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Thread: Obama Guts the Military

  1. #101
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Step one. Cut 10s of thousands of troops.

    Step two. Lose to Ron Paul who will pull the rest of them home.

    Step three. Turn over the keys of the White House to Communism.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Air Force Will Lose Hundreds of Planes in New Pentagon Plan


    Updated 4:45 p.m.


    The Air Force is preparing to trim hundreds of aircraft from its aging fleet in order to meet an Obama administration austerity order. The move will strike many Air Force supporters as ironic. Because just as the fleet is set to shrink, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is getting ready to argue, at least implicitly, that the country needs it more than ever.

    Danger Room has learned that around 200 airplanes, mostly older models, will eventually be retired without replacement. That represents about a 5 percent reduction in the overall fleet of about 4,000 aircraft. Exactly which planes will go is unclear. But under any scenario, the positions of thousands of airmen who fly and maintain those planes will be phased out. The majority of those airmen will be reservists and Air National Guardsmen.

    On Thursday, Leon Panetta will announce a new American defense strategy — one that military observers say will stress the centrality of the Pacific region, and by extension, the U.S. Air Force and Navy. But these services will not be exempt from the new pressure in Washington to rein in federal spending. In addition to scrapping the older planes, Danger Room is hearing that the Pentagon is still considering delays to the Air Force’s planned next-(next-)generation bomber, a program unveiled by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates just a year ago. Although the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter family of jets is the most expensive defense program in human history, it’s expected to take relatively minor cuts, such as further delays, not necessarily major budgetary hits, military and Capitol Hill sources say.

    Much remains unsettled ahead of the formal announcement of next year’s defense budget request, scheduled for later this month. That’s when Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will lay out what hardware gets cut under a plan to cut defense spending by $450 billion over the next decade. But “the Air Force will be proposing substantial force reductions, amounting to a couple hundred aircraft,” a senior military official who requested anonymity tells Danger Room.

    The Pentagon leadership has been trying to tether the budget cuts to a shift in the U.S.’s overall defense posture, predicated on the end of the Iraq War and the beginning of the end of the Afghanistan War. Land wars are out; Asia and the Western Pacific are in. Panetta and Dempsey are expected to make that case at a Thursday Pentagon press conference.

    Except that if Asia and the Western Pacific are the new U.S. defense hotspots, then the U.S. will lean heavily on the Air Force (and, of course, the Navy) — while reducing its air fleet. Gen. Philip Breedlove, the Air Force’s second in command, warned in July that the budget cuts could jeopardize the Navy and Air Force’s much-hyped plan for joint warfare in the Pacific, known as AirSea Battle.

    The apparent tension between strategy and cash has the Air Force’s advocates indicating they’ll resist the cuts.

    “The nation is best served if it modernizes its Air Force and its Navy. The big question is whether the money will flow to support the stated strategy,” ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Dunn, president of the Air Force Association, tells Danger Room. “We will argue that the secretary is right about what he says about the strategy.”

    In other words, Panetta is right about prioritizing Asia, so he needs to give the Air Force the cash necessary to prioritize it — not cut the air fleet. The Air Force Association has plenty of friends on Capitol Hill who will be receptive to that message.

    Panetta and Dempsey are not expected to specify which planes, ships, guns or trucks get cut in their Thursday press conference; that’s for the unveiling of the budget later this month. One close observer of Pentagon budgets warns that older bombers, like the B-1, might get slashed even before the new bomber is ready, because they’re expensive gas guzzlers. Older manned fighter jets might take a hit, as the Pentagon probably won’t cut its drone fleet or significantly pare back its F-22s and F-35s. The Air Force’s ancient fleet of Eisenhower- and Kennedy-era tankers are so central to the military’s actions around the globe that it’s hard to imagine any getting phased out until replacements arrive.

    The Air Force won’t be the only service in for budgetary pain. Danger Room is also hearing that the Army is likely to lose more soldiers from its active-duty ranks than it wants. (Irony: the Pentagon waits to cut the Air Force after fighting a decade of land wars; and the Army’s reward for surviving them is major shrinkage.) Cuts to the Navy and the Marine Corps are likely as well, and there will probably be some restructuring of the military’s expensive pension system as well.

