The WSJ Redefines “Gutting”

They aren’t even trying anymore:

Obama and Gates Gut the Military: The secretary’s new budget will leave us weaker to pay for the president’s domestic programs.

By THOMAS DONNELLY and GARY SCHMITT

On Monday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced a significant reordering of U.S. defense programs. His recommendations should not go unchallenged.

In the 1990s, defense cuts helped pay for increased domestic spending, and that is true today. Though Mr. Gates said that his decisions were “almost exclusively influenced by factors other than simply finding a way to balance the books,” the broad list of program reductions and terminations suggest otherwise. In fact, he tacitly acknowledged as much by saying the budget plan represented “one of those rare chances to match virtue to necessity” — the “necessity” of course being the administration’s decision to reorder the government’s spending priorities.

2009 Pentagon budget: $513 billion
2010 proposed Pentagon budget: $534 billion

Seriously, I can’t be the only person to notice that this “gutting” of the military includes spending 21 billion more than this year. I remember back in the day when Republicans and conservatives would get upset when Democrats framed increases in spending as cuts. Guess I am just getting old.

BTW- didn’t the GOP alternative “budget” call for a spending freeze? Lemme guess, military spending was exempt from the freeze.






130 replies
  1. 1
    norbizness says:

    As long as everyone is going to lie anyway, how about taking a stab at gutting that bloated thing where we’re spending more than the rest of the world combined?

  2. 2
    blahblahblah says:

    With so many blogs dedicated to tracking misrepresentations and untruths published in the mainstream press, one question I have is where does one obtain reasoned and honest reporting?

  3. 3
    SpotWeld says:

    He’s essentially following on with the cuts Bush made for a smaller "more agile" militart (see Crusader and Commanche programs), and the GOP is going to complain!

    Who do we have to get to recite thier own name backwards to make this wierd and crazy trip end?

  4. 4
    SGEW says:

    [W]here does one obtain reasoned and honest reporting?

    One does not.

  5. 5
    Cris says:

    From Donnelly and Schmitt:

    The proposed cuts in space and missile defense programs reflect a retreat in emerging environments that are increasingly critical in modern warfare.

    "Emerging environments." SDI has been emerging for two decades, and the fucker just won’t bloom. It should have been snipped when Reagan proposed it; cutting off its leggy suckers is long overdue.

    Guess I am just getting old.

    Go trim your nose hair.

  6. 6
    r€nato says:

    SSDD.

    The Republican party couldn’t get a dog catcher elected if they didn’t peddle FUD.

    back in 2000, Bush/Cheney conjured up this bullshit argument that Clinton had so overstretched our military that two of the Army’s 12 divisions would have to report, "not ready for duty, sir!"

    We all know how that one turned out; in any case the argument was bullshit and the military even said so at the time.

    Pretty much anything the GOP has to say about our military – when the Republicans are out of power – should be considered concern trolling until proven otherwise.

  7. 7
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    "War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength."

  8. 8
    r€nato says:

    He’s essentially following on with the cuts Bush made for a smaller "more agile" militart (see Crusader and Commanche programs), and the GOP is going to complain!

    yeah, that reminds me of how the frightards hammered Clinton for ‘gutting’ our military in the 1990s… counting on people to forget that Clinton was simply continuing the reasonable response of his Republican predecessor to the end of the Cold War.

    I fucking hate Republicans and their water carriers.

  9. 9
    zzyzx says:

    BTW- didn’t the GOP alternative “budget” call for a spending freeze? Lemme guess, military spending was exempt from the freeze.

    They were very upfront in the budget that military spending would be increased.

  10. 10
    r€nato says:

    BTW- didn’t the GOP alternative “budget” call for a spending freeze? Lemme guess, military spending was exempt from the freeze.

    exactly.

    Just like how the Great Depression didn’t really end until WW2, because military spending is so not like government spending.

  11. 11
    Cris says:

    @SpotWeld: He’s essentially following on with the cuts Bush made for a smaller "more agile" militart (see Crusader and Commanche programs), and the GOP is going to complain!

    That’s the beautiful thing about IOKIYAR. Not only did Bush get to enact policies that would have been intolerable under a Democratic administration, but his Democratic successor can neither reject nor continue those policies. It’s a hidden Catch-22 that nobody could have predicted.

  12. 12
    SpotWeld says:

    And this brings us back to one of the biggest whingings of NRA’ers. That the cutbacks during the Clinton era reuduced the amound of surplus on the market, therefore raising the prices of ammunition, ammo boxes, and uniform components.

    That’s right, the people who squall like infants at the thought of "goverment handouts" complain until they are blue in the face about the reduction of "goverment surplus" goods for them to buy.

  13. 13
    Buck says:

    where does one obtain reasoned and honest reporting?

    I get mine here.

  14. 14
    NutellaonToast says:

    I think the simple fact that you NEVER see main stream writers mentioning the "more than the rest of the world" bit and yet constantly hear them speak of the military being "gutted" is the single biggest piece of evidence that this is all being run by the corporations. I mean, I try and tell myself that it’s just a crazy conspiracy theory-the black helicopters of the left-but… how can that not be mentioned a million times a day?

    Sometimes i wonder if maybe the fact that people don’t vote is because politicians are way to afraid to say stuff like that. How can the majority of Americans not see the fact that our military is bigger than the rest of the worlds is a bad fact. A bad bad fact.

    ZOMG! DEFICITS!

  15. 15
    Rick Taylor says:

    Off topic, but John Stewart on the craziness of Wingnuts is nearly perfect.

  16. 16
    Apsaras says:

    Noooo, not my precious F-22!

    How will Bill Pullman save us from the aliens now?

  17. 17
    JenJen says:

    @John Cole, top:

    BTW- didn’t the GOP alternative “budget” call for a spending freeze? Lemme guess, military spending was exempt from the freeze.

    Not sure about the Awesome GOP Alterna-Budget, but during the campaign, and especially in the debates, John McCain, said that, if elected, he planned to freeze all government spending except for military spending and aid to veterans.

  18. 18
    Barry Soetoro says:

    The need for these sophisticated, stealthy, radar-evading planes is already apparent. During Russia’s invasion of Georgia, U.S. commanders wanted to fly unmanned surveillance aircraft over the region, and requested that F-22s sanitize the skies so that the slow-moving drones would be protected from Russian fighters or air defenses.

    The Russians wouldn’t think our F-22s flying around in the region is an act of aggression? New fighters with all sorts of new technology, flying near or over Georgia? How exactly does an F-22 "sanitize" the skies without pissing off those being "sanitized"?

