Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Enjoy the view while you can ....

David Brooks nails it - or finally gets it, depending on how charitable you want to be with him.
Why are important projects now unaffordable? Decades ago, when the federal and state governments were much smaller, they had the means to undertake gigantic new projects, like the Interstate Highway System and the space program. But now, when governments are bigger, they don’t.

The answer is what Jonathan Rauch of the National Journal once called demosclerosis. Over the past few decades, governments have become entwined in a series of arrangements that drain money from productive uses and direct it toward unproductive ones.

New Jersey can’t afford to build its tunnel, but benefits packages for the state’s employees are 41 percent more expensive than those offered by the average Fortune 500 company. These benefits costs are rising by 16 percent a year.

New York City has to strain to finance its schools but must support 10,000 former cops who have retired before age 50.

California can’t afford new water projects, but state cops often receive 90 percent of their salaries when they retire at 50. The average corrections officer there makes $70,000 a year in base salary and $100,000 with overtime (California spends more on its prison system than on its schools).

States across the nation will be paralyzed for the rest of our lives because they face unfunded pension obligations that, if counted accurately, amount to $2 trillion — or $87,000 per plan participant.
A couple of years ago, the eldest of the wee Salamanders asked why when I was her age I had grown up watching rockets taking off for the moon. Why the spaceships in 2001: A Space Odyssey never happened even though the technology was there?

In summary, I told her the answer was simple; we started electing and accepting politicians with no vision and no desire to lead and to do what was right. They were more interested in spending the nation's money on things that made them feel good about themselves - not make them feel good about their nation. They decided that they would rather
buy votes than expand the knowledge of man (yes, I'm that kind of Dad). The wee Salamander was not happy - I told her it was the Boomer's fault too. Smart girl, she told me "I don't like Hippies, they're embarrassingly stupid." Tears of joy I tell you, tears of joy from a father ...

OK, back to the subject at hand. Now we are at the point where we steal from our grandchildren in order to ... to .... to do what? Fund more GS-13s to approve the work of GS-12s responding to metric calls from he Dept. of Edu? To fund studies to determine who will conduct the study of the impact of government studies on Ethnic Studies departments at major land-grant institutions? Really?

To fix this will take pain. It will take leadership. It will take a people willing to tell the government, "I don't want the money you just took from my children."

To quote Gov.
Mitch Daniels (R-IN) - the DOD better come up with better, more efficient plans.
As OMB director, Daniels was on the National Security Council, and as governor he's visited Indiana troops around the world; he says "it's important to support the commander in chief" on Afghanistan. But he's open to cuts in defense spending beyond those Secretary Robert Gates has imposed. "No question that the system is rigged to overspend," he says, "like health care. No question that defense dollars could be spent better."

"But back to not becoming Greece," he says. "Can we continue with every mission we've assigned the military indefinitely? Is every one essential to the safety of Americans?"

"The answer may be yes," he concedes, "but you may have to stop doing some things completely. We are now borrowing the entire defense budget from international investors."
Gov. Daniels - we have ideas here, we've been discussing them for years. Let me give you the opening chapters - shall we review?

Remove all maneuver ground forces from Europe, Japan, and Korea. Maintain only Joint/Combined training and logistics bases with our allies with a minimum footprint focused on flexible surge response capabilities.

Re-evaluate what little air and sea forces are then stationed overseas. FDNF should be the last to go - if then. Remove balance of USMC personnel from Okinawa along the same lines as Europe.

Eliminate 33% of all Flag/General Officer Staffs (GOFO). Count all personnel savings as actual real savings. Full, no N1 tricks. No transfer of personnel; existing Staffs will have to prioritize and economize. Cut personnel assigned to NATO Staff billets by same amount. Accelerate redeployment of forces from the Arabian peninsula and Iraq back to CONUS. Structure bases in the Muslim world as with Europe - if that.

Cut the ranks of GOFO and their personal Staffs by 50% - negotiate down to a 33% cut if needed. Eliminate the entire SES ranks - but negotiate to a 75% cut if needed. Eliminate 50% of GS and Contractor billets. We fought WWII with less. Let Gen. Mattis do it after he sadly retires if you must. I trust him.

Take remaining GOFO billets and reduce one paygrade except for COCOMS (i.e. Lt.Gen to MajGen). Replace the archaic Goldwater-Nichols Act with something new and better. It is a quarter-century old. If you cannot do that - reset to what worked last and adjust.

Move combat pay and allowences to a daily vice monthly basis - ditto combat exclusion tax-free time. No more "go slow to stay another day inside the line" or strange "we landed on the 30th and returned on the 2nd" trips - etc. Implement a 3-year pay-freeze for all DOD military and all DOD and non-DOD Federal civilian positions. For the next 5-year period after that - civilian raises must be at no-greater-than 75% of any military raise (i.e. military gets 2%, civ gets NGT 1.5%).

Eliminate LCS and transfer those displacing water to the USCG "slick" with their baseline equipment. Dump Mission Modules in Vernon, Michael, and Gary's back yard and move forward. Tell them to put it out with the medal recycling if they wish.

Fast track a true multi-mission EuroFrigate design to be license built here for a run of no less than 12 and no more than 24 ships until a domestic design comes on line as the DDG replacement. NANSEN or ABSALOM would be a nice start. Not perfect - but good.

Make a steady decrease to a 9-carrier force and reinvest part of the savings that isn't taken back into the larger budget for strategic lift, replenishment ships and other unsexy, affordable, and needed expeditionary enabling forces that have been neglected by the Transformatinalists over the last decade. Base two carriers in Norfolk, one in Mayport and the balance on the West Coast.

As we consolidate our forces CONUS - we need to rebuild an expeditionary mindset - one that takes strategic airlift and sea lift seriously. Fully back the AirSea Battle Concept.

The Chinese will challenge us at sea sometime in the next century at a time and place of their choosing. We will have to defeat them at sea and in the air with focused and narrow utilization of ground forces as needed (as only a fool would go toe to toe on mainland Asia against the Chinese - and we don't have to; that is why we have allies).

Europe can handle Russia as she slowly dies and demographically becomes a Muslim nation at the end of the century. If not - their problem. You can't help those who won't help themselves.

We must focus on our economic health. In the last two years we have tripled the national debt -
this will take awhile to fix, if we can. A military budget will be part of this fixing.

This is the high water mark; start to think small. Start to think smart. Remember who wasted a decade in Transformatinalist dreams that left the Navy flat footed as the Strategic environment shifted - and then don't do like they did or act with such mindless arrogance surrounded with ubiquitous lick-spittals. Some of the worst will retire soon. Hope we see better leadership that can manage this decline - a decline that is coming.

The decline can be done right - but it won't be done right if you don't think it through early enough. Like an orange tree; prune it right in the bad years when it is sick, and when things get better you have a larger and stronger tree. Ignore it - and it will die.


Carl said...

Huh? The blame is on others? The blame is on us. We elect those politicians and the politicians don't set the employee benefits. We're getting what we ask for.

Vigilis said...

