It doesn't matter that the M1A2 and our aircraft are aging. North Korea, Iran and Venezuela have nothing that can touch what we already have. The only people I can think of that has a main battle tank that can take on an M1A2 are all our allies. Venezula is still using T-72's and AMX-30's, Iran M48's and T-62/72's, North Korea uses old soviet T-62/72's and really old Chinese stuff, as well as tanks manufactured in North Korea which are pieces of crap compared to the M1A2. When it comes to tanks, the M1A2 will suffice for any likely threat at least until the U.S. is in a better economic position, perhaps the next 5 years, to fund a replacement.
The same argument can be made for our aircraft and our ships. They may not be the brand new 2010 model year, but they'll dominate any likely threat to the U.S. for the foreseeable future. We can put some of these programs, on the back burner while the U.S. recovers. Also, there is about $5-$10 billion that can be freed up by suspending some research projects that have no existing analogue to replace like The Future Combat System and Mobile User Objective System projects. I think for the time being, the projects that would benefit the troops the most aren't even the most expensive projects. The next generation armored HMMWV project, I forgot the name of it, would be great bang for the buck right now. Also, the evaluation of replacing the 5.56mm cartridge with either 6.8mm SPC or the 6.5 Grendel would also be great bang for the buck, especially in Afghanistan. (For the record the 6.5 Grendel is superior to the 6.8 Spc, 5.56mm, and even 7.62x54mm in every way, that is precisely why I don't think the military will ever adopt it.)
Remember I'm not focusing on military spending specifically, but in the entire DoD budget, which is a lot more than military. For instance, why are we spending $60 Billion a year on DHS when they haven't prevented a single terrorist attack, even though two that I know of have been attempted and thwarted by other means. The DHS doesn't need $60 Billion a year to be useless, I would do a much better job at being useless for $1 Billion a year. Another great place to look would be international affairs, this part of the budget could fund itself, or even make money for the DoD depending on how much surplus it sells. If international affairs were green lit, just to sell old military HMMWVs, which would presumably have been replaced by the new generation, to the public in general, this department could fund itself with a surplus. Why can't they sell old HMMWVs to the public? I have no idea, probably the EPA or some other enviro-weenie, but I know there is demand for them especially in the off-road and agriculture markets.
Last edited by malloc; 07-01-2010 at 10:24 PM.
Who knows how much we send to Israel every year in military aid?
Last edited by obx; 03-21-2011 at 06:17 PM.
The M1-A2 is an unbelievable peice of machinery, but it is aging. It can still do it's job, but it is susceptable to weaponry. Hell, even Taji Taliban can drop one of those things with a relatively cheap specific type of IED. By stopping funding of newer, stronger, safer weapons we're saying that it's ok that our Troops die unnecessarily. It's ok that our F-15 pilots get shot down by SAFIRE that couldn't have locked onto an F-22.
It's not ok. We are a super-power because we have the ability to strike anywhere and anytime on this planet, and win. But that is only because our military is a step above everyone else's. Well news flash, our enemies ARE catching up. It's not ok to say what we have is good enough. Because while today it may be, 5 years from now it may not be. While we freeze our R&D, they aren't. They'd probably redouble their efforts in such a scenario.
Are you seriously telling me that you can't look over the entire DoD budget for FY 2010 and find a way to cut 5%? Are you seriously arguing that there is no way of digging out a mere $60 billion upon $1.2 Trillion in the face of the economic consequences? The consequences of not being able to cut back $60 billion - $100 billion mean that we might never see that new tank program again, because we can't afford to fund it, and nobody will buy the debt.
Look, as things stand right now, the defense budget is going to decrease via one of two ways. The first way is a planned and expected scale back of public funds into these specialized private sectors. The second way is via a rejection of U.S. debt. We are in the biggest "recession" since the Great Depression, (yet no one is calling it a depression, funny isn't it?). There's no way the U.S. government can keep throwing worthless green paper at the guys running these new tank programs indefinitely. It would be much better for all parties involved if the Congress invented a budget, including military expenditures that was balanced and reflective of the production capability of the United States. That would give the Department of Defense, based upon current total budget consumption, a total budget of about $0.7 Trillion.
That 5% cut isn't looking so bad to the Defense Department now. So I reiterate, the future of the defense department doesn't lie in what is the best, or what is the latest. The future of the defense department lies in what is the biggest bang for the buck, and what we taxpayers can afford.
I know your next argument. It's going to be something along the lines of, "Well, if we don't invest (y) capital into (x) technology, then (z) servicemen are going to get killed. What you are not understanding is that we have (y - $13T) in capital, we don't have the funding for (x), so (z) is going to happen whether or not we pretend we have the funding.
The future of our production, which is what funds military endeavors, is dependent upon Scrooge McDuck austerity right now. The economy of the U.S. which funds each tread in an M1-A2 needs every ounce of real capital it can get in order to recover in the private sector which funds and fuels the public sector. If this recovery doesn't happen, look for a lot of ships in dry dock being used for parts. Look for bureaucracy and price controls to override combat aircraft purchase orders. Basically the economy of the U.S. will no longer be able to sustain, much less expand, the military we currently have. More importantly, all these research programs will never see reality, and they will continue to suck scarce money away in hope, while we will never have the actual money required to field the product.
The spending has to stop when the taxpayers can no longer bear the spending, and we are reaching that point whether you want to admit it or not. Reality is reality.
I don't think that defense should be a sacred cow but the defense of our country is my number 1 concern. This fool in the WH does not have a clue. He has already made military cuts and canceled weapons programs. There are many other programs that need cutting. Let's start cutting sacred cows like government employees and agencies first before chopping the military again.
I understand the sentiment that Malloc is trying to make, but he's aiming his crosshairs as the wrong target. As the Major has pointed out, there is over a trillion dollars in spending that has been made in the last year and a half that didn't need to exist. If we are going to cut anything, look there first and foremost. Not to the only thing keeping this country from being overrun by screaming hordes at our gates.
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