    But even though the cuts aren’t finalized yet, the Air Force is already bracing for them. And its allies, armed with the Asia-first strategy, won’t take them lying down.

    “Plans with Iran would rely predominantly on air and naval power. Libya was mostly air power, and the Pacific is clearly a naval and air arena,” says Dunn. “I would note that my naval friends say the Pacific is 75 percent covered by water — but it’s 100 percent covered by air.”

    Update, 4:45 p.m.: According to Inside Defense, the Army shrinkage we heard about isn’t just real, it’s serious. Over the next five years, the Army will lose nearly 100,000 active duty soldiers, going to an “end-strength” of 480,000 to 490,000. That’s a significantly deeper manpower cut than the Army expected — it was slated to go down to 520,000 soldiers — at a faster clip: the reductions Gates announced last year started in 2015. The Marines, too, will shrink from 202,000 to 181,000 leathernecks, which is a few thousand Marines fewer than Gates envisioned; they’ll return to being more of a sea-based service instead of a de facto second Army.

    This moment was coming. At last year’s big Army convention in D.C., Gen. Raymond Odierno, the chief of staff, warned that budget cuts would probably shrink the Army to a smaller size than he’s comfortable with.

    Odierno also said that his priority was to preserve a capable, deployable Army that’s well-trained to win wars, even if it’s relatively small. But make no mistake: Odierno does not want this.

    If you’re wondering why the Army (and Marines) will shrink so much, the reason is the impending Asia pivot — which Obama himself will visit the Pentagon tomorrow to announce. Not only will Obama, Panetta and Dempsey say that land wars are passe, they’re expected to abandon a formal planning posture committing the military to prepare for two major simultaneous wars. Most experts think the posture is archaic, but the Army spent most of the last decade fighting two simultaneous ground wars — and, the Army is quick to remind, had to add tens of thousands more soldiers to do so.

    For their part, the Air Force and Navy are quick to remind people that it’s cheaper and faster to bring up new soldiers in an emergency than it is to build and deploy new planes and ships. True, but it may not be that simple.

    The diminishment of the Army in both size and prestige carries the prospect of losing battle-experienced career officers, testing the Army’s ability to retain the hard lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan for the next time the U.S. faces unexpected land wars. Your move, Gen. Odierno.

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  3. #103
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Hmmm Wonder if I can buy a C-130 and become a bush pilot?
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Obama: US military can't secure the world

    byJoel Gehrke Commentary Staff Writer



    President Obama announced a new Defense Strategic Review at the Pentagon in an address that bookended military force reductions with a reminder of his foreign policy accomplishments, such as the killing of Osama bin Laden, and an assurance that defense spending will remain high, despite the recognition that the United States cannot secure the world.

    "Meeting the challenges of our time cannot be the work of our military alone -- or the United States alone," Obama said this morning. "It requires all elements of our national power, working together in concert with our allies and our partners."

    Obama said that "we’ll be able to ensure our security with smaller conventional ground forces" under the new strategy. "So, yes, our military will be leaner, but the world must know the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats."

    Careful not to appear soft on defense, Obama opened by recalling military successes over the last three years, including the signature killing of Osama bin Laden. "We’ve ended our war in Iraq," the president said. "We’ve decimated al Qaeda’s leadership. We’ve delivered justice to Osama bin Laden, and we’ve put that terrorist network on the path to defeat. We’ve made important progress in Afghanistan, and we’ve begun to transition so Afghans can assume more responsibility for their own security."

    Obama concluded by pushing back against critics who might accuse him of gutting defense. "Over the next 10 years, the growth in the defense budget will slow, but the fact of the matter is this: It will still grow, because we have global responsibilities that demand our leadership," he maintained. "In fact, the defense budget will still be larger than it was toward the end of the Bush administration."

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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    I heard on the radio these cuts that are coming are going to result in us having a war fighting doctrine of "win on one front".

    So in the last 30 years we've gone from "win on 2 fronts, hold on a third" under Reagan to "win (?) on one front".


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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    U.S. Military Cuts to Reduce Emergency Reinforcements in Korea



    A new, more austere U.S. defense strategy unveiled Thursday gives up on fighting major wars overseas and reduces active-duty troops from 570,000 to 470,000. The aim is to cut more than US$450 billion in defense spending over the next decade.

