#1 Congress Forcing the Army to make Tanks they don't want or need10-10-2012, 07:16 PM
Members of Congress are forcing the Army to purchase tanks that it neither wants nor needs, Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston of CNN report.
Earlier this year Army chief of staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno told Congress that it would save taxpayers $3 billion if the Pentagon holds off repairing, refurbishing or making new M-1 Abrams tanks for three years until new technologies are developed.
There are currently more than 2,000 inactive M-1 Abrams tanks sitting at an Army depot in the California desert.
"Our tank fleet is in good shape and we don't need to [make repairs] because of the great support that we have gotten over the last two years," he told the House armed services committee.
But Congress set aside $181 million for tanks in the proposed congressional budget for next year and a bipartisan group of 173 House members sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on April 20 that urged him to support their decision to produce more 60-plus-ton vehicles.
Congress doesn't want to kill any jobs in their districts and argue that tank production is "necessary to protect the industrial base."
Not so necessary on the battlefield though, since the last real tank battle occurred in the First Gulf War. Since then tanks have largely been used for anti-personnel purposes, or for making new doors in structures to aid the movement of ground troops. Nevertheless, the U.S. hasn't halted production since before World War II.
Defense manufacturing titan General Dynamics–which would most likely receive the contract for new tanks—told CNN that halting production at their Lima, Ohio would affect 16,000 jobs and involve 882 suppliers. (CNN notes that the job figure includes people like gas station workers who fill up employees' cars coming and going to the plant.)
Another factor may lie in research done by The Center for Public Integrity, a journalism watchdog group, found that General Dynamics gave campaign contributions at key times, such as around congressional hearings on whether or not to build more tanks.
"We aren't saying there's vote buying" said Aaron Metha, one of the report's authors. "We are saying it's true in pretty much all aspects of politics - but especially the defense industry. It's almost impossible to separate out the money that is going into elections and the special interests."
Despite the assurances from the Army's chief of staff, Rep. Silvestre Reyes—who has received $64,000 from General Dynamics since 2001—played the national security card, saying "we don't want to play Russian Roulette with the national security of this country."
Other insiders disagree.
"When a relatively conservative institution like the U.S. military, which doesn't like to take risks because risks get people killed, says it has enough tanks, I think generally civilians should be inclined to believe them," defense think tank fellow Travis Sharp told CNN.
Yet we cannot cut spending....“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” – Ayn Rand
Power Point Ranger
10-11-2012, 02:46 PM
We could use them to destroy abandoned buildings in Detroit, the fun way.
The down side is that there are still a lot of hard feelings in Detroit from the last time there were tanks in the city-during the 67 riots, Gov. Romney sent in the National Guard and I believe LBJ sent in some federal troops. The move did effectively end the riots, which were really the beginning of the end for Detroit.
10-11-2012, 03:36 PM
- Join Date
- May 2010
I wonder when local police depts are going to start getting them. "Whoops, we shelled the wrong house. The pothead we were after was in 3403 Main st. not 3402."
10-11-2012, 03:46 PM
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
They can replace everything we left in Iraq with the money set aside by Congress.
Not repairing maintaing and upgrading the tanks we have left is dumb Clinton era thinking.
It put us in danger then and it will do the same thing now.
The dirty secret that Business Insider doesn't seem to understand is that there are no more new tanks coming off the assembly line.
They take already existing bodies....strip them down to the bare metal...re-do EVERYTHING replace wiring upgrade the turrets firing systems and everything...put a fresh coat of CARC paint and new track on it and send it out the other end.
Just like with Helicopters...they don't build new models...just refurb the existing frames to the new model.
And it's not just the Army and the NG that use the M1. It's also the MBT for the Marines as well. ALL of our equipment is in need of referb and reset after 11 years of hard use.
You can't just take it to the wash rack rinse off the dirt and think it's good to go.
Last edited by txradioguy; 10-11-2012 at 03:52 PM.
10-11-2012, 05:43 PMThe 21st century. The age of Smart phones and Stupid people.
It is said that branches draw their life from the vine. Each is separate yet all are one as they share one life giving stem . The Bible tells us we are called to a similar union in life, our lives with the life of God. We are incorporated into him; made sharers in his life. Apart from this union we can do nothing.
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