Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cutting our Military........accepting "substantial risk"...

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Congress on Monday that deeper defense cuts would leave the military with the smallest ground force since 1940, lead to possible months-long furloughs of civilian employees and force the Pentagon to recalibrate its national security strategy to accept "substantial risk."
The Pentagon is already facing $450 billion in cuts to projected spending over the next 10 years, an amount that could more than double if members of Congress' supercommittee fail to produce a $1.2 trillion deficit-cutting plan by Nov. 23. Panetta, who repeatedly has argued against further reductions, offered the most detailed description of the implications of the automatic, across-the-board cuts that would kick in — half coming from defense.
In the first year alone of 2013, it would add up to a 23 percent cut that Panetta called devastating.
"Such a large cut, applied in this indiscriminate manner, would render most of our ship and construction projects unexecutable -- you cannot buy three quarters of a ship or a building and seriously damage other modernization efforts. We would also be forced to separate many of our civilian personnel involuntarily and, because the reduction would be imposed so quickly, we would almost certainly have to furlough civilians in order to meet the target," Panetta wrote in a letter.
By his calculations, "we would have the smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest number of ships since 1915, and the smallest Air Force in its history" at the end of the decade, Panetta said.
Panetta, who has used apocalyptic terms such as "doomsday," ''hollow force" and "paper tiger" to describe the cuts, spelled out the details in a letter to Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a member of the panel. The two had written to Panetta earlier this month seeking specifics.
While painting a dire picture of the military if the automatic cuts are triggered, Panetta also implored the lawmakers to stave off such reductions.
If they did not, the Pentagon chief said the military would have to rethink its strategy.
"We would have to formulate a new security strategy that accepted substantial risk of not meeting our defense needs. A sequestration budget is not one that I could recommend," said Panetta, a former California congressman and head of the House Budget Committee.
At least two of the potential cuts outlined by Panetta would strike at the heart of U.S. defense strategy.
One is the elimination of missile defense in Europe. The Obama administration's commitment to building a network of radars and interceptors to defend all of Europe against a potential missile strike from Iran is central to U.S. efforts to update NATO defense priorities, improve defense cooperation with Russia and deter Iran.
The other — eliminating one of three "legs" of the U.S. nuclear arsenal — would force a historic shift in nuclear planning. Panetta said he would be forced to eliminate intercontinental ballistic missiles, the globe-circling missiles based in underground silos. These currently consist of 450 Minuteman III missiles based in the north-central U.S. The other two legs of the nuclear arsenal are submarine-launch ballistic missiles and air-launch missiles and bombs.
In his letter, Panetta said the deeper reductions would affect the military's ability to support the war in Afghanistan and lead to a fleet of fewer than 230 ships, the smallest number since 1915.
He offered a list of weapons programs that would be cut back, delayed or terminated such as the Joint Strike Fighter, the next generation ballistic missile submarine and new Army helicopters. Any reductions in weapons programs would set off a fierce fight in Congress as lawmakers look to protect programs and jobs in their districts.
Delaying or terminating surveillance drone programs would stifle a critical new technology that has allowed the U.S. to better track and eliminate terrorists in countries where American troops are not present.
Recent examples include the strike that killed al-Qaida-linked cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen and the surveillance that led to the death of ousted Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi. Drones are also the weapon of choice for the CIA as it hunts and kills insurgents in Pakistan that routinely target U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan.
Panetta's comments add pressure to the supercommittee just 10 days before its deadline as panel Republicans and Democrats struggle to fulfill their mandate. The Pentagon letter also stirs the recent talk in Congress about trying to nullify the automatic cuts, a step McCain and Graham have discussed. However, President Barack Obama said last week that he wouldn't accept any legislation that tries to undo the automatic cuts.
In a statement, McCain and Graham said the automatic cuts "would set off a swift decline of the United States as the world's leading military power. ... This is not an outcome that we can live with, and it is certainly not one that we should impose on ourselves. The sequester is a threat to the national security interests of the United States, and it should not be allowed to occur."  (Z: OH, no wonder Obama won't accept cuts.)
___
Associated Press writers Robert Burns and Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report.

