Unilateral disarmament

Obama wants it for the nation. If this report is true, and it happens because it’s more than just a stupidly stupid budget-battle bargaining chip, Obama wants to eliminate the Tomahawk and Hellfire missile programs. And what’s he plan to replace it with? A plan for a missile that likely won’t be ready for another decade…. Urk?

I think the guy is both a fool AND actively trying to destroy the nation. This isn’t just anti-hawkish, or dovish, it’s an invitation to a serious mauling of our allies. I cannot fathom the idiocy of anyone still retaining an “Obama-Biden” bumper-sticker on their car.


52 thoughts on “Unilateral disarmament

  1. I don’t know. In all fairness, this sort of depends on how many of these things we have sitting in reserve right now. If it is reasonable to assume that we’ve got a decade’s worth of backlog sitting in warehouses somewhere, and that by the time we use them all up, that the new system will be online…

    I guess that’s not completely horrible. Consider the fact that if the SHTF we can always gear back up if we need to.

    • “Nearly 100 of these missiles are used each year on average, meaning that the sharp cuts will cause the Tomahawk stock to be completely depleted by around 2018. This is particularly concerning to defense experts because the Pentagon does not have a replacement missile ready to take the Tomahawk’s place.”

      From here.

    • Gear back up? Seriously?

      Oh man, I need to catch my breath on that one. Haha… yeah, gear… oh man…

      If we don’t have the will to produce them anymore, what makes you think we’ll have the will to retool the factories and pull out the documentation and still have the brain power to put the process back into working order?

      • Yes. Gear back up. The amazing thing about capitalism. Ask and ye shall receive. If demand fires back up prior to a viable replacement coming back online, someone will step up to fill it. What time in our history has this not happened?

        • Try reading Freedom’s Forge and get a better feel for how long it takes to ramp up production. Then consider that things today are much more complicated to manufacture, have parts sourced all over teh world, and in a REAL war high tech sabotage and ICBMs might complicate things more than a little. “ramping back up” sounds easy, but given today’s focus on safety rather than getting things done, it would be ugly.

          • You speak in theory. i speak in history.

            When the chips are down, ramping up has never been a problem.

            Our military before both world wars was historically small and weak.

            It took no time at all for our military machine to dwarf the largest of them, and all the while, we were supplying the other guys, too.

            I have the utmost confidence that if it were necessary, we could ramp up in no time flat, with the added benefit of spending less money on missiles we might not need, that you yourself said have a short shelf life, and also denying the leftist presidents a “push button” method to delivery diplomacy at the end of an explosion.

            I see it as a win-win, myself.

            This idea that we need the standing military that we have now, that outnumbers the largest militaries on earth by factors of ten to one (look at our numbers vs Russias, for instance) is a relic of Cold War thinking and it needs to go away.

            We have ore aircraft carriers patrolling the Earth right now than all other nations combined. I think we can consider backing off a bit now.

          • Goober,

            We simply do not have the heavy industrial capacity to “ramp up quickly”. Not with current systems.

            It was a little different when the majority of combat forces were dismounted infantry without organic heavy weapons or electronics.

          • Yes, but why would you want to ramp up current systems?
            I’m with Goober. The debate reminds me a bit of the absurd claim that we couldn’t return to the moon in 10 years “no matter what the effort” — in spite of the fact that it was done once before, in less time than that, developing everything from scratch. (That’s not to say it could be done with NASA running the project — but it clearly could be done with the right people in charge.)

          • There is one set of machines to build M1A tanks right now in the USA, in one plant in Akron. We can’t just “repurpose a Ford Focus assembly line” to make more, we have to get the materials, to build the tools, to build the machines. We have to source more of the components of Chobham armor, they don’t just use re-purposed sheet steel.

            There are a dozen or so qualified welders for the hulls of our subs in one shipyard in the US, machines can’t do the job. There is a real concern that if we stop building subs they will lose those skills. We certainly can’t just draft a local HVAC guy and open another welding yard.

