If you are looking for an underlying theme for national defense in the USA for the next couple of decades, it will be one of fewer ships, minimal shipbuilding. It doesn’t matter if that is what you want or think is needed – it will be a byproduct of the response to the larger budgetary train-wreck that can no longer be avoided. This is national – and the defense budget will be part of the fix.

There will be less money, so we have to focus on maximizing the flexibility and utility of what money we do have. The luxury of spin & pray we used in the fat years is gone. The missed opportunities of the Lost Decade are just that – lost.

This fiscal constraint will combine with something percolating on the political front regardless of what party is in power; after a decade of war the American people are not in the mood for nation building or additional elective overseas military operations without a defined, short-term duration.

Adding to this is a growing understanding that we are well past point where the post-WWII, post-Cold War, post-post-Cold War need/want/desire to garrison large numbers of forces ashore in foreign lands makes any sense. Inertia no longer overrides the reality that these nations are more than capable of defending themselves without ten to hundreds of thousands of Americans garrisoned like mercenaries to do their fighting for them. We don’t need to be isolationist, just a friend they can call on; a friend who lives in his own house.

If they need our help once they are fully engaged, then we can help them. Germany, Japan, and Korea are not weak nations. We are not an empire, nor a nation that needs to send its young abroad as mercenaries for hire by rich and lazy nations too busy to properly defend themselves.

As an maritime nation whose land borders relatively small and friendly nations – one would think that an emerging Strategic reset would favor a homeland based, flexible, expeditionary mindset – one with a bias towards using air and sea power to project national will and assist our friends as needed. The emerging economic and global security reality is tailor made for the Navy Marine Corps team along with parts of the Air Force skill set.

For some reason though – it doesn’t look that people in the “right” circles are buying what we’re selling. The recently released released report by the Simpson-Bowles Commission on Fiscal Responsibility is a data point telling us that our core power-projection force structure and the tools that make it possible are seen as easy-picking for the budget battles to come.

It is easy to dismiss as yesterday’s news the recommendations of the commission – but don’t. Generally considered DOA by the press – its ideas are far from dead. Busy people take other people’s ideas.

If you want to get an understanding of what suited establishment Washington DC thinks we should look in the defense budget for savings to close the budget gap – it would be helpful to start with the commission.

Like all human endeavors, politics and budgetary maneuvers will default to the path that requires the least amount of work. If you can steal someone’s idea that is good enough, then you can move your billable hours on to other things. Knowing the intellectual borrowing that goes on, one needs to take a serious look at and be prepared to respond to each part of the commission’s recommendations in case they gain a second life under a different name.

As outlined earlier, I don’t see very many other options than moving away from the static, Cold War, quasi-imperial mindset of garrisoning forces globally, and towards a more flexible, homeland-based expeditionary mindset better suited for a mercantile representative republic. We need mobile, quick, and flexible forces that give you the ability to create desired effects globally where needed. Along with certain parts of the Army’s light forces, and Air Force logistical and long-range air; that skill-set is a crown jewel of the Navy-Marine Corps team.

Strangely, with the list of recommended cuts, not only does the commission go after the archaic overseas garrisoning of ground forces which is part of our problem – they go after the heart of our future expeditionary capabilities embodied with the Marine Corps – which weakens the solution and leaves us with the question; how do we get where with what?

Review paras 44-48. They recommend:

  • End procurement of the V-22.
  • Cancel the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.
  • Substitute F-16 & F/A-18Es for half of the F-35 buys.
  • Cancel the USMC version of the F-35.
  • Cancel the Future Maritime Prepositioning Force and abandon sea-basing.

Ponder that for a moment. Just as an example, because the Navy is building an amphibious fleet to Tiffany standards such that it does not want to close within 25nm, we would also find ourselves without the possibility of getting to the shore … therefore …. Tiffany must get close. Close with a fragile logistics tail and sketchy top-cover.

That is the first Operational impact that comes to mind. Really; do I even need to mention Dieppe or San Carlos Water, do I?

