Will Obama Gut Defense? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
Jayhawk's Avatar
Date registered: Aug 2005
Vehicle: S500/W220/2000
Location: Lawrence, KS (USA)
Posts: 21,652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Will Obama Gut Defense?

Capitol Hill Democrats want to target the Pentagon.

Barney Frank will not soon be named secretary of defense or, insha'Allah, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. So there's really no reason to fear that his recent call to cut defense spending by 25% is a harbinger of what to expect in an Obama administration.

Then again, maybe there is.

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."

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."

Mr. Biden is right that we can't afford a thousand-ship Navy, not that anyone has proposed it. Current levels of funding don't quite suffice to operate 300 ships, or about half the number the U.S. had at the end of the Reagan arms buildup. The Navy would be satisfied with 313.

Current funding is also just adequate to purchase about 65 new planes for the Air Force each year, even as the average age of each plane creeps upward to nearly 24 years. Last year, the entire fleet of F-15Cs -- the Air Force's mainstay fighter -- was grounded after one of the planes came apart in midair. Spending on maintenance alone is up more than 80% from a decade ago. Is that another defense item Mr. Biden thinks we can't afford?

(As for nuclear weapons, the U.S. hasn't built a new warhead in decades. Its mainstay, the W76, is widely suspected of being unreliable, yet Congress has resisted funding the so-called Reliable Replacement Warhead.)

Maybe it seems odd that the Pentagon, whose budget for 2009 runs to well over $500 billion -- not including the supplemental $165 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan -- should struggle to afford the equipment it needs.

But it's not odd. We've been fighting two wars, straining people and equipment. Weapons have generally become more complex and expensive. President Clinton's "procurement holiday" punted the modernization problems to the present. And even after the Bush buildup, defense spending amounts to just 4% of gross domestic product. By contrast, at the nadir of Cold War defense spending under Jimmy Carter, the figure was 4.7%.

All this should argue for at least a modest recapitalization effort by an Obama administration, assuming it really believes a strong military is "necessary to sustain peace." A study by the Heritage Foundation makes the case that defense spending should rise to close to $800 billion over the next four years in order to stick to the 4% GDP benchmark. That's unrealistic in light of the financial crisis. But holding the line at current levels is doable -- and necessary.

But what if a President Obama doesn't actually believe in the importance of a strong military to keep the peace? Or has an attenuated idea of what qualifies as a "strong" military? Or considers military strength a luxury at a moment of financial crisis? Or thinks now is the moment to smash the Pentagon piggy bank to fund a second Great Society?

Does anyone really know where Mr. Obama's instincts lie? During the third debate, he cited former Marine Gen. James Jones as a member of his wise man's circle -- which was reassuring but odd, given that the general made a point of appearing at a McCain campaign event simply to distance himself from the Democratic candidate.

The Obama campaign has also produced a lengthy defense blueprint on its Web site. It reads more like a social manifesto, promising to "improve transition services," "make mental health a priority," and end "don't-ask, don't-tell." All very well, except the document is notably vague on naming the kinds of weapons systems Mr. Obama would actually support.

And so the question remains: If elected, which Obama do we get? The nuanced centrist or the man from Ben and Jerry's?

Some voters may like answers sometime before next Tuesday. Alternatively, they can click the button called "I'm Feeling Lucky."

Global View - WSJ.com

Don't believe everything you think
Jayhawk is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 07:59 PM
BenzWorld Elite
Date registered: Jan 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 11,663
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 693 Post(s)
That's his plan! Cut the spine out of our military.
So it evens the talking playing field.

© All photographs and likenesses of Multipurpose are protected under copyright
law. Any use of photographs in whole or in part is strictly prohibited
unless authorization is granted in writing by copyright holder. All rights
Multipurpose is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 08:03 PM
BenzWorld Elite
mcbear's Avatar
Date registered: Apr 2004
Vehicle: E500Es
Location: The BlueGrass State
Posts: 29,579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Umm, have you seen our economy? Have you seen our debt load? Have you seen our Revenue to Appropriations ratios?

