran long on this, but thanks for the interaction.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    CF,

    “And with the troops on the ground our military leaders had originally asked for, we’d probably be gone by now.”

    Yep. War is not a business. Fighting it on the cheap wound up not being cheap at all. Whether or not we should have gone is immaterial in many ways.

    “And I assume you mean “roughly equivalent” in numbers? Because the lethality and speed of the forces in the Iraq war theater has got to be at least 2x magnified over what MacArthur put to field. If I’m reading you correctly, in a round about way you might be missing, you’re telling me one F4U Corsair is equivalent with a Super Hornet in terms of ordnance carried to strike a target.”

    Actually, in terms of raw numbers, yes. I am not intimating that combat power is equivalent. However, I would argue that MacArthur’s forces represent a much larger comparative effort. A task force of 140,000 from a nation of 135 million in the middle of a World War was a hell of an undertaking. And the numbers of F4Us TBDs, artillery pieces, Stuart tanks, and CVLs, CVEs, CAs, CLs, DDs, involved was a much larger outlay of national treasure than present effort. Yet, in the scheme of things, it was a small corner of the secondary theatre of the war for the US.

    The argument as to the size and mix of the Navy is the age-old question. But your secondary question is a good one as well. Even if it is not so small, does it have to cost so damned much?

    That point is VERY WELL TAKEN.

  • Compound Fracture

    “Whether or not we should have gone is immaterial in many ways.”

    Definitely. I mean, we’re there. We broke the place. From my perspective, we broke it – we bought it. It would be immoral, in my opinion, to leave without a functioning, well-equipped government in place. And I believe we’re going to do that. It was a bad idea to go there, and I’m still not exactly sure what the real plan was beyond our strategic interest in oil, but I am proud of Bush for sticking it out – and especially proud of the troops for turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse (seemingly). Leaving with the job unfinished would have been a huge mistake, and hopefully President Obama will back away from a quick exit without some reasonable assurances of Iraqi government success. And from everything I now know, we’re not in any particular hurry to bail. Last I heard they were talking about 16 months. That seems about right, though I’m sure there is still much work to be done.

    Have a good evening, URR.

  • pk

    if kitty hawk is 48 years old then she was built in 1960 and is probably a 1200# plant.

    a lot of the deckplate repair skills for those beasts is gone. an awful lot of it lived in the public shipyards who are mostly gone (remember when we had 7 yards in conus)[and no it dosen't take 10 years to realize savings/losses from a brac decision].

    also those old boats have a habit of rusting right through the hull plates along the seam lines at the structural members and that takes an awful lot of work to fix.

    C

  • http://informationdissemination.blogspot.com/ Yankee Sailor

    CF,

    I think I’m seeing two overall points from your posts: first, that America can and should scale back its role in the world, and second that the Navy need to be much more judicious in distinguishing between needs and desires.

    On the first point, the opportunity costs for dramatically scaling back our position in the world could be very high indeed. Power abhors a vacuum, and unfortunatly the nations that are vying to fill the gaps go by names like Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela. They may not succeed in trying to fill those gaps, but is the risk they might succeed worth the savings to America’s bottom line?

    On your second point, it’s an important one that I believe many advocating a high-end Navy don’t give adequate consideration. It’s true that China and Russia appear to be preparing to build 6-9 carrier groups. However, the people beating that drum haven’t yet convinced me that, even if the Chinese and Russians realize their dreams, American can’t significantly alter the shape of our fleet–and reap significant savings–while still maintaining our leading role.

  • Compound Fracture

    “I think I’m seeing two overall points from your posts: first, that America can and should scale back its role in the world, and second that the Navy need to be much more judicious in distinguishing between needs and desires.”