Paint; corner – some assembly required.

That isn’t the story. The story the fact that the Navy Marine-Corp team has failed to make the sale to decision makers.

Why? There are a few possible reasons to consider: one messaging and the other programmatic.

From a messaging stand point, the results are clear: we have failed to consistently, clearly, and credibly describe what the Navy-Marine Corps team brings to the table. If we had, there would not have been a feeling that you could get rid of all the equipment that makes power projection possible.

Why have we failed in the messaging dept?

  • The Maritime Strategy is unclear, ineffective, and seen as irrelevant to tomorrow’s challenges. When looking forward, our maritime strategy documents should be Ref. A. They are not. That is probably part of the problem, for reasons I covered over at my home blog over three years ago.
  • Selling the Navy-Marine Corp team’s capabilities has not been a priority. Well, we know it isn’t the # 1 priority, and when you review the Navy’s latest speeches and press releases, you don’t see that story being told. If you don’t tell everyone your story, no one will. The Marines have done a good job, but they need the Navy to work with them – though they may say differently, they cannot do this alone.

If the problem isn’t messaging, then is the problem programmatic?

  • When it comes to the programs we have invested our intellectual and political capital in over the last decade – where are the major successful programs that we can use to increase our credibility? DDG-1000? LCS? ACS? LPD-17? You can argue that the LEWIS & CLARK T-AKE, VIRGINIA SSN, P-8, and Riverine have been a success, but besides the VIRGINIA none of those are above the fold programs.
  • How many times have we heard senior leadership go in front of Congress to say “313?” How many here actually believed that was achievable? How many here thought that those in uniform saying “313” to Congress didn’t believe it was achievable either? What does that do to credibility inside and outside? When you lose credibility, eventually no one takes anything you say seriously.

If everything is critical; nothing is critical. If you say “313″ when you know it isn’t achievable – then why should you be believed when you say something else is a must? If none of the things you said about DDG-1000, LCS, LPD-17 or other programs worked out well – then why should someone invest effort in believing what you say about the F-35B?

Read carefully the cuts recommended. Long after this commission is forgotten, their ideas will be re-cycled a few times.

Don’t expect them to go away. Our nation is under an exceptional fiscal crisis of our own creation, and will be for the next couple decades. Europe is about 5-10 years ahead of us in this regard. Look what has happened to their military budget over the last few years. It will happen here.

We are about to see even more change in senior leadership for the Navy-Marine Corps team. The primary challenge for that leadership isn’t so much to manage decline – but to repair our ability to communicate to decision makers and the taxpayer so they know what they are buying for their national security buck.

They will need to speak clearly, with credibility, and with a message that is consistent in the YouTube age where anyone can get what you said 6-months ago and repeat it with what you said yesterday. Promote creative friction. Re-build a strategic concept that makes sense and is heavy on reality and light on the “crank military metaphysics that has infected our literature over the past dozen years.”

They will need to make hard choices – get rid of billets that are not essential. Slash Staff redundancy. Lead personnel cuts from the front through larger than average cuts in Flag Officer and SES billets. Make Shore scream in pain before you demand more from Sailors at Sea. Demand from program managers performance we demand from COs. Focus on the affordable evolutionary vice the sexy revolutionary. Revisit the Cruiser development between WWI & WWII, the guided missile program of the ’50s and ’60s, and Aegis for benchmarks. Take out all the dirty laundry from DDG-1000, LCS, and LPD-17 so we can see it and smell it – and by example – not repeat those mistakes. That will help programmatics. Oh, sure it cost him a star – but review VADM Connelly’s record as well.

Ponder and prepare. Something must go. Find a counter argument, or lose. The game is afoot.