    This "editorial" by Donnelly and Schmitt reads like a brochure for certain defense industry interests. They’re not cogent arguments (calling a cut "discouraging" doesn’t explain said program’s importance to US national defense). I’m not surprised, though, since these guys are from AEI.

  19. 19
    Warren Terra says:

    I’m a huge fan of the Obama/Gates shift in priorities from toys to troops, although as a lefty I’d actually like to see some contemplation of genuine cuts.
    All that said, I keep on seeing this comparison of the Obama/Gates proposed budget of $534 billion to the 2009 budget of $513 billion as if it were apples-to-apples, and it’s just not.
    Obama, you may recall, is opposed to playing games with the budget, and so he’s insisted that predictable expenses in Iraq and Afghanistan should be funded from the defense budget, not from supplementary bills. Bush, whose honesty was rather less impressive, always tried to keep the war spending (and G-d knows what else rolled up with it) out of not only the annual defense budget number but even the annual deficit number.
    If Obama and Gates can get people to play along with their $534/$513 comparison, that will largely be Bush’s fault for his game playing with the 2009 numbers – but it doesn’t make the comparison right.

  20. 20
    The Other Steve says:

    First time I’ve ever heard an increase in spending referred to as gutting.

  21. 21
    r€nato says:

    It’s about goddamned time we restored some sanity to military spending. If this administration can’t do it, it’s not going to happen for another generation.

    i don’t know how Obama thinks he’s going to get it done – military spending is the epitome of congressional pork barrel politics – but I hope he follows through on his promise.

    If Republicans were really concerned about an effective national defense, they would recognize that a lot of the Pentagon’ budget is pissed away on horrendously overbudget hardware programs and pie-in-the-sky garbage make-work programs like missile defense, and they would work with Obama to make sure that national defense needs supercede parochial ‘I want military contracting jobs in my district’ politics.

    But, as always, the troops are just political props to be cynically used by the GOP. Military spending is a sacred fucking cow which can never be criticized nor looked at closely.

    Military spending has become white-collar welfare and it needs to be re-oriented. We need to spend less because we simply cannot afford double-digit annual increases in it, and we need to spend it more effectively than we currently are.

  22. 22
    r€nato says:

    First time I’ve ever heard an increase in spending referred to as gutting.

    perhaps so (how young are you? lol) but surely you have heard of ‘losing a war badly’ referred to as, ‘we’re winning!’

  23. 23
    Ricky Bobby says:

    The GOP mantra:

    "Details? We don’t need know stinking DETAILS!"

    Carry on PARTY OF NO.

    BTW, the tarring and feathering of Gates as librul flunky sabateur in 5… 4… 3… 2…

  24. 24
    Punchy says:

    BTW- didn’t the GOP alternative “budget” call for a spending freeze? Lemme guess, military spending was exempt from the freeze

    You clearly dont understand Republican Math(TM). See, a spending freeze across the board of course means an increase in military spending. Only a unitard like yerself would fail to understand such easy arithmetic.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Michael says:

    I’ve never seen anything wrong in having some old time "dumb" systems available for use around lower-tech third world garden spots.

    Seems to me that the guns of the USS New Jersey and USS Missouri would work well in support of hostage extraction in Somalia. Old cruisers and destroyers could do a fine job of pirate patrol as well.

    Likewise, I can think of some very positive uses for F-4 Phantoms and A-37 Skyraiders with regard to interdiction flights.

  27. 27
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @Dennis-SGMM: And, "we have always been at war with__________(fill in the blank)." Also.

    When do we stand up and say, "enough, just enough?" There needs to be a bit, just a bit, of sanity injected into the MIC. They will still have more money than God to spend; just a wee bit less.

    After watching Frontline last night, I may never stop being pissed off. How the hell many people could have health care, or college or decent housing with the kind of money Bandar Bush calls chump change?

  28. 28
    NutellaonToast says:

    The Russians wouldn’t think our F-22s flying around in the region is an act of aggression? New fighters with all sorts of new technology, flying near or over Georgia? How exactly does an F-22 "sanitize" the skies without pissing off those being "sanitized"?

    Not to mention that the F-22 will almost certainly be obsolete quickly enough. There’s a lot of electromagnetic spectrum up there. You gotta reflect some of it!

    It’s amazing how much military technology is like that. We build tanks, so they develop antitank weapons. We develop better armor, so they make HEAT. We develop responsive armor, so they make double charge rounds (or whatever they’re called)! Seriously, read about explosive responsive armor. It’s hilarious. Imagine how much money it cost to develop and make that. Now imagine that it took like, what, a month for a clever guy to find a way around it? Maybe?

  29. 29
    Tom Ames says:

    I suspect that Warren Terra (above) has it exactly right. IIRC the budget for the Iraq/Afghan adventures were not included in the Bush administration’s Pentagon budget. Obama (rightly) ended that charade.

    But it would seem to me that the correct comparison is:

    $513B + all of the "emergency appropriations" vs. $534B.

    That probably a pretty hefty defense budget cut after all. And good for Gates for pushing it.

  30. 30
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    Even as we speak, the planet Mars has noted Obama’s weakness and is preparing an invasion fleet. You’ll all be singing a different tune when we have to bend our knees before our new Martian overlords.

  31. 31
    Mnemosyne says:

    U.S. commanders wanted to fly unmanned surveillance aircraft over the region, and requested that F-22s sanitize the skies so that the slow-moving drones would be protected from Russian fighters or air defenses.

    So these guys think it was a great idea to fire on Russian planes and air defenses while we’re over their territory?

    They must miss the Cold War more than I thought if they’re that focused on starting a war with Russia.

  32. 32
    Zifnab says:

    This doesn’t not have enough to do with pirates!

  33. 33
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    Not to mention that the F-22 will almost certainly be obsolete quickly enough. There’s a lot of electromagnetic spectrum up there. You gotta reflect some of it!

    The JORN (Jindalee Operational Radar Network) is so sensitive it is able to track planes taking off and landing in East Timor 2600 km away. It is able to detect a Cessna 172 aeroplane. Current research is anticipated to increase its sensitivity by a factor of one hundred beyond this level. It is also reportedly able to detect stealth aircraft;aside from the fact that most stealthy aircraft are optimized for defeating much higher-frequency radar from front-on rather than low-frequency radars from above, JORN is reputedly able to detect aircraft wake turbulence.

  34. 34
    r€nato says:

    @Punchy:

    You clearly dont understand Republican Math™. See, a spending freeze across the board of course means an increase in military spending. Only a unitard like yerself would fail to understand such easy arithmetic.

    Republican politicians regularly and habitually refer to an opponent’s votes against tax cuts, as a vote to ‘raise your taxes’.

