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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The US can't afford the neoclowns

The US military simply doesn't have the ability to fight low-intensity wars in the Middle East anymore, let alone engage in a three-front war against Russia, China, and Iran.
The US fleet has not been in a war since 1945, the air forces since 1975. nor the Army in a hard fight since Vietnam. Bombing defenseless peasants, the chief function of the American military, is not war.

In extended periods of peace, which includes the bombing of peasants, a military tends to assume that no major war will come during the careers of those now in uniform. Commanders consequently do what makes their lives easy, what they must do to get through the day and have reasonable fitness reports. This does not include pointing out inadequacies of training or equipment. Nor does it include recommending large expenditures to remedy deficiencies. Nor does it include recommending very expensive mobilization exercises that would divert money from new weapons.

Thus an armored command has enough replacement tracks for training, but not enough for tanks in hard use in extended combat. When the crunch comes, it turns out that getting more track requires a new contract with the manufacturer, who has shut down the production line. The same is true for air filters, there not being much sand at Fort Campbell but a lot in Iraq. Things as mundane as MRATs and boots are not there.in real-war quantities.

GAU-8 ammo is in short supply because theory says the F-35 will do tank busting. The Navy runs out of TLAMs early on and discovers that manufacturing cruise missiles takes time. Lots of it.

And of course some things simply don’t work as expected. Military history buffs will remember the Mark XIV torpedo, the Mark VI exploder of WWII, and the travails of the Tinosa.
This may explain why Netanyahu backed down rather than invade Lebanon after Hezbollah sent clear signals that it would fight rather than retreat. And why the Mad Mustache's services are no longer required by the White House.

Labels:

117 Comments:

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 11, 2019 8:56 AM  

Good article, in jest because I am a smart ass I would say 'Murka cannot lose, we have Max Boot as our defense intellectual, but in reality that makes a loss a gimmee for the bettors. The B-1 is a favorite in Afghanistan according to First Sgt over at the Max Velocity forum, the insurgents even call it "The Master", since it has good loitering time and can fly across the country fast to support who ever needs support. On the other hand there are 61 of them and they are being run ragged so Fred is right. If Bob Dornan "B-1 Bob" could see his plane now being used to cow the rusty AK crowd he would be proud.

Blogger Dave Dave September 11, 2019 8:56 AM  

Shrink the military to a size that is sustainable for self defense. America's time in the sun is up. In the mean time, Shinzo Abe is trying to remilitarise Japan to deal with the China threat.

Blogger ZhukovG September 11, 2019 8:58 AM  

Though he is a little too in love with Mexico and myopic about the GE, I believe his assessment of the US military's current capabilities is largely correct.

We have a few good units and a few good officers. Not nearly enough to fight a war against Russia, China or even Iran.

Let's also consider that the destruction of the United States/Russia/China/Iran may be part of the NeoCon/Trotskyist plan. Powerful countries make a global revolution for world governance complicated.

Blogger Solon September 11, 2019 9:01 AM  

@Dave Dave

"B-but bombing Muslim peasants IS self-defense!"

Also, I would hardly say America's "time in the sun is up." More like, our time of being undisputed world tyrants is up. And that's totally fine. People don't like or respect a bully.

We can still reign supreme in technology, assuming we stop importing illiterate shitskins, and we can regain supremacy of production, assuming we successfully undo decades of exporting labor to China and the third world.

We should have picked out own damn cotton.

Blogger Z MAlfoy September 11, 2019 9:02 AM  

The continued "functioning" of the DOD (and probably the rest of the US Gov't) happens because everyone working within agrees to the same polite fictions of "functionality," even though everyone who works in the DOD (military and civilians) knows that nothing actually works anymore. Our accounting and payment systems are complete messes, and no one is able to fix them.

Behind all the run down machinery, the lack of supplies, the crumbling buildings, the emptying magazines, one finds all the usual suspects: Diversity over competence, over-regulation all the way down and in every aspect of everything, and too many brass more concerned with their pensions than actually being ready for anything serious.