Posted by CDRSalamander in Marine Corps, Maritime Security, Navy
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  • Sam Kotlin

    Two points:

    1. In sizing and arguing for Navy, let’s have some sorting out of wants and needs. We seagoing types want more Navy, or at least less of less-Navy. But the nation’s need of Navy is certainly much smaller, much more easily satisfied with a fleet-in-being or even an industrial-base-in-being. Roll out all the scary Chinese and Somalis you like, we have less need for Navy than at any time in our recent history. That’s not an articulation problem, not a leadership problem: that’s objective fact.

    2. From Nick Kristof in the Saturday NYT:

    “• The United States spends nearly as much on military power as every other country in the world combined, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. It says that we spend more than six times as much as the country with the next highest budget, China.

    • The United States maintains troops at more than 560 bases and other sites abroad, many of them a legacy of a world war that ended 65 years ago. Do we fear that if we pull our bases from Germany, Russia might invade?

    • The intelligence community is so vast that more people have “top secret” clearance than live in Washington, D.C.

    • The U.S. will spend more on the war in Afghanistan this year, adjusting for inflation, than we spent on the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War combined.”

    Beyond what size Navy we need is the the question of how much defense is enough. Any intelligent answer to that will bring additional down-sizing pressure on Navy. I find no disagreement with Sal’s hard choices (I’d look at the Polaris/Poseidon/Trident Program for even better example of how to buy and maintain a weapon system) but it may all be chamfering on the edges in a time of radical restructuring. The Army is broken, the AVF has failed miserably in the two wars in which we’ve asked it to perform, perhaps even our fundamental defense structure should be overhauled. Let’s argue for Navy. But standby.

  • Matt Yankee

    To the point of defending defense expenditures to the general public, it would be wise in my opinion to stay away from getting into the fine details about specific capabilities required…people just glaze over. Remember you are fighting for a specific amount of one pie…consider focusing on the other slices which is the majority of the pie in any case.

    What if…social security was slashed 25% and retirement age was pushed to 70. Medicare is the other leach. Why can’t medical costs be handled like veterninary services…my dog had a metal plate, rod, and four screws which set his femur back into place…for $1,200 including the pain killer. I paid direct, and the vet would of taken payments. What would a similar procedure on a person cost?…at least 10,000…what exactly is the difference? When the govt or the insurance pays…people DO NOT CARE ABOUT PRICE…we should pay doctors direct.

    Focus on what people shoul care about…social spending that is competely counter productive and not required should be slashed well before disarming ourselves in the face of rising threats… getting involved in conflicts before they become full blown wars is actually cheaper over the long run.

  • Derrick

    I’m not sure how the White House or Congress would react to suggestions of giving up overseas bases. There may be a reduction in the number of forces based overseas, but never a total pull out.

    Wasn’t the majority of the defense budget increases since 2000 largely in part to financing the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan? I thought those costs totalled $300 billion? Ending military operations there should make the majority of savings.

  • Bucherm

    @Matt Yankee

    Being the resident socialist I take umbrage to the whole comparison of medical expenses to, well, dogs. 60% of all bankruptcies in this country are associated with medical expenses, and three quarters of those with medical-related bankruptcies had health insurance. Call me crazy, but this suggests to me that medical prices do not magically shrink when the patient is the one paying for the treatment.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/06/05/bankruptcy.medical.bills/index.html

    Having said all that, we are rapidly approaching the point where our financial actions will no longer be sustainable, largest economy on the planet and most powerful military be damned. Two things are needed to arrest this disaster in the making: Cutting spending AND raising taxes. Unfortunately this past month showed just how serious both the Obama administration and “fiscal conservative” Republicans are about that.

    Since if we’re going to be HONEST about shrinking the deficit this means that all parts of the federal budget have to be honestly assessed. It’s clear that the Simspon-Bowles Commission is trying to be “fair” in the cuts by hitting everything to one varying degree or another. Unfortunately strategic realities are not “fair”. Payroll remains, and will remain, the lions share of defense spending and reducing it to pre 9/11 levels will not make enough of a dent. Rather than manning up and acknowledging that we do not really need as large a “Green” services that we do have, the Commission has targeted easy-to-kill weapons programs. I believe that CdrSalamnber had someone from the Heritage Foundation commenting on how much easier it is to kill weapons systems than it is to slice personnel costs.

