What will you cut from military budget? (sequestration discussion)

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by PracticalMac, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. PracticalMac, Feb 22, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013

    PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #1
    What would you cut from the US military?

    I am a hard core pro military and pro air force guy, but the F-35 program has exceeded TARFU and beyond FUBAR.

    The cost of each one man F-35
    [​IMG]

    is almost equal to the cost of a
    [​IMG]

    Compared to competitors, the F-35 is inferior by almost every measure, a case of trying to do all mission roles, but mastering none. As a result, partner countries are less and less interested in the F-35 every week, which will make F-35's cost per unit over $300 million each if the US ends up the only customer (note, F-35 is built in Texas, and I am and live in Texas, but I am also a true conservative unlike some).

    Better to spend the money on C-17's to replace aging C-5's, and replacement of KC-135 and KC-10 air tankers, as US air military mobility is woefully inadequate. Rapid deployment of equipment anywhere in world is more critical today then a short range multipurpose everything air platform.

    And the pesky drones seems to be be racking up quite a kill score, a squadron of them for the price of one F-35


    Navy wants more nuclear attack submarines to thwart the dastardly Al Qaeda rubber dinghy's.
    (Does even Al Qaeda have rubber dinghy's?)


    Do we really new carriers when the 10 Nimitz class in service are proven and US Navy has as many carriers in service as ALL other countries combined.

    I think the Coast Guard needs something to replace those WW2 ships they still use. (yes, they have very old ships and do quite well).


    I am not anti-military, just the opposite, and Ike said it best,

    When you have the leader of the military speaking out against the military–industrial complex, not let them have open access to every Americans pocket book.

    The troops and resourcefulness is what makes a military great, and relying on gizmos is dangerous if it does not work.
     
  2. filmbuff macrumors 6502a

    filmbuff

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    #2
    There's no doubt that our military is the most capable and well funded in the world. There's also no doubt that most Americans want to keep it that way. The problem is the "bang for our buck". Seriously, $300 million for a strike fighter that is barely any better than what we already have? There is a major problem in our military-industrial complex that we can't seem to get anything done anymore. Projects that are supposed to take 10 years take 30, and by the time the program is finished (if it ever finishes) it costs 3x what it was supposed to. It's interesting that you quoted Ike since he is notorious for massive military spending, but at least for that money we got lots of nukes and increased our capability.
     
  3. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Close every base on foreign soil.

    ----------

    I don't need to walk into a room thinking I'm the strongest man.

    Likewise, I don't need to live in the world believing my military is the strongest.

    That's what alliances are for.
     
  4. filmbuff macrumors 6502a

    filmbuff

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    #4
    Been on Earth long? :D Besides, the US is an alliance of states.
     
  5. iMikeT macrumors 68020

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    #5
    Let's see..... two wars, bases on foreign soil, drones..... I can't really pick just one, how about everything?
     
  6. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #6
    52 years.

    Long enough to understand that NATO is an alliance of nations.
     
  7. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    #7
    US military spending is crazy - 4.7% of GDP! That's nearly 1/20. I'd be furious if my country spent that much - the countries with the top 10 budgets in the world spend on average 2.5% GDP.

    Point is the US could pretty much half it's budget (over time, not in one go) and still be the world's highest spender in absolute terms. Then imagine what could be done with the rest! Put is towards Universal Health Care? Cheaper universities? Workers rights (ie proper paid holiday etc)? A whole load of possibilities! But of course you can't do that because that's icky socialism and so many 'Mericans have been trained to think that's evil.
     
  8. eric/ Guest

    eric/

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    #8
    Well, be prepared for your countries to start to increase their spending if the us becomes more isolationist.

    I would start with the f35. I would also eliminate the entire marine corps. I would increase funding for missile defense. And I would close some if the overseas bases, or at least consolidate and make the home countries pay more for us presence, if they are unwilling, pack up and head home, they can deal with the local economies being ruined.
     
  9. quagmire, Feb 23, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013

    quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #9
    The Nimitz class carriers are in need of replacement. The carrier can't be upgraded anymore. The reactors are at their power limit and they don't handle drones very well either( the catapult and arresting wires are designed for heavier manned jets like the Hornet. Drones get damaged being launched and stopped by these systems). They were designed to have a 50 year service life and the first of the Nimitz class carriers built are now approaching 50.

    The Ford Class is able to handle all of todays new technology and have plenty of power to spare for future upgrades.

    And it isn't like we are replacing all of the Nimitz class carriers overnight. This will be a 50+ year process( granted a major conflict doesn't arise and some of them are sunk). A Ford Class won't be built until a Nimitz is ready to be decommissioned. The Ford is replacing the now decommissioned Enterprise. The JFK in 2020 will replace the Nimitz when it is slated to be decommissioned. The Enterprise in 2025 will replace the Ike when she is slated to be decommissioned.