If we wanted to address the problems in the article above, it would have to include addressing the over regulation and stupid social programs embedded into the acquisitions and purchasing process. And need to reset recruiting back to having actual standards. But, tbh, it's probably far too late for any of that to really make a difference before it all falls apart.

Blogger Dave Dave September 11, 2019 9:04 AM  

@3. Russia, China and Iran will not be destroyed. They have strong cultures. America will be destroyed because it has a weak culture. Take a look at demographics. Russia, China and Iran are overwhelmingly filled with Russians, Chinese and Iranians. America is filled with cross-breed Europeans, Mexicans, Jews, Black Americans, Arabs, Indians and a persistently increasing Asian population. The fall of America is inevitable and it is to the benefit of the other world powers, not to globohomo.

Blogger Dave Dave September 11, 2019 9:06 AM  

@4. The British Empire has been dead since 1940. The "United" Kingdom is around, but not the empire. America as a nation (or several nations) will continue to exist, but America as an empire will be pronounced dead within the next few years, or whenever the next significant military failure occurs.

Blogger VD September 11, 2019 9:10 AM  

We can still reign supreme in technology, assuming we stop importing illiterate shitskins, and we can regain supremacy of production, assuming we successfully undo decades of exporting labor to China and the third world.

We won't. Because we won't.

Blogger Dave Dave September 11, 2019 9:10 AM  

@4. "We can still reign supreme in technology"
No, you can't. Your technological power came from your booming economy. As far as innovation goes, you cannot compete with Germany or Japan. The American work ethic is far too lax to be able to make life-changing ideas when the economy is doing poorly. Germany has always picked itself back up whenever it has been knocked down, and the Japs are maniacs that can't stop working. America doesn't have the mindset to innovate any more.

Blogger Brett baker September 11, 2019 9:11 AM  

What happens if we can rebuild our defense industrial infrastructure? Could we build most of our electronics here, and at least have a capacity to ramp up in time of war?

Blogger Purge187 September 11, 2019 9:21 AM  

John Doltin' being shown to the door is a good first step.

Blogger Ledford Ledford September 11, 2019 9:23 AM  

If it ever turns out our atom bombs don't work anymore, we are in serious trouble.

There may be no greater technological change than the advent of nuclear weapons. Vast conscript armies are no longer war-winning. Does it really matter if the 1st Armored Division is any good? This changes social relations, the status and role of warriors, and the whole idea of masculine excellence. Suffering ranks higher than victory. John McCain is a hero because he was a prisoner and there's a picture of him on crutches. Who was the highest scoring ace of the Vietnam War? I couldn't tell you without a search engine.

The two trends of still-advancing technology and declining general intelligence will change international power relations, and thus social relations, but I don't know when or how.

Blogger dc.sunsets September 11, 2019 9:26 AM  

America doesn't have the mindset to innovate any more.

What a phenomenally sweeping statement about a country with 330,000,000 (or more?) people in it, not all of whom just came across the Rio Grande. Just because you don't see the innovation today doesn't mean it isn't there. As I see it, most of the heavy lifting in industrial innovation is a flat-out sprint to keep up with idiotic regulatory burdens, which are a never-ending escalator of stupid coming from government entities. There's innovation a plenty, it just is invested in keeping tractors in fields and excavators digging holes, or electricity being generated in the sticks.

Innovation exists. It occurs under the incentives extant. Those incentives in the USA are astonishingly perverse, due to corporatism high-and-low.

Given that the USA's central government is now too weak and fractured to so much as protect the borders from an invasion of migrants, it's laughable to imagine that the engine of innovation still running would be channeled to any "national purpose," including military adventures.

How many golf courses exist on Diego Garcia? I'd not be shocked to find an aircraft carrier refitted for 18 holes.

Blogger Z MAlfoy September 11, 2019 9:27 AM  

@Brett baker: "What happens if we can rebuild our defense industrial infrastructure? Could we build most of our electronics here, and at least have a capacity to ramp up in time of war?"

Nope, because that's only a small part of the problems with current military logistics, and even the logistics problems are only part of the larger, more widespread problems.

The logistics train derailed some time ago, but has been moving on inertia and pixie dust. And both of those just about run out as well.

Blogger JohnG September 11, 2019 9:49 AM  

Fairly accurate, the corruption of the officer corps has been ongoing for a while...the whole fudging women through Ranger school and SOF, trannies, etc, all being indicators. Though I would categorize Afghanistan as strategic stupidity, the Petreus/Kilcullen COIN-kumbaya approach to war strategy (which has boiled down to "the Arabs and Taliban would like you better if you weren't such a racist" in TRADOC schools now) has been a mind boggling failure. One of the reasons I was never enthusiastic about any of the generals DJT had on staff was that it was clear based on their various comments that they believed all that garbage. The officers aren't supposed to believe the lies they tell the troops.

Blogger dc.sunsets September 11, 2019 9:50 AM  

Unlimited Resources. This is the pixie dust that sprinkles everyone's dreams at night. Look at how people act. Essentially all of us behave as though life is a big staircase, and the future is an endless series of stairs climbing higher, faster and better.

What will we have in 10 years? Why, an iPhone XXX and a Galaxy T-XII, of course. And instead of waving your handheld electronic device at a reader when you pay for your Grande at Starbucks, a reader at the door will bill your account after scanning your iris. Easy-peasy. That's the future, forever.

Today, social cooperation spans the globe. Ostensible "enemies" have deep, mutually-dependent trading relationships. Chinese or Korean electronics go into US military assets. Chinese nationals work in every layer of U.S. business and government (and defense.) Pakistanis run U.S. Congressmen's information technology. Israelis provide pre-adult female companionship to the powerful (oops, this isn't an Epstein column.)

Who has yet to read "I, Pencil?" Who still does not grasp that worldwide cooperation, coordinated by no man...only by commercial relationships, is essential to producing something as bone-headed simple as a No. 2 pencil?

Who lacks the abstract cognitive ability to see that the cornucopia of gizmos we take for granted are the apex of a vast, worldwide pyramid (the structure of production) where a single missing stone means the entire pyramid becomes INERT?! No output!

Here's a real world scenario: The .mil is notorious for using increasingly ancient technology, for example, the engine and control systems in a major military vehicle. The commercial market for such things changed markedly due to regulatory (emissions) demands, so when the firm making the vehicle runs out of a necessary part, the original source NO LONGER MAKES THEM. Lest we forget, this isn't about a nut or bolt, it's about engine controllers. You just don't swap in the latest model off the shelf at NAPA auto parts. It has to go through the ENTIRE military procurement process, which takes years and years. And there's really no incentive to even do it...it's not profitable.

Multiply this times tens, even hundreds of millions of little bricks in that vast pyramid of production for all the nifty Buck Rogers crap we think makes us special. One part...and nothing moves.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 11, 2019 9:55 AM  

Well today is the one day 9/11 when conservative whites can legit scold the glorious Other, but the other 364 days belong to the Other who then scold conservative whites for transgressions against the isms, ists and phobias that rule the day.

Bold prediction time, going forward conflicts will be settled with the rifle, so get yerself some learnin there folks.

Blogger xevious2030 September 11, 2019 9:55 AM  

“Also, I would hardly say America's ‘time in the sun is up.’"

It is. Not because of tanks, or missiles, or ships. It is up because the higher ups decision makers in the military are retarded. F-ing retarded. You should hear some of the 2-shop accounts of Afghanistan and Iraq. Not even adding in the stupidity of the State Department.

S: “We only need” some small force in this area, “let’s go there.”
2: “You’d be killed.”
S: “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
2+: “2 is right, you’d be slaughtered, everyone there is enemy, you need 6-12 times the forces.”
S: “I have a contact there, we’ll be good.”
2: “Sir, they cut his f-ing head off. We could to this other thing, and it would be very successful”
2+: “That really would be a great idea, with amazing results.”
S: “You’re morons, I’m a Smart Boy.”

After enough stupidity, S is reassigned elsewhere. Not a transcript, but the general idea. S can be a variety of DoS or military brass individuals, over and over. The US can force a presence, but it’s run by retards, so the overall mission is only a continual prop up.

Blogger Lazarus September 11, 2019 9:58 AM  


For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost;
And all from the want of a horseshoe nail.


Blogger Z MAlfoy September 11, 2019 10:02 AM  

"Multiply this times tens, even hundreds of millions of little bricks in that vast pyramid of production for all the nifty Buck Rogers crap we think makes us special. One part...and nothing moves."

Yes. Exactly. I've been watching the bricks crumble in real time. It's not one or two. It's 95% of them, and the mortar between them. And every attempt to patch things only hastens the decay. This is something that can't be fixed. The causes of the entropy go back at least to the Civil War, possibly back to the Founding, if you consider the "Enlightenment" rot espoused by people like B. Franklin . . .

Blogger xevious2030 September 11, 2019 10:05 AM  

The tanks, missiles, and production issues firmly deal the deal. Plus the tons of money thrown at the problem. Time to bring them home.

Blogger Dave Dave September 11, 2019 10:07 AM  

@12. Nuclear bombs are an outdated weapon. They can destroy a small city and that's it. If the bomb is spotted before it detonates, it's a waste. All of the world powers have the technology to locate missiles. Nuclear bombs are a win-more. If you're already winning, they'll give you more destructive power. If you're losing, you can't use them. They're far too expensive to use many. Hitler may have had the best tank that was worth 5 Shermans, but America brought 10 Shermans.

@13. You're making excuses for America's failure. Your government is not "too weak to protect borders", they're actively inviting in foreigners. Regulations are not the problem. A lack of financial incentives is not the problem. You're demoralised, as was the plan of your enemies. You've lost the next war before it has even started.

Blogger Dave Dave September 11, 2019 10:13 AM  

@20. https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/residents-of-melbourne-s-australia-108-tower-complain-of-cracking-20190726-p52azy.html

The Western world cannot build anymore. Buildings are not made to last: they are made as quickly and cheaply as possible. This is the attitude we see. There's no long term thought-process, no planning beyond our lifetime, no passing on of knowledge and skills to the next generations. The US military is carried away with equality and bureaucracy that they have no clue have to handle conflict. They have one job and they can't do it for shit.

Blogger Nikolai Collushnikov September 11, 2019 10:16 AM  

If there is any upside to this, both Russia and China are even less capable of sustaining a major military conflict, especially one that would require competent trans-continental logistics. Any future conflicts will boil down to a proverbial battle between the moveable object vs the opposable force.

Blogger Dave Dave September 11, 2019 10:20 AM  

China is certainly capable of a war. They're colonising Africa, Canada and Australia. Those are very advantageous locations to hold. The upside to this is that when China becomes the dominant world power, and exports their culture like America did, globohomo will be forever extinguished. It's a lot easier to handle a low trust society than a fake high trust society. We can be confident that Russia does not want to influence the world. They want to live happily in their corner of the world.

Blogger Ken Prescott September 11, 2019 10:22 AM  

If I had been in charge on 9/11, the war would've been over on 9/12, and 9/12 would be a national holiday in honor of BUFFy the Nation Slayer.

Blogger Ledford Ledford September 11, 2019 10:28 AM  

Nuclear bombs are an outdated weapon. They can destroy a small city and that's it. If the bomb is spotted before it detonates, it's a waste. All of the world powers have the technology to locate missiles. Nuclear bombs are a win-more. If you're already winning, they'll give you more destructive power.

Many disagree: "Altogether, under one scenario contained in a joint Soviet-Hungarian planning document, the Warsaw Pact would unleash 7.5 megatons of nuclear weapons on Western targets in the opening days of a war." [from a National Interest article]

The machine gun was about fifty years old at the start of WWI, and hardly outdated. Fortunately, we've never found out how mass nuclear strikes would affect the conduct of war. They have certainly affected how we think about war and how seriously we take training, logistics, etc. We think we can afford to elevate diversity, inclusion, etc. above winning because at heart we don't believe conventional war matters.

Blogger xevious2030 September 11, 2019 10:39 AM  

"Both Russia and China are even less capable of sustaining a major military conflict"

Both will go into a high problem area, and kill everyone there. They do war. War is killing people and breaking things. The US plays games in its head. That's not war, that's Gamma.

