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Mixed Messages
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Obama has been speaking out of both sides of his mouth when it comes to defense:
When it comes to defense, there are two Barack Obamas in this race. There is the candidate who insists, as he did last year in an article in Foreign Affairs, that "a strong military is, more than anything, necessary to sustain peace"; pledges to increase the size of our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines while providing them with "first-rate equipment, armor, incentives and training"; and seems to be as gung-ho for a surge in Afghanistan as he was opposed to the one in Iraq.

And then there is the candidate who early this year recorded an ad for Caucus for Priorities, a far-left outfit that wants to cut 15% of the Pentagon's budget in favor of "education, healthcare, job training, alternative energy development, world hunger [and] deficit reduction."

"Thanks so much for the Caucus for Priorities for the great work you've been doing," says Mr. Obama in the ad, before promising to "cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending . . . slow our development of future combat systems . . . not develop new nuclear weapons."
My guess, however, is he's more of the guy talking about a 15% cut than the guy talking about "first rate equipment", etc.

Biden, I think, makes that case by what he has been saying, and if you believe the VP simply reflects the presidential candidate's issues, then this seems pretty clear.
Joe Biden also cut an ad for the group that was even more emphatic: "I'll tell you what we cannot afford . . . a trillion-dollar commitment to 'Star Wars,' new nuclear weapons, a thousand-ship Navy, the F-22 Raptor."
Of course, no one has ever talked about a "thousand ship navy". And the biggest threat to the US proper (as well as its allies) remains nuclear missiles, so the practical necessity of a viable anti-missile defense system is almost inarguable, much less something to be dismissed. The "Raptor"? Is it needed? Well, "needed" in the sense that it is in our best interest to continue to advance our fighter technology and maintain the edge we have there. As a tactical and strategic advantage, air superiority is a vital tool in shortening conflicts and wars. Apparently not knowing that or appreciating that argues for military ignorance or ideological blindness.

And a little context is necessary here as well. How much is too much when it comes to funding the military? Traditionally, we've pegged it to about 4% GDP. The Heritage Foundation says that's about 800 billion a year.

Even with two wars going on, we're spending about 665 billion. While the economy may not warrant or allow us to spend 800 billion, a 15 to 25% cut in defense spending would be crippling to our efforts in those wars as well as sustaining even the force structure we have today (never mind expanding it).

There are obviously savings which could be made by attacking the procurement systems and any number of other inefficiencies within the DoD. However that's a long and involved process which isn't going to yield fruit immediately. And, "savings" aren't "cuts". What Obama and Biden (and Franks) are talking about are cuts in spending.

Dangerous for the military and very dangerous in terms of national defense. If this is their plan, then Joe Biden is precisely right - somewhere in the next 6 months to a year, some group or country is going to test Barack Obama (and I wouldn't be surprised in the least if it was Russia).
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Previous Comments to this Post 

"Peace dividend"

Remember how well that worked out?

Written By: shark
URL: http://
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Written By: Tevlik Dovrer
Exactly shark, that’s the first thing I thought.

You don’t need the stuff in the future, you need it now. If you don’t have it, you have to wait years to get it.

That’s why we have up-armored humvees. They weren’t meant to be proof against IEDs, they were supposed to be the replacement for jeeps, not half-tracks or APCs. Sticking armor on them is a stop-gap, we should have figured out the deal (at the very least by watching Israel) long ago.

The Marines are coming up with a cool vehicle designed by APC types and NASCAR types but it’s still in the design pipeline. I only hope it comes with a death-ray, our Marines deserve a death-ray.
Written By: Veeshir
URL: http://
Someone whose formative political alliances were struck with the most radical anti-American elements in American society might be bad for the military and for national security?

I just don’t see your logic there, McQ. Show your work.

Written By: Martin McPhillips
Maybe the Dems should check the history books and read up on how well we did in 1942 in North Africa when we did not have control over the air or the best weaponry. Its easy in the here and now to say we don’t need this stuff, but if (when) you do need it, you can’t crash develop these systems in 3 months time.
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
and I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if it was Russia
I am predicting that Russia will test the resolve of NATO very early in the Obama Administration. How? An incursion into the Ukraine and the Baltic States with a follow-up threatening Poland. Result - Obama will back off the Defensive Missile Shield, cancelling the project in order to promote Peace in our time.
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://

Remember: for the dems, history starts yesterday. Anyway, no need to worry: The Annointed One, by virtue of his incredible diplomatic skills and "understanding" of how to bring people together, will NEVER get us into a war. I mean, this is the man who’s going to heal THE PLANET. Achieving peace in our time won’t present any difficulty for such a man. Or should I say, such a SUPERMAN? Had he only been around in 1942, the Afrika Korps would have thrown down their Mausers, parked their panzers, and rushed to embrace our GI’s in an orgy of peace and love.

