View Full Version : Record Defense Budgets

08-01-2006, 04:45 PM
US army 'degraded' by Iraq deployments: defense experts (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060801/pl_afp/usiraqmilitary_060801150727;_ylt=Akh4iJPWcF68LAiAM 81MfcOs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MjBwMWtkBHNlYwM3MTg-)

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A group of prominent US defense and national security experts sounded an alarm about the strain on US combat forces of lengthy deployments to Iraq (http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news/?p=Iraq), saying the problem has reached crisis levels.

The National Security Advisory Group, chaired by former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, alleged in a letter to top congressional Democrats that the US administration's underfunding of the army represents "a serious failure of civilian stewardship of the military."

"Two-thirds of the army's operating force, active and reserve, is now reporting in as unready," the group wrote in their letter to lawmakers.

"There is not a single non-deployed Army Brigade Combat Team in the United States that is ready to deploy.

The letter continued: "The bottom line is that our army currently has no ready, strategic reserve. Not since the Vietnam era and its aftermath has the Army's readiness been so degraded."
I guess the likes of Haliburton and other defense contractors siphoning off so much money had to have an effect somewhere...

john l
08-01-2006, 05:05 PM
and also the private military contractors hiring a lot of top military talent at 3-4 times pay. they have also depleted the ranks. so lets see - the soldier is now making 150K plus, often tax free and the contractor is charging a markup (2-3X or more salary to cover expenses and profit)
and the gov is paying it from your tax dollars. when you factor that a lot of the private military contractors are x military men themselves with great political contacts you start to think. i was told that there were at least as many private military troops on the ground in iraq/afgan as there were actual military troops. while the private guys must be very capable - they will tell you more capable than regular force, this is all specualtion, but what is not is total cost to tax payers and is this a sign of a good custodian/representatives of my hard earned dollars. i think not. but reserve judgement till the facts are known. but i think i smell a rat and hear a huge sucking sound out of taxpayers $$$ which could equal bad money management skills or perhaps .........

08-01-2006, 05:13 PM
Bad money management by a Republican administraion? Perish the thought! :D

Nicholas Carey
08-01-2006, 05:34 PM
I like the notion that we are "underfunding" the Army.

"Overspending" is probably a more accurate description.

08-01-2006, 05:45 PM
How about overprofiting the defense industry? Between Bush 41 and Cheney, they own a lot of defense shares.

Cuyahoga Chuck
08-01-2006, 06:25 PM
To add to the degradation of the military we have about 1/6th of our forces enlisting "on waivers". The waiver means the enlistee would not be accepted under conventional military regulations.

08-01-2006, 07:49 PM
nobody should be surprised at this headline.

08-01-2006, 11:58 PM
Reminds me of two of Murphys rules of combat... :)

29. No combat ready unit has ever passed inspection.

30. No inspection ready unit has ever passed combat.

08-02-2006, 08:11 AM
read anything about Rumsfeld. Whether it's his role in developing Star Wars in and out of gov't, his micromanaging of the invasion plans, or cute quips about reality in Iraq. Then remember GW has kept him there.

The next thing is google up comments by Republican politicians regarding the latest drilling plan for off-shore oil. Listen to what they say are the goals of the plan,,reduce oil costs, energy independence, increased local revenues. Without any complementing legislation on conservation/increased efficiencies. It's like an alcoholic extolling the virtues of Sams club over the local liquor store for stretching his budget and how good that is.

Politicians want you to believe you can be sheltered from the cost of oil by increasing the flow by a few drops while POURING money into protecting oil supplies through military sales and operations.

But we don't have the vision or will. Sure spending $80 Billion for an antimissle technology that can be subverted by box cutters and shipping containers makes sense. Raising light truck/SUV mpg by 10% over five years is onerous to domestic auto manufacturers.

Back to military costs, the article above will get more notice than Murthas statements a year ago,,big weapons platforms will be threatened and their lobbiests carry more weight than representatives for personell. Raytheon and Lockheed rule.

This will be hard for some neo-cons. Oh well.

Like Cheney said, vote for the opposition is a vote for the terrists.

08-02-2006, 08:13 AM
Erster, I don't think Rove would have been that fit, Cheney might have been.

08-02-2006, 08:27 AM
Bad money management by a Republican administraion? Perish the thought! Unfortunately, since Reagan, it has become virtually the definition of a Republican administration.

08-02-2006, 08:38 AM
a good example of handing politicians the Pentagon Credit Card is the contract to David Kay for finding WMD. Why would a civilian be tasked with finding WMD??? Rumsfeld knew where they were but he needed to appoint a civilian who was director of SAIC to find them?