    Not a big leap from that to, ‘ZOMG! Obama is gutting military spending by not increasing it as much as we would have!’

  35. 35
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tom Ames:

    If so, I really really really want the Republicans to pursue this line of complaint. If their explanation for it being a "cut" is that we were paying for Iraq and Afghanistan off the books so the defense budget numbers have been completely bogus for the last 6 years, I don’t think that’s going to go over very well with the citizenry. Smells a little too much like AIG’s "creative" accounting.

  36. 36
    kay says:

    @Tom Ames:

    That probably a pretty hefty defense budget cut after all. And good for Gates for pushing it.

    I knew there was going to be coordinated push-back. The defense lobby dwarfs all others, in my opinion, in terms of broad institutional support and influence.

    It’s the REAL third rail in American politics, but it isn’t voters who object to slowing the flow from the defense money spigot, it’s a much more select and influential group.

    I think Gates is the only one who can do it, if indeed he succeeds. I doubt he does succeed, and that’s a shame.

  37. 37
    The Moar You Know says:

    I don’t see reductions in defense spending here. What I’m seeing is a focus on programs that work, and the cutting of programs that don’t or can’t help America’s security needs.

    The F-22 Raptor is a fucking joke. The planes are running about $160 million each and they still can’t get them to work properly.

    So is the F-35. Although much cheaper, they still cost five times what a brand new F-16 costs and have less range, less manuverability, and are in every way inferior to the F-16.

    Think about that. We’re going to build almost 3,000 aircraft that are demonstrably inferior to what we’ve got now.

    Gates is right on with his budget.

  38. 38
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @Zifnab:
    Arrr!

  39. 39
    Barry Soetoro says:

    @NutellaonToast:
    The average time to overcome tank armor with new anti-tank weapons is about 5 years. To counter this, tanks receive periodic updated packages to their armor. Reactive armor development and usage seems crazy but its use is not uncommon. Take a look at the latest M1A2 Abrams SEP, with its Abrams Reactive Armor and slat armor on the rear of the hull.

  40. 40
    The Moar You Know says:

    Don’t know where this came from:

    The need for these sophisticated, stealthy, radar-evading planes is already apparent. During Russia’s invasion of Georgia, U.S. commanders wanted to fly unmanned surveillance aircraft over the region, and requested that F-22s sanitize the skies so that the slow-moving drones would be protected from Russian fighters or air defenses.

    but it is a full-bore lie. The F-22 is not combat ready and won’t be for several more years.

  41. 41

    @Dennis-SGMM:

    You’ll all be singing a different tune when we have to bend our knees before our new Martian overlords.

    At least when the little fuckers say "Take us to your leader" we won’t be taking them to someone who sounds like he speaks Martian. I guess a Martian just can’t get a break these days.

  42. 42
    Zifnab says:

    Hey, anyone remember back in 2005 when the Rumfeld Pentagon went through a large round of domestic military base closures focused primarily in (blue state) New England?

    http://www.defensetech.net/dow.....ngland.pdf

    WASHINGTON — Once a bastion of the country’s Cold War defenses, New England was
    dealt the biggest blow Friday by the Pentagon’s recommended base closings, losing three
    major bases and absorbing nearly 50 percent of the net jobs cut nationwide.
    Two Naval bases _ the submarine base in Groton, Conn., and the Portsmouth shipyard in
    Kittery, Maine _ and Otis Air National Guard Base on Cape Cod, were targeted for
    closure, slashing nearly 13,500 jobs in the three facilities.
    A major realignment proposed for the Naval Air Station in Brunswick, Maine, would
    shift 2,400 jobs out of New England’s only active duty airfield and send the aircraft to a
    base in Florida.

    I remember how loud the Red State Republicans howled about Bush destroying our national security. Oh… wait… no I don’t.

  43. 43
    Barry Soetoro says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    But the F-22 is young and sexy, and that is all that matters. We don’t need no old and ugly planes designed/built during the 70s and 80s like F-15s, F-16s and F-18s–not to mention their paper bag-worthy cousin the A-10.

  44. 44
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    …sanitize the skies…

    And of course the fun-loving Russkies would never decide to sanitize Georgia or the Czech Republic or the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. as a response. Nor would they arm the Iranians with the latest weapons also.

  45. 45
    kay says:

    Just do a quick review. Of all the government corruption scandals over the last 30 years, both parties, how many of them had to do with defense contracting?
    The government spends a lot of money in a lot of ways. Why is this one area so prone to corruption?
    We haven’t had an honest debate on this in my lifetime. Nearly every other government expense has been slated for cuts or reform at one time or another, but for some mysterious reason, we never get to defense, without insane, coordinated push-back from nearly all corners. Why is that?
    Good luck, Secretary Gates. You’ll need it.

  46. 46
    Cris says:

    @Warren Terra: I keep on seeing this comparison of the Obama/Gates proposed budget of $534 billion to the 2009 budget of $513 billion as if it were apples-to-apples, and it’s just not.

    You may be right. I would really like to know if you’re right. Unfortunately, a few minutes of idle Googling while working has not turned up any articles that mention the details of the comparison.

  47. 47
    r€nato says:

    @Dennis-SGMM:

    JORN is reputedly able to detect aircraft wake turbulence.

    my (asshole) father, who spent nearly his entire career in defense electronics (yet he loathed ‘big government spending’, hahahaha but that’s another story), once told me how the B-2 stealth bomber was really not all that stealthy. It leaves a ‘hole in the sky’ which is easily detected if you are an enemy who knows what to look for. see here for a brief but accurate description of the problem.

  48. 48
    Cris says:

    By the way, anybody who uses the phrase "sanitize the skies" without irony is a tool.

  49. 49
    Warren Terra says:

    Miriam, Tom Ames has it right. I’m not sure how much was passed in Iraq + Afghanistan supplemental military spending for 2009 (at least $65 billion), but my understanding is that the Obama/Gates budget would include such spending in the defense budget, so their $534 billion should be compared to at least ($513 billion + $65 billion).

    As I said, this doesn’t faze me in the slightest (I’d like to see more), and critics of Obama/Gates are pushing weapons systems that don’t work, aren’t cost-effective, or can’t be justified, so they’re not really very credible. Still, if my numbers are right then the Obama/Gates is at least an 8% cut from the previous year.

    P.S. I looked at a Wikipedia article as well, which makes the astounding claim of $1 billion military spending for 2009, but they roll in all kinds of other things no-one would consider parto f the Pentagon budget (Veterans affairs, interest payments on the military’s part of the national debt) and I think they may be double-counting Iraq and Afghanistan, so I couldn’t immediately ifgure out how to include them in any comparison.