<span>Brooks revives "demosclerosis" as a way to take the spotlight off Obama's "redistribution of wealth".  </span>
<span>Throughout history disfavored men, women and children have suffered under the yokes of similar arrangements with equally unfamiliar but insidious names like slavery, impressment, communism, socialism, serfdom, and indentured servitude.  </span>
<span>Making familiar old schemes sound like new problems is a sign of Mr. Brook's overall ineptitude. Other than that, he is one hell of a guy.</span>

xformed said...

At another level, I have long held the opinion that the "elite" can only see one grand project worthy of moving forward on:  The proof that mankind has been a blight on the Earth and needs to be "handled."

I just wish they would belly up to the bar, show me their courage of their convictions and remove their carbon footprint from the equation...if they really mean what they say.  I'll volunteer to hang around and take data and write up the "Lessons Learned."

And, as a rhetorical question:  Just what are we saving the Earth for?  Being around in 5B years to make sure when the Sun goes all Red Giant on us, it's here to be toasted?  Geez!  Talk about "Global Warming!"

butch said...

The elite do not consider themselves to a blight.  It's all you peasants.

Aubrey said...

If Daniels is President, I want 'phib as SecDef!

Anonymous said...

Which explains why they fly about the world in a private jet, in order to make sure they win a "peace" prize, while telling us to drive eletric cars with a 41 mile max range/charge....and it takes a while to recharge.  Sounds like they want you to be able to get to work for them, then "have to stay" and work....forget me driving to various customers offices/locations to help consult with them....

And..yes, they use what?  5x the average annual electric use per year of their neighbors each month?

Hey, jokes on them:  When all of we peasents are gone...who will mow the grass/clean the bathrooms/drive them around/etc?  Oh, yes...some will have to stay, as a concession to their inability to get their hands dirty...Hasn't humainty been here before?  Not that they bother to read history, they are too busy making it!

AW1 Tim said...

Concur with everything above.

 You could also save a good chunk of cash by eliminating the billets at Millington, and closing that facility.

  We definitely will need heavy lift, both ships and airframes, if we are to rebase our assetts stateside.

  The Army is going to be facing a severe shortage of rotary-wing assetts as they use up all theirs in Afghanistan and Iraq. Right now, we are not only supporting our own folks, but most of our allies as well, because tey didn't bring their air assetts to the fight.

  Lots to ponder, but lots to be done and a chance to shuck off the deadweight and start fresh.

Anonymous said...

<span>while telling us to drive eletric cars with a 41 mile max range/charge....and it takes a while to recharge. </span>


If these functionaires want to take a trip for a political meet or personal junket...then they can pay market rates

spek said...

Also need to eliminate or severely curtail the Virginia Class, Ford Class and F-22 programs.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Time to get out the old books again.

Funny how the AF and Naval Aviation went back to WWI texts on air combat when the great long range missile battle the up to date modern thinkers of the early sixties wound up with a 1 to 1 victory/defeat ratio to replace the 10 to 1 result the old school produced. They reconvened the old school and gave it a name that said what they wanted to produce: Top Gun.

The problem is our deficiencies lie not in tactics, but in Grand Strategy.  Fundamentally they lie in budgeting and long range planning.

Husbanding the allocated resources and holding senior managers responsible (and on a short chain) is all very well, necessary and appropriate. It isn't enough.

Victory at Sea must be a national priority, a much higher national priority. 2% of a shrinking GDP for all of DoD won't cut it. Not when we must defang the heirs to the Arab Brotherhood, deter the Red Chinese's long range goal of world domination, and put paid to the Narco terrorists of the Hispanic world.

It therefore follows that the Navy's top leaders must be all about restoration and growth, which is means putting the Navy's house in order and then bringing the civilian leadership to level of enlightenment attained by both Presidents Roosevelt.

Which is to say... adherence to the true faith; we must conduct them on a vision quest - to the foggy, misty regions where Neptune is God, Mahan is his Prophet, and the U. S. Navy is the One True Church! (Please deposit 5% of GNP in the collection plate, after the Doxology we will sing the Navy Hymn.)

And All will be Well.

So say we all.

sid said...

that was me...

John said...


It's a start.

While DOD is doing that, don't forget to close down the Departments of Education and Energy entirely.  Cut congressional staffs by 50%.  Cut Congressional pay by 33%, and they get ZERO pay during any fiscal year for which a budget and all appropriations bills have not been passed and signed prior to start of the fiscal year.  And a LOT more...

Mike M. said...

Sal, I agree in principle, but you've got all the details wrong.

The first thing that needs to go is DOD-5000.  Don't "reform" it...I've been in the acquisition business thirty years, and all the "reforms" have been taking the bad broken system, changing some of the labels, slapping on some more forms to fill out, and calling it "fixed."  Which it was not.

No.  Follow the example of the ACTD programs that got us Predator and Global working outside DOD-5000.  Small program offices of around 30-40 people.  Highly skilled people.  Live in the contractor's back pocket, substitute continuous engagement at the working level for big program reviews with flossy Powerpoint slides.  SIMPLE specifications, not reams of paper that get multiplied into thousands of requirements in some insane decomposition process. 

And while we're at it, reform the whole Acquisition Corps concept.  It's OK to use civilians in that role, but the military oversight needs to be done by line officers.  The people who will be taking this thing into battle, and therefore have a strong personal interest in making it work - and no interest at all in gaming the acquisition system for points.

As for jointness, Goldwater-Nichols Has Got To Go.  Fewer theater commands - Atlantic, Pacific, Central, and Home.

But the big cut is to finally recognize that the future is maritime.  Our Cold War force was balanced to fight a land war in Europe, which meant a big Army and a large tactical Air Force.  The Navy was relegated to resupply.  Future historians will have a field day trying to figure out just how much of American policy of the last twenty years toward Iraq was driven by the fact that Iraq was a drop-in replacement for the Soviet Union.  It didn't challenge the status quo.

Well, old times are past, old days are done.  Time to write off counterinsurgency as a strategy - the American public doesn't have the patience for it - and downsize the Army by a third.  Put the resources into the Fleet. 

Build back to 15 CVBGs.  With full air wings.  Ditch LCS, buy plans for a new frigate off the shelf - or maybe work an exchange deal, trading CVNs or SSBNs to the UK for small combatants. 

And yes, try to educate the political class.  The Navy has let it's terrible public relations become instutionalized.

ewok40k said...

From European perspective:
What most analyses fail to spot, is that 60-65 years retirement age was designed in late 1800s when maybe 2% of population achieved that age... We are over 100 years of medical advances ahead, which brings that percentage up many times. Add to this the costs of providing the health care itself to the ever-older population and you begin to see the self-propelling mechanism of rising social costs. Not many people died of cancer in 1800s, because tuberculosis or cholera was out to get them first. And if somebody tried to renege on this way of running things, he would ha be voted out of power quickly.
Regarding military side of things, "so long, and thanks for all the fishes". Europe may as well become refuelling station for the travelling US expeditionary forces, nothing more. Russia in its present state would have trouble handling Poland or Turkey alone. It wasn't even able to devour Georgia and settled on anschluss of the runaway enclaves where it had friendly population. Russia's greatest danger yet might be not NATO, not even Islam but the rising China... Bear vs Dragon? Clancy has been prophetic already - although not in a direct way - of militant islam and use of jetliner aircraft as kamikaze platforms. If you were the Chinese General Staff, would you challenge maybe declining, but still very potent US Navy or decisively weakened Russia?