    I believe I am making those two points. Unless I’m missing it, I’m not seeing where you acknowledge my main point. Let me clarify. Our country is on the verge of financial ruin. Printing more fiat money is only going to band-aid the problem – ultimately making the collapse that much more violent. Assuming I’m right, and a financial collapse is imminent, it seems to me that the Navy will, at some point in the not-to-distant future be forced to make drastic cuts. Here, it would seem to me that Navy leadership would want to lead – and here flows my main point, i.e., Navy leadership should take the lead NOW and set the pace by shedding several CVBGs, their attendant aircraft, personnel, expenditures, etc. The ships can be mothballed, the personnel, those that wish, can be put into reserve, and at least some of the savings can be put toward recapitalizing the fleet, buying more Super Hornets while consolidating the legacy Hornet fleet down to the lowest FLE aircraft, and any number of other ideas. It is my personal belief, with the right leadership, we could actually come away with a stronger, more capable Navy, while cutting our costs by several billion.

    It’s possible Navy leadership is already considering these things, and I want to allow for that possibility.

    I believe what I’m saying about this country. Very bad times are ahead. They may prove to be a blessing in disguise, but heavy seas are on the horizon, folks. Look at the math.

  • RickWilmes

    Compound Fracture,

    I agree with the your main point that our country is on the verge of financial ruin and that the cause of that ruin is fiat money or the printing of paper. I also agree that the Navy and its leadership have the opportunity to take the lead and set the example.

    Unfortuneately, I do not think that the majority of the readers and commenters on the USNI blog understand that Keynesian economics is the problem that needs to be addressed. However, given time and the right arguments I think your main point which you are trying to address will eventually be understood. I just hope it won’t be too late.

  • CF

    Rick,

    While I agree that understanding how this came about is important, that is not the point I’m making.

    Basically, the die is cast. All of us are now just holding onto the train wondering where it is going to stop, and what sort of shape it’s going to be in when it stops.

    What each of us must do with our personal finances – not spend more than we make – the government must do as well. We are coming in for a multi-trillion dollar crack-up landing. It will be addressed one way or the other. The question is: will Navy leadership address it now, or be forced to address it in the future? Our civilian representatives in congress, and now apparently our new president, have decided that throwing money at the problem (created, printed money) is the solution. I think they know better, it’s just that the alternatives are too painful.

  • sid

    Our civilian representatives in congress, and now apparently our new president, have decided that throwing money at the problem (created, printed money) is the solution.

    It might be noted that you don’t see companies supporting defense in that group. In fact some are doing right well for themselves…

    (From WSJ aFeb 3 2009)

    At a time when captains of the auto industry and Wall Street are seeing their compensation wiped out, defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. has raised its chief executive’s target bonus and is doling out special stock awards to a handful of other senior executives.

    After doing so well for us taxpayers…

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/14/AR2005091402375.html

    The Army ordered Lockheed Martin Corp. to stop work on a $6 billion manned spy plane program yesterday after determining that the company’s proposal would not meet the project’s requirements.

  • RickWilmes

    CF,

    CF,
    I agree. It looks like Dick Armey also is thinking along the same lines.

    Washington Could Use Less Keynes and More Hayek .

    “In reality, no one spends someone else’s money better than they spend their own. The charade of the current stimulus package, chockablock with earmarks to favored pet constituencies and virtually devoid of national policy considerations, is the logical consequence of Keynesianism in action. It is about politics and power, not sound economics, and I believe that the American people will reject it.”

    This American has rejected Keynes and his ilk, so should my Navy. Thats my politics :)

  • Byron

    The primary econmic focus of the Navy should be the deadly mathematics of warfare.

  • RickWilmes

    Sid,

    There is nothing wrong with companies earning and keeping the wealth they created. They “should be doing right well for themselves” otherwise they would cease to exist.

  • sid

    There is nothing wrong with companies earning and keeping the wealth they created. They “should be doing right well for themselves” otherwise they would cease to exist.

    I would agree with you Rick…IF they created anything other than a hefty bill that we all got to pay.

  • sid

    There is nothing wrong with companies earning and keeping the wealth they created.

    And how much of that wealth was created/preserved while we get to make up this difference?

  • CF

    Agreed, Byron.

    Talking about private companies and the like sort of takes us away from the drift of this thread: the Navy faces budget cuts. My point, in a nutshell was: I say the Navy embraces the cuts and leads the way by doing radical surgery on itself. If not, the cuts are going to lead the Navy someplace it may not wanna go.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    CF,

    “I say the Navy embraces the cuts and leads the way by doing radical surgery on itself. If not, the cuts are going to lead the Navy someplace it may not wanna go.”

    Indeedy. How radical the surgery seems to depend on what other things they are willing to fix/forego.

    So, what is the surgery?

    A FRAM/SLEP to keep older but still highly useful units in service and delay the re-cap of new ones? (Austin LPDs and Perry frigates)

    A replacement of F/A-18 airframes at high time with new F/A-18s?

    LCS/DDG-1000 scale back?

    Mothballing of 1-2 CVs? (REALLY mothballing, and not leaving to rust!)

    All of the above?

  • sid

    Talking about private companies and the like sort of takes us away from the drift of this thread

    I disagree CF. They are an integral part of the broken acquisition process which has led to unsustainable costs…

  • CF

    If it were me, and I could have my wish list, I’d take at least the four oldest carriers and mothball ‘em or ready reserve ‘em. I’d take the equivalent in support ships from all the CVBGs – meaning the oldest of the support ships – enough to make up the requisite number of CV battle groups mothballed, and mothball or razor blade those support ships.

    Is it possible to put carriers like Nimitz & Enterprise into the ready reserve? Actually make them pier-side ships except for a month or so a year? And attach reserve squadrons and reserve ship’s company personnel?

    Take all legacy Hornets, figure out which have the most fatigue life left and keep only those jets. Let’s say it makes for about 200. Take the rest, part out the very oldest, mothball the remainder – or give the remainder to the reserves. Obviously, you could do the same with all the aircraft types in the inventory.

    Use the savings to buy more Super Hornets. Buy more LCS. SLEP the oldest remaining active carriers. Better, beefier, real-world training. Whatever. Shedding at least 4 carriers and everything that goes with them would supply a huge chunk of change.

    There’s got to be a way to do this. And I wouldn’t keep harping on this if I didn’t think we were going to be forced to do something like this in the very near future.

    Of course, all this assumes we quit being the WPF (World Police Force). That’s step one. And it assumes congress will go along with reduction, and congress will not cut the budget relative to the CVBGs we park. Sure, this is about leading, and we should lead and go back with some savings, but the point of this exercise is also to put some savings back into recap, training, etc. In other words, if this was done, and we went to congress saying, “Look, we led the way. We cut 30 billion out of our budget. Here’s ten billion back. We’re keeping the remaining 20 billion to make our force stronger, better-trained, leaner.”

    I know. I live in a dream world. Hey, at least we can express our views. There may be good reasons why we have ten more CVs than any country in the world. I can’t think of any, but it doesn’t make me right. I’m all for having the biggest stick, but isn’t six or seven of those sticks enough? If we quit with the WPF it could be. Right?

    Okay, I’m whipping the horse, but let me kill it some more – we’re gonna be forced to do this. It’s coming, and it’s coming fast.

  • CF

    You’re right, Sid. I think I got a bit selfish there. What I should have said was nothing, but what I ended up saying was, “We got away from the drift of this thread I was taking it on.”

    Sorry! By all means, carry on.

  • Byron

    World police force? Not going there, not interested. Leaving nuke carriers pierside for 11 months out of 12? No way, Jose, it don’t work that way, and it’ll still have to be manned in engineering and supply, not to mention security on a nuclear powered vessel.

  • RickWilmes

    World police force? I am willing to go there because the future of our country depends on addressing this issue and it directly relates to North Korea which has been brought up in this post earlier. North Korea is a statist nation that either steals its means of survival from its people or relies on handouts from other countries. As the world economy continues to collapse the handouts are going to dry up. For the statists in Korea to remain in power they have two choices continue to steal from its people who don’t have much in the first place or look abroad(i.e. South) Samsung, one of the wealthiest and most sucessful companies hails from South Korea.

    The United States has some hard choices to make and unforetuneately the direction of those choices are going in the wrong direction. Government bailouts and nationalization of banks and mortage companies is statist in nature and we will suffer the consequences of these bad decisions.

    As our involvement in Afghanistan increases along with our increasing statist policies at home, we do not have to look that far back into history to see the results of such policies. In other words, look at the Soviet Union’s involvement in Afghanistan and its subsequent economic collapse.

