Author Topic: State of the US Military  (Read 2562 times)

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Online Rifleman62

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State of the US Military
« on: April 14, 2016, 20:35:17 »
http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/special-report-bret-baier/videos#p/86927/v/4846358226001

Fox News exclusive: Budget cuts taking toll on Marine Corps
(Air Elements)

5:47 Run time. Note their F-18 maint problems.


Fox News Reporting: Rising Threats - Shrinking Military ( See where our PM is taking his cues?)

41:00 Run time. You will love the ROTC in high heals!

Published April 01, 2016  FoxNews.com

When President Obama took office, he promised to be a new type of commander-in-chief. Many now fear that’s exactly what has happened.

Critics see the American military downsizing, and its influence in world affairs waning, creating a dangerous power vacuum.

One of the signs of the president’s new approach is his deep budget cuts. Numerous defense programs have been scrapped, and the troops are being cut back—the Army’s active force threatens to drop below pre-World War II levels. As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates tells Fox News, after he worked hard to cut hundreds of billions from the Obama military budget, he was then told to cut hundreds of billions more.  Gates fears less money today will mean more American blood later.

President Obama isn’t just making the military smaller, however--he’s changing its very essence. He’s introduced numerous policies designed to further social justice within the ranks, such as regulations to allow women to serve in combat.  But military experts are concerned that all these new rules end up doing is lowering standards and destroying morale. They worry that fighting efficiency is being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.

On the international front, this slimmed-down military seems designed to match the administration’s slimmed-down foreign policy. Obama, critics contend, wants an America more humble in its approach, more willing to listen to others.

But how has this lighter footprint worked out? "Fox News Reporting Rising Threats - Shrinking Military examines how Obama’s policies have played out on the world stage:

Russia, where the administration made conciliatory gestures, after which Putin’s forces became more aggressive and took over Crimea.

Iraq, where Obama decided upon a precipitous withdrawal of U.S. military presence, after which the formerly pacified nation descended into chaos.

Syria, where Obama threatened but then failed to take action, after which the region continued to grow into one of the most dangerous spots in the world.

Libya, the one place where America did take action in a UN-approved military intervention, after which the nation split apart and become a breeding ground for terrorism.

"Fox News Reporting: Rising Threats - Shrinking Military" features the three former secretaries of defense to serve under Obama—Robert Gates, Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel—as well as other high-ranking officials. We also go on the ground in Alaska to meet the men in uniform who serve there, and see how they deal with aging equipment and a disappearing budget, even as the threats from Russia and China grow.

President Obama inherited a world-class, battle-hardened military. The next president, facing a complex world with many threats, will inherit the new Obama military. Watch "Fox News Reporting: Rising Threats - Shrinking Military" to discover what that may mean for the country.
Never Congratulate Yourself In Victory, Nor Blame Your Horses In Defeat - Old Cossack Expression

Offline CBH99

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Re: State of the US Military
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2016, 04:26:33 »
I find this article to be somewhat misleading, but as usual I always stand to be corrected.

In terms of America's foreign policy, it was less international interventionalism that Obama campaigned on & won.

During Obama's campaign for his 1st presidential term, America was heavily involved in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The economy was openly regarded as a mess, with hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of Americans losing their homes due to the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

His campaign pledged to reduce the use of the military in America's foreign policy, and lean far more heavily on diplomacy and "resolving differences by talking".  To be fair, that is exactly what he has done - for better or for worse.

In regards to the suggestion that the US military is quietly slipping into obscurity, I find that to be blatantly untrue.  The US military budget is still multitudes - and I mean multitudes - of what either China or Russia spend.  Even when the Russian and Chinese military budgets are combined, the US still spends significantly more.

The US can field far more naval and airpower than anybody else in the world, hands down. Combined with excellent training, excellent equipment, and multiple layers of various support - the US can outgun any opponent it may face.

The problem is, in my opinion, is the unfair advantage that some of America's enemies have in being able to focus their forces towards a single purpose. 