This makes me almost physically ill.

z

50 comments:

Ducky's here said...

Pull out of Afghanistan/Pakistan and get rid of "magic missile", sign me up.

While we're at it we should tell the Saudis to get lost an pull the troops out of Kuwait.

Then tell Israel to shape up ...

Speak Up and Shout Out said...

Amen to your post Geeeee, great jog and I agree with you 110 percent

Thersites said...

Time to shift our defense strategy to Space. When can we start building the Death Star?

Z said...

This also addresses getting rid of drones...unbelievable.

Ducky, the Israelis will shape up when they feel safe. They have that right and you don't hear anything the Mossad knows, do you.
you must have LOVED Sarkozy and Obama dissing Netanyahu, huh.

Thanks, Speak up and shout... I didn't write it, but I found it scary.

Thersites...do you know if your friend nicrap has a blog? I clicked on his name and nothing's there.
what's the Death Star?

FrogBurger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fredd said...

Z:

Having served in the U.S. Army for 10 years, I have been an eyeball witness to ridiculous examples of waste, inefficiency and stupidity in how the military squanders money like drunken sailors. Pun intended. And not just on occasion, this brazen mismanagement of assets goes on year in, and year out. The admirals and generals know there is an endless pot of money, why bother being cheap?

A little belt tightening here and there wouldn't kill them. And when I say belt tightening, I bet that most military units could get by with half of the budget they currently work on.

Sure, they would squeal like stuck pigs, and predict that the commies would overrun Cedar Rapids within a week, but after all the caterwauling, they would get to work making do with less, just like the rest of us. It's just that they've never had to before.

FrogBurger said...

Looks like they're however getting ready for Iran, while some countries (Israel?) are attacking Iran's nuclear infrastructure electronically and physically

Articles in French.

Thersites said...

Yes, nicrap does have a blog. You can get to it from mine.

Thersites said...

What's the Death Star? Best ask Lord Vader. ;)

Thersites said...

And Nicrap's "At the Drop of a Hat" blog is linked at my "Corner" blog.

Brooke said...

OK, let's cut the military right after nuking ever terrorist save haven crapsack of a country.

I figured it wouldn't take Ducky long to start in on Israel. Funny how he failed to mention the Psuedo-stinians in that comment.

beamish said...

The real Death Star

Speedy G said...

Invest in a Stinkbug canon breeding program (ala "Starship Troopers")?

Those would be the "ultimate kinetics". ;)

Elmers Brother said...

it's a repeat of the 1920s disarming. Those who forget history....

Leticia said...

This not only makes me "positively ill" Z, I am frightened and seriously concerned.

God help us, since no one else will and that includes the socialist in office.

Pris said...

Our national security is our government's first reponsibility, and it's duty!

It's clear there is instability the world over, mainly due to leftist and liberal policies. We can't afford to sell out our country, so people don't have to grow up.

It's time for sober thinking and putting our country and our people's security uppermost on our list of priorities.

If we don't, we all will lose and will have neither security, nor prosperity. Clearer heads must prevail.

PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH is the only answer.

Mustang said...

I feel confident that history will remember Barack Obama for the idiot he is; no one has done more to encourage Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, and certainly few people have contributed as many bricks to the construct of a Marxist America as Leon Panetta, John Podestà, and Hillary Clinton. We should wonder why Democrats continue to applaud these nitwits. Is it because they appreciate the free circuses, or because they agree with Marxist ideology? Dismantling our national defense is to cast aside yet another of our sacred institutions. These people are killing us slowly.

sue hanes said...