Blogger Doktor Jeep September 11, 2019 10:40 AM  

Would be very cheap to just put troops on the border with rifles that are already paid for

Blogger Doktor Jeep September 11, 2019 10:42 AM  

What we do is go there, act like cops, then let everybody and their 100 relatives move here.

Blogger Zaklog the Great September 11, 2019 11:02 AM  

OT, but the Ilk may enjoy it nonetheless. If you want to make a cuckservative uncomfortable, ask him this question, and don’t sugar-coat it: Conservatives, how do we talk about black people?

Blogger JovianStorm September 11, 2019 11:04 AM  

Militaries are simple effectors of money
You have money, you can buy bombs and pay people to kill anyone you don't like.

So if money runs the military and the Deep State runs the money, then the Deep State already owns the military. It's not the reliable bastion of conservative values that the US thinks it is.

So the US will lose the next war but only if the chessmasters in the Deep State need it to.

Blogger James Pyrich September 11, 2019 11:09 AM  

@23 Heck, it doesn't seem that there's even planning for the next five years.

The highway between Boulder and Denver had major construction completed in the last 3 years. This summer, a sinkhole destroyed part of the road. The land underneath the failure is known for "small landslides".

I imagine that sinkholes are one of the big challenges for civil engineering. It's not my area, but it seems complicated. Maybe building a road over land known to get the wiggles from time to time isn't the wisest move. At the very least, you would have to be at the top of your game to pull it off, and we're just not anymore.

Blogger freddie_mac September 11, 2019 11:23 AM  

@23 Dave Dave
The Western world cannot build anymore. Buildings are not made to last: they are made as quickly and cheaply as possible. This is the attitude we see.

This attitude permeates western society at all levels. Consider bookcases -- how easy is it to find bookcases that are made of solid wood and not particle board? Now, how much are you prepared to pay for such a thing?

Same goes for desks, end tables, etc. The idea that furniture might be built to last for decades -- if not generations -- is now a foreign concept.

Blogger Dirk Manly September 11, 2019 11:32 AM  

@34

"Same goes for desks, end tables, etc. The idea that furniture might be built to last for decades -- if not generations -- is now a foreign concept."

This all started in the 80's, and went into overdrive by 2000.
Dare I say the B B word?

Blogger kurt9 September 11, 2019 11:35 AM  

Fred Reed hates Trump. I get that.

But he should give credit where credit is due. Trump ran on a platform of trying to get us out of these foreign entanglements that could lead to the wars that Reed opposes. Trump is still trying to get us out of this crap, which is why he fired John Bolton.

Other than his TDS, Fred Reed is 100% spot on with everything he wrote.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd September 11, 2019 11:41 AM  

Dave Dave wrote:The Western world cannot build anymore. Buildings are not made to last: they are made as quickly and cheaply as possible. This is the attitude we see.

Westerners? Or a mix of diversity and (((Westerners)))?

Americans are about the same as we were a century ago, all 200 million or so of us. The other 130 million people here are not Americans, and most not Westerners at all.

Once we jettison some of that baggage, and get the Fake Americans out of decision making roles, we can get back to building to last, rather than to maximize graft like they do back home in Israel or Somalia.

Blogger dc.sunsets September 11, 2019 11:45 AM  

You're making excuses for America's failure. Your government is not "too weak to protect borders", they're actively inviting in foreigners. Regulations are not the problem. A lack of financial incentives is not the problem. You're demoralised, as was the plan of your enemies. You've lost the next war before it has even started.

You miss the point. As gold bugs posit themselves buying gasoline with 1/10th oz Maple Leafs (note that's *buying,* not bartering), lots of people seem to think that political sentiment about "immigration," so deeply divided that public policy is incoherent, is somehow irrelevant to public policy. WTF?

Borders are FORCE. The lack of consensus over using FORCE means that chaos results. You may be willing and able to enFORCE the border of your front door against those who would invade your home to rob you, but unless you want to put your name on the martyr list, you're talking trash and no more when it comes to the *collective.*

The Wiemar Republic had a weak government. Do you not understand that the same Germans who nearly overran all of Western Europe a few short years later were the same people who couldn't come to a consensus on governance in the 1920's?