Whoever is in the White House damned well better start shaving off of EVERY department and the Pentagon is one of the more bloated departments in the entire government after eight years of carte blanche spending.

The amount of redundancy is legendary. The amount of pork that flows to both districts and to foreign "friends" is legendary. We build entire infrastructures for the militaries of some foreign countries, entire air bases and maintain, through massive leases shipyards and ports around the world. All so they will be our friends. [Remember how many of them were NOT when Bushie asked for their help in Iraq - money doesn't buy loyalty]


Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
mcbear is offline  
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 08:05 PM
Cruise Control
Zeitgeist's Avatar
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: '87 300TD/'90 300D/'94 Quattro/'89 Vanagon/'01 EV Weekender
Location: Cascadia
Posts: 51,712
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Quoted: 1419 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
That would be the greatest gift he could give to this country, and the world.
Zeitgeist is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 08:23 PM
BenzWorld Elite
mzsmbs's Avatar
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1972 Mercedes 250 (/8) W114/M130
Location: on a high bank of a creek
Posts: 7,296
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Jayhawk View Post
Will Obama Gut Defense?
i sure hope he cuts the fck out of the offense though. right now we can't afford it.

in political asylum
mzsmbs is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 08:25 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
Shane's Avatar
Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: And what was left was what was guilt was what u gave to me
Location: A cavalcade of strangers came to tear ur world apart
Posts: 41,528
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Quoted: 1728 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Wars are won by economy more often than military you backwoods pecker head.
Shane is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 06:57 AM
BenzWorld Elite
FeelTheLove's Avatar
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 83 Astral Silver 280 SL
Location: Planet Houston
Posts: 28,829
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Bush fascists and the Military-Industrial Complex have had a field day raping the taxpayer to pay for our bloated defense establishment. It's damn time we looked at the whole thing, top to bottom, and got rid of all the Cold War bullshit and all the trumped-up terrorism over-reaction bullshit. We are creating a Praetorian class, and they are a danger to our democracy. We need to re-institute the draft and get rid of this dangerous professional army, which has become another special interest group instead of being what they are supposed to be: servents to the democracy.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
FeelTheLove is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 07:04 AM
Administratoris Emeritus
GeeS's Avatar
Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: 2021 SL770
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
Posts: 44,831
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 544 Post(s)
Selling weapons to unstable dictators and human rights violators is business number one in the U.S. -- by a long shot.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
GeeS is offline  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 07:05 AM
Surely A Large Human
Qubes's Avatar
Date registered: Jun 2006
Vehicle: '08 C219
Location: Between Earth and Mars
Posts: 34,234
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 482 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
They can start by 86'ing the TSA. That's where the hatchet can be swung safely and hurt nothing. Then they can move on to ARPA and shut it down for at least the next 4 years, and stop payments on any project which is overdue or over it's original budget. Get us out of Iraq as soon as they'll let us, which might be tomorrow - that'll be about $10 billion a month to the positive, so that's good.

Then some of these broke dick Democrat majority congressmen can author some fucking legislation that requires them to keep a running daily and historical total of every dollar allocated or earmarked by congress, by member (as I think Bear suggested) so that we stand a chance of knowing who's doing what come the next election.
Qubes is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode

    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    Timing chain....gut check Rickysa R/C107 SL/SLC Class 15 06-04-2008 03:12 PM
    Want to buy,,,2000 C230, Sport, Kompressor, Bordeaux red w/ black gut fastautocare For Sale/Wanted/Trade/Giveaway 0 10-20-2007 07:44 PM
    Gut check on '74 450sl project jsscls450sl R/C107 SL/SLC Class 3 07-13-2006 11:59 AM
    Gut wrenching accident photo - not for the faint heartedf!! shrimpton Off-Topic 8 02-02-2006 01:47 PM
    Self defense video peter811 Off-Topic 6 01-23-2006 06:03 AM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On


    Title goes here

    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome