Showing posts with label sequester. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sequester. Show all posts

Friday, March 27, 2015

How big is the defense budget? Really?

And how much defense is it buying?  How much money goes to real combat units, Army battalions, Navy warships, Air Force fighters, and how much money goes to non combat things, defense contractors, administrators, lawyers, paper pushers, logistics, gold plate, and strange R&D projects.  Like that giant laser in a 747 project that finally got cancelled after sucking down billions. 
I suppose one could go thru the federal budget, which is probably on line these days, but  I just lack the energy to wade thru 10,000 pages of gobble-de-gook.  And the msm is too ignorant and too lazy to do it. 
As it is, we know the US spends a lot on defense, and we have a huge military establishment, bigger than any other nation in the world.  Yet to put troops into Iraq we had to call up reserves and put the active duty soldiers on repeated combat tours.  And as soon as Obama pulled our troops out of Iraq, ISIS took over. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

How deep does the sequester cut?

Pretty deep. At least according to Aviation Week.

                                                   US Military Power
                             1988                    Today                  After Sequester 2021

Army Divisions       20                        10                       6
Air Force Fighters  2788                     1493                  1157
Navy Ships             588                       275                    228

In 1988 we had 20 Army divisions.  Today we have 10. After a bit more sequestering we will be down to 6.  That's not enough to do Iraq again.  A division is 15,000 men.  Six divisions is 90,000 men.  We put 130,000 men into Iraq, without pulling our 50,000 troops out of Korea or Germany.  With only 6 divisions, we could no longer deal with regional threats like Iran.
    I feel less worried about the Air Force.  A thousand fighters is a lot, especially now that they all carry smart bombs.  One sortie with smart bombs, that hit the target, is worth hundreds of sorties with iron bombs that mostly miss. 
    Dunno what to say about the Navy.  Now that the Soviets are gone, we don't have any enemies with fleets.  But the Chinese are clearly interested in building up a real navy. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

So how hard does sequester hit DoD?

Hard enough to make the generals flinch, and flinch a lot.  According the Aviation Week, the Pentagon figures Congressional deadlock will persist up to and maybe thru the 2016 election.  They are preparing for current and even lower funding until 2016 and beyond.  So
  The Air Force is talking about retiring 552 older aircraft, about 10% of the fleet.  On the chopping block, A10 close air support tank buster , KC10 tanker  and MC12-W (the Beechcraft King Air fitted out for reconnaissance). 
  The Army will loose 18% of its soldiers. 
  The Marine Corps will loose 7% of its soldiers
  The Navy drops from 295 ships to 255-260 ships.

Reducing the size of the Army and Marines means that in event of war, they have to work harder.  For Iraq and Afghanistan we were able to send the troops on one year combat tours and then rotate them back stateside.  If we run out of troops, then the combat tours get longer, they get extended, and the rotation home goes away.  It's tough on the troops, and tough on their families, but we have done it in the past.  In WWII troops enlisted for the duration, and nobody got rotated home after a one year combat tour.  (except the Air Force got rotated home after 50 missions, if they lived that long)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Birds of a Feather, flock together

NPR came on the clock radio this morning with a tear jerking piece.  Since the sequester, civil servants have been taking furloughs, not getting raises, having to conserve office supplies, having more work to do and fewer people to do it.  Awful.
  And morale is down.  No raises, and lots of criticism is just crushing the tender egos of the gov'ment workforce.
  And it's all the fault of that nasty sequester.
  And all of the civil servants interviewed for this piece were government union representatives.
  It's just terrible that the civil servants, who enjoy better salaries, benefits, and retirement than ordinary working stiffs, have to forgo a raise.  It's a good thing they have NPR to plead their case to the public.  On the public's nickel no less.

NPR was hitting on all cylinders this morning.  After that plea for the poor down trodden civil servants they launched into an attack on Facebook.  According to NPR, Facebook spend some $10 million (chickenfeed) lobbying Congress on the immigration bill.  Something to do about H1B visa's.  The reporter didn't bother to explain just what Facebook was lobbying for, but she was sure it was evil.  H1B visa's are a deal to let high  tech workers, most often computer programmers, into the US.  US union people are always against H1B 'cause they think it lowers American worker's wages.  US companies are always in favor of more H1B visa's cause good programming talent is hard to come by and bringing it in from overseas gives them a bigger pool to fish in.

Non political that NPR is, very non political.  And government funded.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sequester vs NASA

Aviation Week has Senator Barbara Mikulski as worried about future NASA funding, in the face of the sequester budget cuts.  Mikulski fears that there isn't enough money to continue the Space Launch System (SLS) booster program.  Oh dear, how tragic.
  Space Launch System is an unneeded boondoggle from the word go.  We have two (2) working, well proven, heavy lift boosters,  Space-X's Falcon 9, and United Launch Association's Atlas 5.  Atlas has been lofting big commercial satellites for years.  Falcon is newer and has a shorter service record, but it has made resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS).  SLS has never flown.
  SLS, wags have suggested the acronym stands for "Senate Launch System" is a  $1.385 billion program pushed by the US Senate as a way to keep all those redundant Shuttle people on the NASA payroll.  We ought to kill it off completely and use existing, well proven private industry boosters. 
   Now that the Russians have hiked the price of a ride up to the ISS from $21 million a seat to $71 million a seat, we could pop a capsule atop Falcon or Atlas and save a lot of money. 
   Aviation Week is clearly in favor of SLS.  They close their article thusly.  "Is the US space program any less important than on time arrivals for air travelers?"  
Well, actually, the US space program would be better off without the SLS program.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Beat the Press

David Gregory was on air, harassing John Bohner about the sequester.  The usual things were said.   What Bohner did not say is sorta interesting.  Bohner did not say that the sequester was small and he did not say that the sequester was all about fake cuts, after sequester the US government will spend more than it spent last year.  In short, the sequester is about chicken feed.
   So John Bohner is perfectly happy to have a not-very-important issue taking up air time and the limited attention span of TV newsies.  Does this mean Bohner thinks he "won" on the sequester?