Kristen said...

David Brooks appears to be schizophrenic.  Sometimes the bad David comes out, and he is simply overwhelmed with admiration for the crease in a pair of pants.  Sometimes good David appears, and he writes a great column like this one.  Here's hoping that when he goes to vote, bad David doesn't punch the ballot for a pair of nicely-creased pants this time around. 

Mike M. said...

Nope.  Think BIG.

Consolidate the Departments of Labor, Agriculture, Transportation, and non-military portions of Energy into the Department of Commerce.

If you really want to go for broke, deep-six the Defense Department.  Go to a War Department, which would control the Army, Air Force, and Homeland Security - and a Navy Department, controlling the Navy, Marine Corps, and what is now the State Department.

Raise Congressional pay.  Yes, raise it.  These people have control of vast amounts of money, and should be paid in accordance with their responsibilities. 

But then turn around and flatly forbid any relative of a Congressman from being employed as a lobbyist.  And require that in order to collect retirement pay, a Congressman must reside in the State he represented...or more than 500 miles from Washington.

Honest government must be paid for.  But it's cheaper than having elected officials being lobbied by their wives.

The Usual Suspect said...

<span>· To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
· To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
· To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
· To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
· To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
· To provide and maintain a Navy;
· To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
· To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
· To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
· To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
· To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof. </span>
<span>Let us force the government to quit doing all of the things that it is not empowered to do and focus on these 18 essentials as laid out in the Constitution.</span>
<p><span><span> </span></span></p>

The Usual Suspect said...

<span>Cdr. Sal,</span>
<span>To get where you want to go (and likely, most of the rest of us here) you have to have a reference or a starting point.  The following is that starting point and it has been strayed from for many a year, decade, and quite possibly a little over a century...</span>
<span> </span>
<span>Congress is limited to the following eighteen enumerated powers, as defined in Section 8 of the United States Constitution:

· To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
· To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
· To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
· To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
· To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
· To establish Post Offices and post roads.


Surfcaster said...

Umm, with pulling back to home you'll need the Virgina as that just became one of your longest best arms, and you'll need the F22 (actually more advanced better range variants) to pick up a lot of the slack. Hard to believe were #%@&^#@&*^# contemplating @&^#T@(&*3 like this.

DG said...

I agree that you need Virginia - especially if anything with China ever happens. Only subs can counter a large Chinese Navy and protect carrier assets. However, we need to do some radical cost containment on new Subs and Carriers. The defense contractors are robbing us blind.

Casey Tompkins said...

Sounds like a bean-counter to me.

No, the solution isn't just killing the biggest-ticket contracts. As Surfcaster & DG pointed out, we need some of those systems.

There was a similar situation before WW2. The Army was hesitant to fund the B-17, since it was seen as an "offensive" weapon, and uneccessary to national defense. Moreover the B-18 cost half as much to produce. Combat accounting at its finest, considering we never used the B-18 in frontline service, even when desperately short of aircraft.

Casey Tompkins said...

Just to get away from griping about government in general, and back to the original post: wouldn't withdrawing forward bases from Japan & South Korea inhibit our ability to deal with China in the future? Wouldn't that move in fact tempt China to conclude that -while officially still opposed to her expansion of influence- we had conceded to them informal local autonomy in the region?

Given China actually launching an offensive to recapture Taiwan (for example), wouldn't it take us far longer to respond if we had to start from Hawaii or the west coast instead of Japan or South Korea?

I could be wrong here; I'm just playing straight man.

Agreed we need to focus more on logistics; if memory serves Congress had to be bullied into funding the high-speed transports we have now. Not sexy enough to grab their attention. We also need to tell McCain to keep his hands to himself, and resolve the air-tanker fiasco. Quickly.

Phib, would you propose we retain the Maritime Prepositioning Ship squadrons? They would seem to fit nicely into your scheme, although one might want to reposition the squadron in the Mediterranean.

CDR Salamander said...

MPS are gold. As for JPN & ROK - you assume that they would let is use our bases in their country.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

And then, as we leave, the organist will play Song of the High Seas, the Theme to Victory At Sea.


Casey Tompkins said...

Yes, I am. Like I said, I'm playing the straight man with that question. :)

Some of the folks over at have been hinting those countries are having second thoughts about us these days in the face of modern China, but I can't say where they're getting that from.

LT B said...

I think I got a tingle up my leg reading this.  I hope we dig ourselves out of this mess.  Common sense is not so common any more though.

Andrewdb said...

At the risk of fighting the last war (well, actually the war before the war before the last war), hasn't reverting to Fortress America already been tried?  I think this guy had some stuff to say about it:

Southern Air Pirate said...

That is why there is such a build up happening in Guam. They are building piers and infrastructure to support FDNF, including the potential of having an NRF that far west in years. Military barracks, addtional airfields, and exercise grounds for a large portion of the Marines currently deployed in Okinawa and Japan, along with portions of the US Army units still based in Japan. The last I knew the bill for all of this was being split tween Japan and the US. However, Guam and her non-voting Senators are dragging thier feet fighting the Enviromental impact statements, that the island can't support that many troops (someone even asked the JCS if the island would flip over if I remember at the congressional hearings), and in general pulling a bunch of NIMBY crap. There are MPS ships deployed both in Sasebo, Japan and Agna, Guam that are tasked with filling out the 3rd MEF with thier heavy gear.

As to dealing with the PRC or NORK, what has amazed me is our politicking in the region has been seriously sucking! I don't know if it has to do with our flailing in the region post WW2, that no one in the region wants to deal with us cause of some left over anti-colonialism, or just mistrust of the US. However, we should have been working on something similar to NATO in the region. I know years ago we had SEATO, but that feel apart pretty fast cause of infighting tween the members. Worst then what was seen in NATO at times from what I have read.

cdrsalamander said...

There is a budgetary reality that is coming to the front. There is also a reality that if we must fight China at some time down the road - why assume that two sovereign nations with a thousand years more experience with China than with the USA will let us use their land to fight a war against their larger and stronger neighbor that just made them an offer they can't refuse.  Talk to the German vets who were stationed in Finland and Romania in '44/45 and ask them about being based in the land of allies in a time of exceptional GOPOL stress.

The Chinese still teach Mahan and Clauswitz in detail and integrate them into their Strategic/Operational Concepts of Operations.

Southern Air Pirate said...

<span> </span>
<span>Using your moon example, our political leadership has basically put the idea of landing a man on the moon at the end of the decade as a national priority. Every big event of this nation's history was made to be a major effort of both the common man but also the national political leadership. Settling West was combined tween the railroads and the want of the nation to expand its borders, building the Panama Canal as a way to increase our national defense abilities, the numerous major damn projects throughout the nation bringing cheap electrical power to regions that even up to the mid-50's were still using candles and oil, the building of the interstate system in the early 60's provided easier transportation tween states and an increase in our economy. Now days, too many competing groups just with in an advocacy group. For example some environmental groups are all for using solar/wind power but are fought by others trying to preserve the range of the orange spotted central salamander, or you have some in the diversity bullies willing to stand up for some diversity but show their racist colors in other incidents, you have politicos bending like a grass reed in the political wind in an attempt to stay in office. There isn't a sense of national purpose and those that want to create a national purpose are denigrated with vulgar comments, identified as racists, or have some of their ideas being subscribed to radically opposite political ideas. In general the idea of creating divisive goals has been popular for the last forty years at least. </span>

Andrewdb said...

