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Old 06-01-2013, 10:09 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by larryiah View Post
Contractors are the biggest problem out there. Guaranteed that the military contractors are lobbying to keep these quagmires going. It's just too darn lucrative to quit now. A long but good read is No End In Sight, by Charles H. Ferguson. Nothing but interviews with the lowest grunt up to Rumsfeld. After reading this book, I am convinced that when the civilian leadership under Paul Bremer ( a puppet) took over from the Generals, the decisions that were made from then on we're made to throw the game, to create a quagmire. Why? Because quagmires are so lucrative for the defense industry.
The contractors I (and the article) was referring to are the specialty manpower providers who but hired boots on the ground, and did a boom business over the last decade. They are a minor line item as far as DoD spending goes, but the author feels their existence distorts the public perception of the military.

You're talking about the big military-industrial complex companies...that animal is what it is and has been for thousands of years. You can't defeat it (nor would you want to), you just have to fight constantly to reign it in.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:08 AM
  #12  
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..right now [our military] it is probably the only component of the federal government which could (if push came to shove) be relied upon to stand by the people rather than those shoveling...

Rick...I've heard this too and it concerns me. Either people don't trust their civil leaders (seems to be common place these days) and/or that Americans believe our good natured red, white, and blue small town military heroes will discern between civil leaders proper/improper use of the Insurrection Act to circumvent the Posse Comitatus Act and then if they disagree will somehow stand by their civilian brothers/sisters. I have my doubts.

Some sort of check an balance is a MUST. The draft may work for the Army, but as for the AF our systems are too complex and training takes too long and costs to much get ready for conflict. The Guard and Reserves for all the ad-hoc ways of hacking the mission (and they do) frustrate AD military leaders but stand as our best way, at present, of retaining some sort of connection between the govt, military and civilian sectors and serve a that check to unrestricted conflict.

I also concur with the author that taxes are a HUGE check and balance. It will wake up America more than most options absent the draft. So conspiracy theories on this then go to who doesn't want America to wake up?
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:51 AM
  #13  
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Why are we still in Afghanistan? Because there's no money in World Peace. Like deep throat said a long time ago, follow the money. How's Haliburton's earnings been these past 10+ years? And what about all the jobs at all the aircraft manufactures, shipyards, HumVee plants, etc.

Yeah...

Now, that said, imagine the mess we would be in if someone waved a magic wand and there was World Peace tomorrow and the Military Industrial Complex shut down, for good. Imagine the unemployment numbers, when half a million unemployed troops hit the streets.

So, where do you want your tax dollars to go, if you're one of the lucky ones, who still has a job in the World Peace Economy?

Option A; The Military Welfare system we have today, where your tax dollars go to training and educating kids that would otherwise be unemployed and smoking crack, and building all that military hardware that provides jobs at home as well.

Option B; The World Peace option, where your tax dollars go welfare benefits and to building more jails to house those unemployed kids when they get out of high school and have no training and no jobs.

There's a lot of money in war, obviously, that's why our politicians keep doing it. They need the reelection campaign contributions from the military industrial complex. But where would you rather have that money going? Would there even be any money, or jobs, if all the contractors were out of business? Where would all us military pilots get our free flight training to become tomorrow's Airline Pilots??

Pick up a copy of P.J. O'Rourke's "Peace Kills" and "Parliament of Wh0res". Great, fun, reading.
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:33 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Sixty N Two View Post
..right now [our military] it is probably the only component of the federal government which could (if push came to shove) be relied upon to stand by the people rather than those shoveling...

Rick...I've heard this too and it concerns me. Either people don't trust their civil leaders (seems to be common place these days) and/or that Americans believe our good natured red, white, and blue small town military heroes will discern between civil leaders proper/improper use of the Insurrection Act to circumvent the Posse Comitatus Act and then if they disagree will somehow stand by their civilian brothers/sisters. I have my doubts.

Some sort of check an balance is a MUST. The draft may work for the Army, but as for the AF our systems are too complex and training takes too long and costs to much get ready for conflict. The Guard and Reserves for all the ad-hoc ways of hacking the mission (and they do) frustrate AD military leaders but stand as our best way, at present, of retaining some sort of connection between the govt, military and civilian sectors and serve a that check to unrestricted conflict.

I also concur with the author that taxes are a HUGE check and balance. It will wake up America more than most options absent the draft. So conspiracy theories on this then go to who doesn't want America to wake up?
It's probably a bit of a stretch but how does 3025.12 come into play in relation to Posse Comitatus ?
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:24 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by DYNASTY HVY View Post
It's probably a bit of a stretch but how does 3025.12 come into play in relation to Posse Comitatus ?

3025.12 is simply the DoD directive that explains how DoD will comply with Posse Comitatus (which is complicated).
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:32 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Timbo View Post
Why are we still in Afghanistan? Because there's no money in World Peace. Like deep throat said a long time ago, follow the money. How's Haliburton's earnings been these past 10+ years? And what about all the jobs at all the aircraft manufactures, shipyards, HumVee plants, etc.

Yeah...

Now, that said, imagine the mess we would be in if someone waved a magic wand and there was World Peace tomorrow and the Military Industrial Complex shut down, for good. Imagine the unemployment numbers, when half a million unemployed troops hit the streets.