Z - I would be in favor of some cuts in military spending - but only after much consideration.
~~~

And Z - my post on opera is up and running.

Z said...

Oh, SURE, everybody who thinks cuts are good and we can survive as 'business as usual'; read the article again, please!
These aren't cutting from steaks on Tuesday to chicken wings for the soldiers' mess....
This is BIG and experts FAR more 'in the know' than we are, and "experts" who are Democrats and typically NOT as interested in a tough defense (Leon Panetta...God, did I really call HIM an expert...well, you know what i mean!)..anyway, THEY are scared to death and WARNING...but there's Obama.. "dope dee dope dee dope...Yup, why not weaken America to its knees?" God help us all..

This is AWFUL and I feel very very scared about it....much like Pris and Leticia.

Impertinent said...

If this trimming was occurring under another President than this fraud, capitulator, condescender in chief.....I'd say it really isn't a big deal.

But since this dork is a complete failure...knows NOTHIG about foreign policy...has let the ME go totally islamist , fascist...cheering for the Caliphate all along. Has bankrupted the country...has pitted one American against another....has resurrected hateful contentious race relations in under 3 years.

So..."He got Osama". Bullsheet. The CIA got Osama. Not this weeny.

We have enough boomers under the oceans to completely destroy every major city on the planet. We have enough fire power on ONE boomer to take out about 24 targets with MIRV's alone.

We have the largest fleet of aircraft carriers in the world. With the most sophisticated and awesome fighter aircraft ever produced.

The Chicoms? One silly carrier.

And I didn't even mention our land based ICBM's of 1500 or so.


So kids...relax. We just need a leader who won't be afraid or ashamed to wave that stick when he / she needs to.

Z said...

Imp, when the head of the Army and Joint Chiefs of Staff sound like this cutting is far too deep, I stand behind them, don't you?

Z said...

Mustang "Dismantling our national defense is to cast aside yet another of our sacred institutions. These people are killing us slowly."

They surely are, and very purposefully, in my opinion and, I know, yours.

Yes, they're casting aside sacred institutions but also casting aside the safety of you, me, everyone on the blog, and everyone we know. These cuts sound way too deep and I'm starting to feel like inmates are REALLY running this asylum they've created. YIKES

Sam Huntington said...

Our country's military probably needs fewer missiles and a lot more queers.

Z said...

SAM, honestly, that made me burst into laughter! Well done!
z

Z said...

Sam, are you not blogging? I just thought "Gad, I haven't been there lately and he's not been here...let me go see what's up!" and there's no blog there! DID I KNOW THAT AND FORGOT? (say it ain't so).

we need you back.

OR, if you feel like writing, it would be great to publish it here!?

Impertinent said...

"Imp, when the head of the Army and Joint Chiefs of Staff sound like this cutting is far too deep, I stand behind them, don't you?"


Not really Z. They've all turned into weeny politicians. Like senators and congress...all they're concerned about is their fiefdoms, budgets and toys.

Show me a military leader other than Petreaus ( who copped a political gig ) that has an understanding of ROE's and modern warfare.

Then there's the knee bending over DADT crap. They lost their leverage and respect when they conceded to risk military harmony with that fiasco.

We have yet to see how well that wil play out. Especially when I read that about 40% of our guys want out and won't reup.

Z said...

Imp, they're cutting or greatly reducing money for drones, too. This is insane.

And ya, I've heard that about guys not reupping and leaving, too.......

They don't like serving under someone like this bunch, that's for sure.

Impertinent said...

"greatly reducing money for drones, too."


Perhaps they realize they need something a bit heavier? Like bunker busters or.....Iran's nuke problem?

Chuck said...

I'm with Fredd on this. I have always suspected we could cut between 10 and 20% and not miss it.

Throwing money at the military does not equate to a stronger defense, it just costs us more.

Make them cut the waste.

Impertinent said...

"Make them cut the waste."


Right on Chuck. Remember the 5,000 dollar hammers and the gold plumbing fixtures? And every supplier knows that we don't check the invoices...from Haliburton to McDonnell Douglas. So they pack in all the fluff....including Ho's for a night.