    In other words, in order to continue the fiction that we need to have a largeish ground force so we can continue to fight foreign adventures and nation-building, we’re going to CANX the assets that really guarantee our national security against peer competitors. I don’t *particular* expect to be having a military confrontation with China anytime soon, but if we do the fighting will be done by the Blue Forces, not the super-awesome COIN force we’ve built the past decade. Mind, a lot of the Blue-service technologies that have been spun out of the wars in A’stan and Iraq will be largely useless as(again, this is a bit of a leap so stay with me) existing UCAVs and UAVs will be relatively easy to neutralize by China.

    But that’s okay, according to the Bush Administration(the Joke being that in 2000 Bush ran against Clintonian nation building) the only wars we will fight will be COIN ones, and the Obama Administration took that policy and ran with it.

  • Bucherm

    @Derrick

    It’ll free up some cash, but not a lot. 9/11 arrested the trend of reducing the green forces and thanks to those wars we’re in a situation where we do not have the Blue forces that we otherwise would have, since the USAF and USN were raided(right down to steel slated for warships being diverted to MRAPs) for funds to fight those wars.

    In other words now that Congressional Critters and the Executive are stuck in the whole “rar GWOT COIN” it’ll be hard to force an honest look at our national security requirements and chop the size of the Green Forces. Since we’ve seen a lot of additional pay and bennies thrown towards the military since 9/11(Big cavaet, I use the VA and GI Bill) payroll will continue to take an ever larger chunk out of the budget regardless of the green forces being reduced in size to pre-9/11. Not that I expect that to actually happen.

    I doubt payroll and bennies will be frozen. I have an army buddy who was positively frothing with rage that there was a prospect of a pay freeze in the commission’s recommendation. Almost no Republicans and very few Democrats will touch that, so that means further reductions in hull and airframe numbers for the Navy and USAF.

  • Retired Now

    Build fewer ships ??

    I don’t suppose we could (again) point out that “tired” old argument that ships built inside USA help our economy by buying lots of USA steel, aluminum, cables, engines, radios, etc ??

    Besides, all the labor money paid to USA shipyard workers is spent and re-spent inside USA ??

    So, that if a shipyard employs 2,500 workers, then it helps create maybe 7,000 more jobs directly/indirectly ??

    I guess this “same dry old argument” is way too basic, and makes way too much common sense ??

    Oh, heck, let’s just lay off the shipyard employees and give them 99 week’s worth of unemployment payments which the President will just borrow from China.

    Disregard this post. It makes no sense whatsoever to Democrats.

  • Lowly USN Retired

    Until sweepers are held on the corrupt, inept politicians and incompetent, clueless flag officers and general officers who put our country and our Navy in this mess it will be business as usual. A complete and thorough field day, not just a clamp down, must be accomplished ASAP in order to right the ship and get her back on course.

    Righting the ship starts with getting back to the basics of our constitutional republic, enforcement of the Constitution of the United States of America and holding those responsible for the mess we are in accountable for placing our country in harms way through the theft and bankruptcy of our coffers in the name of pork for their constituents, unsatisfactory shipbuilding efforts and the monetary kickbacks received by those responsible, unsatisfactory ship’s program management, inefficient, substandard and costly ship repair at the hands of foreigners in foreign ports (AD’s and AS’s would eliminate this problem), civilians with zero USN experience and EDO’s who serve one or two shipboard DIVO tours who become the Navy experts in ship design, construction and repair.

    How much more indebted to the PRC shall we become? When will we stop playing into their hands? The U.S becomes weaker in sea power, the PRC, through the blood, sweat and tears of the American people, become stronger and will soon be a formidable blue water threat. Our politicians and military leaders must be made aware of this fact and appropriate action taken. But, who am I?

