Wednesday, November 21, 2018

US Military Might in Doubt

The greatest Army in the history of mankind, especially after the Marian reforms, was the Roman legion. They were professional and highly disciplined soldiers who served for 25 years. "Their exercises are unbloody battles, and their battles bloody exercises," remarked Josephus. Many elements of the American military, like the heavy reliance on non-commissioned officers, can be traced to the Roman legion. This army ultimately failed, not because of their amazing soldiers, but because of a government that failed to finance it properly. As a result, that empire faded away as well. The United States military is in serious danger of failing as well, thanks to a government that refuses to fund it properly.

A report by the bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission, released last week, has issued a stark warning:
The security and wellbeing of the United States are at greater risk than at any time in decades. America’s military superiority—the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security—has eroded to a dangerous degree. Rivals and adversaries are challenging the United States on many fronts and in many domains. America’s ability to defend its allies, its partners, and its own vital interests is increasingly in doubt. If the nation does not act promptly to remedy these circumstances, the consequences will be grave and lasting.
The report continues,
The U.S. military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict. It might struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against China or Russia. The United States is particularly at risk of being overwhelmed should its military be forced to fight on two or more fronts simultaneously. Additionally, it would be unwise and irresponsible not to expect adversaries to attempt debilitating kinetic, cyber, or other types of attacks against Americans at home while they seek to defeat our military abroad. U.S. military superiority is no longer assured and the implications for American interests and American security are severe.
One cause for concern is that China, with 350 ships, is now larger than the US Navy. We rely heavily in the aircraft carrier, and China has developed a "carrier killer," a missile with an 800-mile range that has the ability to sink a carrier. The range of carrier aircraft is just 550 miles. Though we do surround carriers with guided missile destroyers, China could just send more than we can handle.

I'll agree that, over the years, some military spending is absurd. There are numerous examples. Democrats will soon take over the House. According to their platform, "Democrats have made modernizing our military a top priority while also eliminating outdated programs and unnecessary spending." I am very concerned that too many Democrats will instead adopt the Pollyannish view that we should just cut spending, instead of spending more wisely.

The best way to prevent a war is to be ready to fight one and win. We no longer are in that position.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the part of the cost of ever popular tax cuts. If you want to have a top notch military it cost money. It is not a game of lest cut social security and other necessary domestic problems for the military as some alt-rights love to scream. The fact of the matter is, stop the silly pandering tax cuts, restore tax rates to what they were in the sixties and seventies and rebuild out military strength. To those who say no way, my multiple homes and mega wealth will not be taken by you democratic socialists. I say fine, learn Mandarin!

Anonymous said...

Using the military for all sorts of social justice experiments for the past decade does have a price. Cutting budgets due to sequestration is a major reason why our national defense forces are at such a low ebb today.

Anonymous said...

Not exactly, 3:25. This situation didn’t happen over the past 2 years. This decline in military preparedness has been ongoing throughout the previous administration. Before the recent tax cuts. I also note, our current administration has greatly increased the military budget.

Anonymous said...

Look around this Thanksgiving and be thankful for your, and our country's countless blessings. We only spend 4% of GDP to defend it. Tragically, we're leaving the kids and grandkids with $22 trillion in debt and any talk of decreasing annual rates of increase to Medicare, Medicaid, and SS are met with cries about murdering old people and children and Susan Wild's under insured staffer. In the future, we'll spend far less than 4% and be increasingly vulnerable. History documents well that all empires have a shelf life. Sorry kids. We're taking what we can grab, now, in a terrible Ponzi scheme. You're on your own. At least we left you iPhones and safe space cry rooms and 27 genders from which to choose.

Anonymous said...

We have used our military very badly in the last few decades, we have abused the reserves by sending them on multiple tours of duty, We have abused our career people by deploying them almost non-stop, we have destroyed their families and often their economic future. How many reservists lost their homes and families by not being able to support them while away. We have also made the military another social experiment, by putting women in combat situations, homosexuals and now transsexuals in the military. The military leadership was always made up of career families who had generations of proud soldiers, many who had high standards of god and country. I suspect they are being discouraged from continuing that service. The military not only has to be prepared to face multiple enemies abroad, but must endure constant humiliation from within. It has been reported that 30% of the sexual harassment and abuse charges in the military are same sex type. Of course non of this is politically correct. The roman army deteriorated when the politicians at home stole their inheritances and used the military badly. It must be hard to keep up the morale of the military under these conditions.