The US has forces deployed worldwide and is committed to supporting all kinds of allied initiatives - whereas China, for example, with a huge armed forces, seems to be able to focus that military might on one specific theatre & overall objective. 

Its not that the US military is slowly dwindling into obscurity, it's just that it is overstretched when compared to a country like China who doesn't contribute much outside of it's own territory.
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: State of the US Military
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2016, 08:37:08 »
The Army is facing a future with smaller budgets but the need to replace aging systems.It will be back to the Army budget being lost to the USAF/USN.

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/archive/2016/May/Pages/ArmyFacingBudgetaryTripleWhammy.aspx

The Army is preparing to fight high-end adversaries, but budget cuts and other investment decisions have put it in a unique modernization hole, a defense analyst said in a recent report.


During the acquisition drawdown between fiscal years 2008 and 2015, total obligation authority for Army modernization fell 74 percent in real terms, from $90 billion to $24 billion. Meanwhile, procurement dropped 78 percent and research, development, test and evaluation funding declined 52 percent, according to Rhys McCormick, a researcher with the defense-industrial initiatives group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“This … modernization drawdown is a triple whammy for the Army,” he said in the report, “The Army Modernization Challenge: A Historical Perspective,” released in March.

Compared with the post-Vietnam and post-Cold War drawdowns, the Army’s modernization funding authority has taken a larger percentage cut this time around. The decline in RDT&E money is also steeper. Faced with smaller budgets, the service has elected to prioritize funding for readiness and force structure at the expense of modernization, McCormick said.

The triple-headed problem is compounded by the “lost decade” in Army acquisition in the 2000s, when a number of major procurement programs were canceled, including Future Combat Systems, he said.

“While the Army did field new platforms such as the [mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle], Stryker and Gray Eagle, it did not complete the large-scale procurement of new weapon systems as in previous drawdowns,” he said. “Moreover, these acquisition programs were suited for meeting immediate wartime demands, not necessarily the future strategic operating environment.”

Going forward, Army procurement efforts will encounter increasing competition for resources because the Defense Department is facing a modernization “bow wave” in the early 2020s. Meanwhile, not a single Army program made the list of the Pentagon’s top 10 acquisition programs (measured by projected funding) leading up to the bow wave, McCormick noted.

“Even if the defense budget increases in the coming years, the Army will face stiff competition for that increase from the Air Force and Navy to fund the acquisition programs driving the modernization bow wave,” he said. “The ‘hollow’ buildup of 2000 to 2008 and the unusually large reduction in R&D in this drawdown, means that the Army’s recovery will be much more difficult than in previous drawdowns.”

Help is not on the horizon, he said. “Continued failure to fund modernization will leave the United States with an Army unsuited to handle the future geostrategic environment. Yet, budgetary relief to modernization accounts remains unlikely for at least the near future.”


Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: State of the US Military
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2017, 14:11:28 »
Will Congress give Pres. Trump and SecDef Mattis money they want for defence?

Quote
Mattis' pricey military buildup faces obstacles in Congress

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has issued sweeping guidance to military services to propose big spending hikes to increase readiness in the short term, and build a bigger stronger military in the long term.

There's only one big problem: Congress, specifically the Budget Control Act of 2011, which created across-the-board spending caps for 10 years.

That's where "the rubber meets the road," said Kathryn Blakeley, research fellow at Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. "The Budget Control Act of 2011 is still the law, and it needs to be amended by the regular legislative process, which means you need at least some democratic buy-in."

In his four-page memo issued this week, Mattis directed the services to find ways "to increase force structure in critical areas where doing so would have an immediate readiness impact," while also looking ahead toward what he called the "ultimate objective" of building a larger, more capable and more lethal joint force."

The memo set three goals: product an amendment request to the fiscal 2017 budget by March 1; submit a fiscal 2018 budget request to the Office of Management and Budget by May 1; and begin work on a new National Defense Strategy covering 2019-2023.

"I read Secretary Mattis' memorandum as a crawl, walk, run plan to think about what defense really needs," Blakely said. "I think there is going to be an adjustment between expectations and reality after the budget is released.