            This isn’t 1941 technology nor is the situation on the ground anywhere near comparable. Too much of the stuff modern weapons need isn’t even available in the US, we’d have to build entire mines to get the rare earth metals we need, then build the facilities to refine them to a usable state and only then could we start assembling them into weapons in the brand new factories we’d have to build and tool from the ground up.

            The US would probably be fine behind the moats of the Pacific and Atlantic, but in the face of a large conventional conflict we’d be writing off our allies in the meantime, unless we went to nukes.

    • They are not like mil-surp .30-06 ammo which is already 40 years old and that’ll still be good fifty years from now. They have a much shorter shelf-life. Years, not decades. Supplies are already lower than they should be. cutting production by 2017 is stupidity on a Hank Johnson level. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cesSRfXqS1Q

    • There is only one plant in the US that has the capability to make M1A tanks. It is on skeleton crews doing repair and refit work and takes re-appropriations for even that every time budget cuts come up. Most other weapons systems are in similar straights. Our steel and critical resources now come mostly from overseas.

      We’d be hard pressed to re-industrialize for a real war as we’d have to start over essentially from “find domestic sources for rare earth minerals and start digging holes for them.” We’d have to build the tools to build the tools to re-industrialize. Cutting a program prior to a viable replacement is not a sound defense decision.

      • But it is a sound decision if you’re a traitor whose goal is to render a nation you despise defenseless so that your Marxist/Fascist/Islamist allies can destroy it.
        Barack’s “fundamental transformation” is the ONLY promise he’s keeping … It’s a pity that the dolts who bought all of his vague, feel good hype didn’t get it that what he wanted to transform it into was a militarily and economically neutered land of meek, defenseless sheep who could readily be controlled by his allies for the purpose of eliminating their rights (and eventually their very existence, a la Hitler’s “final, solution”) so his oligarchical masters could proceed unimpeded with appropriating their former wealth and resources.
        Different decade, different country, same program, same result – unless there are sufficient numbers of People of character and courage with the will to resist.
        We are living near the culmination of yet another iteration of the ancient Chinese curse/blessing “May you live in interesting times.”
        It’s going to be interesting indeed to see how things play out when they make their ultimate miscalculation … The one that finally crosses the line and prompts the “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take this any longer!” response.
        They say that those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. That’s encouraging in a way, as it applies to our current batch of oligarchical tyrants, because the most unpleasant, tyrannical episodes in history always seem to end up, after some spurts and sputters and a lot of innocents murdered, with the remaining decent people rising up, fighting to regain their freedom, and putting the train back on the tracks. For the tyrants, it doesn’t work out so well at all, unless you consider being killed for your crimes against humanity and liberty to be an acceptable outcome.
        This always seems to happen because tyrants have as one of their many mental flaws, the delusion that they are omnipotent, while those who ultimately defeat and execute them are not themselves omnipotent, but have the only omnipotent in the universe on their side and guiding them.

  2. Goober — we DON’T have all that many sitting around, they DO go bad sitting in storage, and, ESPECIALLY, Tomahawks are the Go To system for Democrat presidents to show how tough and serious they are without actually committing troops to harm’s way. . .

  3. Without the Hellfire missile, what is the Apache helicopter supposed to use? Harsh language?

    (Yes, it has a chain gun. Which would you rather try to destroy a tank with, the chain gun or a Hellfire missile?)

    • Well, there’s the Hydra rocket pods… if they still let them use them

    • In theory the Joing Air to Ground missile is supposed to have Initial Operational Capability in 2016. That’s never guaranteed but the vast majority of the tech going into it is pretty mature. In essence, stopping Hellfire procurement is pushing the Navy/USMC back into the JAGM program that they dropped out of in 2012….

    • What fucking tanks are you planning on needing to destroy in the next ten years?

      Think about what you’re saying. You’re railing against the fact that we don’t have any anti-zeppelin defenses right now.