Anonymous said...

We do NOT have a military spending problem.
Repeat, this is NOT a spending problem.

It's not as simple as being pro or anti military as far as spending policy. The US allocates every dollar we need and more for defense spending. The problem is a matter of waste, pork, and politics. Military spending increases passed in the (terrible) omnibus debt bill was a political show. It did NOT translate to increased military readiness.

Here is a link to an article that overviews the problem and provides examples on how the increase in spending was nothing more than a political show.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/military-readiness-sidelined-for-lcs-ships-the-navy-doesnt-want/

Anonymous said...

Please put this subject into perspective. Yes, the US military has faced many of the issues listed in the initial blog post. Yes, our military people have been over deployed. Yes, much military equipment has been overused and needs replacement. All of that said, our military is still the best trained and equipped in the world and is fully capable of defending US territory. What is actually most threatened is the US ability to simultaneously fight and win conflicts in multiple places throughout the world. It is no accident that our ability to fight peer-to-peer conflicts with adversaries such as China and Russia has suffered because for what is now approaching two decades, we have concentrated on fighting expensive wars against determined but less powerful entities in the middle east. We have poured billions of dollars into places such as Iraq and Afghanistan while China and Russia have modernized and improved their capabilities. Former fringe players such as Iran and North Korea have become legitimate regional threats at the same time. Before the US decides to enter a new arms race that will bankrupt the nation unless every American antes up more in taxes to make it happen, the nation needs to evaluate its overall political and strategic goals and develop a coherent set of defense policies. How much military power is enough? The answer depends on how much of the world the US wants to defend, dominate or control.

LVCI said...

It's not so much a matter of funding it properly but rather running it financially efficiently. Two operations going on 17 years in Iraq & Afghanistan are ridiculous. We have military troops stationed in around 150 countries.

Most f our ships and plans are over engineered. Each B-2 stealth bomber cost $737 million (each costs $3.4 million month to maintain). F22's- $150 million each. F35's- $85 million. Zumwalt-class destroyers- $7.5 billion each.

The defense department has never been seriously audited. Each time (what small few ones they did) turned up unbelievable waste and overcharges.

MORE MONEY IS NOT THE ANSWER. Rather it's one of the most mismanaged agencies in government when it comes to government spending.

Anonymous said...

Trump Aniexty Disorder! TAD effects to many unbalanced Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Nuts and bolts and BOMBS AND MISSILES are not the only answer to a powerful presence in the world today. Strong leadership in the Whitehouse goes a long way in keeping world order. Unfortunately we haven't had that in more than two decades. This crazy bastard that is in there right now certainly isn't helping. Anyone's answer to forest fires in California is "raking leaves in the woods" to deter the spread of the fire is a nut job. He has pissed off just about every Country who was our friend and infuriated borderline countries to the extent they don't want nothing to do with us. America cannot take a back seat world problems by declaring "America first". There are problems that are international problems that deserve our attention, like food for the hungry, medicine for the sick, etc. and yes, a very strong military like the world has never seen,

Anonymous said...

China-US war would mean Chinese factories would have to ship their plastics elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Tax cuts during wartime are never a good idea, right Donald?

Anonymous said...

Yes there's waste and inefficiency in any government enterprise. But 4% of GDP is not sufficient. The money needs to be better spent, as with all government. But 4% is not enough to protect all we hold dear.

Anonymous said...

I see the democrats on here are now saying we need more taxes for the military, you got to be kidding, you want more taxes to buy more votes, to make more dependents and reward your government worker voters.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This post has nothing to do with Cal wildfires

Anonymous said...

Like the Japanese in the thirties, we sold our surplus junk and steel to only get it back in WWII.