  50. 50
    The Moar You Know says:

    But the F-22 is young and sexy, and that is all that matters. We don’t need no old and ugly planes designed/built during the 70s and 80s like F-15s, F-16s and F-18s—not to mention their paper bag-worthy cousin the A-10.

    @Barry Soetoro: I wish that wasn’t true, but it is.

    I will also admit that I find the A-10 the sexiest aircraft around. 19,000 lbs of thrust from the engines moving it forward. 9,000 lbs of recoil from the gun trying to move it backwards. That is the definition of awesome right there.

  51. 51
    AhabTRuler says:

    Seems to me that the guns of the USS New Jersey and USS Missouri would work well in support of hostage extraction in Somalia.

    Yeah, if you are trying to extract the hostages through a straw. What the hell do you need a 16-in gun for, other than to swing yer dick around?

  52. 52
    Darius says:

    BTW- didn’t the GOP alternative “budget” call for a spending freeze? Lemme guess, military spending was exempt from the freeze.

    Ding ding ding. Specifically, they called for a freeze on "non-defense discretionary spending" – which makes up a whopping 17% of our federal budget. (In comparison, defense spending makes up 20% of the federal budget all by itself.)

    And Republicans wonder why nobody takes them seriously anymore.

  53. 53
    GSD says:

    Ah yes, I remember that Bill Clinton had so gutted the military that the GOP and the political right were eager to take that decimated, gutted and destroyed military and promptly put them into action in two theaters of military battle in Afghanistan and Iraq with nary a moment to rebuild the totally destroyed institution that was the military.

    Fucking unreal.

    -GSD

  54. 54
    NonyNony says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Gates is right on with his budget.

    Gates just put all of the Congresscritters on the defensive. He put together a package that is good for the military in the long run, and good for taxpayers at the macro level but bad for individual states and congressional districts.

    I’ll be very interested to see how this worms its way through the Congressional budget process. I get the feeling that Gates is shooting for the sun and hoping to get the moon – asking for more cuts than he thinks he can get in the hopes of getting the worst stuff cut. The really interesting thing to watch will be the individual Congressional leaders trying to justify keeping purchases that the Pentagon is now saying are useless. I’m curious how many of them will be willing to stick their necks out to defend useless wastes of tax dollars just because it hits their home state/district.

  55. 55
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Dennis-SGMM:

    I, for one, welcome our new Martian overlords.

  56. 56
    Michael says:

    Yeah, if you are trying to extract the hostages through a straw. What the hell do you need a 16-in gun for, other than to swing yer dick around?

    Accurate groundpounding to 15 miles in, for starters. How are the pirates going to muster up their defenses if 16 inch guns and a cheap drone can provide pinpoint accuracy on depots, walls and observation points?

  57. 57
    gnomedad says:

    @Rick Taylor:

    Off topic, but John Stewart on the craziness of Wingnuts is nearly perfect.

    "I think you might be confusing ‘tyrrany’ with ‘losing’." lolz!

  58. 58
    Brian J says:

    You can frame the issue as either a cut or as an increase in spending and have some justification for your claim. What’s not debatable is that money is being pulled from different programs, leading to a number that is larger than we saw last year but not as large as it might have been.

    Some seem to feel as if the administration is doing little more than arbitrarily closing down spending avenues to please some extreme constituency. That’s a laughable claim, of course, but I won’t be surprised to see them making it. The correct response is to simply ask them to defend their claims that the programs that are being cut are worthwhile, primarily for their value to the armed forces and not for jobs in their district. Something tells me the administration will be pushing that exact line of defense against any critics.

  59. 59
    Walker says:

    What is fascinating is just how out of touch these cold war relics are. All of this stuff they are clinging to are designed for major actors like Russia or China, not the people we are actually fighting.

    And if these idiots want to worry about war with China fine. They should just be aware that the only "space" that war will be fought in is cyberspace.

  60. 60
    TenguPhule says:

    back in 2000, Bush/Cheney conjured up this bullshit argument that Clinton had so overstretched our military that two of the Army’s 12 divisions would have to report, "not ready for duty, sir!"

    And after 8 years of Bush/Cheney, we’re LUCKY if two divisions can report as fully ready for duty.

  61. 61
    kay says:

    @NonyNony:

    "But Gates said he’s worried that “a deterioration of discipline” has crept into the process, where even low-level officers are offering advice to Congress about what to keep.

    Gates said it’s OK for the chiefs of staff to provide their professional advice to members of Congress, but not all Pentagon employees may do so."

    I think individual members of Congress were probably relying on "advice" given to them by low-level officers, to justify a vote saving a pet project. I imagine it wouldn’t be hard to find one Pentagon employee who supports nearly any project.

    Maybe if Gate’s limits Pentagon access to Congress, it will help. Let’s face it: they’re lobbying, and they’re giving Congress an "expert" to rely on.

  62. 62
    TenguPhule says:

    Accurate groundpounding to 15 miles in, for starters.

    Accuracy of course is relative.

    Much like smart munitions.

    It’s only as good as the person pulling the trigger.

    And that doesn’t factor the gremlins.

  63. 63
    gwangung says:

    What is fascinating is just how out of touch these cold war relics are. All of this stuff they are clinging to are designed for major actors like Russia or China, not the people we are actually fighting.

    Sorry, I’ll disagree here.

    Their main thing is that the art of defense is to account for contingencies. And there (albeit remote) possibilities of armed conflict with Russia and China. It’s part of the job of defense to prepare for those contingencies.

    What’s NOT part of their job is to do it with systems that work badly or not work at all. That’s the line of attack that will work, every time.

  64. 64
    TenguPhule says:

    i don’t know how Obama thinks he’s going to get it done – military spending is the epitome of congressional pork barrel politics – but I hope he follows through on his promise.

    Think of it as another piece of the stimulus package.

    Can we afford to lose all those related jobs involved right now?

    Of course in this case the jobs seem to be moving out of the big wasteful contractors and redirected towards stuff that actually matters to troops in the field.

  65. 65
    TenguPhule says:

    It’s amazing how much military technology is like that. We build tanks, so they develop antitank weapons. We develop better armor, so they make HEAT. We develop responsive armor, so they make double charge rounds (or whatever they’re called)! Seriously, read about explosive responsive armor. It’s hilarious. Imagine how much money it cost to develop and make that. Now imagine that it took like, what, a month for a clever guy to find a way around it? Maybe?

    Yep.

    Instead of fewer more expensive stuff, they should have stuck with the ability to deploy large numbers of middle class stuff that costs half as much.

    If we ever pick a fight with China, we’ll run out of ammo long before they run out of planes, ships and warm bodies.