This seems interesting (like I need more on that Amazon list).

I agree about limited resources - shoot, let's have a discussion about our strategic interests in AFG.

ewok40k said...

Given that ROK and JPN can be the very nations over which US would be going to war, I wouldn't scracth the possibility of US basing there... but there is a slight possibility that Chinese will manage to outmaneuver US politically and neutralize these allies. Latest behavior over the ramming fishing captain incident though  show China to be almost pushing every neighbor it can into US arms. Soviet bullying around was what kept NATO  together during cold war.

virgil xenophen said...

I would demur on several points. Presently host nations off-set much of our basing costs. It will actually cost MORE in housing alone in many cases to base units in CONUS PLUS additional costs for the added air/sea-lift capability needed to transport the force back to the combat theater--with possibly having to fight our way back to landing zones.

Secondly, in the midst of tense international incidents prior to actual onset of armed conflict, the very act of sending reinforcements to the forward area--as opposed to having such forces already in place--may be seen as provacative and triggering the very war we seek to prevent. Such diplomatic considerations will inevitably mean that WH advisors will counsel delay, and if war does occur guarantee that needed forces will arrive too little too late--if at all--as opposed to being made available to Theater Commanders prior to onset of hostilities. This was/is always the problem with NATO's "Reforger" concept and exercises where short distances between WP forces and NATO warehouses where Reforger equip and tanks were housed meant it was a distinct possibility they could be seized by WP forces even before the troops meant to man them could be flown in.)

I am an UNREPENTENT advocate of foreward deployment in place and IN MAX FORCE

virgil xenophen said...

I should also refer one and all to the 1970 Congressional Budget hearings in the armed services committee wherein Admiral Rickhover--yes, the one and only and in-the-flesh--counseled EMPHATICALLY that we should build the max # of large carriers possible during peace-time as there will not possibly be time enough to build any of these exceedingly complex ships in time of war. Go to your Govt Documents sec. of your local library and delve into the hearings and read his views.

Surfcaster said...

Sadly, I would expect future administrations to be out manouvered. Repeatedly.

Southern Air Pirate said...

Yes, however as what was seen about a decade ago in the Philippines, Thailand, and a few other "friendly" nations that fell out of our sphere of inflenuce tween the fall of Saigon and the collapse of the Cold War. Our basing rights were lost as those in the political establishment shifted from right aisle politicos to more left-wing and anti-American parties. Some of those nations started to fall into the sphere of PRC or go netural to basically wait out the winner. In recent years though the PRC has flexed thier muscles the wrong way with some people, but we haven't been there to pick up from there and out politick them.

Meanwhile some nations that we should be friendly with in the region we are have had a "nodding from across the room" acknowledgement of them. Like New Zealand, we haven't had a fleet ship visit there since the late 60's due to differences over nuclear weapons and some other geopol issues. Australia has varied in the region tween being our friend and being our assoicate again over geo-politics.

Southern Air Pirate said...

Well the whole idea of FDNF and other forward deployed forces in some regions or even the POMCUS sites, was that we could maintian a forward deploy pressance at a cost savings. Remember the RDF (rapid deployment force), that then became CentCom, was designed to fly into a potential war zone marry up with thier MPS units and start to conduct operations. We saw how well that worked in Desert Storm. The same was true of POMCUS sites, we brought troops home or stood them down from active duty units to reserve or cadre units and then in case of a general war stand them back up and during REFORGER fly them in marry up with the equipment and start to conduct operations. FDNF was going to use both Japan, Greece, Diego Garcia, and potentially Norway. Using a CVV, that was proposed or again the through-deck Typhoon cruiser would be the forward deployed unit and ease the cost of deploying the large deck carriers into the region since theyse FDNF units could deploy more often to the region. From last I remember reading/hearing about the plan was some of the proposed bases was to be Suda, Degio Garcia, either Bergen or one other port on the Norwegian sea coast of Norway, and Japan. The CVV came from Zumwalt's tenure as CNO and it was killed off by both the GAO and BuAir's on studies showing it couldn't keep up with the fleet during combat ops and it couldn't generate the same number of combat ops as even the older 27C mod Essex carriers.

DM05 said...

SES/GOFOs/Pet Projects/Staffs/Non-Productive War Fighting Assets: Read. Heed. Post. Circulate. Hide. It's about reductions in WASTE. Let's start with the GOFO's but move quickly with the rest. Who's in charge and the AO's?

sobersubmrnr said...

The thing is, unlike LCS and the current crop of new amphibs, the Virginia-class boats have been a success. A few hiccups along the way due to poor QA and teething troubles common to all new designs, but nothing the 688-class program didn't suffer in its early days.

QMC said...

Brooks still hasn't quite caught the bus, what with his astonishment that police officers can retire before they turn 50.  It is sort like the asses who complain that servicemembers can retire on half-pay after twenty years.  It is as if force shaping is totally lost on these opiners and deep thinkers.  Sure, some people could stick around after they turn 50 or do twenty, but how many slightly used beat cops and lieutenant commanders, and middle-aged second class petty officers do we really need.

Casey Tompkins said...

QMC, considering that most police officers never fire their sidearm in the line of duty, I would not consider them analagous to soldiers. And, yes, I would expect them to last longer than age 50, especially considering the goodies many police unions garner for their members. The police aren't so "up or out" as the armed forces, and there's lots of desk jobs available.

Your typical grunt (Army or Marine) earns that half-pay after twenty. I don't see a parallel situation for police officers, especially since the latter (as I observed above) aren't awarded pensions based on service, but rather on union negotiations with the local city/county.

God help us if the armed forces ever become unionized... >:o

ewok40k said...
it is beginning to happen - the defence cuts... it is time to work on that the useless things get axed while most needed ride out intact

QMC said...


Like most analogies, mine has some holes.  The point I am inartfully trying to make is that police work and firefighting is generally a more dangerous (and certainly more stressful) occupation than the average civil service office job.

QMC said...

I would like to see a similar willingness to cut back the other Federal departments.

Mike M. said...

This is true...but as a Federal Civil Servant under the old Civil Service Retirement System (which has not taken anyone since 1982), I have to be 55 AND have >30 years of service to retire on roughly 55% pay.  Anyone on the current Federal Employees Retirement System is worse off.

A lot of these LEOs are putting in twenty years with one department, retiring - and putting in another twenty years with ANOTHER department.  Teachers are doing the same thing.

Aubrey said...

Any thought's on Galrahn's post over at USNI on the potential for the LCS to be on the budgetary chopping block?

I haven't had the chance to go over to his place and read the greater detail he promises, but will do so later today (Sal always is the first read for me!)

Wharf Rat said...

Wow - I've read all the comments here, and I wonder if those who truly can make a difference, will.

That said - I don't want less carriers, I want more.  You can't build them in war, you have to build them in peace.  I don't want less submarines, I want more.  I don't want less F-22's, I want more (I saw one fly at The Great Minnesota Airshow and I have never, ever, ever seen flying like that) (I talked to the pilot, from Minnesota no less (yeah!), and he was the only pilot in the US Air Force qualified to fly this demonstration flight, and he was about 30 years old!)

