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  • Preserving the Peace: Modernize Now, Save Later

    Supporting America’s armed forces in times of war and peace is a fundamental obligation of government as part of its responsibility to provide for the common defense and protect the nation. A decade of combat operations and two decades of underinvestment have left the U.S. military too small and inadequately equipped to meet all of the growing demands placed upon men and women in uniform.

    Last summer, a bipartisan commission warned of a coming “train wreck” if Congress does not act quickly to rebuild and modernize the U.S. military. To meet tomorrow’s needs, the tools of national security must be strengthened quickly for the U.S. to help to stabilize the international environment and keep U.S. citizens safe and free while ensuring that America’s economy can prosper and grow.

    There is no quick or easy fix. The military’s equipment is old and therefore unreliable, increasingly out of date technologically, and insufficient in number. Meeting the military’s full modernization requirements will “require a substantial and immediate additional investment that is sustained through the long term.” However, the price of U.S. weakness will be greater in the long run.

    A modest increase in defense spending above the President’s budget request for fiscal year 2012 would help revitalize the urgent need to modernize the equipment inventory of all the services.

    Supporting freedom and defending the nation requires public spending on the nation’s defenses at all times. As President George Washington asserted in his First Annual Message, delivered in 1790, the “most effectual means of preserving peace” is “to be prepared for war.”

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to Preserving the Peace: Modernize Now, Save Later

    1. Pingback: Preserving the Peace: Modernize Now, Save Later

    2. George Colgrove, VA says:

      We have – hands down – the best military, the strongest military, the most virtuous military this earth has ever seen. We have a DoD however that knows nothing more than spending wastefully, giving kickbacks to contributors, that is stuck in sloth and is self centered.

      I do not agree we need to throw more money at the DoD. We do however need to force them to prioritize what dollars they will end up with. THe federal government needs to be cut by 35%. That means everything. If the GOP is successfull in cutting their orgininal 250 billion fron non-defense, non-mandatory spending then that part is done. We need to cut entitlements by 36% and we need to cut defense by 36%.

      Cutting defense by 36% puts us well ahead of pre 9/11 spending so we are still good there.

      Cutting government by 36% will not solve the debt problem. We will still not be paying the full interest and we will not be touching the principal. We need to cut more to do that.

      The United States needs finincial security before it can fight an more wars. We will be nothing without the dollar. And if everyone esle drops the dollar, then we will have nothing. We will have nothing to even start building a military.

      We need to save now. We need to prioritize defense dollars. We need to move all non-military functions out of the DoD. We need to focus the federal workforce that remains in the DoD to defense!

    3. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    4. Wildcat from Dallastown. PA says:

      I would venture to say that those who have not served at all in this nation’s military lack the appreciation needed to fully comprehend what force modernization entails. They would lack the most basic experience of having been issued or used equipment designed for WWII but which may have been produced shortly after the Korean War or early Vietnam.

      Keep in mind the main battle tank I was trained on was a heavier, slightly faster version of those we used at the end of WWII and Korea, and one of them had a repaired hole just below the glacis plate (front slope of the hull) from when one of the nations included in the foreign military sales program was busy using it during the Six Day War. Many of the radios in the armor and infantry units at that time (late 1970’s & the first two thirds of the 1980’s) were still using Vietnam era radio’s that now lacked the capability to transmit and receive the great distances they once did in the jungles. The quarter ton jeeps were WWII era (1940’s) and we used them until the Hummers finally got tested and fielded in late 1980’s! In fact, many pieces of equipment you may have seen in WWII movies, Korean War movies and even that TV program MASH (1950’s era) we were still being trained on and used until the mid to late 1980’s. We were in desperate need of modernization then and we are today as well.