      We’re not going to war against a mechanized enemy any time in the near future. If we do, I’m certain we’ll find a way to make more missiles at that point.

      • It’s a matter of timing. If you need six months to respond, the damage is done and you can’t undo it.

          • The only good one for use from platforms that were SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED AROUND THEM.

            Hellfire was introduced because of serious limitations with TOW. The TOW limitations aren’t AS bad when you’re looking at using it from the ground, but they have significant issues from aircraft.

            Designing NEW platforms that would use (as yet undeveloped) replacement missiles is much more expensive, will takje longer, and will leave a long period of vulnerability between when we no longer have enough Hellfires but we still don’t have enough of the new stuff.

      • Goober,

        Unless you have a crystal ball that says with 100% certainty we WON’T be going to war with any nation that has a reasonable armored force within the next ten years, this is a mind-stoppingly STUPID idea.

        Nobody believed we would go to war with Germany in 1912 or 1936. Nobody believed we would be going to war against Communist forces in Korea in 1945. Nobody thought we would be invading Iraq in 1997 (even though the Clinton Administration had “regieme change in Iraq” as an official policy and was regularly bombing Iraq). Nobody really thought we would be going to war with Britain in 1807, France in 1793, Spain in 1893, etc.

        Military preparedness means being ready to deal with the WORST PLAUSIBLE THREAT. A land war in Korea or with Russia is NOT off the table. EITHER of those would require far more in Hellfire and Tomahawk stocks IN THE OPENING WEEKS than we even have right now.

  4. Obama/Biden bumper stickers are very useful.

    After interviewing someone for a job, walk them to their car.

    An Obama/Biden 2008 bumper sticker means they’ll underestimate costs and overestimate gains when a project appeals to them on an emotional level.

    An Obama/Biden 2012 bumper sticker means that, in spite of all evidence available, they’ll double down on on anything they’re emotionally invested in.

    If you have any jobs where these predispositions can be controlled and kept from causing damage, you may hire them, but have the HR department on standby for snivelly butthurt.

  5. If the history of the Sidewinder missile is any guide, complex weapons systems need a continuing R&D effort to improve their capabilities and ease of use. Expanding the operational envelope, as you will. Stopping these programs will freeze these weapons at a certain level while the other militarys’ weapons get better. Way better.

    • Perhaps. But if you don’t yet have even a preliminary functional prototype replacement system, halting current production at a time when you expect stockpiles to be depleted before you have an operational replacement leaves a major gap. A HUGE gap. A deadly gap. I’m all for upgrades and improvements, but not abandonment of good existing systems for some future vaporware.

      • “I’m all for upgrades and improvements, but not abandonment of good existing systems for some future vaporware.”

        This seems to be how liberals view technology overall, judging from patterns related to our energy production means.

        • But vaporware is so Greeeeeeeeeen! It’s non-polluting, especially compared to today’s cutting edge technology.

      • I’m sure the Poles and the Japanese, allies with whom we have defense treaties, among others, will take your military assessments of current Russian and Chinese capabilities under advisement.

        I’m as knee-jerk isolationist as the next guy, but walking away from treaties and abandoning allies is not principled behavior. Until we repudiate our treaties we have a moral obligation to maintain the capability to fulfill them.

        • Who said anything about walking away from treaties?

          The point I’m trying to make is that we won’t NEED to walk away from treaties. Our armed forces outnumber both of those countries in every meaningful metric on a scale of ten to one (except China has more cannon fodder than we do but so what?)

          Russia or China would have to be stark raving mad to pick a fight with us right now, with or without Hellfire missiles. There is NO WAY we are going to be called to defend any NATO treaty states in the next decade. None. It will not happen. Print this out, hang it on your wall, and in ten years, if I’m wrong, you can na-na-na-boo-boo me all you want, but I’m not, and I won’t be.