    Not interested? I suggest some premise checking is in order.

  • Byron

    Nope, just not interested in the whole political argument here. At the ‘manders, sure, at Lex’s, yup. Here? Nope, not going there. My guide lines for discussion in this forum are fairly restricted, and politics in micro are not included. Third person abstract? Maybe. I’m simply applying the same rules I use at my forum…and since that’s lasted since the late 80s back when it was a Prodigy BBS, my rules work.

    You, on the other hand, may follow your own guide lines, matters not to me.

  • CF

    I think I see where you’re coming from, Byron. There’s a chance something like this could spiral out of control. And you’re correct. Not with me, but I’m not the only one here. To me, it was just part of the case I was making. I understand there are people that think we should be the WPF. I respect that opinion – or fact – actually.

    I think what I’m trying to say, and didn’t say very well with regard to WPF: we can’t do it anymore. We’re broke, and swiftly falling into an abyss – a black hole of unknowns. Whether it is right or wrong to be the WPF isn’t what I was angling for. I apologize for not explaining myself clearly.

    Perhaps the USNI could at least consider a more traditional message board format where compartmentalizing could take place. That way, a section could be called “Politics Only.” Just a suggestion. This is fine. I’m not a political type myself. I fall between the cracks. I will discuss it, but the subject is nothing I get wild-eyed over. It’s just not worth it.

  • CF

    Sid, getting back to what you’ve brought up, I’m not sure what I can say. I’m a paranoid individual when it comes to this stuff, and I certainly wouldn’t want to divulge anything that shouldn’t be divulged, or that would cast embarrassment toward our Navy. This isn’t the place for that – I would think. I see things in my day-to-day work. Weird things. Pieces of aircraft, identical, one fits port, one fits starboard – they look identical on the outside. Both perform the same function, yet one side costs fifty thousand, and the other costs fifteen. Strange. I see these things all of the time. Pieces of rubber that cost four thousand, etc.

  • sid

    I certainly wouldn’t want to divulge anything that shouldn’t be divulged, or that would cast embarrassment toward our Navy.

    The ultimate embarrassment for this Navy would be if its called upon to fight one day…And it can’t.

    I am just bringing up some glaring manifestations of a very, very broken acquisitions process that is forcing that scenario ever closer to being a real possibility.

  • CF

    So you see it not just as something that is bleeding the Navy financially, but as something that could reduce material readiness, operational capability, etc.

    I can see that, although I’ll admit until you mentioned it above, I have always mostly considered the cost aspect. In other words, it might take us a day or two or three to get a part from the system, but we do get it. Although, I will say, I do remember aircraft parked on the ramp for weeks at a time for lack of one specific, fairly common part. That particular memory is from back in the mid 1990s.

  • sid

    Although, I will say, I do remember aircraft parked on the ramp for weeks at a time for lack of one specific, fairly common part.

    It is getting to the point there aren’t enough aircraft on the ramp to make up for those that are down…or lost.

    Have you seen any EP-3E replacements flying lately…?

  • b2

    This 10% bogey came up at a Flag Panel I was at just the other day. The question followed: what to cut first Sir? The first thing out of the 3-star VADM’s mouth was F-22…I wonder what comes out of a USAF 3 stars mouth? I can offer them some advice…

    CF-

    You gave a rational (I’m not going to flay you), if not, wide view of cuts for the Navy including 6-7 big decks carriers. You said “mothball five”?

    Why 5, why not all of ‘em CF? I mean, hey, if’n you’re on the anti-carrier kick you’re not alone- a lot of ground pounders, AF global reach advocates and Navy shoes who don’t understand airpower always make that assertion and have since I was an Ensign back in the ’70′s..BTW, you really got me when you said to buy more Hornets…At that I just did a doubletake anmd choked on my joe…Y.G.B.S.M. do you work for Boeing?

    The bottomline on this “10% floated trial balloon” is that, believe it or not, investing in defense stimulates our economy directly and provides for a common defense as a by-product. Pork aside, elected officials on both side of the aisle agree..It’s up to us who care about on the delivery end, that what they fund is what we really need. Really need. To that end the services acquisition plans have been atrocious and nearly negligent.

    CF, just what do we fund with that ‘dividend’ you propose in this spiraling economy of low confidence; buy STD prevention, condoms or global warming info packets? The protection of a condom is nice to have but when it comes to real defense of this nation I’d rather have a Nimitz class carrier do my speaking 6-7000 nm away.

    Obviously, you work in supply somwhere or purchasing. In your workspace within the defense or the defense industry there is a 1-800-number for reporting F,W, & A. Ask your HR official where it is. If you think the USN is paying too much for a part AND YOU”VE DONE YOUR HOMEWORK, please call and report it. I encourage it.

    b2

  • CF

    Thanks for the reply, b2.

    “You gave a rational (I’m not going to flay you), if not, wide view of cuts for the Navy including 6-7 big decks carriers. You said “mothball five”?”

    I did say that. I should clarify. I’m not so caught up in exact numbers as I am in “cut at least a few.” Does that help?

    “Why 5, why not all of ‘em CF? I mean, hey, if’n you’re on the anti-carrier kick you’re not alone- a lot of ground pounders, AF global reach advocates and Navy shoes who don’t understand airpower always make that assertion and have since I was an Ensign back in the ’70’s..BTW, you really got me when you said to buy more Hornets…At that I just did a doubletake anmd choked on my joe…Y.G.B.S.M. do you work for Boeing?”

    Ha-ha! No, I do not work for Boeing. What I’d really like to see is about 7 carriers. Three east coast, three west coast, and one in the gulf, and if I was given my wishes, they’d never go out past about 250 miles – unless our security was threatened and it was necessary to take an offensive posture. Let me guess, you used to drive Tomcats? Intruders? Corsairs? Man, I miss Corsairs. That bird put a lot of meat and potatoes on my table. What a great jet. The Hornet is a good jet. It has its problems, and it is not perfect at anything, but it is a good at many things, and it is a good jet.

    “The bottomline on this “10% floated trial balloon” is that, believe it or not, investing in defense stimulates our economy directly and provides for a common defense as a by-product. Pork aside, elected officials on both side of the aisle agree..It’s up to us who care about on the delivery end, that what they fund is what we really need. Really need. To that end the services acquisition plans have been atrocious and nearly negligent.”

    Actually, buying bombs consumes money without any real, lasting benefit – speaking economics here. In other words, we spend X dollars building a MK-84. That MK-84 ends up in Iraq. It explodes. Those dollars are lost forever – not to say the expenditure didn’t result in a tangible benefit – but it’s not the same as building a road – which creates commerce – which creates jobs – which must be maintained – the jobs add to the tax base – etc. There is a difference.

    Acquisition plans are atrocious? No doubt. Is it possible to fix that?

    “CF, just what do we fund with that ‘dividend’ you propose in this spiraling economy of low confidence; buy STD prevention, condoms or global warming info packets? The protection of a condom is nice to have but when it comes to real defense of this nation I’d rather have a Nimitz class carrier do my speaking 6-7000 nm away.”

    This is easy. That dividend goes to funding the incredibly massive unfunded obligations our government has got us into, and paying down the multi-TRILLION dollar debt. If you’re a civil servant or military retiree, this means “your paycheck, your retirement, your healthcare, etc.” As for the things you imagined to be my wish list for the dividend, I do not support them. Also, if we mind our own business, why do we need to project power “6-7 thousand miles away”? And, if we are minding our own business, and we are called upon to strike targets at that distance, we can be sure we’re doing it for the right reasons. If I am anything, I am about seeking truth. I admit that I am often wrong. That my ideas are unworkable, that I dream dreams of the foolish, but I am here. I am trying.

    “Obviously, you work in supply somwhere or purchasing. In your workspace within the defense or the defense industry there is a 1-800-number for reporting F,W, & A. Ask your HR official where it is. If you think the USN is paying too much for a part AND YOU”VE DONE YOUR HOMEWORK, please call and report it. I encourage it.”