      The main battle tank changed primarily from the M60 tank to the M1 Abrams in the early 1980’s and has been improved about three times to take in account for allowing a crew to operate with all hatches closed while traversing an area in a nuclear-biological chemical environment (fighting or not) without having to wear their protective mask due including an over pressurization system and changing the main gun from the venerable M69 canon, a 105mm rifle barreled battle tested model to the 120mm smoothbore canon. That change added lethality due to greater effective range and overall firepower. Other changes inherent changed from a clunky analogue computer that only took in account for the ballistics of the ammunition to a digital computer that included several other factors into the equation before firing. The stabilization system changed radically that not only greatly improved hitting moving targets from a stationary tank but consistently hitting moving targets while the firing tank was moving as well! All of these programs that modernized just one system made it a game changer plus for U. S. Forces where tanks were employed such a Desert Storm and the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

      All those changes to modernize (and more) enhanced our ability to protect and defend our national security without fail. We have numerous systems in all the services that need to be modernized to provide for the common defense against developing and soon to emerge threats.

      Now, look at what year it is and what year those improvements were fielded. Do the math. Keep in mind that the rate of change of science/math relative to applied technologies in weapon systems and counter systems is increasing at a rapid pace. We can’t wait thirty, forty or more years until we modernize our military’s equipment.

      Perhaps the politicians should see the glaring wasted spending on the plethora of failed Progressive programs and use a Gerber BMF to cut those programs out of existence (welfare such a paying women about $1500/month per baby [plus Medicaid etc] until the child turns 18 years old and only pay for the first six or seven years of the first child in order to allow the parents time to improve their income earning ability) rather than using a laser scalpel like they have been in the past with micro-surgical budget cuts. There are other places to cut that will position the country in the long run while still providing for programs mandated by our Constitution.

    5. Lee Wacker Cadiz, Ke says:

      It seems as though each time the "peaceniks" in Congress and the nation start cutting our defense budgets, we get into trouble! I read last week that Congress was killing the new F-35, which is about to begin production, they have already cut back on the F-22, and other Air Force weapons. Also at risk are our aircraft carriers–so many don't think they're going to be of use in the next war. I disagree strenuously! As for the land units, the Army and the Marines–they need new equipment, new rolling stock, updated armour and an entirely new outlook on their mission–but that outlook shouldn't be directed at the soldiers and Marines themselves, but at Congress and other fools who think they know everything!

      Many people seem to think that we could and should cut back drastically on our defense budget, that there is no longer any use to have a large standing Army or Navy (which includes Marines), but, they are wrong! Even though the new START TREATY was shoved through over thousands of objections, Russia, China and others are building up their weaponry! Remember 1940? Our entire military was saved by a single vote! Then, the next year brought Pearl Harbor! We have already had 9/ll, a holdover from 1993, can we really afford another Day of Infamy?

    6. George Colgrove, VA says:

      We have been on this “saving later” plan for decades and where are we? We have ramped up defense spending by a total of over $3 trillion over the last 10 years since 9/11. That is over and above the $3.7 trillion we were spending to begin within the same period. That is a grand total of $6.7 trillion on defense and defense related budget items over ten years. First question, why are we still “old” after spending that kind of money (where did the money go?) and second, when to we start saving?

      Here is a small list of "expensive " items we could have spent that money on:

      A single submarine = $3 billion

      An aircraft carrier = $5 billion

      A Destroyer = $2 billion

      A Frigate = $0.750 billion

      A Cutter = $0.300 billion

      Fast attack craft = $0.100 billion

      Amphibious = $1 billion

      Auxiliaries = $0.200 billion

      In terms of $6.7 trillion, those items above are chump change. $6.7 trillion should have been more than enough to modernize the military over the last 10 years, but you at the Heritage are suggesting that the DoD squandered that cash and did not modernize when they had the chance (which I agree with.) In addition, you are now demanding we as a nation dive further in debt to let them catch up? That I do not agree with.

      There is only ONE person who gets our economic times.

      Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen.

      If there is one person, who in my mind is qualified to be our next president it is he. HE KNOWS RESTRAINT!