    But, I am with you on the F-35. I hate it. It's shaping up to be another F-4 Phantom( which also served in all 3 branches).
     
  10. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #10
    I agree with you folks on the F-35. Whether you are a pacifist or a hawk, it has been a colossal waste of money. It should be number one on everyone's list of programs to cut.

    However, it is still a bad idea to shut it down in 1 day. Technologies have been developed. Lessons have been learned that may apply to civilian aircraft someday. The program should be ended, in a orderly manner, under orders from Congress, with shutdown appropriations, not in some haphazard way that inevitably wastes more billions, and, will cause massive unemployment to boot.

    And, that goes for anything else that people can agree on to cut from the budget. This is just a crazy, dumb way to approach the budget, and a dumb way for the Republican Party to work out its own internal disagreements over the budget.
     
  11. eric/ Guest

    eric/

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    #11
    Yeah the problem with the F35 is that we don't really have the ability to mass produce gen 5 fighter jets that can do everything for every service yet.

    The first problem was the stupid marine corps wanting VTAL, which made the design way more difficult.
     
  12. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #12
    Frankly I think our military is dangerously overrated. During 9/11 our armed forces could not track a group of lumbering jetliners with supersonic fighters, and mistakes included sending jets up without ammunition and vectoring fighters away from the target planes. As advanced as the US military is supposed to be in handling information, I doubt it would do as well in a conventional war as many think. Aircraft carriers (and any other ships) are big, slow, vulnerable targets, SAM missiles are more agile than manned planes, bullets do far more damage than fancy planes, auto-loading artillery jams, our ships have no armor for protection if other measures fail, etc.

    I worry that we have created an electronic version of the Maginot Line, and that our greatest strength is also our vulnerability: over-reliance on technology that can be bypassed, hacked, or disrupted (how much would it take to disrupt GPS?).

    If it were me I'd cut some of the aircraft carriers and other very large expensive items and invest that money in making our existing systems robust (e.g., designing graceful degradation through redundancy rather than allowing catastrophic loss, perhaps using more mechanical computers rather than vulnerable electronic ones, etc.).
     
  13. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #13
    I think 9/11 was more about management than it was about military readiness .
     
  14. eric/ Guest

    eric/

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    #14
    See the thing is that any of these problems you think the US military has, any other military has it much worse.
     
  15. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #15
    Perhaps, but I think we're a bigger target. Imagine the loss of US power if so much as a single Nimitz-class carrier gets hit by a mine, or hackers manage to scramble its electronics sufficiently so that planes and pilots are lost. I guess my worry is that current military spending is more of same (although perhaps marginally stronger, stealthier, faster etc.), while other countries are forced to think outside of the box. i wonder if we're doing enough of that.

    I hope I am wrong. I do not have any military background, but, having grown up near DC with all of its military families, I do remember military personnel coming back from Vietnam damaged and demoralized by a force that considered mobile infantry to be a bunch of guys on bicycles....
     
  16. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #16
    Cut:

    1. F-35. Like many here, the program is just beyond its scope and frankly, we need to take a very hard look at the program's requirements and its management. Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon need an audit to understand how a program can be 70 percent over-budget at the same time that all prototypes are grounded because of serious technical problems.

    2. Delaying the construction of the Gerald R. Ford-class of US carriers. While the Ford is under construction, we can hold on the Kennedy and Enterprise.

    3. Close more US bases.

    4. Follow the suggestions from the DoD itself, including a slashing of overhead and administrative costs, lowering the number of LHA ships, retiring some cruisers early.

    5. Audit the Pentagon acquisition programs in their entirety. More than a dozen high-end programs have significant cost overruns, everything from the Global Hawk Block 30 program (more expensive that the U-2 it replaced) to the F-35 to the Littoral Combat Ships. The Pentagon wastes huge amounts of money and it's lost to contractors who don't seem to care. We need to do better.
     
  17. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #17
    The Navy is already considering delaying both by 2 years.So if that happens delivery will be 2022 for JFK and 2027 for Enterprise. The issue being is how far can the Nimitz and Ike's service life be stretched? Will it require another refueling or do we simply allow our carrier fleet to operate at 9 carriers for 2 years?
     
  18. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #18
    IMHO, it is ineffective to use a major fleet carrier for drone operations. Tying up a huge deck for small unmanned drones, especially since the carrier will need to be closer to short.
    In every way fleet carriers for drones is poor tactics.

    What you should use is smaller carriers and flat-deck assault ships.

    The Nimitz is more then capable to last 2 or 3 decades longer. Look at DC-3, Space Shuttle, KC-135's, etc. Yes, maintenance will cost more, but that is fraction the cost of a new super carrier.


    The F-4 was built as a high speed supremacy fighter, and it did the job very well. Its other roles developed over time to supplement other platforms, but it was first and foremost a fighter. F-35 OTOH was designed as multi branch, multi role from ground up, too many compromises.
     