But I digress - I'm with you on reduction of staff, Old Sal., and if defense contractors are robbing us blind, we need to fix that.  But I will say forever - the real problem is domestic spending that allows for unfunded benefits, that are robbing my kids, and grandkids blind. 

My own company, FedEx, made the prudent move to stop the traditional pension plan (I have a fixed benefit right now of $1,400/month when I retire, and move the entire company to a 'portable' pension plan, which is analagous to a 401k that only the company funds, but that money is yours.  You run through it, you're done, versus the traditional pension plan that goes on until I meet the great admiral in the sky.

This is exactly what the public employee's should be moved to, rather that fixed traditional benefits that bankrupt this country, and force us to reduce defense spending like Great Britain.  Hard to believe that the Royal Navy will be reduced to a coastal defence force because of domestic spending, including their terrible health care plan.

Wharf Rat said...

Also - I just got my annual enrollment packet from FedEx for next years health care choices. 

Wanna know what is OMINOUS?:  The fact that the new health care bill (Obamacare) requires employers to include their contribution to our health care on the W2's.  The paragraph on the packet states that while this is a new requirement per the health care bill, we won't be taxed on those dollars.

Why the h........... is that requirment in there then?!!  Because now the IRS, who can only guess what companies are providing in tax free health care benefits, will for the first time get hard numbers.  Legislators will then look at that money and seek to TAX it.  It's outrageous that private information between a company and its employee's will be shared with this Big Brother government. 

It's this type of thing that tells me legistators have NO INTENTION of fixing this, but simply looking for more ways to feed the beast, and the only areas for actual revenue cuts will be in DEFENSE.

There - hopefully I've made my point.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Predictable. Predicted. The sooner it's gone, the better. Then go buy something useful off the shelf for a lot less per ship.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

The kindly old gentleman's (KOG) second most annoying trait was giving prescient, really smart guidance to people above his paygrade, generally uninvited.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

You low down strict constructionist, you. ;)

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Howz about we change foreign military sales (foreign) from Uncle Sam's Used Ship Lot to Uncle Sam's Economy New Ships. Rubber mats, hand crank windows, AM radio and a Mercury name plate. Lo markup easy terms custom paint jobs and all kinds of chrome rims, optional at extra cost.

Rake off the profits and then use 'em to built LTD Hiway Patrol Specials, offroad F250's  and Lincoln Limos off the same production line, VP & above special senior executive discount to the USN.

Speaking metaphorically, of course

ewok40k said...

Split the F-35 budget in half, make half buy more F-22, the other half make A-10s and some COIN turboprops. I am at a loss about the naval aviation though, can those 2 be navalised?

JAV said...

Part 1-Let me start by stating I am a 20+ year Marine reservist who has served in OIF/OEF. I am also a career fireman. My father was a cop. It disgusts me that so many smart people can be so blind to both sides of an argument.

The grunt may "earn" his half pay after 20? What about the Army mechanic or USAF avionics specialist who never faced combat-did they ever pull a sidearm to earn their retirement? Does every fighter pilot need to have a kill to rate a pension? Unlike military folks-and I think of myself as one-who have to deploy to get into a fight, cops and firemen have to be ready for one every minute of their 20-30 years on duty.While they may not get into a fight everyday, I'd say

Most police and fire do not pay into-or receive-social security benefits. That is the tradeoff they made with the cities for their pension funds. The cops and firemen contribute the amount that would have been their SS contribution plus 4-10% of their base pay for their whole careers toward the pension fund. Sure, you'll get 60-70% of your pay, but there is no COLA. What I get if I retire next month is the same amount I will get in 2040. The city takes their money that would otherwise go into SS and puts it into the pension fund. Thanks to the stock market, many cities didn't put in a dime for most of the 90s-early 00s while they gave themselves city cars and built new city halls. Now they cry that the pension fund is underfunded. Military personnel pay zero for their retirement, and get a COLA every year-and get SS.

JAV said...

Part 2- I won't even mention how much we pay for health care compared to active duty military.

As far as second careers, how many military retirees walk right into GS or military contractor jobs? How many make 20-100% disability while working a GS job?

Desk jobs-where? My FD used to have 95 members, 10 were desk jobs. Of those, 7 would have to be ready to strap on an SCBA and bunker gear if necessary. We expect to lose 5 of those positions next year. We have 75 people left, and the average age of a line fireman here is 44 thanks to layoffs. Do you think most 44 year old military personnel could throw 28' ladders or drag hose through a burning building every day? Not most of those I see, but most 44 year olds who were in the military are already retired and working their new job.

BTW, I was on ADOS in Sept. My take home pay was more than double of my FD pay as a Lieutenant/Paramedic, even though I was on BAH II. In Iraq I almost tripled my pay. Wait until the war ends and the bean counters start realizing there are CDRs and LtCols in staff jobs who have never deployed and make $130K a year. That's a lot of money to create PPT slides, but evidently too much for cops and firemen.

I said 3 years ago that as the economy tanked, people would come after public employees. The civil servants first, then the teachers, then public safety. The military will come next. I don't want to see that happen, but it will-unless we stop tearing each other down and stand up together-but that would be acting like a union. ;)

cdrsalamander said...

Who pays for your pension?  The taxpayers.  Do we live in a just society where the taxpayers have declining income and benefits while public servants see their income and benefits increase?  Really?  It that where we are - that our best and brightest feel that they/we are intitled to take, take, take, while the host we feed off of gets weaker and weaker?  Really?

Retired Now said...

LCS-1 program kill ?   Lockheed Martin, in theory, SHOULD be in favor of this.   After all,  LCS-1,3,5....  is a very large chunk of money.

DDG-113 restart program is excellent, for the Navy, as well as for Lockheed Martin as they do the entire AEGIS Combat System integration of sensors, weapons, comm's, etc.    Even though Lockheed is also providing the Command and Control parts of LCS-1,3,5...  it is nowhere near the full AEGIS suite that they have so succesfully provided for DDG-51 thru DDG-112, the regular destroyer program that is winding down right now.

I would think Lockheed Martin would prefer that the Navy killed LCS and concentrated on DDG-113 restart program exclusively for Surface Navy warships.

JAV said...

Since you didn't read the whole response above-I pay a significant portion of my pension-8% of my total pay, plus the 15% of what would be social security contributions. Not to mention the hourly wages we've foregone to keep it. How much did you pay toward your Navy pension? Oh, I know, 0%.

And lest you forget, cops and firemen are taxpayers too. My point is simply this-we are just as entitled to a pension as military personnel for the risks and sacrifices we make. Every argument against us is one that can be made against military pensions as well, but with even more justification-military pensions have lower retirement ages, no member contribution, and they make more money than most cops and firemen.

I don't have a problem with shared sacrifice. However, no one offered me more than a 3% while everyone else was getting their annual bonuses and stock options. Not once did home values go up and the city called to say "You know, we're doing better than we expected, here's another 3%." Yet we were the first municipal union in our city to offer concessions-and the city promptly demanded double, while giving others raises.

Redeye80 said...