  66. 66
    Warren Terra says:

    Accurate groundpounding to 15 miles in, for starters.

    Someone clearly hasn’t been paying attention for at least the last seven years. The problem isn’t hitting the target, it’s finding the target. If we had a drone overhead watching and telling us for certain that a specific slum dwelling or car contained the pirates or the terrorists or the martians, and were willing to blow that slum dwelling or car up, the drone’s own missile would do the job, or we could use a guided bomb from the air force or the navy. The problem is finding the targets, not hitting them, and especially not hitting them with salvos of 16-inch shells.

    Our problems in Afghanistan and the Northwest Frontier Province would not be fixed if we put wheels on the Missouri and rolled it into the area (though if it meant jobs in the right districts I’m sure some congressfolk would demand it be done for our national security).

  67. 67
    Tsulagi says:

    So a 4% increase in defense spending is “gutting” and surely unpatriotic. Yet a 3% rise in the top tax bracket that could help pay for that without additional debt is clearly a massive increase and the certain cornerstone of an Obama/Dem commiesoc-ialistfascism agenda.

    Today’s wingnuts need to leave a Rosetta Stone so future archeologists can decipher their shit.

  68. 68
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    Here’s your smart, computerized 21st century, weapons system in a nutshell: the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush, CVN 77, uses a Windows-based OS on its integrated communications and integrated warfare systems, among others.
    Kinda’ gives a new meaning to "the Blue Screen of Death."

  69. 69

    People, check who wrote this: "By THOMAS DONNELLY and GARY SCHMITT"

    Now go to the end of the article and you’ll find this:

    "Mr. Donnelly is a resident fellow and Mr. Schmitt is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute."

    See: "American Enterprise Institute". This was written by two employees from a right-wing think tank insane asylum. And published in the WSJ.

  70. 70

    @NutellaonToast

    It’s amazing how much military technology is like that. We build tanks, so they develop antitank weapons. We develop better armor, so they make HEAT. We develop responsive armor, so they make double charge rounds (or whatever they’re called)! Seriously, read about explosive responsive armor. It’s hilarious. Imagine how much money it cost to develop and make that. Now imagine that it took like, what, a month for a clever guy to find a way around it? Maybe?

    Sorry, but infantry anti-tank weapons are overrated. The best anti-tank weapon out there is another tank, second best, an aircraft. Once you start looking at the amount of HE and propellant necessary to punch through modern armor you very quickly go beyond anything that is reasonably man-portable, which means you have to build a vehicle to carry it, which is a bigger target, and you have to provide protection for the crew, because otherwise they’re getting shredded by bullets or shrapnel. Oh, and you either have to build a weapon that is fire and forget, which is difficult to do, or you have something that is wire guided, which, if you kill the operator or cause the wire to break by maneuvering so that the missile has to keep up with the target becomes a very expensive firework. It’s hardly that it takes a month for a clever guy to find a way around this stuff, it takes years and a lot of hard work. Anyone who thinks you can do it in a month is probably out simulating the behavior of Bradley fighting vehicles in their catbox with their 1/32nd Matchbox toys.

  71. 71
    TenguPhule says:

    Today’s wingnuts need to leave a Rosetta Stone so future archeologists can decipher their shit.

    Why would you condemn future generations to the same mistakes?

    Better that wingnuts die out alone and forgotten.

  72. 72
    gex says:

    @The Other Steve: I’d love to have my salary gutted to the tune of X + $21K. I’m willing to take that kind of hit for my country.

  73. 73
    guest omen says:

    how much of the increase goes to the va? or is that put on a separate bill?

  74. 74
    Fencedude says:

    @Warren Terra:

    Our problems in Afghanistan and the Northwest Frontier Province would not be fixed if we put wheels on the Missouri and rolled it into the area (though if it meant jobs in the right districts I’m sure some congressfolk would demand it be done for our national security).

    If nothing else, I think that would be awesome.

  75. 75
    Nellcote says:

    So Cheney’s recent fear mongering were just a pre-emptive strike on military budget cuts/defense of the military industrial complex?

  76. 76

    @kay

    "But Gates said he’s worried that “a deterioration of discipline” has crept into the process, where even low-level officers are offering advice to Congress about what to keep.
    Gates said it’s OK for the chiefs of staff to provide their professional advice to members of Congress, but not all Pentagon employees may do so."
    I think individual members of Congress were probably relying on "advice" given to them by low-level officers, to justify a vote saving a pet project. I imagine it wouldn’t be hard to find one Pentagon employee who supports nearly any project.
    Maybe if Gate’s limits Pentagon access to Congress, it will help. Let’s face it: they’re lobbying, and they’re giving Congress an "expert" to rely on.

    It’s worthwhile to re-read Eisenhower’s farewell address, where he warned about the influence of the "military-industrial complex".

    This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.

    and remember that he wanted to use the term "military-industrial-congressional" complex. I think that we need to start using this formulation because Congress is a huge part of the problem. Of course I say this as a resident of Seattle, the town that Boeing built, which for years was represented by Henry "Scoop" Jackson who was referred to on Capitol Hill as "the Senator from Boeing".

  77. 77
    eemom says:

    Milbank in the WaPo had a good piece on this yesterday:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....tml?sub=AR
    If you can access the print edition, check out the pic of Gates at the conference with the Marine General named "Hoss." That grin on his face is priceless.
    And I am generally not one to muddle in things military, but from everything I’ve read and heard about this, I am really impressed by Gates.

  78. 78
    gex says:

    @r€nato:

    my (asshole) father, who spent nearly his entire career in defense electronics (yet he loathed ‘big government spending’, hahahaha but that’s another story

    Hey, I have one of those too! If ever anyone wonders why the post boomer generation is more liberal, just point to these guys. My dad has the added GOP cred of being a *Chinese* man who complains about foreigners.

  79. 79
    guest omen says:

    isn’t it strange that nkorea launches a missile right before missile defense funding was headed to go on the chopping block?

  80. 80

    @Lost Rocks While BSG Sucks

    People, check who wrote this: "By THOMAS DONNELLY and GARY SCHMITT"
    Now go to the end of the article and you’ll find this:
    "Mr. Donnelly is a resident fellow and Mr. Schmitt is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute."
    See: "American Enterprise Institute". This was written by two employees from a right-wing think tank insane asylum. And published in the WSJ.

    I think that this sort of thing is one of the most corrupt things that the MSM does, allowing various partisan "think tanks", mostly staffed by right-wingers, unfettered access to their editorial pages. If I had the money I’d love to set up a website and hire some writers who would do nothing more than investigate and reveal this sort of thing and in general call bullshit on these bastards and the whores in the MSM who enable them.

