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16 February 2013


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Edward Amame

Not to worry. Sequestration cannot happen. If it does, Kerry warns that foreign assistance to Israel will be cut.


Off we go into the wild blue yonder..flying high into the sky. ....


"IMO the US Navy and USAF will be the "favored children" in this new world."

That is why they invented the Air-Sea-Battle marketing ploy and are trying to propagandize China as an enemy. Funny how that nonsense worked.

The army was expanded over the Bush years and two wars and it is totally natural that it shrinks as those land operations end. Those sequester cry-babies will of course not mention that.



No, The Army and USMC will be cut further to maintain our level of charitable giving to Israel. pl



"Those sequester cry-babies will of course not mention that." If you mean that the Army is "crying" I have not seen that so far. pl

Alba Etie

Col Lang
Little bit off topic - but I still think Senator Hagel is confirmed for Secretary Of Defense next week . Any thoughts ?


China now says it intends to control the Western Pacific. That has Japan and Australia worried. If the US navy and airforce isn't around then Japan and Australia will need nuclear arms....which we are quite capable of developing.

If further impetus is required, Two Russian Bears sniffed around Guam recently.



This is nothing more than budgetary fear mongering.

They always start out by singling out parts that people would find most appalling to cut. In local government, it's always cuts to parks, police, and schools that get hyped.

The areas most deserving cuts--useless nuclear subs, redundant aircraft carrier battle groups or dangerous-to-fly F22s--don't get targeted.

It's all PR, smoke and mirrors by seasoned budget warriors.

Clifford Kiracofe

Yes this seems a realistic assessment. We just shot our bolt to the tune of an estimated $5 trillion (by 2020) in the unnecessary Iraq and Afghan wars.

Seems to me that force structure should relate to a realistic assessment of threat and realistic national strategy. This has not been the case. We have had anything goes and a blank check from Congress.

Yes, now "scenarios" and threat assessments, most unrelated to reality, will be generated to justify the favored whiney spoiled brats.

With less hardware and troops to coerce the world, serious diplomacy would seem warranted. But the US doesn't "do" diplomacy any more, just bombs and drones.

Medicine Man

While I will let wiser minds than me evaluate what this means for US military readiness, it seems to me there is a decided upside to this reduction if it decisively moves the political elite away from grand military adventurism.

Col., do you think these cuts will result in a re-alignment of US military commitments or will the establishment just try to do more with less?

Cold War Zoomie

And I was thinking that the USAF should be folded back into the US Army now that the Cold War is over - back to the Army Air Corps days.

I really don't understand why it's still a separate branch.



My predictions is that when the contractors' money stops flowing the pressure on Congress will be sufficient to restore funding to the DOD but apparently with a much smaller Army and even less contract oversight.

With Walmart hurting because its customers are broke, the question is how much longer the aggregation of wealth by the few from the many can continue.


The impact of sequestration has been felt for months in the defense R&D community and in counter terrorism venues. The situation is indeed evolving into a very bleak one. Even if the situation improves this summer, the down drop that will occur in a few weeks will have done its damage to smaller private companies. Congress and the President know this and simply took a vacation this coming week to be out of town as the train wreck happens.


Such a possible restructuring of forces reminds me of Rumsfeld's wishes in 2000. Brought there by a different train, but interesting how we end up at the same depot.



"...do you think these cuts will result in a re-alignment of US military commitments or will the establishment just try to do more with less?"

Based on long experience I would say that initially the attempt will be made to do more with less and then reality will set in. pl


Here is a new Congressional Research Service report on A Historical Perspective on “Hollow Forces”

The DoD simply has to set its priorities correct to manage the force. Soldier's pay has in recent years outpaced inflation and some weapon system nonsense (blimps!) has seen lots of money even when it was obvious that it would never work (there is this phenomenon called "wind").

Neil Richardson

Prof. Kiracofe:

I think this has started already. Gen. Thurman (CFC/USFK) requested augmentation three months ago (artillery and infantry). Odierno has confirmed that it's been under consideration. Immediately after the DPRK missile test three weeks ago, Thurman stated that US forces in Korea are in a period of "high vulnerability." With all due respect to Gen. Thurman, when was the last time they weren't in a period of high vulnerability? Just about the only smart thing that Rumsfeld did was to negotiate for the redeployment of 2ID to Pyeungtaek. Now USFK is trying to undo this while claiming that force protection requires additional units.

Neil Richardson

"Such a possible restructuring of forces reminds me of Rumsfeld's wishes in 2000. Brought there by a different train, but interesting how we end up at the same depot."

Geography dicates our defense requirements. This isn't new by any stretch of imagination. After the Civil War, the Army shrunk to about 27,000 (from over a million). The Navy fared much better as the United States has been a maritime nation since its birth. (e.g., the naval expansion and the Great White Fleet) After WWI, the Army topped out around 2 million. By 1921, the Regular Army end strength was 125,000. By the end of WWII, the Army and USAAF end strength was around 8.2 million. By 1948 it was around 554,000. For the most part the Army had been gutted at the time of the Korean War as the dawn of a nuclear age prompted many to consider conventional warfare an anachronism. In the years after the Korean War, the Army once again went through a reduction in force from 1954 to 1961. From 1969 to 1975 the Army had another RIF which decreased the end strength from about 1.5 mil to 780,000.

The Pacific and the Atlantic affords us unmatched level of security even in the missile age. That is why the Air Force and the Navy will always be given priority whenever the United States reduces its defense budget.


the Col wrote..."Basically, this will mean the end of an era of hegemonism in US political thinking". I'll bet the farm you are wrong on that. We will get--for a very long time-- the absolute worst of both worlds, before the "reality" you spoke of pierces the 'virtual Iron Dome' in elites' thinking and mindset.

João Carlos

Walrus, the US navy and airforce cannot do anything if China decides to control Western Pacific. And nuclear weapons will not help Australia (that needs China for sell their commodities) and Japan (that when China get Tawain back will not have supply routes for get the oil they need and that need China's rare metals for mantain their thecnology industry runing - yes, the chinese commies have a strategy). Both Japan and Australia economies are caput when China decides it...

And just an advice for any try to solve this problem with the military: China have ballistic missiles that can sink carriers and there are no defense against that (yes, that chinese commies have a plan...).

I really think that if the sequester comes (I don't think it will come) it is the end of US hegemony. But maybe be a more peacefull way to end the US hegemony. Lose a war against China can be a lot worse.

Well, living and learning to live. It is not the first time an empire falls. What was the last one? Britain?


You left out the V22 Osprey; and maybe this time Obama can actually close Gitmo.


As dismal as the results from this sequester will be, the political process that brought it is worse and a whole lot more dangerous to the future of the nation.

Charles I

Let us pray the vets don't get BOHICA'ed.



"...the US navy and airforce cannot do anything if China decides to control Western Pacific"

Do you really believe that? You believe the US Navy and USAF would be impotent against against China. That is ludicrous. pl


Today the paper mentioned elective benefits to Tricare will be cut. Government makes sure the public feels the cuts before they start trimming the fat. Local government is the same. They cut firemen, policman and teachers before reducing their useless managers.

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