We can cut some of the capability but I like the fact that our President and Vice Prosident look, well, presidental.  So, they can keep thier toys but the rest of the gov't can stand in the same TSA line as me.

Southern Air Pirate said...

Then there is the social security racket. Social security wasn't designed to be an end all retirement plan. It was just designed to provide addtional support to whatever you salted away over your work history. That is why now adays in boot camp they are pushing for everyone to donate to the TSP program, start an IRA, or even just buy some savings bonds with thier pay checks. Again to cite my local reference, at a bear minimum again iaw state law all fire fighters and police officer and thier surivors shall draw $300 dollars a month for a pension. The most the SFD or any state fire fighter or police officer (including all state troopers and sheriffs) need to do is donate 6% of thier pay to the general pension fund. Again a proby fire fighter starts out at $60k a year, they don't see 3557.10 in their first year as an officer which goes into the state pension fund. Meanwhile an O-1 makes half that, 32947.2, based on the 2010 pay chart. Lets not talk about an E-3 and below (20469.6 base pay). Again that is just in a year and some of thier bennies don't even compare to some of the civil service jobs out there. A minor scandal eurpted in the city of Bellevue when it was found out that everyone from police to even the mayor's secretaries were drawing double time and half for getting called out to do 5 minute jobs (such as reset the security system in city hall) or be on call during a large civic function. That was all good and such in days past when the tax base could support it, but now not so much.

Redeye80 said...

I think to some degree you are comparing apples to oranges.  Who retires when you just make O-4?  Unless we are facing a RIF, newly promoted will get thier 3 years time in grade.  Most services require that commitment.

If we are so concerned about how the pension systems work for firefighters, police and teachers, then vote. Vote out those who choose to take advantage of the tax payers. 

I don't know about you but I believe we need firefighters, police and teachers.  Cut thier benefits and see how many people with do for love or money. Or maybe we don't need public safety or a well educated populace.

You want to change the military pension system, then run like the reserves.  I don't get a paycheck until I turn 60.  Which, I believe is the highest age requirement for any Federal employee.  So, if you will under the current retirement system for someone who walks in the door today.  After 20 years of service, they can retire at 40% of base pay.  Change that to reserves sytem and now that individual will have to wait around 18 -20 years to get a retirement paycheck with the only benny of going to the exchange and commissary. (I'll assume those will still exist in the future.) What do you think that will do to retention?  Who would stay? 

Redeye80 said...

Oh and as far as the disability issue, simple fix.  Combat related disabilities (qualified for a Purple Heart) should be set and no agruments from the issuing doctor to the VA.  We broke them, we own them for the rest of thier lives. Period!

As far as the rest, most of the cases I've seen the VA has always bumped up the rating. 

Redeye80 said...

We part ways here Sal.  If the local governments wnat to pay what they pay then let them.  If we as tax payers don't like it then vote them out.  Personally, I got no problem with fire fighers, police and teachers getting a good pension.  I like public saftey. I like a well educated populace.  I am willing to pay for that.

What I am not willing to pay for is those who hang on the gov't t$t for everything, who don't work, who make babies cuase I can get more money.  I am not talking about the disabled or elderly.  I am talking about those who can work but don't because they get thier handout.

JAV said...

Sorry, you understand less about my pension than you think. I'm in Michigan, not Washington. Mine is based on the average of the best 3 of my last 10 years service. So if I get promoted, I need 3 years at that rank to retire with the average. Same as the current military system. Yet promotions here are very limited, if you hire in at the right time you may make chief in 15 years, hire in 3 years later and you may retire as a fireman.

Your O-1 pay left out the non-taxable BAH. In Seattle that would be another $19200 a year. Seattle happens to be on the high side for cost of living and wages-my BAH there would be $500 higher than where I live. Why didn't you pick Detroit, where a top pay firefighter makes $45K? Comparing an E3 to a career firefighter is also a tad disingenuous, since most FDs require you to have 2-3 years of training (Firefighter certifications, paramedic, etc) that the candidate has to pay for and complete prior to hiring. FD/PD disability is no great shakes either-it's basically the equivalent of worker's comp.

I'm not defending Bellevue or any other corruption. My major point is people slam public pensions without knowing their true cost or benefits, while somehow forgetting what they get from their own employers. Every fire and police union contract is approved by the politicians they work for. Blame them, not the guys working their tails off.

JAV said...

<span>Sorry SAP, you understand less about my pension than you think. I'm in Michigan, not Washington. Mine is based on the average of the best 3 of my last 10 years service. So if I get promoted, I need 3 years at that rank to retire with the average. Same as the current military system. Yet promotions here are very limited, if you hire in at the right time you may make chief in 15 years, hire in 3 years later and you may retire as a fireman.  
Your O-1 pay left out the non-taxable BAH. In Seattle that would be another $19200 a year. Seattle happens to be on the high side for cost of living and wages-my BAH there would be $500 higher than where I live. Why didn't you pick Detroit, where a top pay firefighter makes $45K? Comparing an E3 to a career firefighter is also a tad disingenuous, since most FDs require you to have 2-3 years of training (Firefighter certifications, paramedic, etc) that the candidate has to pay for and complete prior to hiring. FD/PD disability is no great shakes either-it's basically the equivalent of worker's comp.  
I'm not defending Bellevue or any other corruption. My major point is people slam public pensions without knowing their true cost or benefits, while somehow forgetting what they get from their own employers. Every fire and police union contract is approved by the politicians they work for. Blame them, not the guys working their tails off.</span>

Casey Tompkins said...

Ewok, don't dump the baby out with the bathwater. The F-35 may yet prove to be effective. It's just not as sexy as the F-22. The Phantom II wasn't all that sexy either, nor was the Thunderbolt II. Or the original Thunderbolt, now that I think about it.

There are fashions & styles in war, as in everything else.

As for navalized aircraft, I don't doubt the turboprop COIN craft will, at least, prove capable of landing even on Marine amphibious assault carriers, which are about the same size as WW2 Essex-class carriers. Or am I the only one who noticed that? 

Alas for Apollo, very nearly every instance of "We could put a man on the moon, BUT..." reasoning has been shown to be flawed. Apollo was a massive engineering project for a very single, specific goal. Get a man to the moon, and back, alive. Moon rocks optional. We did that. We celebrated. Added a few extra trips, then quit. End result of a decade of effort and a very significant proportion of our national wealth: NOTHING. Whoops, I tell a lie, we had Skylab. For a while. Before they refused to keep it in orbit.

NASA quite literally threw everything developed for the first twenty years of its existence out the window in order to justify the Space Shuttle, which ended up flying about 10% of the original projected capacity. Don't tell me that's not a failure. Or am I the only one who remembered that the Shuttles were supposed to fly once a week?

The sad truth is that the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo series never prepared the United States for sustained space exploration. It was almost literally the worlds most expensive man shot out of a cannon. NASA ignored very nearly every requirement to develop a sustainable space transportation system just to get the quick'n'dirty "Kennedy moon shot." You can look at it as the ultimate "hacker" form of space exploration. Go back and look at what Clarke, Von Braun, Ley, and Heinlein (among others) had to say about sustained space travel. NASA ignored all of that.