Further, if we get our asses kicked in the future, it’ll be Bush’s fault. When you try hard enough, there’s really nothing that can’t be blamed on the man.

Finally, your argument is predicated on a belief that the dems would even WANT to learn from history to avoid a future US defeat. I’m not at all convinced of this. Indeed, judging by their rhetoric, I think they’d like little better than an end to US "hegemony" and "hyperpower" status. They pine for the halcyon days right after 9-11 when "everybody liked us" becaused we’d been hurt. F*** "peace through strength"! They want "peace through not being a threat to anybody".
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
The only real comer in geopolitics is China.

The "international crisis" you could expect, on that basis, would be a move on Taiwan.

That Obama would do nothing ("you might not like what we do") would surprise who? The ChiComs who laundered two or three hundred million into his campaign?

That would be a small price to pay to have the U.S. stand down while you grabbed a sophisticated economic engine like Taiwan.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
Actually docjim. history started in 2000 with Bushhitler
Written By: shark
URL: http://

Nah. Bushhitler is myth, not history. If we had history going back to 2000, it might include inconvenient truths like democrat (spit) involvement in the housing bubble and resulting financial meltdown.
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
With the Clowns Obama and Biden leading us down the primrose path, we can guarantee another al Qaeda strike on this country.

This time, however, we need to do to them what they did to us: claim that "Obama invited it" and that "they either caused it to happen or allowed it to happen."

You know, this being out of power business is starting to sound liberating. Of course, I have to sound like a leftwing nutjob and mimic what they have said about Bush in the last eight years, but it will fun as hell throwing it back in their disgusting faces.
Written By: James Marsden
URL: http://
Yes there is a concept called the "1000 ship navy" put forward by former CNO (now Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)

But it is an alliance of international navies working together to produce a joint total of 1000 ships able to fight the Global War on Terror. Joe Biden is totally clueless!
Written By: Bruce Thompson
URL: http://
What veeshir said, and further, people much like Biden do things like call for canceling new fighter programs and then complain in a few years that our F18s and F16s are "worn out and dangerous to our brave pilots".

Same thing with replacing the KC-135.
Written By: Sigivald
URL: http://
people much like Biden do things like call for canceling new fighter programs and then complain in a few years that our F18s and F16s are "worn out and dangerous to our brave pilots".
F-15C is the newest version of that aircraft and they came into the inventory with the first production models in 1985. 23 years ago. In perspective, the first F-15A that came into the inventory replacing F-4Es in 1972. The earliest F-4, the C model entered the Air Force inventory in 1963. F-4E’s maiden flight was in 1967 and came into the inventory in October 1967. So there was a total of 5 years that transpired from the first F-4E entering the inventory and the introduction of the F-15A.

Assuming the F-22 Raptor enters the inventory in 2012, that will mean the F-15C is 28 years old. Even averaging the age of the fleet, it equals some 24 years of age. And I don’t even want to talk about the F-16 being replaced by the F-35 or the KC-135.

Joe Biden can kiss my *ss!
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
"The earliest F-4, the C model entered the Air Force inventory in 1963."

The F-4 first flew in 1958, and entered operational squadron service with the Navy, who originally ordered it as a fleet defense interceptor, in 1961. At the urging of Bobby McNamara the USAF evaluated it, and adopted it. The McDonnell-Douglas factory in St. Louis stopped production in 1979.
RF-4Cs remained in service with the USAF until 1995, and F-4Gs until 1996.

The F-15 first flew in July, 1972. The first two operational aircraft were delivered in 1974. The first F-15 squadron reached initial operational capability in Sept., 1975. The first crash was also in Sept., 1975.

Then there is always the B-52, which first flew in 1954.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"Peace dividend"

Remember how well that worked out?

In precise terms, we probably spent the first two or three years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan bringing our officer and NCO corps back to where they were in 1992. It’s hard to say how many of our soldiers died, how many of their people died or how much extra money it cost, but I can pretty much guarantee you that it was a lot more than what we saved over eight years.

It’s a simple fact: in the long run, it is much cheaper in terms of both money and certainly blood to have a capable military fight shorter wars than to wait until war breaks out to get it up to speed.
Written By: ben
URL: http://
Given his (suspected) attitudes toward Israel, I have a feeling that an Israeli/Iranian conflict is Biden’s "test". If O! is elected, Israel will, in what is tantamount to a Vote of No Confidence in an Obama Administration, launch it’s own attacks on Iranian nuclear sites (the logistics are difficult to say the least, but let’s say they pull it off).

Iran will scream bloody murder at the "unprovoked aggression of the Zionist state", etc. etc, and possibly launch an attack of their own. I believe Obama will either do nothing to assist/defend Israel or possibly even tacitly assist Tehran. This would be the stance that Biden says "will appear to be on the wrong side".
Written By: Grisha
URL: http://

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