Gotta stop it.

When the boogey man of "defense" comes up...we all nod our heads and say..."yea man" whatever it takes. And the Pentagon knows that. So...whatever they cry about is BS.

We can literally kick the worlds ass with half of what we already have.

There is NO other country on the planet that possesses 10% of the the military might we have at our disposal. Russia? Are you kidding? More than half of their steel is rusting like the Titanic in the Ukraine and the Baltic.

Mr. Z...would agree, I wager.

Z said...

I don't know if Mr. Z would agree or not.
I'll say this: If you read the article, this isn't about 10 or 20% cuts.

Dave Miller said...

Maybe we could expect our "allies" to actually cover the share of their defense costs that they agreed to in the NATO Agreement.

If my memory serves me correctly, only two of the countries are actually covering their own defense.

Why should the US have to pay those costs. If a country is not interested in taking care of themselves, why should we?

And then we could eliminate those costs from the budget.

Z said...

Put NATO aside, Dave, read the article. That's only a percentage of our ridiculous costs; THAT is a place I'd probably cut. Let THEM pay.
But, of course, we've also supported the UN which hates us, too.
This is way more than just the European protection, sadly.

WomanHonorThyself said...

amen to Brooke!..how troubling Z~!

nicrap said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
liberaldude said...

Psst...Obama has increased the military budget.

Warren said...

Care to try and impress me with your massive intelligence, Nostradumbass (Ducky)?

Perhaps your skills with logical formulation or maybe some elementary ballistic calc and figure the Δv of my foot as it connects to your stupid ass.

Why don't you tell the truth and admit that the only history of America you ever read (actually you didn't read it some half wit fellow traveler read it to you) was written by the commie louse and propagandist Zinn?

Warren said...

Liberaldunce, does that Occupy logo your using signify the crab lice occupying your nether regions?

Pris said...

Let me remind you that our Military branches also have intelligence contractors.

During the 90's after Bush Sr. cut defense, Clinton did also. He called it a "peace dividend". Yeah right"! Both administrations lived off the Reagan build up. Then slashed the defense budgets.

Lo and behold 9-11 happened and the Bush administration had to buttress up the military, and the intelligence community, which was devastated by the cuts.

Mr. Pris knows all about that. Many older experienced civilian intelligence employees had been laid off in the mid nineties.

That was not waste, that was costly in more ways than one. Intelligence is a years long endeavor. It takes expertise and in some cases years of ongoing research and analysis.

Also technology does not stop. There are always new methods, and discoveries which must be developed to keep up or stay ahead of other countries, like China for instance.

You can talk about waste, but what will happen is, "the baby will be thrown out with the bathwater"!

You want to get rid of waste? Shut down the Dept of Education, the EPA, HHS, agencies which duplicate other agencies, there are all manner of departments we could easily do without. The DOD is always the first whipping boy.

Z said...

liberaldude.
pssst, read the article.

Warren :-)

Pris, I agree; Gates (tho I'm not a fan) was on the news this morning saying this could be "catastrophic"...Good to know our enemies are learning this, too, huh?
The once great America......@#($&@(#*&$

Scotty said...

You want to get rid of waste? Shut down the Dept of Education, the EPA, HHS, agencies which duplicate other agencies, there are all manner of departments we could easily do without. The DOD is always the first whipping boy.

Amen, Pris, amen!

Those cuts are not just about the hardware of the military it's also about the benefits and medical care of our military.

The earlier cuts brought us the Walter Reed hospital debacle.

It's been bantered about making the military retirement system into a 401k type of system.

It's the present system that keeps the best and brightest folks staying in the military. Much of the sacrifice during active duty is a bit more palatable, knowing there is something better in the end.

Democrats and republicans alike have been salivating over getting some of that benefit and healthcare money out of the system, that is also an enormous part of the military budget.