Even if NASA had tried to develop a sustainable approach (Titan MOL, Dyna-Soar, Skylab, at least), Congress spiked the wheels with the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which is still the law today. Anyone who takes a risk both with respect to captial, equipment, and lives, in outer space will never be able to enjoy the fruits of their profits while that treaty is in force.

So let's please not blame this on some grand scheme of socio-politics, when it can be blamed on simple laziness and stupidity. Kudos to Napoleon: Do not ascribe to malice that which may be ascribed to stupidity/incomptence.

ewok40k said...

What I dont like about F-35, it is trying to do too many different things at once... which usually ends up bad for an aircraft. It isn't stealthy nor maneuvrable enough to be top class fighter, and has too small payload to be good attack aircraft. F-117 was success because it was designed to get thru any air defence to target and drop one or two guided bombs with unnerring precision - and it did that excellent. Think scalpel, but for battlefield you need a sabre (no pun intended!), able to thrust, slash and parry in equal measure.
And re: sustainable space travel - it's ironic but after Soviets axed their moon rocket as unneeded anymore after Apollo 11, they, by doing the evolution of the very first space rocket ended up with most reliable and economic space delivery system today. Lessons to be learned?
In the end I look more and more to the private sector for space travel - simply because they are keeping costs in check to be able to profit.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Eisenhower did not want to invest anything in space that wasn't scientific research or didn't have a strategic or operational application. Nothing but bread and butter.

The young turks wanted to show up the Russians, which they did.

The long term payoff was low. Ike's plan would have taken the long term to come to fruition, but would have been high in payoff.

Sound familiar?

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

I like AM radios, that's where I find Coast to Coast AM, When Radio Was, and Mark Levin.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Now Grandpa, there is no need to be insulting....

Anonymous said...

If you think we can defeat the Chinese at sea (in their front yard) with little or no forward basing and a total carrier force structure of NINE, I've got some good vacation property to show you on Taiwan.  This sounds much like what Barney Frank, and many in China, would like to see.

ewok40k said...

For now its 9 carriers to nil. No contest. As long as US will maintain 3-1 carrier advantage and protects the carriers well enough, victory should be assured. One major question is, can US endure a victory that involes losing some of those carriers to utterly destroy enemy  navy.
In 1942 it was Enterprise vs Japan, USN lost 4 of its 7 carriers within half year... And there was no despairing or defetism. Imagine US losing half its carrier force today...

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Nine to nil at the moment.  PRC is building more shipyards than ships.  And nine US CVNs will not be what PLAN faces.  Likely four, perhaps five.  Ten years from now, perhaps 3-4.  And if PLAN by that time has two, we are well-behind the 3-1 desired, and likely without forward bases.  With PLAN's access denial adding some level of combat power to PLAN or negating some quotient of ours, the 3-2 or 2-1 (4-2) might be somewhat short of that.

cdrsalamander said...

Guest.  OK - explain to me what alternative universe you live in where the budget is different.  If you think you can maintain the shipbuilding budget we have right  now in the face of the fact that in just two years we just trippled the national debt built up over 234 years - I'm all ears.

Casey Tompkins said...

I won't spend too much time on this, considering it's peripheral to the original post.

Redeye80, you may want to do some research on how police & firefighter unions in many large cities have gone past appropriate pensions, and entered the realm of ripoff.

Even igoring that issue -again, if you look around you'll discover- such pensions in general across the country are to date underfunded by over a trillion dollars, by the most conservative estimates. Something has to give.

Casey Tompkins said...

F-117 became a successful penetration bomber (vice fighter) through pure dumb luck. :)  MacNamara's mistake was trying to force all three services to buy into a single craft. F-35 wasn't designed to be "all-in-one" but the "low" in a "hi/low" mix.

Frankly I'm still surprised about all the bad press about an aircraft which hasn't even reached IOC yet. Even the F-22 isn't all that stealthy when you get away from full-front aspect.

The P-38 had many design flaws, but ended up kicking buttocks. The single greatest reason the Mustang won out was that the latter was designed for efficient mass production, while the Lightining wasn't.

As for the Soviets, they enjoyed the financial advantage from possession of valuable physical resources (boosters & plants) after the collapse of the Soviet Union. BTW, by "moon rocket," do you mean the N-1, which was hardly successful in the first place?

If we had retained the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo footprint, and used that for sustainable exploration, we would most likely be far ahead of where we are today. Alas, NASA spent the last forty years eliminating any & all competitors after they became fully vested in the Space Shuttle. Check out G. Harry Stine's Halfway to Anywhere for some of the gory details of NASA suppression.

Even then -and I have to repeat this- private space development depends on the elimination of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. Period. Full stop. Until then, no private organization has any legal basis to make any claims of sovreignty or possession. Congress can help by enacting useful laws within the domain of the United States, but we have invested far too much time & status in UN "castles in the air" treaties to the detriment of of private space development. The 1967 treaty has got to go.

ewok40k said...

The wargames series while entertaining to read, only show that no battle plan survives contact with the enemy, as recovered War Pac documents show clearly that it has planned for massive tactical-to-operational nuke usage from D-Day, with 300 strikes on the D-Day to annihilate NATO forces in Germany and Low Countries. France and UK would be spared temporarily, due to risk of reataliation, but with no sizeable NATO forces left in Germany we could see Soviet Tanks in D+4 on the Rhine. God only knows what would be the US response to such devastating use of nukes - probably a nuclear strikes barrier at the Oder and Vistula lines to hamper second and subsequent echelons in arriving to Central Theatre. The risk of all-out escalation from both sides would be enormous.

re: forward bases - Vietnam already is extending military co-operation with India, US can at least encourage that if not being involved directly. Marianas are formidable asset if it can be used right, they are perfect bases for strategic bombing as in WW2. China lacks long-range resources to target the Marianas save ballistic missiles, and if good ABM can be established then it would be very difficult position for China to assail. Remeber, China has concentrated most resources into massive buildup of short range ballistic missiles opposite Taiwan, leaving only few long range missiles.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

The wargames that never translated into operations by the Soviets/WP are interesting. What no one is digging into is why. For the Soviets, it was the 900 lb gorilla they knew was out in the ocean somewhere, but they couldn't find. 

Boomers. Boomers North of the GIUK. Boomers in the Med. Boomers in the North Pacific. . Every year more of them.  Eventually 41 of the damn things. Every decade longer range, more accurate missiles, with more warheads.

After a while it got even scarier. French Boomers. In Russian that translates as "first Red Army boot hits the west bank of the Rhine, every major city west of the Urals goes away".

Then they get a spy in the Radio Room of one them. They read between the lines on contingency plans and start to get a glimmer of how bad it can really be for the nomenklatura when they come out of the bomb shelters.


Then Reagan says "let's get an ABM system so the damn Russians can't hurt us".

What's a believing Marxist striving for total communist victory going to do!?

So my problem isn't really carrier shortages awaiting reindustrialization. Given a credible (that means scary as all get out, mes enfantes) SSBN deterrent force (like 21) and a SSN force that owns the Pacific (50+ and building at forced draft) we can stall and strangle for 5 years, and build the bird farms. This time we KNOW the torpedoes work.