  19. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

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    #19
    From what I understand it's a power-problem, all those electronic systems are taking more power than that old nuclear reactor can provide, heck there isn't even enough space to run the extra cables safely...

    And all that is believed to get worse and worse with updates that might be needed in 10 or 20 years.

    Putting a new generator into a DC-3 that gives a few KW in extra power is no issue, but on a carrier you are very fast in the regions of MW with any serious ship-wide update, and upgading the "engines" (aka the reactor) is no option.

    As for the space-shuttle, did that ever get a realy update to it's systems ? Doesn't sound NASA to me....
     
  20. Muscle Master, Feb 23, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013

    Muscle Master macrumors 6502a

    Muscle Master

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    #20
    I'm all for closing all foreign bases

    In my opinion.. America needs to get the hell out of NATO in its entirety

    If anything.. millions needs to be spent on lightweight body armor

    or mobile suits:

    [​IMG]
     
  21. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #21
    Like it or not, unmanned planes are the future. Our super carriers have to be able to handle them. The Nimitz class can't.



    And they all limped to the finish. The Shuttle's were maintenance hell at the end. Atlantis was literally falling apart.

    No doubt if absolutely needed, Nimitz and Ike could be stretched out a bit further as is. But with technology changing and the way our wars will be fought, it is time for a new class to be built. The Nimitz class can't be upgraded anymore. They are at their limit.


    The F-4 was designed without a gun and with missile technology of time, our K/D ratio wasn't very high. Plus from what I read, Air Force pilots didn't quite like flying it either. It flew and looked like a pig...... I'm glad the Navy and Air Force decided to go their own way for their superiority fighters because we ended up with the awesome Tomcat and Eagle. Which the Navy has lost the Tomcat's capabilities since their retirement. The Super Hornet can't quite match the Tomcat.

    ----------

    Yeah NASA has upgraded the Shuttle's over its service life. Glass cockpit, drag parachute, HUD, etc. Before the Columbia disaster which lead to the beginning of their retirement, they were also looking into adding a 5th segment to the SRB's which would have increased their payload. Each Shuttle was also unique as well. Columbia was the heaviest of the Shuttle's and used the most tiles. So it couldn't do any ISS assembly missions. Atlantis used the fewest tiles. But, Atlantis couldn't draw power from the ISS unlike Discovery and Endeavour.
     
  22. Muscle Master macrumors 6502a

    Muscle Master

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    #22

    In my opinion.. whats the rush to push aside the F/A 22, its one of the fastest fights in the world... with stealth capability. why not just upgrade on that foundation

    And who the hell needs VTOL.. thats what black hawks are for, vtol is a gimmick
     
  23. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #23
    Tell that to the Marines and the Osprey....... The idea of the F-35 being VTOL is that they could be used on the light carriers as shown above. VTOL capabilities is useless on a super carrier, but would be useful for the smaller carriers.

    Oh and the rush to push aside the Raptor was due to its costs. The F-35 was supposed to be cheaper..... Well not anymore. We might as well build more Raptors. As for the capabilities of each aircraft, the Raptor will give us more bang for the buck as it does its job as an air superiority fighter where the F-35 is a compromise POS......
     
  24. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    #24
    (a) I didn't suggest the US becomes more isolationist - that's not the same as cutting military spending. I didn't say cut the military or anything silly like that! The US could cut 100,000 personel, a couple of carriers, a few 100 fighters saving a huge amount and still do 99% of what it does now.

    (b) Why would my country need to increase its military spending? Lets say tomorrow the US announced it wouldn't honour it's NATO promise to the UK - any country could attack the UK without the US getting involved. Nothing would happen. There is no country that has both the means and desire to attack us. Same goes for the rest of the EU really. (I heard an idiotic American once say if they pulled out if NATO Iran would invade Europe, including the UK!)
     
  25. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #25
    Certain bases should never be closed, but some can, IMHO.

    The Zaku (yes, I know Gundam) would be overkill, but certainly better armor and comm equipment for our brave troops.

    The DC-3 example is one of being in service for almost 75 years, and major refits increase capacity and range.

    Rather then trying to upgrade the main power-plants, install auxiliary generator to be used when needed. Fuel Cell by Bloom Energy could use most fuels, including Jet fuel, and is small so it can be placed close to where it is needed most.

    We need brains put on these challenges, not money!

    I like the unmanned planes.
    Tying up a 100,000 ton carrier to support them I do not.
    In a combat situation is it practically suicide to interrupt air missions to mess with drones, and their limited range (no air fueling) means the fleet will need to get in close range to enemy units.

    It is simply stupid to put a 100,000 ton fleet carrier with 4500 souls on board in range of enemy weapons.

    The light assault carriers are far more suited for this profile and much less expensive to operate
     

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