  • YN2(SW) H. Lucien Gauthier III

    This shouldn’t be hard…

    - The way the World interacts is via sea. You can communicate and fly places. But, the things–what everyone NEEDS–moves by Sea, ports are the ‘industrial servers’ of the world.

    - China’s front door is their coast, how they view the world starts at the sea. (their backdoor is barricaded and padlocked)

    - The way the Army/USAF is deploying today, and for the last 10 years is an anomaly. Which if we do as we say we’re going to, will change back to historical norms in a year or so. In contrast, the Navy deploys regularly around the world. Before the Army, the Navy/USMC is the stick of American policy, regardless of it being peace or war time.

    However, words are cheap. The track record we have for the last decade isn’t something that spin, promise, or historical precedent can easily overcome. We’re our own worst enemy.

  • Mike M.

    Sal, the Navy hasn’t failed in the messaging department, it hasn’t even tried.

    I’ve worked for the Navy for thirty years. When I started, the Navy had leaders who regularly got out and sold seapower. Today? Navy leadership is terrified of its own shadow. Message sending turned into message control, and message control has mutated into message denial. Say nothing, and you can’t say anything that can be used against you.

    It’s the typical peacetime end state.

    Worse, we’ve got Goldwater-Nichols acting as a gag order on Navy leadership. Most of the discussions are taking place inside the Pentagon. The politicized pap that comes out is all the public or Congress hears – and senior leadership is required to toe the line in the interest of discipline.

    But cheer up. This isn’t like the roles and missions debate of the early ’90s. Then, it was the Army and Air Force fighting against rebalancing and reorienting – and they could trot out Iraq as a justification for keeping the old land-centric force structure. Now, it’s the Navy and Air Force against the Army. Iraq is off the table, counterinsurgency has been discredited as prohibitively expensive, and the major potential enemies have long coastlines.

    In early 2001, SECDEF Rumsfeld was thinking about cutting the Army to 24 brigades (from 30) precisely to free up funds for replacing Reagan-era antiques. I thought it was a good plan then – and a better plan today.

  • Matt Yankee

    Medical costs as a percentage of GDP has increased from 5.2% in 1960 to 16% as of 2007 (wikipedia) which means our defense spending in about 1/4 of the costs of medical care annually. Therefore it should be the medical industry that should dramaticaly cut costs NOT defense spending. So if we cut medical costs 25% we could double the defense spending with the difference. The fact is we could afford Iraq and Afghanistan from now to eternity if we got the rest of our budget back to reality.

    This from payscale.com. The average salary of US medical doctors as of Dec. 2010:
    Family Physician / Doctor $136,927
    Pediatrician, General $122,159
    Physician / Doctor, Internal Medicine $149,303
    General Dentist $123,888
    Psychiatrist $152,882
    General Surgeon $229,362
    Anesthesiologist $250,239

    And average salary of US veterinary doctors:
    Salary $57,019 – $81,409
    Bonus $955 – $6,699
    Profit Sharing $1,009 – $9,863
    Commission $4,952 – $25,140

    A well respected Veterinarian I knew growing up told me multiple times how he regreted not becoming a medical doctor instead because he did about the same things but got paid a fraction. I know there are ovbious differences but stitches are stitches and flesh and bone is flesh and bone to a large extent. You could pay Anesthesiologist $150,000 a yr. and there will still be stong supply of qualified people…and we could get rid of (pipe dream) Psychiatrists or pay them about $75,000 at the most to sit on a couch all day…mega-pharmaceutical companies could handle a 10-25% shave also. When insurance or govt. blindly pays these bills they tend to explode…Wall St. Jounal front page article dated 12/20/10 “Top Spine Surgeons Reap Royalties, Medicare Bounty”…explains how a $100 screw used for spinal fusion is sold for $1000-$2000 (4 are required in spinal fusion). This one procedure cost medicare $343 mil. in 1997 and increased to $2.24 Billion by 2008.