      The Hill (02/08/11) John T Bennett:

      http://thehill.com/news-by-subject/defense-homela

      Excerpt: The next few years will present the military with "hard times in terms of resources," Mullen said. Though the military is "built to run through walls," smaller military budget levels will mean, "Leaders will have to start deciding how to prioritize," he added.

      Heritage could just sit on the sidelines and let liberals decide where the defense budget is cut as they currently are doing in the Senate, or they can take a proactive approach to providing suggestions for cuts that make sense. You already have about a $100 billion in very good recommendations – but you want to roll that savings back into more wasteful spending. The DoD is currently doing a significant number of tasks that are not defense related which are also being done in many places elsewhere in the federal government. Why not focus on these easy consolidations as being where the DoD makes its initial cuts, at the same time encourage the DoD cut according to your very well thought out recommendations. This is called prioritization – what Mullen is asking for!

      I have said this for quite some time and I think Mullen said it even clearer:

      Excerpt: "The chairman has said recently that the post-Sept. 11 defense spending spree left the Pentagon so flush with cash that it lost the ability to set budget priorities and make trades between programs."

      This is being reported as if it is a revelation. But we on Main Street understand this – soldiers understand this. The Pentagon has had so much money that the extravagant administrative buildings they have been erecting as of late are showing it! They have so much money they are literally bleeding it. If after spending $6.7 trillion in a ten year block (the most money the DoD has ever spent in such a time frame – by a significant factor) we have yet to modernize military suggests that the DoD has not been good stewards of the public trust.

      We are in a dangerous level of debt. $14.1 trillion and climbing! I think we need to cut out the weeds (the non-defense/non-security) portions of the budget. The things that can be consolidated with similar programs outside the DoD need to be done – NOW!. After this, we need a blanket 20% across the board cut only among non-defense/non-security programs and offices remaining in the DoD. We need a 5% cut on the rest (except for soldiers and NEEDED and WORKING hardware – as defined by the soldiers.) This cut will encourage the elimination of useless and unneeded equipment and programs, duplication, redundancy, waste, fraud and will aid in gaining efficiencies.

      The DoD uses the most expensive and lease effective workforce on the globe comprising of 700,000 overpaid civilian federal employees with a good share of them unionized. Switching specialized tasks to the private sector without the sloth of the federal workforce overseeing and oppressing that work will also aid in savings. The use of the overpaid federal workforce has to be significantly reduced so that in the end, the remaining civilians are performing direct support to our soldiers, information/intelligence gathering and dissemination and that all remaining administrative positions should that manage war related functions only. The civilian staff should be able to fit well within the Pentagon building and not extravagant ill-placed mega-buildings that will kill the local economies in Alexandria and Ft Belvoir.

      If we could mobilize millions of Americans in very few years to build up and fight WWII, we can mobilize just as fast in getting this debt under control. There is no reason why in two years we cannot have a balanced budget based on an economy lifting tax policy. There are an amazing number of ways we can cut the budget (many non-political), but we need to start – NOW!

      So far, we cut $4 billion out of a total of $1,600 billion we need to cut. However, much of that $4 billion was only one-time budget items. Boehner announced an additioanl $8 billion cut by cutting TARP off. However, again, this is not a cut to the reoccurring annual budget. We need to cut annual reoccurring spending.

    7. Carol,AZ says:

      Thank You , Geoge in VA. I agree 100% of your post.

      The second to the last paragraph is the key stone.

    8. West Texan says:

      The sad truth is we're broke thanks to irresponsible overreaching federal power grabbing elite socialist demagogues over states' sovereign domestic affairs. At this point, I'm not sure America deserves a strong defense due to the voting majorities demonstrated ignorance and/or negligence of our founders' blueprint for limited government AKA federalism. Until we return to our country's original design, all else is a moot point.