    Sunshine is the best disinfectant, but I want to go much further than that, I want to focus the harsh and unforgiving light of the truth on these bastards and incinerate them like ants under a magnifying glass.

  81. 81
    guest omen says:

    my (asshole) father, who spent nearly his entire career in defense electronics (yet he loathed ‘big government spending’

    that’s like farmers who earn 6 figure incomes with the help of taxpayer subsidies bitching about single mothers on welfare getting an extra 100 bucks a month.

  82. 82
    Woody says:

    So the "authors" are not part of the WSJ ‘staff’?

    So it’s an op-ed piece?

    On the WSJ’s batshit-crasy, fucktard-wackloon op-ed page…

    Why are we wasting time on this?

  83. 83
    HyperIon says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    Sorry, but infantry anti-tank weapons are overrated.

    Many modern weapons systems are overrated. How else do you get people to agree to spend so much?

    Step 1: Fear-monger the threat of X.
    Step 2: Our weapon system will save you from threat X. Really. Just give us a shit ton of money. Oh, and we’ll employ lots of people, too.

    Aside from hardware purchases, I like that Gates is also proposing that many projects NOT be outsourced, that they be performed by military personnel.

  84. 84
    TenguPhule says:

    I think that this sort of thing is one of the most corrupt things that the MSM does, allowing various partisan "think tanks", mostly staffed by right-wingers, unfettered access to their editorial pages.

    Years ago I called my local paper to complain about this.

    Their response?

    "It’s to balance the liberal media on our other pages."

    I shit you not.

  85. 85
    Ash Can says:

    I wonder how much payola Donnelly and Schmitt get from defense companies for writing and publishing their shit. It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

    @Lost Rocks While BSG Sucks: For all the great straight reporting the WSJ does, its op-ed section is consistently and thoroughly out to lunch. Go figure.

  86. 86
    TenguPhule says:

    Sorry, but infantry anti-tank weapons are overrated. The best anti-tank weapon out there is another tank, second best, an aircraft. Once you start looking at the amount of HE and propellant necessary to punch through modern armor you very quickly go beyond anything that is reasonably man-portable, which means you have to build a vehicle to carry it, which is a bigger target, and you have to provide protection for the crew, because otherwise they’re getting shredded by bullets or shrapnel.

    Mines.

    Or the poor man’s version, IEDs.

  87. 87
    Woody says:

    that’s like farmers who earn 6 figure incomes with the help of taxpayer subsidies bitching about single mothers on welfare getting an extra 100 bucks a month.

    Why, yes, yes it is exactly like that…

    Gates "killed" the F-22, parts of which are manufactured, designed, polished, installed, or wqarehoused and/or transported by companies in 48 states.

    Wanna bet the F-22 doesn’t stay dead???

  88. 88
    Zifnab says:

    @guest omen:

    isn’t it strange that nkorea launches a missile right before missile defense funding was headed to go on the chopping block?

    Isn’t it strange that anyone honestly thinks N.Korea is going to be able to successfully launch an ICBM with a rat’s chance in hell of hitting it’s target?

    You’ve got FAUX Noise screaming like a freak’n banshee that a satellite launch spells the end of the free world. This is fifty year old technology and the NKs are just now picking it up. Why are we afraid again?

  89. 89
    NonWonderDog says:

    @Dennis-SGMM:

    The point of stealth really isn’t to make planes invisible to tracking radar. The point is to make the plane unlockable to enemy missiles until it’s in range and can destroy the target. (And an F-22’s radar cross-section is supposed to be much less than 1/100x a Cessna 172’s. It’s supposedly 1/10000x the size.)

    An F-22 against an F-16 (or hell, 4 F-16s) in a head-on engagement at long range will win at least 90% of the time, because the F-22 will be able to lock on and fire at something like 3-4x the range. The only chance for the F-16s in a first pass, assuming they know the F-22 is in the area and they’re getting sporadic radar returns, is to fire without a lock, run away, and hope their missiles pick up the F-22s on their own (exceedingly likely).

    It’s still totally unnecessary, of course, and there’s no pressing geopolitical reason to pay so much money for that capability. (And it doesn’t yet, ya know, work.) But it’s pointedly not an already-obsolete technology.

  90. 90

    Nor is it a perfectly calculable endeavor that permits a delicate "balancing" of risk. More often it rewards those who arrive on the battlefield "the fustest with the mostest," as Civil War Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest once put it. If Mr. Gates has his way, U.S. forces will find it increasingly hard to meet the Forrest standard.

    OK so I didn’t read the piece before commenting earlier. But man did you miss THE quote. Nathan Bedford Forrest? No fucking shit! Nathan Bedford Forrest! They just couldn’t help themselves could they?

    Nathan Bedford Forrest:

    He is remembered both as a self made and innovative cavalry leader during the war and as a figure in the postwar establishment of the first Ku Klux Klan organization opposing the reconstruction era in the South.

  91. 91
    TenguPhule says:

    If Mr. Gates has his way, U.S. forces will find it increasingly hard to meet the Forrest standard.

    Military budgets are like a box of chocolates?

  92. 92
    Comrade Dread says:

    First time I’ve ever heard an increase in spending referred to as gutting.

    Democrats used to play that game all the time. A decrease in the rate of a spending increase on, say, Education was described as massive cuts to Education spending by the time it got distributed to the media.

    It used to rightly piss Republicans off to no end.

    I guess it’s one more thing to ad to the ever increasing list of things which are okay if you’re a Republican.

  93. 93
    Doug says:

    @Warren Terra:

    2009 budget: $513b ($655b incl. Iraq/Afghanistan)
    2010 budget: $534b ($664b incl. Iraq/Afghanistan)
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITI.....index.html

  94. 94
    guest omen says:

    @Zifnab:

    there is a history of certain players intervening and playing both sides of an issue. from peace summits to arms dealing. wouldn’t surprise me to find out nk was bribed.

  95. 95
    Zifnab says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    But man did you miss THE quote. Nathan Bedford Forrest? No fucking shit! Nathan Bedford Forrest! They just couldn’t help themselves could they?

    As an aside, how did General Forrest do, anyway? What ever happened to the Confederate States of America?

  96. 96
    Calouste says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    I will also admit that I find the A-10 the sexiest aircraft around. 19,000 lbs of thrust from the engines moving it forward. 9,000 lbs of recoil from the gun trying to move it backwards. That is the definition of awesome right there.

    The A-10 has some MacGyverish cool about it. You basically weld a Gatling gun to a bathtub, put some wings on it and you get something that can still come back to base even if it has been half shot to bits.