"But there is also going to be a fairly strong political climate and messaging about the need to resource defense appropriately, which will provide the countervailing headwind."

Mattis is asking for both a short-term supplemental to boost spending in areas of crucial need such as shortages of smart bombs, and reduced flying hours for pilots, as well as long-term increases in troops and weapons to counter the slow decline in U.S military capacities experienced during the Obama years, when Pentagon budgets were constrained by congressionally mandated spending limits.

In his memo, Mattis says the Pentagon's fiscal 2017 budget will carry an increase over the Obama budget he inherited, but did not say by how much...
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/mattis-pricey-military-buildup-faces-obstacles-in-congress/article/2613946

Mark
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: State of the US Military
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2017, 19:28:43 »
More ships and planes historically mean less for the Army. But I hope there is some equality in budgeting.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: State of the US Military
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2017, 12:04:23 »
Services' wish lists to Congress (note Super Hornets):

Quote
Pentagon details plan for $30 billion budget boost

Buoyed by President Donald Trump's pledge to rebuild the U.S. armed forces, senior Pentagon officials have delivered to Congress plans for increasing the defense budget by more than $30 billion to acquire new jet fighters, armored vehicles, improved training and more.

The informal proposals, obtained by The Associated Press, represent the first attempt by Trump's Defense Department to halt an erosion of the military's readiness for combat. The shortfalls outlined in the documents may provide Trump and the Republican-led Congress with a powerful incentive to strike the strict limits on military spending mandated by a 2011 budget control law.

Portions of the plans will likely be included in the formal supplemental budget for 2017 that the Trump administration is sending to Capitol Hill soon.

Top defense officials are scheduled to testify Tuesday [Feb. 7] before the House Armed Services Committee on the state of the military. They're expected to address how the fiscal caps — known as sequestration — have pushed the armed forces to a breaking point by locking them into budgets too small to address heavy demands...

The Navy's request totals $12 billion in additional spending and asks for 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters [emphasis added], one San Antonio-class amphibious landing dock ship, and dozens more Sidewinder missiles.

Without more money, the 2017 fiscal year — which ends Sept. 30 — "is projected to have a significant shortfall in afloat readiness," according to the Navy document.

The Army is seeking a $8.2 billion "modernization uplift" for a force of 476,000 active-duty soldiers, which is the troop floor mandated by Congress. Nearly $2.2 billion of the total would be spent on new CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift and Apache attack helicopters and 12 Grey Eagle surveillance drones. Another $400 million would go to strengthen soldier training.

The Air Force plan outlines $6.2 billion in "unfunded priorities." including money for five additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighters [emphasis added]. The service also wants $225 million to maintain an active-duty force of 322,000 airmen...
http://www.stripes.com/news/us/pentagon-details-plan-for-30-billion-budget-boost-1.452784

Mark
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: State of the US Military
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2017, 16:19:04 »
Services outline woes, want end to sequestration--what will Trump do with Congress?  Note army (non-) readiness:

Quote
Military leaders say budget caps are crippling armed forces
Each of the military services have delivered to Congress plans for increasing the 2017 defense budget by more than $30 billion

Pleading for a repeal of a law that strictly limits defense spending, a panel of four-star military officers warned lawmakers Tuesday that the fiscal constraints are crippling the military’s ability to respond to threats around the world.

Appearing before the House Armed Services Committee, the officers delivered a message that appears to grow grimmer each time it’s delivered. It echoed President Donald Trump who promised to reinvest in a “depleted” military although annual defense spending is more than $600 billion.

“You’ve been lacking a little equipment, we’re going to load it up. You’re going to get a lot of equipment,” Trump said at Central Command on Monday.

Each of the military services have delivered to Congress plans for increasing the 2017 defense budget by more than $30 billion to acquire new jet fighters, armored vehicles, improved training and more. The informal proposals, obtained by The Associated Press, represent the first attempt by Trump’s Defense Department to halt the erosion of the military’s combat readiness. The shortfalls outlined in the documents may provide Trump and the national security hawks in Congress with a powerful incentive to strike the caps on military spending.