Cuyahoga Chuck
08-02-2006, 08:48 AM
The draft system from the WWII days, onward, seemed to work like this. Each board was sent a quota which they had to fill. If there weren't enough physically 1A and unattached young men the boards had to dip into lower classifications to come up with enough bodies. During WWII the Army didn't have time to play around with men who had identifiable ailments so they would notify draft boards that sent them too many untrainables.
Things went to hell during Vietnam. Because the manpower requirement was only modest, draft boards were able to give exemptions right and left. What we have today are men in public life who coped a plea, stayed home and, in the ensuing years, convinced themselves they were the reincarnations of the God of War. Headshrinkers , probably have a name for that.


08-02-2006, 10:09 AM
There's a good scene in War Tapes where the US soldiers come upon a blown up truck from a convoy receiving their protection. As they give the third country national employee subcontracted to KBR some first aid the soldier with the camera walks around to the front of another big truck shining his light on it.
"look at this sh*t, this truck has no windshield, the door is torn off, this is the state of their equipment, what the f*ck is going on?"

08-02-2006, 10:12 AM
nobody should be surprised at this headline.

especially with a SecDef who muses about the etymological roots of the term insurgent or civil war and a president who can only process information from pages on one side of a book.

08-02-2006, 10:30 AM
connecting the dots,,SUPPOSEDLY the goals of invading and occupying Iraq are stabilizing the middle east. Once the military threat of WMD, links to Al Qaeda and removal of a bad, bad man were achieved the next step in the neo-con dream as writ by GW spinmeisters is that we'd bring them democracy on a popsicle stick so they'd like us and not hate us.

at some point one might consider that sowing destablization of middle east nations WAS the goal.


NASIRIYAH, Iraq, Aug. 1 -- A flailing Iraq reconstruction effort that has been dominated for more than three years by U.S. dollars and companies is being transferred to Iraqis, leaving them the challenge of completing a long list of projects left unfinished by the Americans.

While the handover is occurring gradually, it comes as U.S. money dwindles and American officials face a Sept. 30 deadline for choosing which projects to fund with the remaining $2 billion of the $21 billion rebuilding program. More than 500 planned projects have not been started, and the United States lacks a coherent plan for transferring authority to Iraqi control, a report released Tuesday concludes.

Keith Wilson
08-02-2006, 10:36 AM
Here's a depressing web site: The real-time cost of the Iraq debacle, now above $300 billion. That's about $1000 so far for every man, woman, and child in the US.


John of Phoenix
08-02-2006, 10:44 AM
The War in Iraq Costs

That thing is racking up $2000 every second!

08-02-2006, 11:41 AM
Naw it really doesn't cost that.....90% is under the table stuff/pork/and supporting your politician friends...

Don Olney
08-02-2006, 11:56 AM
What we have today are men in public life who coped a plea, stayed home and, in the ensuing years, convinced themselves they were the reincarnations of the God of War. Headshrinkers , probably have a name for that.


They call it Chickenhawkitis.

08-02-2006, 12:44 PM
Don't forget the 101st Keyboaders Brigade


Here's an excerpt from a piece by Second Lt. John Renehan in this week's Chronicle of Higher Education:

"In 2004, shortly before I left for basic training, The New Republic ran a piece in which Peter Beinart, then the magazine's editor, bemoaned the increasingly narrow demographics of those who serve and the consequent emergence of 'two countries' -- one that serves, and a second, more-affluent one that thinks of service as a thing done by other Americans. Notably, Beinart admitted his own mixed feelings on being a member of the nonserving elite, wondering aloud what he might say when a child of his someday asks, 'What did you do in the terror war, Daddy?' Impressed, I wrote a letter to Beinart praising his frankness and noting my own decision to join the military -- one prompted by similar callings of conscience. Then I offered him what I called a 'public-spirited challenge': One of The New Republic's own should serve, and the magazine should write about it...It was a na´ve sort of thing to write. My girlfriend took a look at the letter and said, 'You know they're never going to print this, don't you?' I did. But they did print it -- with a notable omission. My 'public-spirited challenge' had been excised, leaving only praise for Beinart."

John of Phoenix
08-02-2006, 01:37 PM
"101st Fighting Keyboarders Brigade" Love it. :D

My general feeling is that second lieutenants should be seen and not heard, but that was good.

They ran Powell off, but is there anyone left in dubya's administration with combat experience?

08-02-2006, 02:02 PM
They ran Powell off, but is there anyone left in dubya's administration with combat experience?Whitehouse housekeeping staff? :D

John of Phoenix
08-02-2006, 02:57 PM
LOL. Literally.