    Most people jump immediately to defense spending before even trying to understand the whole picture. The very last thing you should give up is everyone’s security. First confront the source of the out of control spending…

  • Matt Yankee

    @Bucherm the self proclaimed Socialist

    I find it ironic a socialist would have a problem comparing people to dogs…that is exactly what they do by attempting to force people (like dogs) to pay astronomical taxes so that idiots can figure out how to spend all of x2 on such things like Welfare and long-term unemployment which just teaches people to sit on their butts (like a doggy) and wait for the govt. bone. Socialists desire people to rely on Govt. just like a dog relies on his owner. Obama (the owner) is expected to give his dogs free money from “his stash”…they know about as much about where money comes from as a dog.

    Here’s a Earth shattering idea…if you can’t afford something then DO NOT BUY it. We have this idea that no matter what the cost is we buy it “because the money comes from the stash”…really is it any surprise we are out of money?

    We have just tried socialist level Govt. spending and where is the unemployment rate…back up to 9.8%…maybe this is why Obama just changed his mind and gave everyone 700 billion of tax cuts…

  • RedneckJamesinTN

    Yankee, and others,

    First off one of the big reasons Doctors charge so much is the insurance cost. There insane. Texas redid alot of their Insurance and medical laws to make the frivalous lawsuits harder and it brought medical care in the state Way down.

    We in Tennessee had basicly universal healthcare. People moved here from everywhere to get on it. Know what happened? It damn near bankrupted us. So we no longer have it. Universal healthcare is simply not the answer.
    ———————————
    COIN hasnt failed. The half a$$ed way we have done COIN in afghanistan hasnt worked. In some ways that is because of who we have depended on to help us their in the Pakistanies and some of our allies who have made sure to do as little as possible. COIN however does work when the politicans get out of the way and let it.

    We need a large powerful navy. But we also need a airforce that is capable of airsupremacy, longrange bombing, transport and a dozen other things (im more for taking from the airforce in many ways. They really dont need the A-10 or AC-130′s for CAS i believe the army, marines and Navy would do much better in the role. So the airforce can focus on strategic airlift airsuperiority etc.)
    We need a large Army for the million roles that it fills.
    We dont need hundreds of Bases world wide. Get out of europe entirely.
    By cousins girlfriends brother just got in the navy…why is he in italy?

    Make wiser choices in Ship building and design. In manning and all the other places its seemed to gone off the edge.

  • Bucherm

    @Matt Yankee

    So, be honest, you’ve never actually lived in a real socialist country have you? You’re basing your definition of Socialist on a center-right corporatist in the White House because he happens to be a little bit to the left of George W. Bush or John McCain(but ultimately, not a whole heck of a lot).

    As I mentioned in the other post The vast majority of personal bankruptcies in this country come from medical expenses, and the majority of medical-related bankruptcies have people who are ALREADY COVERED. In other words people are paying huge amount of personal cash to cover medical expenses. But I guess it must be really easy for you to go “well, they wouldn’t go bankrupt if they wouldn’t insist on unneeded treatments like Chemo and angioplasties”. Gives a pretty good window into your morality that you’re willing to kick folks to the curb. Better they should do something about the surplus population.

    Now, you mentioned “astronomical taxes”. Nonsense. Taxes in this country hasn’t approached what’s done in Europe since the Carter Administration. Before that well-known Communists like Richard Nixon and Eisenhower were levying 70% and 90% income taxes on the top bracket, respectively. As we all know the Eisenhower era was a nightmare hell ride with the economy in shambles.

    Oh wait I’m thinking of the opposite of that.

    (For added fun that tax is what allowed Defense spending on the GDP to hover around 10%. This blog post wouldn’t even be happening if we had that kind of tax revenue coming in)

    So, now we’ve established that deep down in your bones you do not really want to do anything about the budget. You’d rather kick ole granny and Tiny Tim out on the street(or die slow painful deaths because they can’t afford chemo and no bank in its right mind is going to loan out that sort of money to someone with a terminal illness)then raise taxes on the absolutely wealthiest who were bailed out by the American taxpayer again and again.

    Now this is going to blow your mind: In order to ensure our longterm fiscal security we *have* to raise taxes. Sorry, you can wiggle that anyway you like it but we have to. This gi-normous deficit and debt didn’t originate with the Obama Administration(although the Administration has done its best to push it along), it originated with a “small government” Republican who handed out tax cuts while fighting two wars. That you can whine about government spending and go “yeah, it’s a good thing Obama just blew a $700bil hole in the budget!” is, well, breathtaking.

  • Derrick

    As for pulling out of Europe, I don’t think it’s an option. Europe is too important of an economic partner for the US to ignore. A reduced presence in Europe is feasible, but a compete pullout may not be.

    And I think I have been continually pushing for higher taxes…mostly on professions not essential for economic growth or national security (ie actors, musicians, athletes, professional entertainers/performers, etc…), and of course my most hated suggestion, the 7% federal goods and services tax. But hey, the 7% GST up here in Canada did help us run surpluses for several years.

    Off topic, but the US is actually quite socialist as it is. If you want a truly free market economy, check out the “People’s Republic of” China. There they have no social benefits whatsoever: no social security, no medicaid, no mediare, no welfare, no unemployment insurance, no disability benefits, nothing. You don’t work, you don’t get paid, and you spend your time on filthy streets begging for small change from tourists.

  • Matt Yankee

    @Bucharm

    What is breathtaking is an American can live in this country and see the bounty of capitalism all around his face and on the TV and plastered all over the freakin country all the while fully knowing this is still the only superpower BUT yet thinks giving the govt. 70-90% of your own hard earned money is a smart idea. Can you give me one single example of a successful, REAL socialist Utopia?

    I have a great idea…why don’t you write the Treasury a check every month for 70-90% of YOUR paycheck and see how long it takes you to go bankrupt…I am sure the Govt will be more than happy to have your contribution. No…you will run out of money and wouldn’t be able to afford essentials…OHHH….how in your loony left mind do you really think that would work for anyone else? And do not tell me Billy Gates or some other billionaire could afford it just fine…if they want to give idiots that much money than by all means they can write the freakin check but stop trying to steal money out of honest, hard working pockets.

    Debt happens as a result of SPENDING money! Stealing more money from people because your spending too much of it already is a crime for everyone else but the federal govt.

    Small businesses employ the bulk of the population and pay the bulk of the taxes. Small business owners generally were very worried about the future of our country and have held on to their money instead of investing it. For some reason the people with money thought a “community organizer” wouldn’t know bleep about fixing the economy and thought he was a socialist in disguise…now that he has been castrated by the tea party and the new congress he has swithched sides like a typical politician. WOW.

    As far as throwing Tiny Tim out on the curb…there are tens of thousands of illegals who walk into emmergency rooms and get free healthcare all the time and it is helping to sink the ship. What would happen if you let ten thousand people from ANOTHER COUNTRY have free money…I can tell you! You will be starving with them right next to you within a day! Why is it any different on a grander scale?

    Why isn’t it your responsibility to go save all the homeless Tiny Tims???? Why don’t you go round up a dozen homeless people and start giving them free rides…I am sure you will save someone’s life. No???? Once again you would literally bankrupt yourself and you would all be starving to death! So why is it OK for the fed. govt. to bankrupt the country handing out free money?

    Money does not grow on trees, it does not come from “Obama’s Stash” or anywhere else except from someone who sacrificed for it. It is much wiser to allow the hard worker to keep his hard earned money and make more of it. Hard worker seeking reward worth working hard for is what has made this country special. Do you think people with money are too stupid to get on a plane and move to a place where they don’t have their money confiscated at a rate of 90%? In this new global world we must compete or we will starve until we figure it out.

  • Derrick

    Actually, the most successful socialist utopias are western countries, namely the USA, Canada and most of western Europe. Only the western world has the money to afford social programs…you won’t get social security or medicare anywhere in Asia, I can assure you.