  97. 97
    Woody says:

    Isn’t it strange that anyone honestly thinks N.Korea is going to be able to successfully launch an ICBM with a rat’s chance in hell of hitting it’s target?

    They’ve got pitchers in NKorea who could throw a fastball to japan…[/snark

    Seriously, all the NKoreans have to do to bomb japan is to keep a bomb in the air long enough for the earth to rotate under it…a couple of minutes, half an hour?

    Pyongyang to Hiroshima = 490 miles

  98. 98
    Robert Sneddon says:

    Re: Battleships in the modern world. Sadly there just isn’t any sort of reason to have them around any more. Their raison d’etre was to pound on other Big Iron ships on the other side(s), absent that take their smaller capital ships under fire and engage troop and supply convoys. Going in close to a hostile shore to deliver main-gun fire on-shore was always a risky business; less room to manoeuvre (remember Nelson’s Toast: "A willing foe, and searoom!") and the real risk of minefields and littoral subs sending an expensive asset and 2000 men to their final resting place on the (admittedly) shallow bottom. It’s one reason the B-17 Flying Fortress was developed, to attack shore installations in a similar manner to a battleship.

    Anything a 16"/50 rifle can do a ground-attack aircraft today can do much better and more accurately, and its choice of targets is not limited to a narrow strip of coastline — see Afghanistan and Iraq as prime examples.

  99. 99
    Zifnab says:

    @guest omen: N.Korea gets thrown up in the news every time Little Kim makes a particularly wet fart. I’ll happily concede that N.Korea suddenly got newsworthy again because we’re talking about budget cuts. I don’t know if it’s quite so "The World Is Not Enough" as guys sneaking out and "making" news by handing NK all the parts to make a full blown rocket.

    A launch like this has been in the hopper for a long time. And if it hadn’t been Korean rockets, it would be Iranian centrifuges or Somalian pirates or Chinese air craft carriers or Russian spy drones or who knows what? The well is deep. There’s plenty to draw on.

  100. 100
    Woody says:

    Re: The butcher Forrest: via wiki–

    Forrest is often erroneously quoted as saying his strategy was to "git thar fustest with the mostest," but this quote first appeared in print in a New York Times story in 1917, written to provide colorful comments in reaction to European interest in Civil War generals. Bruce Catton writes:

    "Do not, under any circumstances whatever, quote Forrest as saying ‘fustest’ and ‘mostest’. He did not say it that way, and nobody who knows anything about him imagines that he did."[35]

  101. 101
    wasabi gasp says:

    Walk in with that kind of chump change, don’t expect to drive away in anything with that new death star smell.

  102. 102
  103. 103
    TenguPhule says:

    Sadly there just isn’t any sort of reason to have them around any more.

    The Rule of Cool.

    Because there is something simply mesmerizing about that big ship throwing a hell of a lot of firepower at a target.

  104. 104
    Zifnab says:

    @Woody:

    Seriously, all the NKoreans have to do to bomb japan is to keep a bomb in the air long enough for the earth to rotate under it…a couple of minutes, half an hour?

    And avoid hitting China on the left and the Pacific Ocean on the right.

    I mean, ICBMs… pish posh. It’s not like we’re talking about rocket science.

  105. 105
    NonWonderDog says:

    @NonWonderDog:

    Ach. Unlikely. Exceedingly unlikely that an AMRAAM will ever hit anything at all when fired "mad dog," much less find and hit an F-22.

  106. 106
    NonyNony says:

    @Zifnab:

    This is fifty year old technology and the NKs are just now picking it up. Why are we afraid again?

    To be fair, Kim Jong Il is kind of nuts. If there’s a single world leader on the planet I’d expect to NOT be afraid of MAD, it’s KJI. I’m not worried about the Iranian Supreme Leader, or the Prime Minister of China, or of India, and I wasn’t really afraid of Mussharef (though I am worried about crazies getting the button in Pakistan if it devolves into failed state territory). But KJI worries me – that whole country’s leadership just seems not quite rational and not too worried about what happens to their country as a result of their actions. So yeah, NK suddenly being able to hit Japan with a nuke when they couldn’t yesterday does worry me a bit.

  107. 107
    Michael says:

    If I had the money I’d love to set up a website and hire some writers who would do nothing more than investigate and reveal this sort of thing and in general call bullshit on these bastards and the whores in the MSM who enable them.

    Try reading Media Matters.

  108. 108
    Warren Terra says:

    @ Doug #92
    Thanks for the numbers.

  109. 109
    Michael says:

    You basically weld a Gatling gun to a bathtub, put some wings on it and you get something that can still come back to base even if it has been half shot to bits.

    That’s a titanium bathtub.

    Awesome, wicked cool.

  110. 110
    Brachiator says:

    BTW- didn’t the GOP alternative “budget” call for a spending freeze? Lemme guess, military spending was exempt from the freeze.

    Bonehead progressives would spend infinite amounts of money on domestic programs, while bonehead conservatives would spend infinite amounts of money on defense.

    And as others have noted, the GOP has mastered the art of deception on defense issues. They whined about Clinton having "gutted" the military even though the Iraq war was started with the military that Clinton had left in place. And the last time I checked, US military spending and capability exceeds that of any other nation many times over.

  111. 111
    The Cat Who Would Be Tunch says:

    @Tsulagi:

    Today’s wingnuts need to leave a Rosetta Stone so future archeologists can decipher their shit.

    Here, let me help you with that.

    Marginal tax rate for top bracket:

    39% = socialism

    Treatment of detainees:

    Americans use water boarding, stress positions, sleep deprivation, etc. = "Enhanced interrogation" or "hazing".
    Rest of the world uses same techniques = Torture.

    Policy Debates

    Democrats criticizing Republican president = Treason.
    Republicans criticizing Democratic president = Loyal opposition, patriotic duty.

    Service to Country

    Republican candidate that got out of enlistment = Warrior, ball scratching tough guy hero.
    Democratic candidate that served in war = French-looking, Appeasement-loving, Chamberlain-esque liberal wuss.

    Time Needed to Judge Policy Decisions

    For Republicans = Several decades, maybe even a century.
    For Democrats = Two weeks.

    Just looking at that list makes one dizzy because of the sheer amount of cognitive dissonance that one experiences. Although I must say that it was a fun exercise putting it together. Anybody want to continue building the "Wingnuttia Stone" with me for future generations?

  112. 112
    Corner Stone says:

    @Michael

    Accurate groundpounding to 15 miles in, for starters. How are the pirates going to muster up their defenses if 16 inch guns and a cheap drone can provide pinpoint accuracy on depots, walls and observation points?

    They’re *pirates*! What defenses, depots, walls or observation points? Unless a 16in gun can hit a speeding boat no bigger than a good size tugboat, not sure what else they can do.