    The new strategy would make it virtually impossible for the U.S. military to fulfill a pledge to South Korea to deploy 690,000 troops on the Korean Peninsula in an emergency.

    "Washington recently told us that the revision of its defense strategy will have no significant effect on South Korea," a government source said. "But there'll inevitably be a sea change in operational plans and troop augmentation in case of an emergency here."

    South Korea would then have to take more responsibility for itself and shoulder a more substantial burden for its own defense, observers said. Washington is to hand over full operational control of South Korean troops to Seoul in December 2015.

    Under a current operational plan for a full-scale war on the peninsula, the U.S. pledges to send about 690,000 reinforcement troops to the peninsula 90 days after a war breaks out. But under the troop reduction plan that much personnel will no longer be available.

    The number of reinforcements could be cut to less than 200,000, some experts speculated. "It's highly likely that military strategies including [the operational plan] will be revised in a way that will cut the number of reinforcement troops," said Song Dae-sung, head of the Sejong Institute.

    englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 06, 2012 09:22 KST

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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Well, well, well... reduce the guys to Korea.

    Ok. Bye bye South Korea.

    I give it 4 years at most.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    Hmmm Wonder if I can buy a C-130 and become a bush pilot?

    http://www.c-130aircraftsales.com/

    There you go, Rick

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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    I'd settle for a C-47.


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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Quote Originally Posted by phil fiord View Post

    woot!!!!!!!!!
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    2 Brigades To Leave Europe; Rotations Coming
    January 12, 2012

    The Army will withdraw two combat brigades from Europe, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday.

    In a press release on the Defense Department website, Panetta is quoted as saying two permanently stationed Army combat brigades will be replaced with rotational units, similar to the way Marines and Special Forces staff European requirements.

    “In an interview on his way to Fort Bliss, Texas, Panetta said that the Army will withdraw two brigade combat teams from Europe, while retaining a strong presence in the region via rotational units,” the release said.

    About 40,000 soldiers — and about 100,000 dependents — are now stationed in Europe, most of them in Germany. Among them are four brigade combat teams, three in Germany and a fourth in Vicenza, Italy.

    Panetta said the change is part of a new 10-year defense strategy announced last week by President Obama.

    It’s an obvious attempt to save money because rotating troops will not be accompanied by families.

    “We will continue to maintain our presence both in the Middle East and Asia,” the secretary said. “Yes, we’ll have the Navy and the Air Force, but in my experience, in any conflict you need to have the potential use of ground forces.”

    “Getting the Army to deploy to areas conducting exercises providing, most of all, a partnership with countries in Latin America, Africa, other countries where we can show the flag” is important, Panetta said.

    The release said that Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno is “particularly excited about the ability to develop that rotational capability,” Panetta said. “It will keep the ground forces very meaningful in the future,” he said.

    As the Army replaces the two brigade combat teams with rotational units, the Europeans actually will see more U.S. forces because the American forces in Europe have more often than not been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, Panetta said.

    DOD officials have spoken to European leaders about the withdrawal, and they understand why the change will be good for the U.S. military and NATO allies, senior defense officials traveling with the secretary said.

    Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, commanding general for the U.S. Army in Europe, said in December that he expected the Army to remove one brigade — but not two. He had proposed a brigade for removal, but was waiting for a decision on which brigade would be chosen.

    “I have made an offer on which brigade that should be to the Department of the Army,” Hertling told Army Times. “I have also made an offer in terms of the timing of it, which could be sooner than they were asked for, 2015.”

    The smart thing to do, Hertling told Army Times, would be to begin the drawdown process as the units come home from deployments. The 170th is in the process of redeploying and the 172nd will redeploy in late spring.

    Hertling would not say which brigade he proposed removing, but all signs pointed to either the 170th or the 172nd. Both brigades were scheduled to begin conversion to the modular heavy brigade combat team upon redeployment. The DoD announcement make it likely that both the 170th and 172nd would be brought home.

    Initially, both conversions were delayed. But in December, the Army announced that the 172nd would go ahead with conversion in 2013. The 170th conversion remains on hold.

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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Pentagon Budget Cuts Could Affect Aircraft Carriers - Report: Navy at risk of losing up to 2 carriers

    Video at the link.

  13. #113
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Ryan here's video from your post above... not good news at all.