          • Goober, We are low on war stocks of *everything*. “Our army is bigger” is meaningless if we show up without ordnance. Tomahawks and Hellfires, hell even 500 lb dumb bombs, don’t grow on trees. They have to be built and that takes time and money. Their electronics have to be continually tweaked against new counter-measures.

            This isn’t 1943 with 1943 tech. We can’t just “American know-how” our way into abundance on military hardware. To cancel funding before we’ve even replaced what we’ve used the past decade is suicide.

          • You are making a very fundamental mistake. You think a side loses when it loses it’s ability to fight effectively. That is not true. A side loses when it loses the will to keep fighting. Obama has shown himself to be a spineless coward, and Congress is backing him to the hilt on that. All the nukes, carrier groups, and battalions are totally negated by that simple fact. It isn’t ability, it’s will. And Putin, the Chinese, the Middle East, and all the tyrants of the world are realizing this.

          • Matthew Carberry;

            We are low on stocks of everything by American military standards. We still have more than anyone else. By a pretty large factor.

            Right now is not the time to be spending money on bombs and missiles. Right now is the time to be letting people keep that money so that they can put it to better use than building a missile with a very short, finite life that is going to waste away on the shelf in a hangar somewhere.

        • Japan is broke, demographically crashing, and broke. They’d put up a good fight, no doubt, against the Chinese, but they’d be hurt BADLY if they survived. Poles are good people, but their military is only in slightly better shape than the Russian from what I know of it. They’d be outnumbered badly. It’d be an ugly, short, brutal war if they got into it with Russia, even with out help.
          And what gives you the idea that anyone currently residing in or near DC has any principles other than getting re-elected and lining their own pockets?

    • With what country are we currently locked in a no holds barred arms race? Who’s going to leave us behind again?

  6. Why is it that I keep checking to see if it’s April 1st?
    First it was British hospitals burning aborted infants for heat.
    Then it was amputation as intimidation.
    Now this?

    The Onion should just fold. It can’t compete with reality.

  7. In all fairness, would President Rand Paul or President
    Ted Cruz put money in this?

    • I’m sure they’d like cutbacks. But this is like saying we’ll keep the troops and rifles, but stop buying ammo. An attack helo without Hellfires is seriously reduced in capability. An Apache can carry 16 of them. with the AF plans to shelve the A-10, our other primary close ground support aircraft, this plan is straight out of The Onion in it’s level of absurdity. A ballistic missile sub without nukes is as stupid as an attack sub without tomahawks.
      I’ve been a mil-tech geek since I could look at pictures of tanks in books in early grade-school, and I’ve been in the Army. Trust me, any sane person trying to reduce expenses would not do this, or even suggest it, because the price numbers are far too small. Someone trying to cripple our military, and given the timeline it would be just in time for the next president to deal with it, it’s exactly the sort of proposal they would pursue.

      • Interesting you would put it that way. I’ve held the opinion that the Democrats will run a ‘dummy’ candidate in 2016, letting Republicans take the White House, and then letting the blame for various Obama idiocies fall on them rather than any anointed Dem.

        Risky, for obvious reasons. I suppose it will depend on how the upcoming Congresscritter election cycle pans out.

        • I think that was Obama’s plan for ObamaCare, but he thought that it wouldn’t implode on day one, but it would at least sort of get rolling, but the problems would be message-manageable before then, for exactly that reason, then they could blame the Rs as being incompetent managers. They hoped to claim the glory of a magnificent roll-out, then blame the failure (because of structural problems) on R management with the Media’s willing help. That plan got changed, though, because of their own incompetence.

      • Of course … See my comment above.
        It’s planned “you’re caught with your pants down and you’re fucked.” (Also known as subtle treason, but treason none the less.)

    • Yup. RON Paul might not — but RAND Paul and Ted Criz both understand that isolationism is not viable — nor is it a binary choice between “aggressive global interventionalism” and 1880’s style isolationism.

