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11 January 2012


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Charles I

I'm more skeptical that the savings from land forces drawdown will result in the global savings forecasted than whether it will in fact occur per planning.


Charles I

"I'm more skeptical that the savings from land forces drawdown will result in the global savings forecasted"

Why? Expendituures will certainly be less. pl

Will Reks

Is the Pentagon receiving any pushback on the Defense Business Board's recommendation to end defined pension plans? I read that they expect to save $150 billion by doing this but I don't know if that is a per year cost.


Wil Reks

First of all, retired military MEMBERS do not receive pensions. They receive retired pay, a reduction in pay that nevertheless reflects their continuing status as members of the armed forces rather than employees. That relationship is very important to all those for whom soldiering is not just a f-----g job.

The Defense Business Board is just another of many advisory boards manned by people who don't know a damned thing about the profession of arms.

Nobody cares what they recommend. This issue will be fought out as a political issue and not on the basis of the musings of people who were likely to have been Bain Capital investors. pl


Hi Pat,
This process was a trimester at the Naval War College back in the day. As I recall, the overall grand strategy was pretty good whereas the treatment of specific programs,equipment procurement and manpower levels was weaker and not well connected to the grand strategy. The specific procurement practical exercises were so obscure and confused as to be mostly a waste of time. Hopeful the trimester has become more useful. The intense Navy vs Marine infighting provided comic relief for rest of us (Army, Air Force, Coast Guard civilians and foreign officers).



And I spent at least a month, maybe two on the same thing at USAWC. We didn't have the Navy/USMC thing. We were just concerned about not getting behind in all those d----d documents. pat

Charles I

I mean for the entire DOD, not just the land forces, because the tech just gets more complex and more expensive, and your legislators are not capable of ensuring actual savings forces wide given that imperative, as well as that of the pork barrel. They will buy new gadgets that swallow money the way the Osprey swallows fish.

Sadly, I see the Marines are in the news tonight apparently for peeing on the dead.


Col. -

I echo Charles I's comment. There are always plenty of new (and expensive) technological toys and a huge push from Congress to buy them.


HankP and Charles!

Yes, of course there will be a lot of equipment bought. That is a good thing. Smaller forces will require a constant qualitative edge. What you are underestimating is the huge, huge cost of the massive numbers of career people involved in our present sized conventional forces. pl



"I see the Marines are in the news tonight apparently for peeing on the dead." The marines like to say that they are not "soldiers." Good. pl

steve g

So much for Hearts and Minds theory.
It doesnt seem to matter who the trigger
pullers are, in this case the foreskin
pullers, after ten years and multiple de-
ployments the romanticism of war and all
that might entail has left the battlefield.
To desecrate the vanquished is a pecuilarly
despicable act. Hopefully, all will be
punished. Especially stupid in the era
of youtube and instant disemination.

As downsizing occurs stricter psychological
profiling should weed out the unfit. The latest
example of the Iraq vet who murdered the park
ranger a clear example.

Attended a funeral for a VN Vet soldier friend
last night. He lost the battle with his demons
thru alcohol and drug abuse at age 60. The local
VN Vet chapter stood honor guard outside the fun-
eral home. Eight to ten holding flags while at
ridgid attention despite windchills near zero.
A more fitting post on youtube.

Charles I

I'm misundersestimating the ability of your politicians to not spend that money on something else.

Charles I

Shame they don't have the leadership not to do it, nevermind the wits not to film it.

As I thought about this, Vietnam, hot blood etc,and a recent Toronto Star interview with your top Iraqi kill sniper in which he rued not killing more of the "savages" he correctly pointed out were trying to kill him, your attitude crossed my mind.

Can't imagine you or your like pissing on the dead no matter how fervently you defended your fellows.

I'd guess now its more carefree and gratifying for some to piss on an enemy noncombatant or insurgent or savage than a regular enemy soldier back in the day.

Byron Raum

I am speaking as a layman who doesn't understand a lot of this but I also don't believe it.

My belief is this: soldiers are being laid off because they are the only "expense" that has no lobbyists. If we were going to save any real money on this, it could only be after months of being deafened by howls of protest about how Obama is leaving us defenseless against the Muslim hordes.

The simple fact that Obama hasn't been called a traitor over this leads me to think he's not doing anything real.


Byron Raum

Soldiers are not being laid off. Accessions will be decreased and the shrinkage in the force will occur by attrition from service, retirement, end of term, illness, etc. You are right you don't understand it. pl



In spite of what some people think I neever saw anything like this nor did I ever hear of anyone desecrating enemt dead in VN. If you want to tell me it happened you will have to prove it. In fact we tended to respect the NVA and regular VC as worthy opponents. The point about leadership is apt. Incidents like this can only happen in a command environment in which it is encouraged. pl



"I'm misundersestimating the ability of your politicians to not spend that money on something else. " Sure but that has nothing to do with the armed forces or OSD. pl

Charles I

Thank you for making me distinguish the two.

Charles I

more on doodads and budgeting from the horse's, er, mouth:

Poland Set to Receive U.S. Missile Interceptors Amid Budget Cuts: Senator


Jan. 12, 2012

Budget restrictions at the U.S. Defense Department and a vehement Russian posture are not expected to stop the United States from deploying ballistic missile interceptors in Poland, Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said on Thursday during a trip to Warsaw (see GSN, Sept. 16, 2011).

Washington intends to field 24 Standard Missile 3 interceptors close to Poland's border with Russia under the Obama administration's program to establish a European missile shield, the Wall Street Journal reported. The "phased adaptive approach" replaced a Bush administration effort that would have fielded 10 long-range missile interceptors in the Eastern European state.

The United States says the weapons are needed to counter a developing ballistic missile threat from Iran. The Pentagon, though, is now faced with cutting at least $450 billion in spending over the next decade.

“Indications are that despite defense cutbacks, we’re going to maintain the commitment to build the Polish missile-defense system, and that is because the threat from Iran is growing, it’s clear that Iran’s nuclear programs are accelerating,” Mark Kirk said to journalists.


Carl O.

"The recent released budget guidance was the product of previous cycles of the PPBS "machine." "

That must explain why it looks so much like the Cheney/Rumsfeld strategy of 2002.



Yup. The distortions produced by 9/11 and the COIN wars have been eliminated. pl

Adam L Silverman

Russ and COL Lang,

We have an entire core course devoted to this type of thing. Its Defense Enterprise Management (DEM) and is taught by the Department of Command Leadership and Management (DCLM). And there are also several electives offered every year that deal with different portions of this subject matter.

Charles I

Bottom Line from POTUS - Leaner forces but "BUDGET WILL CONTINUE TO GROW"

"I think it’s important for all Americans to remember, over the past 10 years, since 9/11, our defense budget grew at an extraordinary pace. Over the next 10 years, the growth in the defense budget will slow, but the fact of the matter is this: It will still grow, because we have global responsibilities that demand our leadership. In fact, the defense budget will still be larger than it was toward the end of the Bush administration"


Thanks to FB pointing me to this via Tomgram, found here;



Charles I and FB Ali

If the new strategy does not ultimately result in savings in absolute numbers that will be because the ground force reductions are not large enough. If he keeps ground forces nearly this large then this is an indication that Obama has not really given up past foreign policy. pl

Charles I

He was gonna give up on a lot of things.

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