08-02-2006, 03:49 PM
Probably some SS too. After all, they would want experienced guards to protect their exalted asses.

Wild Wassa
08-02-2006, 05:27 PM
Empty out your jails and set up thousands of penal regiments and ship them out ... the budget is already there.

It couldn't cost the US taxpayer any more than it already does, and any further attrocities ... could be more easily expained.


08-02-2006, 06:16 PM
It's not the budget, it's how it's being used.

08-02-2006, 06:19 PM
Erster,,how is occupying Iraqi protecting the United States ?

08-02-2006, 06:41 PM
Erster, how is occupation of Iraq defending the country?

Ed Harrow
08-02-2006, 06:44 PM
Google Tom Ricks. Interesting reading.

08-02-2006, 06:49 PM
Enjoy the Koolaid, erster.

08-02-2006, 06:56 PM

Amazon.com: You've been writing about the military for the Post and the Wall Street Journal for years now, and Fiasco is built from the testimony of a remarkable array of sources up and down the chain of command, some off the record but many more on the record. Can you talk about your sources? Is this level of public criticism of a war from within the military precedented??

Ricks: Yeah, reporting the book was a pretty emotional experience. Even having covered this war as it unfolded, I was taken aback by the rage that some officers felt toward the Bush Administration, and especially toward Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. And also toward Paul Wolfowitz, who was then the no. 2 guy at the Pentagon. I think the rage is probably like what the military felt about Robert McNamara during the Vietnam War. What is unprecedented, I think, is that many officers had doubts about the wisdom of invading Iraq, especially in the way we did it.

The emotions also hit me pretty hard at times, especially when I was writing my chapter 13, about how widespread abuse was by American soldiers in 2003-04, often because they hadn't been trained for the mission they faced. I have spent more than 15 years covering the military. I tend to like and admire these people. So when I learned about a 4th Infantry Division soldier shooting an unarmed, handcuffed Iraqi detainee in the stomach, and the investigating MPs saying the soldier should be charged with homicide, and instead the commander simply discharged the soldier from the Army--well, that bothered me.

Another thing that struck me with sources was the mountain of information that was available. I read over 30,000 pages of documents for this book. At the end of one interview a guy gave me a CD-ROM with every e-mail he had sent to Ambassador Bremer, who ran the civilian end of the first year of the occupation. Other people showed me diaries, unit logs, official briefings, and such. Also the ACLU did a great job of obtaining and releasing piles of official U.S. military documents related to abuse--so I could see the time stamp on an e-mail in which an intelligence officer stated that "the gloves are coming off" in interrogations, and one soldier recommended blows to the chest while another wrote back recommending low-level electrocution.

Unfortunately the Army wouldn't release the details of citations for valorous acts by soldiers, which means that the Pentagon made it easier for me to learn about the sins of soldiers than about their acts of bravery. The Marine Corps did give me those "narratives" that support the bestowing of medals, which I really appreciated. Those documents really brought home to me the fierceness of the two Battles of Fallujah, in April and November 2004--probably the toughest fighting American troops have seen since Hue and Khe Sanh in the Vietnam War.

08-02-2006, 06:57 PM
Erster, can you answer the question?

Memphis Mike
08-02-2006, 06:58 PM

08-02-2006, 07:30 PM
Erster, you came in ridiculing the posters in this thread by saying "Experts on the WBF, pretending to know how much it takes to defend the country with the military" when the opening thread was about the stress on the Army from operations in Iraq.

You didn't answer the question.

08-02-2006, 07:38 PM
Might also ask erster what his expertise is based on. After all, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the donnald duck. ;)

08-02-2006, 08:19 PM
How is occupying Iraq defending the US?

08-02-2006, 08:31 PM
that's a question, not an answer. Thank you for your time. Good night.

08-02-2006, 08:53 PM
The US is not occupying Europe, part of Korea, and Japan.

08-02-2006, 09:45 PM
Rumsfeld can explain it better than us.


QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, I'd like to ask you about the concerns that are being expressed in Congress and elsewhere about the declining readiness of the Army -- concern about equipment shortages, money shortages. Yesterday, General Blum said that, with regard to the National Guard, the situation is "dire," was the word he used.

My question to you is, what is your level of concern about under- resourcing the Army? And is it being run into the ground?

RUMSFELD: We've spent a good deal of time on that subject with the officials from the Army and others, as well as up on the Hill. And, in fact, we had another meeting this morning about exactly what the circumstance is.

One of the problems we've seen is that in the readiness charts that are used, we see apples and oranges. We see a standard on the left side for some years back, and then a standard that's different on the right side.