      They might well reduce funding from what military leaders in the Pentagon (as opposed to political appointees in the Pentagon) want, but cancelling proven weapons systems when stocks are as low as they are, and before replacement system stocks have been brought up to reasonable levels is a wholly different story.

      Keep in mind, the alternative to having reasonable stocks of conventional weapons in case of a major land war (Korea, defence of NATO allies like Estonia against Russian invasion, etc.) is using UNconventional weapons to hold the line until “surge production” (i.e., 2-3 YEARS, minimum) catches up. Another term for unconventional weapons is “special munitions”, i.e., nukes. (And using tactical nukes against Russia to defend Romania, Poland, or the Baltics is a BAAAAAD idea.)

      What Goober and a lot of rose-colored glasses wearers of all political leanings miss is that, while we do have a large military, that’s spread out with multiple missions. _REGIONALLY_, we’d be hard pressed to achieve overall parity (in fact, in some theaters, depending on who jumps in, we CANNOT achieve overall parity — the high quality threats are too close to their logistics bases, too far from ours).

      Here’s an example — IN PEACETIME (ZERO combat operations anywhere involving carrier air wings) and with no natural disaster reflief operations or “potential” hotspots we need to keep station on or near, it takes three carrier battlegroups to maintai9n a presense on ONE region. That’s assuming no major ships have engineering failures, run into a whale, are stuck in refit or RCOH (nuke refueling), etc. One on station, one training up and preparing to relieve that CVBG _on_station_ (not both CVBGs pass each other halfway), and one standing down and repairing the damage and wear from their deployment, sending personnel off to get long duration training, etc. And that includes every single componant of the CVBG, including “land based” support elements. This also applies to USAF air wings, Army and Marine Corps brigades, etc. If you need to have forces deployed forward FOR ANY REASON, you need to have 3 units for each “slot” forward deployed.

      The 82nd Airborne (with three combat brigades) stretched itself keeping ONE brigade ready to deploy from Fort Bragg BEFORE 9/11, and while no combat operations were going on!

      More realistically, it takes FOUR complete CVBGs per area of interest, to account for long duration maintenance (what we in the business call “availabilities”, because the ship is available for surveys, installations, etc. — in other words a ship that is “in availability” is wholly non-deployable). Likewise, four air wings, four brigades, etc.

      Hell, look at how FEW combat arms brigades we were able to keep in theater during the height of the war, compared to the total size of the military. And that was WITH utilizing the Reserves and National Guard on active duty more heavily than we have since WWII! And we have been, except for a handful of weeks in Iraq, in “low intensity” conflict mode the whole time!

      Right now, we don;t have what it takes to fight ONE major regional conflict without going to nukes.

  8. This fits the Leftist vision of equality perfectly. To the Left, when something is unequal, you take away from those who “have” and give to those who “have not.” Money, healthcare, “rights,” power, it doesn’t matter. The goal is not to build the “have nots” up, the goal is to tear the “haves” down. Thus, everyone has an equal share of nothing and are thus easier to rule.

    • That is because taking away, destroying, tearing down is much easy for the lazy and non-creative types that are attracted to political power.

    • I served. My dad served. My uncles served. My grandfather served. My brother-in-law served. I even had a great uncle in the Spanish-American war. Earlier service in my family is unknown to me, because I don’t know ANYTHING about them. I’m going to have a hard time supporting my (now 8-year-old) son’s decision to join should he do so.
      If the guys at the top don’t understand what that means, they have no business being at the top.

      • One Thanksgiving a while back, we were out visiting my parents. My father served until retirement in the Navy, and currently works at a facility that is staffed almost exclusively with fellow “retirees” and veterans, often some that he worked with when we lived there before. They asked what I was doing at the time, and what I had done before, and I talked about how I was working in the civilian world after bailing out on the Navy after my contracted four years.

        To a man – and these were retired senior officers, senior enlisted personnel, and so forth – the response was, more or less, “You did the right thing.”

        I have to admit; that was a damned sobering experience.

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