    January 16th, 2012 (5) Posted By Pat Dollard.




    Washington Times:

    On the surface, the Navy’s cherished fleet of 11 active aircraft carriers seems safe from President Obama’s budget slashers.

    Conventional wisdom says the requirement to cut $488 billion from the Pentagon within 10 years will not necessitate banishing a single carrier because the president’s military strategy focuses on two carrier-dependent regions: Asia, where China is building a robust navy, and the Persian Gulf, where Iran threatens to block international oil shipping.

    As Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta prepares to introduce the strategy’s first budget next month, the Navy has been in a furious fight behind the scenes to protect only 10 carriers, sources familiar with the issue told The Washington Times.

    The sources say that, while the fiscal 2013 budget may well continue 11 carriers, the Navy will be down to 10 or even nine carriers within in the next five years.

    A carrier typically transports about 80 aircraft and leads a battle group comprising 7,500 sailors, a guided-missile cruiser, two guided-missile destroyers, an attack submarine and a supply ship. Eliminating one carrier battle group would save billions of dollars.

    In addition, the Navy complements its carriers with amphibious-ready groups of warships, helicopters, fighter jets and Marines for sea-land operations. Some of those groups also might be scrapped.

    A scenario discussed inside the Navy: Reduce the carrier fleet by retiring the flattops short of their 50-year life spans, and continue to build more advanced carriers at the Newport News, Va., shipyard at seven-year intervals instead of launching one every five years.

    Reducing one carrier would set off a fight in Congress, which under law has required the Navy to maintain 11 active flattops. A source familiar with the discussions said the Obama administration would not want to take up that fight until after November’s presidential election, given the importance of Virginia and its 13 electoral votes.

    In general, the Navy has three carriers at sea, three returning from six-month deployments, three preparing to be deployed and two in some type of overhaul. For example, the USS Ronald Reagan, commissioned less than 10 years ago, is going into dry dock this month for a year of extensive repairs.

    Under Mr. Panetta, the Pentagon has clamped down on the release of any details about the budget – following the model of predecessor Robert M. Gates, who forced senior officials to sign nondisclosure forms.

    But sources say a $488 billion in mandated savings will come from two principal sources: cutting the Army and Marine Corps ground forces by more than 100,000 troops combined and reducing the purchase and delaying the procurement of big weapons systems, such as the F-35 fighter.

    Cutting back to 10 carriers would save the Pentagon additional billions of dollars. A carrier’s payroll for a crew of officers and sailors, not counting its air wing, is about $225 million annually.

    “I think the United States will continue to operate at least 10 carriers over the next five years,” said Loren Thompson, who heads the Lexington Institute defense think tank. “But over the long run, it’s likely the cost and operating concept will gradually shift the Navy away from carriers.”

    In fact, the Navy will soon undergo a 10-carrier trial. When the USS Enterprise is retired in November, 10 carriers will be active until the USS Gerald R. Ford becomes operational in 2015. Congress granted the Navy a waiver for the 33-month breach of the law.

    “They’re going down to 10 for programming reasons,” Mr. Thompson said. “It is supposed to be temporary, but I think during the period the Enterprise is gone and the Ford class has not arrived, the Navy may grow accustomed to operating with only 10 carriers.”

    Mr. Thompson said carriers face three basic challenges.

    “First of all, they have become extremely expensive to build and operate,” he said. “Secondly, some countries, such as China, are developing the capacity to target and disable them from long distances.

    “And, thirdly, the advent of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and unmanned aircraft will make it easier to accomplish air missions from other sea-based platforms.”

    Mr. Obama’s strategy echoes that of his first defense chief, Mr. Gates. At the U.S. Military Academy in February, Mr. Gates said: “Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as Gen. [Douglas] MacArthur so delicately put it.”

    Indeed, the strategy announced this month downplays the chances of a big land war, saying that active forces will be shaped to fight a limited ground conflict of a short duration.

    The Gates imprint may well show itself when it comes to carriers.

    “Do we really need 11 carrier strike groups for another 30 years when no other country has more than one?” Mr. Gates asked during a 2010 speech to the Navy League, a naval support association.

    “In my view, Gates was right the first time,” said Winslow Wheeler, an analyst at the Center for Defense Information, a military reform group. “We have too many for show-the-flag exercises and strikes against incompetents like Iraq.