    No, I do not work in supply. I’m not comfortable divulging what I do. Maybe someday I will be, but that’s my decision. I appreciate your encouragement to report fraud, waste and abuse, and I will take it to heart. That said, there are things that I have accomplished for our Navy, and I am proud of those things. I can do better. I care very deeply about NAVAIR. It has been my life since day one. I was born on a naval ordnance test station. We’ll leave it at that.

    Again, thank you for the mental jousting. Well done.

  • Byron

    CF, if you want that many carriers at sea, then the rest of them have to either in a Drydocking Selected Repair Avialability, getting a new core, or doing workups with the air wing so they can deploy. Ships are like cars: you run the hell out of them, but eventually you have to put them in the shop. Include with this is that relationship between the Air Wing and the ship. You can train from the beach on a nice long landing strip, but NOTHING beats getting on the boat to get the kinks out. As a matter of fact, once an aviator has spent X days without making an arrested landing, he has to get re-qualified. I’m sure Lex or Steel Jaw Scribe can give you better figures.

    And this “mothball” or standby? All our carriers are nuclear powered. You can just flip the switch, lock the doors, and post one sentry on the pier. Lot’s of good rules about why you can’t do that. The ship HAS to have Sounding And Security to make sure that tanks and engineering spaces aren’t filling up with water; You’d be surprised how fast that can happen. Many, many things need to be checked on a daily basis. And last, but certainly not least, a supercarrier is much more than just a ship. It is an organism of men and machines, all of whom know their ship intimately. There is no better training than just doing it. If you mothball a CVN, it would take SIX months to meld a crew to a ship and the air wing to the ship…and that would be rushing it. Do you think a potential enemy would give us that six months? Are you willing to risk the safety of this nation on that assumption? Are you willing to risk the lives of young men and women who might die because they aren’t trained as well as they can be? Or a supply system to be able to surge to a sudden and huge demand?

    Penny wise, my friend, and pound foolish.

  • CF

    All great points, Byron. Point for which I do not have an answer. I’m not smart enough. But somebody is. And they better find the answers. I stand by my original assertion (and you must know by now: my hobby horse): money, and the decisions driven by money regarding our Navy’s direction, our nation’s direction, are very rapidly becoming the engine and the cars on a runaway train – a train that we are but mere passengers upon.

  • RickWilmes

    CF,

    I am not sure if your train analogy is mere coincidence but there is a book out there in the world that addresses the issue of what happens to the world when “Money” and the “producers” that create that money dry up or stop producing.

    Strange weird things start to happen, like parts for engines are no longer available so trains sit idle or get stuck in their tracks and the only response the passengers have is,

    “Who is John Galt?”

  • CF

    And I have read that book, Rick. What happened when “Atlas Shrugged”?

  • RickWilmes

    Exactly, what we are witnessing today. See the following.

    ‘Atlas Shrugged’: From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years .

    “For the uninitiated, the moral of the story is simply this: Politicians invariably respond to crises — that in most cases they themselves created — by spawning new government programs, laws and regulations. These, in turn, generate more havoc and poverty, which inspires the politicians to create more programs . . . and the downward spiral repeats itself until the productive sectors of the economy collapse under the collective weight of taxes and other burdens imposed in the name of fairness, equality and do-goodism.

    In the book, these relentless wealth redistributionists and their programs are disparaged as “the looters and their laws.” Every new act of government futility and stupidity carries with it a benevolent-sounding title. These include the “Anti-Greed Act” to redistribute income (sounds like Charlie Rangel’s promises soak-the-rich tax bill) and the “Equalization of Opportunity Act” to prevent people from starting more than one business (to give other people a chance). My personal favorite, the “Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Act,” aims to restrict cut-throat competition between firms and thus slow the wave of business bankruptcies. Why didn’t Hank Paulson think of that?

    These acts and edicts sound farcical, yes, but no more so than the actual events in Washington, circa 2008. We already have been served up the $700 billion “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act” and the “Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act.” Now that Barack Obama is in town, he will soon sign into law with great urgency the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.” This latest Hail Mary pass will increase the federal budget (which has already expanded by $1.5 trillion in eight years under George Bush) by an additional $1 trillion — in roughly his first 100 days in office.”

  • http://bit.ly/_profile Emilio

    The more things change, the more they remain… insane.

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