We had a massive trade deficit with the Chinese. They were holding buckets of US dollars. When we needed money, we sold them trillions in bonds. When we did that, one wise critic offered that our interest payments on that debt would meet the Chinese military budget for twenty years. We paid for it, every cent was paid by the American taxpayer. We are the dumbest nation in the world led by equally dumb leaders. That includes everyone from the past thirty years.

I wouldn’t learn Mandarin, just how to cook with a wok.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I see the democrats on here are now saying we need more taxes for the military, you got to be kidding, you want more taxes to buy more votes, to make more dependents and reward your government worker voters."

This kind of rank partisanship is precisely what will kill this country. Get your head out of your ass and learn to work together to face a threat that endangers us all. No one is saying we must raise taxes. In fact, Dems may just want to cut military spending.

Doh Biden said...

Gitmo, Abu gharaib, Mai Lai, Fallujah, Afghanistan, our military needs to be systematically rebuilt as a defensive force not one of nation building and nu-nu imperialism. Let us join Costa Rica and walk away from the very damaging military industrial complex that chicken hawks like DJT fawn over.

Anonymous said...

do politicians do any thing right ????

LVCI said...

do politicians do any thing right ????

I think they do a lot of things right, but are really lousy at handling financial issues. Few (if any) come from a background where they had to tightly manage money or own a business. It would be nice if more came from a accounting background where they had a full understanding how to read the implications between the lines of budgets. Most do not.

Still their are others who only plan a year or so ahead instead of over the long term hoping to move to higher office before the shit hits the fan.

I think most come into office with good intentions. However "good intentions" alone are not enough. The only requirement to get elected is... to get elected. Other then that these political jobs (unlike those in the business world) need no qualifications other then for voters to like them.. Therein lies the problem.

Anonymous said...

If the pentagon would stop paying $600 for toilet seats and $400 dollars for hammers, maybe we can increase our military efficiency and cut spending at the same time.

Anonymous said...

partisan trash Talk. Trump is destroying America.

Anonymous said...

from the report
"Rather than viewing defense cuts as
the solution to the nation’s fiscal problems, Congress should look to the
entire federal budget, especially entitlements and taxes, to set the nation
on a more stable financial footing. In the near-term, such adjustments will
undoubtedly be quite painful. "

after saying
" We strongly agree that the Pentagon’s culture and way of doing
business must be brought into the 21st century, yet it is unrealistic to expect
that such reforms will yield significant resources for growth, especially
within a time frame appropriate to meet the challenges posed by
China and Russia. Without additional resources, and without greater stability
and predictability in how those resources are provided, the Department
will be unable to fulfill the ambition of the NDS or create and
preserve U.S. military advantages in the years to come. There must be
greater urgency and seriousness in funding national defense"

so in other words keep shoveling money to the depart of defense as they will continue to waste tax dollars and will not change how they are wasting those dollars.
Moreover cut entitlements so you can give the DOD 5 percent growth for even more waste.
The conflict examples they cite are less than honest.
Invasion Taiwan fails to mention that China does not have the logistics capability to support invasion forces.
The so called ship killer missiles have been around for quite some time and the US Navy has several ways to defeat such threats.
Sinking an aircraft carrier is harder than it sounds.
As to the increase in Chinese ships there is a huge difference between a carrier battle group and the ships China is building.
Not to mention their lack of experience in naval operations of the size needed to give the US Navy a bloody nose.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Wrong. If you read the report, instead of selectively reading it, you’d learn that 70% of China’s ships are modern, and they are building them much faster than we are. You’d learn their 70 subs are giving the Navy fits. This is not something you argue over. This is something you fix. Now. If that means we buy a few $400 hammers along the way, that’s a small price to pay for national security.

Anonymous said...

We have the strongest military by far on the planet. Did that stop Vladimir Putin from severely damaging the US, by helping to elect his loyal buddy, Trump? It is beyond obvious that more money for the military is not the answer.

How much money did Trump waste by having a major deployment of troops to "stop" the Central American "caravan". Funny that now that the election is over, the troops are withdrawn, and we hear not a word about the caravan. Where is the outrage, Bernie?

Anonymous said...