    “If ever we encounter a competent military with an air force, a navy with ultrasilent diesel electric submarines – and both with superfast, superlow anti-ship missiles – I suspect carriers will quickly be extinct if they go into unsafe waters. At $13 billion-plus each, more are an unwise investment for the future.”

    Advocates of aircraft carriers note that the White House often asks in crisis, “Where are the carriers?”

    “China is going great guns to develop a maritime superiority,” said Jon Ault, a retired Navy pilot who served on eight carrier deployments. “Imagine 20, 30, 40 years from now, when the U.S. is down to its last two or three battle groups. A fatigued 40-, 50-year-old carrier gasping for breath and a nuke shipbuilding industry that no longer exists.

    Works for China, perhaps not so well for us.”

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    “You Americans are so gullible.
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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  14. #114
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Thanks vector. For some reason, it wouldn't embed for me.

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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    US to cut almost 100,000 troops


    US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that the aim is to shape an "agile and flexible military force"




    The US will cut almost 100,000 troops as part of its plans for a "smaller, leaner" military, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has announced.

    Unveiling a restructure of the armed forces, Mr Panetta said the US would boost special forces and retain the ability to defeat "any enemy on land".

    The Pentagon is facing cuts of $487bn (£310bn) over the next 10 years.

    In five years, the Army will drop from a peak of 570,000 to 490,000, and the marines be cut by 20,000, to 182,000.

    The military's budget would rise, albeit at a slower rate, to $567bn by 2017.

    Floating base Mr Panetta said the US would continue buying F-35 jets, but would slow its purchase of the stealth fighter planes.

    Paul Adams BBC News, Washington

    Leon Panetta admitted this had been tough work, but he called this a strategic turning point, arguing the changes were necessary to meet 21st century challenges.

    A decade of war has seen ballooning defence budgets. As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, it makes sense to take stock and see how best to reconfigure what is still the world's most formidable military.

    In a way, what Mr Panetta is doing is what one of his more controversial predecessors, Donald Rumsfeld, wanted to do ten years ago: create an agile, highly versatile but substantially smaller military better suited to taking on a variety of threats.

    By presenting a detailed plan to reduce future spending by almost half a trillion dollars over the next ten years, Mr Panetta hopes to avoid another $600bn of arbitrary cuts which could be imposed on his department should Congress fail to reach a deal on deficit reduction by the end of the year.

    Focus would shift from large-scale conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to areas of key national interest, he said, including a strengthened commitment in Asia.

    US special forces that were previously committed to Iraq will now be used around the globe, Mr Panetta said.

    Such elite teams have become a key part of US strategy, killing Osama Bin Laden last year and rescuing hostages this week in Somalia.

    Mr Panetta said there would be funding for a floating base that would serve special operations forces as well as drone units.

    "Our approach was to use this as an opportunity to maintain the strongest military in the world, to not hollow out the force,'' Mr Panetta said in a statement.

    Some members of Congress did not agree that such a budget would maintain a strong US military.

    "Taking us back to a pre-9/11 military force structure places our country in grave danger," said Texas Senator John Cornyn, a member of a committee that will hold hearings on the budget plan.

    Amid a shrinking budget - put at $525bn for the fiscal year 2013 - the US military as envisioned by the new plan would still be larger than it was before 9/11.

    The defence budget could also lose another $500bn at the end of this year after Congress failed to agree on deficit reduction following a debt-ceiling deal in August.

    'Technical edge' Mr Panetta told reporters at a press briefing that the budget plan would give Congress the opportunity to act responsibly on reducing the deficit.

    “Start Quote
    It is all but politically inconceivable that America is going to fight a ground war and occupy another country - at least under this president”
    "This is a tough challenge, and nobody ought to underestimate just how difficult it will be," he said. "It's very easy to talk about deficit reduction, it's very tough to do something."

    He stressed the need to retain a "decisive technical edge", citing increases in military technology including an expansion of the use of unmanned aerial vehicles.

    In addition to the troop reductions, the Air Force will retire older cargo planes, while the Navy will keep their fleet of aircraft carriers but retire cruisers.

