A Creeping Sense of Panic

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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post14 Nov 2011, 20:31

http://defense.aol.com/2011/11/10/panet ... -fails-co/

Here in the US, a congressional Super Committee is currently working on a way to cut $1.2 trillion of government spending. Should that committee fail in its task, much of those cuts will fall on the military by default, which will have catastrophic effects on all manner of military programs, from shipbuilding to the viability of an already reduced nuclear deterrent. Nothing is safe, not even the most sacrosanct military benefits which enable us to maintain an all-volunteer force. Regardless of what anyone here feels about which weapons we should be purchasing, the prospect now looms that America may become the next Russia in regards to real military power (especially in the air). The question now is: if fiscal Armageddon should overtake the Pentagon, which weapon programs need to be saved at all costs?

High on my list are:

1. VA-class submarine construction

2. SSBN-X

3. All F-35 variants

4. Destroyer construction (Burke or Zumwalt, again, I don't care which)

My priorities are based on those areas where the US needs to maintain a lead in technology or numbers, and is in danger of losing it. Feel free to comment on what you think is most important. Just remember, everything is subject to cuts, so please limit your list to what you would SAVE and assume that everything else is getting reduced or cancelled. I'm especially curious about what everyone thinks about supercarriers, which are absent from my list because I think we can get by without building any more for awhile.
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launcherman

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Unread post14 Nov 2011, 20:49

35s should stay, cut the B-1

trim the F-35s and buy more F-15Es
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post14 Nov 2011, 20:52

A nice start, but again, keep it to what you want to save and assume that everything else is on the block.
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southernphantom

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Unread post14 Nov 2011, 21:51

Keep the Beagles and Apaches. They're potentially the most versatile and useful airframes in service. As for what to cut... F-35A. If it looks like it could be more affordable to buy more Cs, then that's what we should do. The -C is the only variant which can meet the needs of all services, STOVL aside.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post15 Nov 2011, 00:31

The sky is blue because God loves the Infantry.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post15 Nov 2011, 20:18

More details are emerging on upcoming cuts should the super committee fail to sort itself out in the next week or so. That's right; there is only a week until everything gets axed across the board by around 1/4, regardless of priority. It's NOT A MATTER OF CUTTING SOME PROGRAMS IN FAVOR OF OTHERS; good programs will simply be gutted along with the bad.

AOL Defense

Panetta Details 'Huge' Defense Cuts Should Super Committee Fail

By Carlo Munoz
Published: November 14, 2011

Washington: Last week Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the U.S. military would turn into a 'paper tiger' if it is hit with a $1 trillion dollar budget cut over the next decade. Today, he described in painstaking detail what exactly that would mean.

In a letter sent today to Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member John McCain, Panetta listed a litany of programs and services that he said would have to be cut if the congressional super committee fails to cut $1.2 billion from the national debt. The panel has little over a week to come up with that plan. If it can't, Pentagon coffers could be slashed by $500 billion. Piled on top of the cuts already mandated by the White House, the Pentagon would be staring down a $1 trillion spending cut.

"Under current law, that 23 percent reduction would have to be applied equally to each major investment and construction program. Such a large cut, applied in this indiscriminate manner, would render most of our ship and construction projects unexecutable -- you cannot buy three quarters of a ship or a building and seriously damage other modernization efforts," Panetta wrote.

To hear the defense secretary describe it, the fallout from these cuts would be devastating: The smallest Navy since the the beginning of World War I. The smallest Army and Marine Corps since the beginning of World War II. The smallest Air Force ever. Period. "Unfortunately, while large cuts are being imposed, the threats to national security would not be reduced," Panetta says in the letter

The department would have to gut almost every high-priority, big-ticket program in each of the services. The department's largest program, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, is number one on the doomsday hit list. The Pentagon could save an estimated $80 billion over 10 years by axing the JSF. The next thing to go would be the Air Force's next generation bomber program and its $18 billion dollar price tag. And Panetta's list goes on and on.

The Navy's $7 billion dollar SSBN-X submarine replacement program? It would be gone. The Navy's $22 billion-dollar next generation Littoral Combat Ship? Sunk. New space satellites and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems? Not for $11 billion dollars. Spending $16 billion to set up a new missile defense system for Europe to protect against threats from Iran? Maybe next decade. Maintaining all three legs of the nuclear triad? Something the U.S. will have to learn to live without.

And that's just the weapons programs.

Under a $1 trillion budget cut, the Pentagon "would have to formulate a new security strategy that accepted substantial risk of not meeting our defense needs." That means keeping soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in the field longer. That means those troops would be using equipment that is often near the breaking point after more than a decade of war in Southwest Asia. That would mean less places in the world where U.S. forces can operate in and might become the center for the next Al Qaeda.

The department is finalizing its own $260 billion budget reduction plan in the coming weeks, Panetta said last week. That will be part of the Pentagon's six-year budget blueprint due to Congress in early February. It will also get roughly halfway to the Obama administration's goal of cutting up to $500 billion in defense spending over the next five years.

The Super Committee's time is running out. The Defense Department is doing its part, according to Panetta. Capitol Hill has until Thanksgiving to do theirs.

http://defense.aol.com/2011/11/14/panet ... ttee-fail/

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southernphantom

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Unread post15 Nov 2011, 23:26

It's time Washington's games STOP harming national security. This is utterly ridiculous. I don't care what side of the aisle they're on. Cut the pork and welfare now or you might be speaking Chinese tomorrow.
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1st503rdsgt

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Unread post18 Nov 2011, 11:38

Looks like our resident deficit hawk is now trying to weasel out of these massive defense cuts. We will see...

http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts ... rcommittee
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