So if you had a standard of X on the left side, and you then looked at your circumstance today and saw it had deteriorated dramatically, you need to know what the standard is on the right side.

RUMSFELD: And if it's 2X, if you've increased your standard by double and you've only been able to improve your circumstance by 50 percent, then you've got a significant degradation -- it appears to be a significant degradation, when, in fact, you have a substantial improvement in your capabilities and your equipment.

Now, that's one example of the problem. And so they're in the process of thinking that through and how they want to present it.

The reality is that when you separate a unit from its equipment, you also get a change in readiness. And, of course, if you leave equipment in the theater to save money from dragging it back and forth and because it's the best equipment and has the best armor and the like, obviously, you're going to end up with a different readiness level.

So the question -- and a third aspect of that that General Pace and I have been probing is you can say, "Ready for what?" And if they're ready for the task they're doing, that's what you want. Or you could put a standard that says, "Are they ready for any conceivable task that might be asked?" And if that's the standard, then you get a different set of numbers.

So we're all working on this together. We've got, I think, almost as of today, a very good common understanding as to where we are.

The truth is, as anyone in the Army leadership will tell you, is that the Army today is vastly better than it was two, four, six or eight years ago. It has much more equipment, much better equipment, and it's better trained and more experienced, and it is a better Army, notwithstanding the fact that it is possible to look at some charts and show that something's changed.

For example, if you have an artillery unit and you separate it from its artillery, and you then measure it in readiness to do its artillery job but it's in Iraq doing an entirely different job, because you don't need artillery there, but you're measuring it against its artillery role, then, obviously, it's not going to be C-1 or C-2.

So the important thing is to look beyond the headlines.

And it's not clear to me that General Blum said what you said he said. And I think if you talk to him -- I don't know if you have, but if you do, I think you might find that you'd get a somewhat different picture than the characterization that you quoted.

08-02-2006, 09:52 PM
this is a good one..

QUESTION: And the question, Mr. Secretary, after your most recent visit and this spike in violence, do you believe that Iraq is closer than ever to the brink of civil war?


So there's a number of good things happening. There are four provinces in the country where almost all the violence is occurring, and there are 14 where there is relatively little violence.

And so, amidst all of this difficulty, the currency is fairly stable, the schools are open, the hospitals are open, the people are functioning.

You'd fly over it -- you've been there -- and you see people out in the fields doing things and people driving their cars and lining up for gasoline and going about their business.

So it's a mixed picture that's difficult but, despite all of the difficulties, there are also some good trend lines that are occurring, and I think the period ahead is an important period.

08-03-2006, 12:05 AM
Is the fine (heh) art of obfustication and blather part of a Poli-Sci degree? How can anyone say so little in so many words?

08-03-2006, 12:53 AM
this record might be followed by other records.


Civil war is the most likely outcome in Iraq, Britain's outgoing ambassador in Baghdad has warned, in a confidential memo to ministers obtained by the BBC.

William Patey, who left the Iraqi capital last week, also predicted the break-up of Iraq along ethnic lines.

He did also say that "the position is not hopeless" - but said Iraq would remain "messy and difficult" for the next five to 10 years.

Mr Patey wrote: "The prospect of a low intensity civil war and a de facto division of Iraq is probably more likely at this stage than a successful and substantial transition to a stable democracy.

"Even the lowered expectation of President Bush for Iraq - a government that can sustain itself, defend itself and govern itself and is an ally in the war on terror - must remain in doubt."

Talking about the Shia militias blamed for many killings, Mr Patey added: "If we are to avoid a descent into civil war and anarchy then preventing the Jaish al-Mahdi (the Mahdi Army) from developing into a state with a state, as Hezbollah has done in Lebanon, will be a priority."

Overall, says BBC correspondent Paul Wood, "it is a devastating official assessment of the prospects for a peaceful Iraq, and stands in stark contrast to the public rhetoric".

The cable says that "the next six months are crucial" - an assessment which is shared by the coalition's military commanders.

08-03-2006, 02:19 AM
According to our news the Iraqi Pm has said he wants the US (I presume govt not private) out by xmas.
Could be handy, with the middle east, maybe Cuba, Korea on the boil as well.
Incidentally the Aussie armed forces are somewhat short of personnel, and some of the best are leaving to be private contractors as well. So our Chief of Defence Staff has suggested National Service, or the Draft. There's an election in the wind, I don't think so!

08-03-2006, 09:47 AM
There has to be an opera in all of this

Milo Christensen
08-03-2006, 11:54 AM
There has to be an opera in all of this

I don't think Hillaryous wants to gain that much weight.

08-03-2006, 01:03 PM
There has to be an opera in all of thisPhantom of the Mosque