    Submarine purchases will be delayed, including a two-year delay on building a new generation of ships designed to carry long-range nuclear missiles.
    Mr Obama is expected to ask Congress in the near future to consider closure or combining additional US military bases, following a round of closures that began in 2005.

    Republican hopefuls for president have pointed to the defence cuts as an argument against Mr Obama's re-election.

    "We simply cannot continue to cut our Department of Defense budget if we are going to remain the hope of the Earth," Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, said in a debate on 16 January.

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  16. #116
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Defense Budget Cuts Would Limit Raises and Close Bases

    By ELISABETH BUMILLER and THOM SHANKER

    Published: January 26, 2012

    WASHINGTON — The Pentagon took the first major step toward shrinking its budget after a decade of war as it announced Thursday that it wanted to limit pay raises for troops, increase health insurance fees for military retirees and close bases in the United States.



    Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

    Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, left, and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon on Thursday.

    Although the pay-raise limits were described as modest, and would not start until 2015, they are certain to ignite a political fight in Congress, which since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has almost always raised military salaries beyond what the Pentagon has recommended.

    Increasing health insurance fees for retirees and closing bases are also fraught with political risk, particularly when Republican presidential candidates are charging that President Obama is debilitating the military.

    Next year’s Pentagon budget is to be $525 billion, down from $531 billion this fiscal year. Even though the Defense Department has been called on to find $259 billion in cuts in the next five years — and $487 billion over the decade — its base budget (not counting the costs of Afghanistan or other wars) will rise to $567 billion by 2017. But when adjusted for inflation, the increases are small enough that they will amount to a slight cut of 1.6 percent of the Pentagon’s base budget over the next five years.

    Nonetheless, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said he was working with about $500 billion less than he had anticipated having on hand through 2017, meaning that the Pentagon had to trim personnel and favorite high-profile weapons programs. “This has been tough work,” Mr. Panetta said at an hourlong news conference.

    He said that the Army would be reduced over five years to 490,000 troops, down from a peak of 570,000, and that the Marines would be cut to 182,000, down from 202,000. (Ground forces would still be slightly larger than they were before 9/11.) The Pentagon initially will buy fewer F-35 Joint Strike Fighter stealth jets, which are not expected to be in service until at least 2017 and have the distinction of being one of the costliest weapons programs in history. In the Navy, 14 warships will be either retired early or built more slowly.

    Both Mr. Panetta and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who also addressed the news conference, repeatedly said that the United States would still maintain the strongest military in the world, an assessment that seemed aimed at Republicans as well as America’s adversaries. “Capability is more important than size,” General Dempsey said. He added that “this budget does not lead to a military in decline” and that “it is a military that can win any conflict, anywhere.”

    Although all American combat troops have been out of Iraq since mid-December and the Obama administration is beginning to withdraw what had been more than 100,000 United States forces in Afghanistan, the Pentagon budget includes a request for $88.4 billion next year, above the $525 billion base budget, to pay for combat operations overseas. Mr. Panetta said that Afghanistan, where there are still 90,000 American troops, accounts for the bulk of that money. This year’s budget for combat operations overseas is $115 billion.

    Pentagon officials did not specify what the limits would be on military pay increases in 2015 and beyond, when American troops are due to be home from Afghanistan, although they characterized the change as incremental — an acknowledgment of the political risk of having active and retired members of the armed forces bear the brunt of the budget cuts. “Let me be clear, nobody’s pay will be cut,” Mr. Panetta said.

    Still, the defense secretary has also called military personnel costs “unsustainable.” The Pentagon currently spends $181 billion a year, nearly a third of its base budget, on military personnel: $107 billion for salaries and allowances, $50 billion for health care and $24 billion for retirement pay.

    Military salaries have risen steadily since the Sept. 11 attacks, and officers have in many cases fared better than enlisted personnel.

    A private first class with a family and three years’ experience deployed to a war zone took home $26,700 tax-free in 2001, compared with $36,000 today — an 11 percent raise over inflation. A lieutenant colonel with a family and 20 years’ experience deployed to the same war zone took home $84,000 tax-free in 2001, compared with $120,000 today — a 16 percent increase.

    Posing another political challenge was Mr. Panetta’s announcement that the president would request another round of base closings and realignments — never popular with members of Congress who try to preserve military spending, and jobs, in their districts. Pentagon officials said savings from any base closings were not reflected in the five-year budget Mr. Panetta was sending to the White House.