  113. 113
    Corner Stone says:

    Sorry, but infantry anti-tank weapons are overrated.

    /Lebanon

  114. 114
    Corner Stone says:

    I will also admit that I find the A-10 the sexiest aircraft around. 19,000 lbs of thrust from the engines moving it forward. 9,000 lbs of recoil from the gun trying to move it backwards. That is the definition of awesome right there.

    It may be just the war pr0n inner hooligan in me but I have to totally agree. FSM help me but there’s nothing cooler than watching tape of those guns rain it down.

  115. 115
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    New Concerns Over Chinese ‘Carrier-Killer’

    First posted on a Chinese blog viewed as credible by military analysts and then translated by the naval affairs blog Information Dissemination, a recent report provides a description of an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) that can strike carriers and other U.S. vessels at a range of 2000km.

    The range of the modified Dong Feng 21 missile is significant in that it covers the areas that are likely hot zones for future confrontations between U.S. and Chinese surface forces.

    The size of the missile enables it to carry a warhead big enough to inflict significant damage on a large vessel, providing the Chinese the capability of destroying a U.S. supercarrier in one strike.

    Because the missile employs a complex guidance system, low radar signature and a maneuverability that makes its flight path unpredictable, the odds that it can evade tracking systems to reach its target are increased. It is estimated that the missile can travel at mach 10 and reach its maximum range of 2000km in less than 12 minutes.

    Supporting the missile is a network of satellites, radar and unmanned aerial vehicles that can locate U.S. ships and then guide the weapon, enabling it to hit moving targets.

    A supercarrier costs $5bn. The missile costs? Supposedly, we’ve built our last supercarrier.

  116. 116
    AnneLaurie says:

    How can the majority of Americans not see the fact that our military is bigger than the rest of the worlds is a bad fact. A bad bad fact.

    To a significant minority of American voters, having the Biggest! Military! in the Muthafvckin! WORLD! is another form of tiny-penis overcompensation — a feature, not a bug. The difficult thing, for the rest of us sane people, is figuring out how to convince them that a steady supply of cheap effective boner pills is better than one of those risky ridiculous ‘extension’ operations that’s liable to leave the patient incapable of achieving an erection & possibly incontinent as well.

    For Dennis-SGM:
    The War Nerd

  117. 117
    inthewoods says:

    These guys just remind me of Team B:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_B

  118. 118
    gex says:

    @The Cat Who Would Be Tunch: I think that all we really need to do is spell out what the IOKIYAR acronym stands for. It is the only translation guide you need and it never fails to explain the apparent contradictions.

  119. 119
    Llelldorin says:

    Because there is something simply mesmerizing about that big ship throwing a hell of a lot of firepower at a target.

    Besides, the old Mark 7 guns in the battleship main battery were cannon, in the true sense. Sailors loaded bags of gunpowder behind the shell, then sealed the chamber. Given that most of us associate piracy with the nineteenth century, something deep within us wants to fire cannon at them, even though that makes absolutely no sense at all.

  120. 120
    TenguPhule says:

    It is estimated that the missile can travel at mach 10 and reach its maximum range of 2000km in less than 12 minutes.

    At that speed, modern anti-missile systems have a snowball’s chance in hell of hitting it short of the target.

  121. 121
    TenguPhule says:

    Anybody want to continue building the "Wingnuttia Stone" with me for future generations?

    I don’t hate the unborn that much.

  122. 122
    bago says:

    @TenguPhule: Remember that a Phalanx cannon pretty much can throw up a wall of steel anywhere. There is a slight chance it can slip through the firing rate gate, but that is minimal. At that speed the interceptor projectiles are a minimal kinetic threat other than the energy being spent by the the penetrator. That whole equal and opposite reaction bit.

  123. 123
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @bago:
    Although it has a high rate of fire the Phalanx system does not have a high sustained rate of fire. The barrels simply burn out after X number of rounds. Moreover, the Phalanx was designed to counter sea skimming missiles which travel considerably more slowly than the mach 10 quoted for the Dong Feng 21. At that speed, the gun simply can’t traverse fast enough to acquire the target. If by luck the the gun is pointed in the right direction it can’t initiate fire quickly enough to do much more than put rounds where the missile was.

  124. 124
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Oh, good grief. The right, The WSJ, the Republicans, and all the LOSERS (thanks, Jon Stewart) need to simmah down nah!

    I was thinking of starting a political blog, but really, do I want to immerse myself in this kind of inanity every day more than I already do? Sheesh.

    As for the teabaggers whining about taxes, I say, this is what losing tastes like. I didn’t want my president to start a fictitious war, but he did, and I paid my damn taxes, anyway, because that’s democracy (thanks again, Jon Stewart). Wusses.

  125. 125
    Foxwood says:

    The direction our country is headed, we’re in trouble. Putin has a better plan than Obama.

  126. 126
    AhabTRuler says:

    @bago: @TenguPhule: It is my understanding that the phalanx would not be able to elevate enough to attack a missile traveling on a ballistic trajectory, to say nothing of the closing speed and associated aiming error.

  127. 127
    r€nato says:

    @GSD:

    Ah yes, I remember that Bill Clinton had so gutted the military that the GOP and the political right were eager to take that decimated, gutted and destroyed military and promptly put them into action in two theaters of military battle in Afghanistan and Iraq with nary a moment to rebuild the totally destroyed institution that was the military.

    AHA! Yet another thing that’s Clinton’s fault.

  128. 128
    r€nato says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Instead of fewer more expensive stuff, they should have stuck with the ability to deploy large numbers of middle class stuff that costs half as much.

    Interestingly, when Google was considering how to go about acquiring the massive amount of servers needed for their data centers, they realized it was much smarter and much MUCH more affordable to obtain inexpensive servers using readily-available inexpensive components rather than much more expensive, almost-completely-100%-reliable servers from, say, IBM.

    With the former approach, you know you’re going to have a certain failure rate in hardware. But, that’s OK; there’s lots and lots of redundancy built into the infrastructure of the internet. So if a server goes down, no problem; let the rest of the servers handle the load and just swap out the faulty component.

    Although it’s not a 100%-valid analogy for military hardware planning, it’s certainly something the Pentagon should be thinking about as Gates considers how to re-orient defense spending.

  129. 129

    […] John Cole. Follow the link for the guts of the story. 2009 Pentagon budget: $513 billion 2010 proposed Pentagon budget: $534 billion   […]

  130. 130
    bago says:

    @AhabTRuler: Ballistic projectiles are WAY easy to aim for. When you give up any pretense of atmospheric maneuvering, you are one quadratic equation away from being intercepted.

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