    9. Greg, Albuquerque says:

      George – your missing the point. We are wearing out equipment at an unprecidented rate. Monies being spent today are being utilized to finance operations and to repair and/or buy replacement equipment. For the first time in my lifetime (I'm 59), the defense department does not have any aircraft under development – none. We have cut the purchase of our 4th generation aircraft to the bone. We will be frightfully under-manned with our air combat arms – the ones that allow all of the unfettered operations by our ground forces – come any operations against any regular military organization (i.e., not just terrorist/jihadist enemies).

      Further – we are pouring money into IED defenses while China rapidly spools up to be a major military player on the international scene. We are in effect, preparing for today's fights and loosing much expertise and capabilities in the coming fight.

      As a 30 year experienced engineer in the defense sector, I can tell you that the current environment, with its severely restricted R&D is resulting in the retirement and loss of decades of experience (I have been out of work for over a year and would estimate that approximately 50% of my peers are in a similar situation) of a significant part of the workforce.

      You simply can not look at military spending and make pronouncements as too the ability to cut based upon raw numbers. Remember – mistakes made now will result most assuredly in a dreadful cost in personnel in the future.

    10. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Greg, Albuquerque,

      I agree with you. But with all due respect you deserve, where is the money?

      I dont want to cut NECCESSARY spending – not one bit. But almost all who work in the DoD says the floors are running red with the waste that goes on in there.

      Why does a dollar dedicated to defense need to be spent on performing payrol when there are several other payrol departments elsewhere in the federal government? Why should valuable defense dollars be used to maintain buildings and grounds, manage parking permits, ID badges and the like when these are also being done in so many places outside the DoD. Why should we have federal employees use defense dollars for open government initiatives when there are countless similar finctions outside the DoD. Could humanitarian aid provided by the DoD be cut? How about cutting out sponsorships of race cars? How about eliminating flyovers over football games? What about charging movie shops for use of military personnel and equiment? I mean, there are places to be cut that could bring about a ton of savings just by shifting those repsonsibilities to the GSA or simply terminating them. The DoD in these tough times shoudl not be a playground. From the outside it is looking like one.

      I just rad about these robots the DoD is paying a Massachusetts company to make. They admitted they have no current use, but that they are only pushing the technology! Can this be cut?

      There are also countless equipment purchases that will never be used. A congress memebr sure got a kickback, but we wasted those dollars. We hear of a jet engine that was finally cancelled because the SOLDIERS didn't need it but it was still being pushed by congress. I sincerely believe in these days when we need to cut EVERYTHING, not finding places to cut the DoD is foolish!

    11. Dinah Garrison Fairb says:

      It is easy to understand why many believe defense spending should be cut right along with all other parts of the budget. I totally agree that there are major areas of spending that need to be "cleaned up" and that is too kind, but our military is years behind in new production compared to other countries who might be considered a possible enemy at some future date. I always have to say: If we don't have a great defense, it won't matter if we have jobs. And defense is supposed to be a major job of our Federal government. We need to find some way to make certain the money is spent carefully and usefully. (Although why the defense should have to do this and no other part of the government is odd.) The problems in northern Africa and discussion about our possible involvement show that we need to operate not at the very edge of our limitations.

    12. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Dinah Garrison Fairborn, OH,

      I want just as much attention to spending to make sure SS MC/MC and all other departments are spent "carefully and usefully." It is just neo-cons and pro defense "conservatives" who are either stockholders of defense contractors or are getting significant kickbacks from the defense contractors want spending to contiue wastefully. There is a lot of redistribution going on in the DoD. Why do you think the greater DC area household incomes went up by 36% since 9/11. The rest of he country's household incomes went down by 5%. Arlington (home of eh Pentagon has risen far more than other nearby counties.

    13. Pingback: Defense Spending is Key to Protecting America | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    14. Pingback: Morning Bell: Funding the Right Force to Protect America | The Conservative Papers

    15. Pingback: Defense Bears the Brunt of Obama’s Cuts | FrumForum

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