    There were already objections on Thursday morning, hours before Mr. Panetta made his public presentation. Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters that until the United States shut down some of its bases in Europe, “I’m not going to be able to support” closing bases in America.

    Mr. Panetta has said that two armored Army brigades — as many as 10,000 troops — would come home from Europe over the next decade, leaving two brigades and some support troops behind.

    Although Mr. Obama has given an aspirational pledge to reduce the nation’s nuclear arsenal to zero, there was nothing in Thursday’s announcement about reaching that goal. All three legs of the nuclear triad — bombers, submarine-launched missiles and land-based missiles — will be preserved. The program to replace the Ohio class nuclear-missile submarine will be delayed by two years.

    Mr. Panetta has repeatedly said that he would preserve financing for Special Operations forces, cyberwarfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, and the budget makes good on that promise.

    The Pentagon did not say how much health insurance fees would increase — the details are to come in early February. Families now pay $520 a year, far below the cost of a private carrier.

    Criticism of the proposed budget came swiftly from senior Republicans on Capitol Hill.

    “These cuts reflect President Obama’s vision of an America that is weakened, not strengthened, by our men and women in uniform,” said Howard P. McKeon of California, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. “To be clear, the impacts of these cuts are far deeper than Congress envisioned.”

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  17. #117
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    The U.S. Military Cuts for the Cloud

    | January 27, 2012, 11:26 am



    Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press
    An unmanned drone in Afghanistan.

    Anyone who watches what is going on in tech should not be surprised by the turmoil at the Pentagon.

    As reported elsewhere in The Times, the U.S. military has announced a series of cutbacks that are part of an effort to $487 billion in government spending over a decade. The military is stretching out the purchase of the F-35 fighter, cutting 92,000 troops and canceling an expensive manned surveillance drone. The Pentagon will increase spending, meantime, on special forces, other surveillance planes and protections against attacks by computer hackers.

    While most of the reporting about these cuts puts it in the context of overall budget pressure, from a strategic point of view the spending changes are a striking reflection of what is also going on in both consumer technology and enterprise computing. Those sectors are coping with enormous transitions in work, leisure, and personal relationships brought on by the rise of cloud computing and mobility. It is not surprising that the military should go through something like that too.

    Cloud computing is the concentration of computing resources into a few powerful centers, each containing a million or more servers, which people access from wherever they want. This huge concentration of data and analysis, whether at Google, Facebook, or I.B.M., means consumers and business people can access more powerful resources, fast and cheaply.

    Mobility, usually thought of as smartphones or tablet computers, is the local expression of all that computing power, either in spreadsheets that are downloaded from the cloud, music from cloud services like Spotify, or your network’s latest tweets. They also act as data gathering devices, uploading more information to the cloud in the form of things like GPS data, pictures, more tweets, or notification about an inventory restocking.

    Cloud and mobile are two parts of the same dynamic involving the processing and deployment of intelligence. It is cheaper, more powerful and faster than its predecessor. That is why the same kind of thing is happening in war.

    Many of the military’s most notable successes of late involve something very much like the cloud-mobile dynamic: Local information is fed to a center, which in turn dispatches action to a small agent back in the field. Al Qaeda leaders are identified by mobile phone traffic, then killed by relatively cheap unmanned drones that are operated by a handful of people far away.

    The intelligence community gathers information on hostages in Somalia, and a small team of SEALS goes on a rescue mission.

    Without minimizing the heroism of the people in the field, on the level of information flows this is not so different from finding out about a friend’s song choice on Facebook, then downloading it on Spotify. Just as that digital behavior has killed the more labor-intensive music stores, the military’s new approach means you do not need as many people, manned vehicles, or the old style of self-contained spy planes.

    Traditional military planners and contractors, along with people with interests in maintaining a large number of big bases, may well make a case for a refurbished military that looks a lot like the old one. They would do well to remember how well this approach worked for record stores, and builders of custom computer servers for business.

    There will, of course, still be a place for manned aircraft and lots of infantry, though it will be for things like airstrikes on targeted areas too large for drones and strike teams, or the military’s other great mission, humanitarian activity. There are also sectors of the consumer and business sectors, like health care, where a lot of people are still required. Over all, however, even those people are increasingly armed with mobile devices, and work alongside robots connected to the cloud.

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  18. #118
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    AAFB drone program on chopping block

    3:00 PM, Jan. 28, 2012 |


    RQ-4 Global Hawk

    Written by

    Brett Kelman

    Pacific Daily News

    Andersen Air Force Base's highly touted Global Hawk program will be axed as part of widespread Air Force and military cuts, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced yesterday.

    The Global Hawks are state-of-the-art surveillance drones welcomed at Andersen in September 2010, but the aircraft have since lost a competition with cheaper manned aircraft.

    In light of mandatory military cost cutting, one of the aircraft has to go.

    The budget priorities state that the Global Hawk Block 30 project will be terminated. According to Northrop Grumman, the company that built the Global Hawks, the Block 30 aircraft are at Andersen and at least one other air base.

    "When we initially invested in the Global Hawk Block 30 program, it held promise of, ... essentially the same capability as the U-2 manned aircraft for significantly less money to both buy and operate," Panetta wrote in a budget priorities document. "As the program has matured, these cost savings have not materialized and, at best, we project the future cost of Global Hawk Block 30 operations to be comparable with the U-2."

    As a result, the five-year budget proposal cancels the Global Hawks and expands the U-2, which have similar capabilities but fly even higher.

    Panetta's budget priorities were released only yesterday, so it is not clear how Andersen will be affected by the cuts. The base has at least three Global Hawks, which are housed in a $42 million hangar that was built specifically for the aircraft.

    Andersen staff forwarded all questions about the fate of the aircraft, the hangar, and the airmen who work on the Global Hawk project to the Pentagon press office, which could not be reached for comment yesterday.

    Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo issued a statement yesterday stating that she was "concerned" about the Global Hawk cuts.

    When the first Global Hawk came to Guam in 2010, Andersen held a huge press event to show off the impressive aircraft. The pilot-less aircraft have no cockpit, so they look sort of like a gray, faceless porpoise.

    Each aircraft could fly for more than 30 hours with a range of 3,500 miles, at heights of 60,000 feet, where most missiles can't reach. Even from this height, the Global Hawk could take easily identifiable pictures of cars and aircraft, and even use infrared cameras to take pictures of where vehicles once were.

    Brig. Gen. John Doucette, who was then commander of Andersen, said the aircraft should be a source of pride for Guam.

    "From a regional point of view, to think that Guam, where Andersen Air force Base is, has the ability to provide a very long-range, high-endurance, high-altitude platform that can benefit a very large radius, ... should be a source of pride," he said when the Global Hawk was unveiled.

    The aircraft don't carry weapons. Each one cost about $81 million, the Air Force said.

    In response to the Global Hawk cuts, Northrop Grumman issued a statement of disappointment. The aircraft are essential to "national security" with no cheaper alternatives, the statement said.

    Unlike the Global Hawk, the manned U-2 aircraft put pilots in danger, the company statement said.

    Widespread cuts

    The Global Hawks were far from the only cuts in Panetta's budget presentation.

    Faced with a need to cut $487 billion from the Defense budget over the next decade, the new defense secretary said the military must make cuts in areas that were previously deemed too essential to be touched.

    Panetta's presentation, however, repeated his belief in a focus on the Asia-Pacific region, including a sustained Marine Corps force in the Pacific.

    "The initial budget rollout continues to show this administration's commitment to the Asia-Pacific region, particularly the military buildup on Guam," Bordallo said in her response statement. "While we await more concrete details from the Department, I appreciate the recognition that the U.S. must play an important role in regional stability for the Asia-Pacific region.

    Panetta plans to cut seven Air Force squadrons, cancel the C-27 Spartan transport plane and retire at least 65 of the oldest C-130s, according to the Air Force Times and military documents.

    The budget presentation also talks about providing more limited pay raises beginning in 2015, which will give troops "fair notice" to prepare for cuts. The budget cuts may adjust retirement for future recruits and reduce health care benefits for military retirees who are still young enough to be employed in the private sector.

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  19. #119
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    Look for another BRAC on the horizon...

  20. #120
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    Default Re: Obama Guts the Military

    BRAC was nearly over too....

    I am glad to be getting the FUCK out of here, and off military bases.
    Libertatem Prius!


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