Adm. William Moran, the vice chief of naval operations, says more than half of all Navy aircraft are grounded because they’re awaiting maintenance or lack needed spare parts. The figure is even higher for the service’s front line F/A-18 fighter jets, according to Moran.

Gen. Daniel Allyn, the Army’s vice chief of staff, told the panel that only three of the Army’s more than 50 brigade combat teams have all the troops, training and equipment needed to fight at a moment’s notice [emphasis added, yikes!].

Portions of the plans will likely be included in the formal supplemental budget for 2017 that the Trump administration is sending to Capitol Hill soon.

The Marine Corps, arguing for a $4.2 billion boost to its 2017 budget, warned that the “nation’s force in readiness” will have to continue shifting money intended for new weapons to pay current bills.

“As near-peer competitors probe the limits of American retrenchment and the operational environment grows more complex, the Marine Corps of today is largely optimized for the past and sacrificing modernization to sustain current readiness,” the service’s budget amendment reads.

The Navy’s request totals $12 billion in additional spending and asks for 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters, one San Antonio-class amphibious landing dock ship, and dozens more Sidewinder missiles.

Without more money, the 2017 fiscal year — which ends Sept. 30 — “is projected to have a significant shortfall in afloat readiness,” according to the Navy document.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 set limits on how much could be spent on defense through 2021 while exempting money provided for overseas warfighting operations. Between 2011 and 2014, the Pentagon’s budget fell by more than $100 billion. Across-the-board spending limits known in Washington-speak as sequestration were triggered in 2013, forcing reductions that led to widespread concern the military services would be unprepared to fight the nation’s wars.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 provided temporary relief from the cuts, but unless the law is changed the limits will return in the 2018 budget year and would force defense budgets to levels far lower than the Pentagon says are prudent. If the budget caps are breached, automatic spending reductions would be triggered. Money provided for warfighting operations is exempt from the caps.

That prospect unnerves the top Pentagon brass. Gen. Stephen Wilson, the vice chief of staff of the Air Force, told the committee the service’s “advantage over potential adversaries is shrinking.” Wilson said the average Air Force aircraft is 27 years old and more than half of the inventory would qualify for antique vehicle license plates in the state of Virginia...
http://www.denverpost.com/2017/02/07/budget-caps-crippling-armed-forces/?preview_id=2421439

Plus on USN and Marine fighters:

Quote
62 % Of F-18 Hornets Unfit To Fly; DoD, Hill Focus On Readiness

More than 60 percent of Navy and Marine Corps strike fighters are out of service, the Navy confirmed today. While 62 percent of fighters are effectively grounded, the overall figure for all naval aircraft is 53 percent for naval aircraft. Such striking numbers underline why Defense Secretary James Mattis, military leaders, and many legislators have prioritized fixing readiness for the force we already have, an immediate crisis, over the long-term build-up of a bigger force that President Trump promised in his campaign...

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller, speaking to the shipbuilders just after Wittman, was even more emphatic about readiness. “Secretary Mattis is — for those of us who’ve worked for him before — he’s always very clear, he’s always given good guidance,” Neller said. “Right now restoring readiness is the priority,” though the Pentagon team will try to fill “holes in programs” where possible.

Issues with insufficient flight hours for pilot training, insufficient spare parts to keep planes flying, and so on are at the top of the readiness priorities, Neller added. These problems tie directly into the low readiness figures for naval aviation, which were first reported by Defense News last night, acknowledged by Vice-Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Moran at a hearing this morning, and clarified for Breaking Defense by a Navy spokesperson this afternoon. It’s likely Marine Corps Hornets are worse off than the reported figures indicate, since they’re some of the oldest fighters in the military...
http://breakingdefense.com/2017/02/62-of-f-18-hornets-unfit-to-fly-dod-hill-focus-on-readiness/

Mark
Ottawa
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.