5.42
And where in the report that i read is the carrier battle groups the Chinese have?
of those 70 recent how many are logistic ships?
much less the landing ships and specialized forces to invade a country that would fight them from the beaches and bleed the invasion force.
While the US military destroys any forces still floating on the water.
they have how many years in force projection actions?
The Chinese have demonstrated the capability to even resupply their fleet outside of their coastline?
nope not happening.
And all of this is without the high tech US military crippling them at every opportunity.
Diesel subs are a problem but the Chinese have nowhere near the experience and sonar tech the US has.
If you want to drown back a Chinese sub over an American hunter/killer.
The report quotes that expecting the DOD to efficiently spend funds is not possible and they recommend you ignore that and give them more money.
The US military is bigger then it needs to be.
demanding funding for a two theater full scale conflict is not realistic and does not reflect the allies we have and their contributions.

Anonymous said...

5.42
"If that means we buy a few $400 hammers along the way, that’s a small price to pay for national security.

fair enough but why allow it to happen.
Some folks will scream to high heaven if a hungry kid gets a hot lunch and politicians will respond.
yet a 40 billion add on cost to the f-35 to make it work like they claimed it would the first time is not a problem.
So i do not buy the idea that the DOD can not be more effective with tax dollars.
try
https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/06/how-to-blow-6-billion-on-a-tech-project/
or
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/f-35-americas-most-expensive-weapon-war-the-ultimate-failure-24984

Anonymous said...

5.42
"Wrong. If you read the report, instead of selectively reading it, you’d learn that 70% of China’s ships are modern,"
ok try from the article
"Despite the growth of the Chinese Navy, the United States retains maritime superiority throughout East Asia."
and
"As a share of GDP, the U.S. defense budget is nearly 75 percent larger than China’s defense budget."
and one of the linked articles
"We will posture more of the force forward, and more of it in the Pacific. While the total size of the fleet will likely decline if current conditions continue, more of it will be where it needs to be, it will be more effectively networked over a larger more dispersed area, and it will be equipped with the weapons and sensors necessary to enable this offensive shift"
or another
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2017/01/10/watch-the-pentagons-new-hive-mind-controlled-drone-swarm-in-action/?utm_term=.cc6ca5c9d641
so the Chinese can watch their expensive ships with underwater cameras

Anonymous said...

Quality over quantity? The Soviets had more stuff than we did at one point and it was no big deal as their stuff was crap. As long as we have enough nuclear stuff to obliterate the world, we should be OK. As far as the homeland is concerned. And, yes I am telling you and the world our policy is like that of Israel. If you take US down we will destroy the world in order to save it for some future species.

We are a warrior culture no matter how we try to whitewash history.

Anonymous said...

"box cutters"

Anonymous said...

You don't need an army to beat America all you need is money, and you can buy her.

The Saudi Prince just copped a feel...

Louie Denaldo said...

Eh, liberal scare tactics. But my wife and I would love to have you over for dinner. Let’s schedule a time/date.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Anon 9:34 - Perhaps we'll find out with the invaders of San Diego shortly.

Anonymous said...

So the gist of the report is to imply that cutting Social Security and Medicare will allow the DOD to waste even more tax dollars.
The China as a military threat is mostly fluff.
The Chinese are fielding the equivalent of 1980's submarines as the biggest so called threat.
Also a so called "killer missile" that has not successfully hit a moving target while facing chaff and countermeasures.
This is old news.
Basically it is an attempt by the defense industries to "waah we want more money-waah"
The laughable part of the report is the claim that DOD will piss away tax dollars and you can just ignore that and give them even more money.
the easiest example is the f-35.
let's look at it like a car purchase.
A car dealer sells you a great sounding car with all of the latest tech and says it costs 200 thousand but it is worth every penny.
you drive it home and the exhaust is coming in the car so you go back to the dealer and they say "sure give me 30 thousand and i will fix it" and "turn signals do not work well i will give you a price"
"oh by the way you can not drive it in the rain as we found a problem there but do not worry we will send you a bill to make it right"
"also that fancy tech we promised-- well the software will be written in the next year or two and that will cost you whatever we want to charge"
You would have to be insane to go along with such garbage.
So giving the DOD more money or the "dealer" needs some serious straightening out.

Anonymous said...