The only thing scarier than 41 grieving pissed off boomer skippers (pretty much family guys to a man) who want nothing to do with Ava Gardner in Tasmania is... a USN with 21 post Ohio class, 50 SSN's/SSGN's, and a huge industrial base. Those are the real crown jewels.
And a death warrant on the PRC.

Deterrence, it's what keeps the peace...with China. Wahabis - your mileage may vary.

Homework - Essay: The importance of a functioning, prosperous industrial base to national security and the survival of one's Grandchildren.

Redeye80 said...

Redeye80, you may want to do some research on how police & firefighter unions in many large cities have gone past appropriate pensions, and entered the realm of ripoff.

Appropriate pension?  What's that? Who determines what is appropriate?  I don't have the answers, I have a MBA not a MPA.  But what I do know is nothing happens in vacuum.  Elected officials allowed it to happen.  Hold them accountable.

So, is the answer really cutting services to make up for the sins of the past?  Or adding taxes?  Maybe the best solution is to get the economy rolling again to increase revenues to increase the tax base.

Again, I like public safety and a good educational system.  I like having the best and brightest defending the public good.  I like having the quality teachers educate my kids.  Those who choose those fields should be rewarded.

ewok40k said...

Note how much current China economy is dependent on export - and  continues to grow dependent on import of resources. Imagine major war with US, even at conventional level. No exports to US, and to Europe either, and no oil imports , because if there is one thing USN subs can do like no one else it is strangling sea trade.  Japan learned this hard way. In fact China can be more susceptible to naval strategy than Soviets, because it's land-expansion options are severely limited by deserts, mountains and a Bear on a  pile of still functioning nukes.

Curtis said...

I sometimes wonder how exactly people think that they can defeat China.  Smart people, even ones I am related to worry about that sort of thing.  We didn't win in Korea and the Chinese were just kind of playing with us.  Broadly nuking the crap out of them would make for one of the 1100 year long war things.  Naval combat is not the equivalent of boots on the ground.  What does it take to win the war?  We bombed them flat; we shelled them flat and then we occupied their capital.

Not all that interested in waging war for Malaysia or Japan or Korea or Singapore.  They better arm themselves.  That goes for Vietnam, and Thailand and Laos Indonesia and Russia.

Southern Air Pirate said...

Well the supposed truism is you don't wage war on the Asian Mainland.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

URR: Purely and totally admiration, sir, purely and totally.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

DG: One minor correction, the correct spelling of "counter" is "!@#$%&* S.I.N.K.!"  Otherwise an admirably true, wise, on point and terse post. My congratulations and hope you will be tolerant of my minor quibble re spelling.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Great idea. I'm holding out for Summary Capitol Crimes & Strategic Cluelessness Court Chief Judge, with URR as Lord High Efficiency and Morale Improvement Officer/Executioner. As a blow for gender equality, Mongo gets Madam DeFarge's old job, if he wants it. Nominations for members of the tribunal are open, submit your packages ASAP. Motto: "First a fair trial...".

Southern Air Pirate said...


Elected officals aren't the only ones pushing for too high pensions and unwilling to deal. When you have leadership in some of the unions who threaten the politicos with the lose of thier jobs unless they pay out. How can we as a tax payer vote out union leaders? Think about as a customer side. A business you deal with that makes a cog you need for your sprocket, the company that makes the cog raises the cost of the cog to offset rising costs of dealing with the union. How can you deal with the cog company and thier rising costs? It isn't completely the companies fault the costs have risen, they are just offseting the costs of the union on to thier clients. For the company it is tween closing the doors or staying in business, so they have to cut a deal with the union. The most you can do is find another supplier or pass the costs on to your own customers. For government, that isn't possible at times. When everyone and thier brother wants government to do something for their cause, something has to give.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

If I get to be Morale Improvement Officer AND High Executioner, I hereby designate Fridays as "Loud tie day" and Tuesdays are "Smile, or else day". 

Casey Tompkins said...

Thanks much, SAP...

Bubba Bob said...

Unless you are Asian!

Grandpa Bluewater said...

It's Monday, so wipe that smile off your face, Mister.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Almost forgot, who are you going hang today to improve efficiency? Quota is at least one per day. No bag limit.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Almost forgot. Who are you going to hang today to improve efficiency. Quota is at least one supergrade GS a day. No bag limit.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Oh, I've a list of names.  I collect them on Thursdays, primarily. 

sid said...

Forgot the VH-3s and VH-60s to that fuel burn total...

Ready for Cap and Tax in the lame duck session in a few weeks?

Anyway, I've looked high and low for a quote from Teddy Roosevelt about his disdain of Royalty, but can't find it.

So , this from mark Twain, will have to suffice when describing the current mentality that permeates the Royal City on the Potomac (which I will be visiting on in early Nov.):

Why, dear me, any kind of royalty, howsoever modified, any kind of aristocracy, howsoever pruned, is rightly an insult; but if you are born and brought up under that sort of arrangement you probably never find it out for yourself, and don't believe it when somebody else tells you.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

UltimaRatioRegis said...

We shall see how much a lame duck session is willing to accede to the demands of a supreme egotist and socialist demagogue who just cost fifty or sixty of them their jobs....

sid said...

Actually, that quote doesn't quite fit the current denizens of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

They don't think of themselves as so much bon into a superior class, as a case of:

"I got mine, and screw you..."

Instead of welcoming guests in a formal receiving line with a White House photographer on hand to help visitors capture their historic moment, or simply strolling through the Red, Blue and Green rooms chatting informally with invitees, the Obamas prefer to stand in a designated spot, such as one end of the East Room or in the Grand Foyer, safely positioned behind a red velvet rope. The kind of red velvet rope clubs use to keep out the riffraff. From there, the presidential couple smiles, chats, makes eye contact and waves as their guests jockey for position to touch their hands. No mingling.


I'd say downright embarrassing for all of us.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to.

Casey Tompkins said...

And never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

JS said...

Actually, what we need is for the Boomers to give up their inheritances (re-instate the Estate Tax), so that we can pay off the debt they've left us:

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Since there is nothing we want on Chinese soil, don't go there.

When they come out into Lake Nimitz, aka the big pond just west of UCSB,  they can be had.  If we maintain an adequate Navy.

Say about what we had in 1960, updated for shifts in ships classification. The problem is we need the tariff structure and the industrial base we had in 1960,

This will take some long term work.  As a start, why don't we ask for the ships we lent out back when no longer in use. We need the steel back.  Scrap'em out and keep the steel and other metals and any still reusable parts. Anchors, chain, EOT's, clocks, etc. Sell the small stuff at inflated rates (This clock went through the battle off Samar, only 300.00 for such a collectors piece) Use convicts on death row for labor at asbestos removal. Offer a commuted sentence and the Justice Dept can pay the Navy a bonus on court costs saved.

Ton of high grade steel saved is a ton earned. I guarantee we'll put it to good use sooner or later.

Redeye80 said...


It's easy, you just decide to do it.  We have other programs that administration has decided to be more important than defense.  There is no money for those programs either but they are not taking cuts.

If you think it is important, we could find a way.  But with this adminstration, no so much.  Better too keep masses happy with thier handouts.  Hopey changey, got to love it!

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Good. Don't forget to check Mongo to see if he has been tending to his knitting (trick question).

Grandpa Bluewater said...

And it's Wednesday, so straighten your field scarf.