So, where do you want your tax dollars to go, if you're one of the lucky ones, who still has a job in the World Peace Economy?

Option A; The Military Welfare system we have today, where your tax dollars go to training and educating kids that would otherwise be unemployed and smoking crack, and building all that military hardware that provides jobs at home as well.

Option B; The World Peace option, where your tax dollars go welfare benefits and to building more jails to house those unemployed kids when they get out of high school and have no training and no jobs.

There's a lot of money in war, obviously, that's why our politicians keep doing it. They need the reelection campaign contributions from the military industrial complex. But where would you rather have that money going? Would there even be any money, or jobs, if all the contractors were out of business? Where would all us military pilots get our free flight training to become tomorrow's Airline Pilots??

Pick up a copy of P.J. O'Rourke's "Peace Kills" and "Parliament of Wh0res". Great, fun, reading.
An instantaneous transition from our current military to zero military would have enormous economic consequences...but that's a theoretical discussion and won't happen.

There is a peace dividend to be gained by converting economic power from military to civil purposes, but if it happens quickly the transition involves pain.

If we do ramp down, odds are it will be slow enough to avoid economic catastrophe (if not some pain).

The post IZ/AF/GWOT drawdown will be somewhat limited, as resources will be refocused to the Western Pacific. Most of what's going away are junior ground troops and support equipment, which are not big-ticket military-industrial items. Not counting possible long-term sequestration effects...
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:00 AM
  #17  
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people forget that the military... and defense contractors and OTHER companies that provide services to the military support hundreds of thousands ..nay...well north of a million well paying jobs in this country.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:32 AM
  #18  
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Anyone (besides me) in the Military back in 1992, when there was a massive BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) to help balance the budget? I was in the NH Air Guard up at Pease AFB, NH, when they pulled all the active duty KC135's and FB 111's out and closed the base. Within about 6 months, an entire shopping mall,many restraunts and 3 car dealerships just beyond the front gate all went out of business and the local housing prices tanked for then next 10 years.

The last manned fighter has already been built, so how many jobs will Drones provide? More, or less, than building manned fighters. Now multiply that job loss times all the other supply chains used to supply the US Military with men and equipment, and see what you get. Massive unemployment is what you get. So yeah, the transition is going to be painful. Many people lose sight of that.

Many of those jobs that will be lost, are in the high tech industry. Without Government Contracts requiring and paying for tech development, to keep us ahead of China's military, who's going to pay for it? We've already given China and India most of our low tech manufacturing jobs, I guess we can outsource our high tech and military jobs to them too...what could go wrong?
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:04 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Timbo View Post
Anyone (besides me) in the Military back in 1992, when there was a massive BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) to help balance the budget? I was in the NH Air Guard up at Pease AFB, NH, when they pulled all the active duty KC135's and FB 111's out and closed the base. Within about 6 months, an entire shopping mall,many restraunts and 3 car dealerships just beyond the front gate all went out of business and the local housing prices tanked for then next 10 years.

The last manned fighter has already been built, so how many jobs will Drones provide? More, or less, than building manned fighters. Now multiply that job loss times all the other supply chains used to supply the US Military with men and equipment, and see what you get. Massive unemployment is what you get. So yeah, the transition is going to be painful. Many people lose sight of that.

Many of those jobs that will be lost, are in the high tech industry. Without Government Contracts requiring and paying for tech development, to keep us ahead of China's military, who's going to pay for it? We've already given China and India most of our low tech manufacturing jobs, I guess we can outsource our high tech and military jobs to them too...what could go wrong?
But fundamentally all that economic gain is a command performance, paid for by taxes. I think the local pain of a few mom-and-pops going out of business pales in comparison to the potential greater gain.

All of that economic capacity, converted to civilian use, will contribute to an improved economy, higher per capita GDP, and better QOL. Bases, runways, warships, tanks, fighters, and guns are things you have to have when you need them, and they have a cost. But if you don't need them, they don't contribute to QOL...those resources applied to civil housing, infrastructure, education, healthcare, etc have a potential for significant QOL improvement.

There are some management issues...

-First and foremost, you can't get rid of military capability unless you truly no longer need it. This requires a national discourse because "need" is a subjective sliding scale: global cop, defense of select allies, homeland defense...where do we want/need to be? If you guess wrong, the result could be regional or even global instability with enormous economic consequences (and not the good kind). While I'm pointing out the benefits of transitioning defense economic capacity to civil focus, I'm not advocating that we do so lightly or carelessly.

-The transition, if not paced and controlled, will cause temporary pain. Us older guys saw that in the early 90's...but we also saw the subsequent economic boom a few years later.

-Defense spending emphasizes high-tech, R&D, and education. If you allow those to fall by the wayside during a transition to a civil economy, you will pay a big price...maybe bigger than the peace dividend you seek in the first place. But that can managed.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:32 AM
  #20  
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Well said...if we talk about spending its not an A or B discussion. It's a matter if how best to wean the DoD and Military Industry from the crack pipe. We need a common defense and it must be credible (robust and the will to use it). But DoD and Industry have to come down out of the clouds and get back to spending with in the annual budget. Supplemental appropriations have been padded a long time now and we need to continue the on going efforts to determine and fund requirements/needs. If we intend to continue to compete globally (beyond military industry) then investment in other sectors is require for economic sustainment.
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