3.58
they have been there for quite some time
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/space-invaders

"Several maps exist documenting the Invasion and it has become a kind of quirky treasure hunt around the urban landscape. Literally hidden in plain sight,'

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:25, you are just repeating the same nonsense you did yesterday. A strong national defense costs $ but there is no suggestion of cutting vital security nets. This is just a fiction created by some on the left like you to justify your vilification of those who are right of you. Get s grip.

Anonymous said...

11.32

so what does
"Rather than viewing defense cuts as
the solution to the nation’s fiscal problems, Congress should look to the
entire federal budget, especially entitlements and taxes, to set the nation
on a more stable financial footing. In the near-term, such adjustments will
undoubtedly be quite painful. "

imply?
This is from the report you cite.
Who would suffer those quite painful adjustments?
Are they implying pain for Lockheed Martin?
The same report states that reforming how the DOD buys things is a good idea but do not expect the DOD to change.
But give them more money anyway.
Why would any sane person agree to continue in the same way?
This is neither right or left.nor is it an attempt to bash the right.
The report you cite is simply defense contractors through a DOD think tank crying for more money and inventing extreme scenarios.
Look up the authors of the report-oh they are bipartisan,yep they are united in keeping defense contractors awash in cash.


Peter J.Cochran said...

The military as a whole has a problem. Only 11% of the young men and women 17 -24 say they might serve. 71 % of this groupe can’t serve because they are overweight,have drug problems or criminal issues . The U.S.Navy according to the Rand Group study says that 71 % of the Navy is over weight. My kid Henry whom is in the Marine Corps will not Evan drive 1 mile an hour over speed limit because he says ,if he gets a ticket they would reduce his pay grade . Ha , different standards to match but the god damned vet preferring is the same . In fact he just tested for a Civil Service Fire job in Easton after 2 deployments and nearly 4 years this coming month in the INFANTRY and did not receive Veterans Preference because he’s not separated. Horse crap. He going on combat deployment by this time next month ,and some guy running a buffer on the floors or decks at Camp Leasure get out and receives same points.

Anonymous said...

This is kind of crazy. petey please, you can't volunteer for something than demand people kiss your ass for doing hat you want to do. The military is stretched think. So maybe you need to bring back the draft, then no more shaming or guilt trips. Will congress have the balls to do that?
Another idea is stop the endless wars that are designed by the people who wrote this report. They are fought to continually enrich the war profiteers, the people President Eisenhower called the Military Industrial Complex.

Anonymous said...

No- the draft is ok for parts and truck drivers but not the Infantry. The draft may be ok for POGs [ persons other than grunt, ] but not grunts. I’m suggesting WE as a nation have a problem with youths that are able to serve under the standards that are set forth,as they are largely complacent to the point that it restricts availability of a draw. . Veterans preference is not kissing anybody’s ass you fool. It’s intended as a reset for extraneous risks and obligatory responsibility against those that could not or did not. During the Vietnam War 25% of those.men that served there were drafted. WWI ,WWII ,Korea were larger percentages. Shame rests on the nation as to how we treated Vietnam Vets returning both alive and dead!

Anonymous said...

The ideal military system would be the use of a draft, for all, no exemptions, This would be primarily a reserve military, well trained, available in national emergency. The problem is we have troops stationed in over 100 countries, have become the worlds international police force and such a system will not work under these conditions. I believe Trump was sincere in hoping to cut back on deployments around the world, so far it has not materialized, there is lots of pressure to keep us the worlds policeman. He is trying to force NATO and other allies to shoulder more of the cost, but even there politics overrides national interest, it is just another opportunity to criticize trump.

Peter J.Cochran said...

I aggre , we should not be the world police. But if China gets into places like Philippines we lose area control of the space . Subic Bay had been our asset during the Vietnam War. I was in and out of there many times like lots of others Navy and Marines. Wars are enviable ,so we need to have people to conduct them. If you are watching the world news you will see conflict s all over the globe. The smartest way is to fix stuff early. MARSOC , SEAL ,and RANGER . Early fix.

Anonymous said...

The Heritage foundation came out with this rubbish just before the audit.

Pentagon fails first-ever audit