    Although the topic of this thread is reducing US naval costs, I’m not sure how deep the cuts can be without a reduction of responsibilities.

  • Grandpa Bluewater

    Derrick:

    You can’t do more with less. You can’t do as much with less. You can only do less with less.

    You have to decide what is important and what isn’t.

    In other words you have to prioritize.

    In order to do that you have to decide what you need to do and how you are going to do it.

    Then you have to come up with a plan. A realistic plan based on what is going on around you. So you have to know what works and what doen’t, and what is a crap shoot. You need this in order to acknowledge what can be done and what it is foolish to try. This will depend upon the tasks, and the tools…those you have and those you can get.

    Then some things need to stay the same or get to have more. Some get less. Some get a lot less. Some get extinct. That would be the reduction in responsibilities part.

    Easy. In Theory. It’s just a retreat. The trick is to keep it from becoming a rout. And to keep that from turning into collapse.

    I wonder what the future will be. Serendipity on TV or Starship Troopers in the book. Or, the long shot, a constitutional federal republic based on near universal sufferage and honest elections, with liberty and justice for most. In any case, those who beat their plows into plowshares, plow for those who don’t. If they are lucky.

  • Derrick

    I honestly don’t know what weapons systems will work and what won’t. It’s better for the uniformed posters on this blog to type to that.

    As for prioritizing requirements, something tells me a lot of you will be voting on that come 2012?

    Personally, I prefer the US government to reduce its responsibilities on all its departments, not just defense, but benefits as well. My priority would be to pay down the debt, protect economic/national security interests, then social benefits, but I’m sure many will disagree with me. :) But I don’t see a government that is ruled by majority vote being able to make deep spending cuts without upsetting a good proportion of the electorate, which is why I still think my suggestions of higher taxes on entertainment professionals (ie actors, musicians, athletes and others who normally speak against Republicans), as well as the 7% GST, may be required.

  • RedneckJamesinTN

    Grandpa,

    Sad thing is i dont believe once a Democratic republic collapses it can go back to what it was.

    Take a look at the places those who move from more socialist states become. They seek to recreate the same system. Then destroy the reasons to move their in the first place.

  • P

    When I read the title, “Not buying what we’re selling,” I first thought of the foreign exports the US is selling and how the US DoD isn’t buying them. Already foreign countries are getting F-16s and F-15s that are in ways newer and better than what the US military has. The F-16I has more fuel and ECM than USAF F-16Cs. The F-15K(orea) in ways is better than the USAF F-15E.

    Funny how cancelling some of the above programs will place dependence on existing systems already in production. For instance, the article mentions cancelling the EFV to use the MV-22s for insertions instead…oh, wait, they want to cancel the MV-22 too! So it’s back to the old USMC Sea Knights then? Aren’t those what the MV-22s were supposed to replace? Kind of makes the Sikorsky S-92M (V-22 competition contender) seem more viable and logical now, doesn’t it? So the problem of replacing the old CH-46 and USMC OTH insertion still persists if the EFV and MV-22 are both cancelled.

    The article makes a good point about what DoD programs DO work. And I think that in itself is key. The programs on the chopping block are the ones that DON’T work well or are produced cheaply and fast enough. Various reasonings are behind that.

    I also find it ironic how the DoD doesn’t seem to fall back upon or buy the losing contender in competitions if the winning contender program doesn’t work because the requirement is still there. There’s always the F-23 (stealthy F-22 contender) and the S-92M (sure it’s not VTOL, but it’s a helicopter much newer and better than the Vietnam-era CH-46). The Army’s MGS/Stryker program is a good example of a losing contender that was made into production and came out quite good over the tracked winning Armored Gun System (AGS). The German PZH2000 tracked howitzer was a contender against the now-cancelled Army Crusader SPH and both weigh about 40 tons. And now the Army has no replacement for the M109A6 Paladin besides the 20-something ton NLOS-Cannon whose cannon performance cannot match the Crusader or PZH2000.

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