While most won't effect the present personnel, it will certainly effect those later down the road. And it could also have an effect of the quality willing to serve.

We certainly don't want to get troop levels down to a point that if a crisis does arrive, we might reinstate a draft.

Politicians are not interested in cutting waste because, it's milk to the many constituents that gave big money to the many campaigns. It's the milk to the lobbyists that work behind the scenes directing the monies into the right pockets.

It's been the same through the many administrations. Don't you think odd that it seems like every election cycle the same issues are campaigned for and against and yet, it all seems to remain the same?

Pris said...

"Those cuts are not just about the hardware of the military it's also about the benefits and medical care of our military."

Yes, I should have mentioned that as well. As for the rest of your comment, I say, amen Scotty, amen!

Pris said...

Z, you're so right. With every public statement regarding our military, it's problems, needs, and shortages, it's a heads up for our enemies.

This is a hell of a way to fight a war!

Impertinent said...

Pentagon officials are speaking publicly about the military's new 30,000-pound massive ordnance penetrator, or MOP, known now as the biggest "bunker-busting bomb" in the world.
The Air Force has already received an undisclosed number of these bombs from Boeing, all designed to fit exclusively with the B-2 and B-52 bombers.


"It gives us a far greater capability to reach and destroy an enemy's weapons of mass destruction that are located in well protected underground facilities... to a magnitude far greater than we have now," Pentagon Spokesman Capt. John Kirby said at a briefing Wednesday.

I wonder who they could use this on?


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/11/16/massive-bunker-busting-bomb-goes-operational/?test=latestnews#ixzz1dzgIY2pc

Scotty said...

Pentagon officials are speaking publicly about the military's new 30,000-pound massive ordnance penetrator, or MOP, known now as the biggest "bunker-busting bomb" in the world.

Messages like these aren't put out there for our benefit. They're are sending a message.

It's just more saber rattling from the powers that be.....certainly the present administration hasn't got the nerve to use it! If, indeed, it really exists.

Chuck said...

I stand by my belief that we could cut from the military budget without hurting defense, or the troops (retirement, health care, etc.).

I do agree with Scotty though, we need to not stop there. I did not mean to imply that the military should be the only department cut by any means.

We can scrap a lot of the federal agencies, education is the first to come to mind.

Z said...

Chuck! we finally disagree on something?
I don't see any 10-20% cuts here, I see huge ones, and I see all the experts (*even Dems!) say this will "gut us", it'll be "catastrophic"...I'm concerned.

Chuck said...

Z, I think people are misunderstanding me a bit. I believe that as much as 10 - 20% of military funding is waste and we can eliminate that. I think this would hold true for every federal agency. We have all seen the stories of duplication.

As an example, why does every branch have an air service? I can see the Coast Guard, for rescue. But the Army or the Marines or the Navy? Excuse my possible ignorance but why do we do this?

I am not in any way advocating cutting our capability to protect ourselves but why aren't we having these conversations?

Z said...

Chuck, indeed. I can't disagree with you that SOME things should be cut...
But why are experts warning our gov't and our gov't's seemingly ignoring them?
I agree; of COURSE things can be cut here and there and, yes, we should be having the discussion, but we don't seem to be having any but "CUT now matter what the expert says and no matter what enemies are hearing from us"...

MK said...

"would set off a swift decline of the United States as the world's leading military power."

That's what obama wants, he'll tell you that the UN will take up the slack. By the time the roosters come home to roost, obama will be long gone, with the msm still telling anyone who gives a damn that he was the greatest president in the history of the universe.

As usual the hard work of building it all back up and taking tough decisions will be left to a republican. And as usual he/she will be hated, vilified and loathed for every minute of it by the verminous chattering classes.

It's a wonder they even bother.

"Then tell Israel to shape up ..."

She will, your eurabian bum-chums will need to as well.