Skip to comments.The Re-Hollowing of the Military
Posted on 08/30/2010 10:18:25 PM PDT by neverdem
It comes as little surprise that Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the last Cabinet holdover from the George W. Bush administration, is planning to step down next year. Most expected him to stick it out only through the year-end review of the Afghanistan-surge strategy. What's noteworthy is his announcing this just days after ordering the closing of the Pentagon's Joint Forces Command and the dismissal of thousands of employees at its Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters, as well as hundreds of uniformed officers who are being forced out to pasture. That's not going to engender good feelings inside the ring. In light of Gatess announcement, we are offering readers a preview from our yet-to-be-released September issue: Arthur Hermans The Re-Hollowing of the Military. In it, Herman takes a close look at what may prove to be the most notable and dangerous aspect of Gatess legacy.
******************************** On May 3, 2010, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates delivered a speech at the Navy League in Washington to an audience of veterans, retired and current defense-industry executives, and supporters of the tradition of American naval power. Gates gave it to them. He told his audience that the time had come to re-examine and question basic assumptions about how their beloved Navy works, in light of evolving technologies, new threats, and budget realitiesspecifically, a federal deficit in the neighborhood of $1.5 trillion.
Do we really need 11 Carrier Strike Groups for another 30 years, Gates asked, when no other country has more than one? That seafaring strength is a source of pride for Navy League members, as is the United Statess having a navy second to none. The audiences surprise at hearing the secretary of defense question the value of Americas overwhelming naval predominance as unnecessary soon turned to dismay...
(Excerpt) Read more at commentarymagazine.com ...
Gates is just another tool of the Counci on Foreign Relations. Any “holdover” that stays on under a new administration is a certain lackey.
We really are wasting money on a lot of limited value assets. 20 Billion Dollar Bombers all stationed at the same base has General Le May rolling over in his grave at such stupidity.
Modern Aircraft Carriers are great against turd world nations but up against first tier nations as China is becoming they are easy prey to flurries of conventional and .2kt nuclear tipped cruise missile (of any velocity).
Having only a Heavy Tank and Medium IFV (Bradley) and wheeled CrapMobiles is almost as bad as having no Armored Force at all. The M1s use more fuel in a day than the 10 some thousand Medium Tanks they sold or dropped in the ocean use in 3 (which is why you see no M1s in Afganistan while the place has vast areas of beautiful tank country.
Our Generals are simply doing things the wrong way for the wrong reasons.
>>> Do we really need 11 Carrier Strike Groups for another 30 years, Gates asked, when no other country has more than one?
The answer obviously depends on how quickly and easily they can be sunk. I’m less concerned about such things as the Chinese “super” carrier killer missile, that hasn’t even been tested and the press calls it a war-winner anyway. But moreso things like swarms of small cheap kamikaze drones that can overwhelm the carrier defense by sheer numbers. Unless something like the laser defense can be made to work and deployed in depth, the day of the carrier is over. Although we probably wouldn’t admit it until the Nimitz is on the bottom.
The angst over the closing of one command HQ is grossly overblown. We have more admirals and staff officers now then we had in WW2, but overseeing a military one eighth the size. They have range to spread the load.
My biggest concern with any potential defense cuts*, is that it will lead to a reduced readiness of the remaining forces. That is, I fear some of the cost-saving measures will take the form of reduced time at sea/training in the field, shortages of spare parts, delayed repair and maintenance, and so on.
The more one sweats in peace...
*Aside from the fact that Obama will just blow any potential ‘savings’ on some new spending program, of course.
Medium tanks cost almost as much as a main battle tank, but they blow up *real* good when facing antiarmor devices (which are almost invariably designed to kill heavies. They also do not do well at all in stand-up fights against even a TOW carrier APC.
Medium tanks no longer make financial sense.
Do we really need 11 Carrier Strike Groups for another 30 years, Gates asked,
Yes, Secretary Gates....if you want to be able to project U.S. military air power to all places of the planet...we do need them. UAVs will never trully replace manned aircraft. Just as air power cannot do what “boots on the ground” must do.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates... is planning to step down next year... announcing this just days after ordering the closing of the Pentagon's Joint Forces Command and the dismissal of thousands of employees at its Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters, as well as hundreds of uniformed officers who are being forced out to pasture. That's not going to engender good feelings inside the ring... On May 3, 2010... told his audience that the time had come "to re-examine and question basic assumptions" about how their beloved Navy works, "in light of evolving technologies, new threats, and budget realities" -- specifically, a federal deficit in the neighborhood of $1.5 trillion. "Do we really need 11 Carrier Strike Groups for another 30 years," Gates asked, "when no other country has more than one?" That seafaring strength is a source of pride for Navy League members, as is the United States's having a navy second to none.
The Russian T72 is a pretty frugal tank as they go and yet I don't recall very many successful armored engagements when USSR was active in their version of Vietnam. Does either the Taliban or AQ have armored forces? Tanks should only fight tanks, otherwise they will fall victim to dismounted infantry who can best use the terrain to advantage. Infantry is better supported by IFV's instead of heavy armor, which allows them to remount and bug out to a better terrain feature or to take cover under the vehicles weapons. OTOH, if I ever had to fight in a tank (I did a rare branch transfer to armor from infantry late in my reserve career) I'd ONLY want an M1A2 Abrams. Gas hog or not, it's still the best tank on the battlefield.
Think the squids are up in arms over a Gates RIF? Wait till Uncle Sam's Misguided Children get wind that Gates and OBOZO are plotting their literal DEMISE. The feeling is the the USMC is an answer to a question no longer being asked. Just wait.
USMC will always be vulnerable to that "feeling". From a beancounter's or pacifist's POV, it's hard to argue that USMC does anything that USA, USAF, or USN can't do. The same argument can be made against NavAir, although it's a bit more of a stretch.
I disagree STRONGLY with that POV.
But I'm neither a beancounter nor a pacifist.