If I make excuses for America's failure, to what do you attribute it? What does a "not demoralized" man do tomorrow? Show up in El Paso with an AR and full load-out? (facepalm.) Whose purposes does that serve today?

Collective behavior obeys natural laws. I study those laws with hope of understanding a tiny bit of the past, present and future. I don't try to complain about their results, because that's what leftist lunatics do, complain about the results of processes that are axiomatic. You might as well try to turn back time.

Blogger JohnofAustria September 11, 2019 11:55 AM  

Personnel wise we are stupid small, historically.

The problem is we're spending a ton of cash on low-density, high end items, many of unproven value.

Blogger JohnofAustria September 11, 2019 11:57 AM  

Yup, log and acquisitions are our weakness, they just haven't been exposed yet

Blogger dc.sunsets September 11, 2019 11:57 AM  

@ Ominous Cowherd, agreed. The reason stuff is cheap crap is that the entire monetary-economic system is a con game from top down. Fiat money isn't just the gold-bugs' Satan. It is a mechanism by which the capital structure of a vast economy can be looted from within, on a continuing basis, because proper cost-accounting becomes akin to Newspeak. Numbers, like words, become putty in the hands of ruling Sophists (con artists all.)

Joe Citizen is getting robbed blind, deaf and dumb, but it's not obvious because instead of noticing things getting massively more expensive, they just get more haphazardly constructed (or made in sweatshops in China, or do I repeat myself.)

80 years ago a middle class family owned stuff that lasted, that could be handed down generation-by-generation. About the only product produced today that meets this standard is firearms. Ours is a cornucopia of fabulous designs new and old now. As for furniture, tools, etc., it's all pre-landfilled crap.

Credit inflation of the last 38 years (or last 106) is a thing of monstrous awe. The hole into which we dug ourselves (because no man is an island, we have no choice but to work with what surrounds us because it's a product of human social behavior) is the inverse of the growth of debt. Our great-grandparents would weep at the adolescent stupidity and self-destructiveness we've made into a National Religion. Of course, they played their part in that, too.

No snowflake feels responsible for the avalanche. No individual could act to stand apart from this, for we are all inescapably in The Matrix. This is the collective "we" who cannot get off this roller-coaster, no matter how high up the scaffolding this car climbs, until we need oxygen to survive before the adventure ahead begins in earnest.

Blogger JohnofAustria September 11, 2019 12:01 PM  

They won't do that, they'll simply make us expend resources we can't afford trying to crack their area denial.

Blogger JohnofAustria September 11, 2019 12:02 PM  

Yes, war is breaking the will of the enemy. The Chinese do not care what any other people or culture wants. You will comply.

America's will is already broken before we get there.

Blogger Nate September 11, 2019 12:04 PM  

"The US fleet has not been in a war since 1945, the air forces since 1975. "

This statement is overtly stupid. To assert that the Air Force wasn't involved in the Iraqi wars "because bombing peasants" is so amazingly dumb I don't even know where to begin.

Lets start with this... before the US invaded in 1990 Iraq was considered to have some of the best air defenses in the world.

The US Air force destroyed those defenses in 12 hours.

Blogger JohnofAustria September 11, 2019 12:07 PM  

His boomer-ing about how tough they were back then is laughable, BUT he has a point about how standards have eroded. We can't do anything effective to correct and harden people.

Blogger Chris Mallory September 11, 2019 12:08 PM  

JohnofAustria wrote:Personnel wise we are stupid small, historically.

And we should have a standing army because? The Army is not small enough.

The Navy is not small enough. We do not need 7 carriers to guard our borders.

If you want to police the world, fine. Raise a company or provision an ship and go to it. But leave the American people alone while you do it.

Blogger JohnofAustria September 11, 2019 12:09 PM  

Reed said, paraphrasing: "the M16 and V-22 arent for fighting wars"

Ok bro, way to undercut your point.

Blogger JohnofAustria September 11, 2019 12:11 PM  

He's not all wrong on the F-35 though. The sortie rates per maintenance hour are worse than other jets by a full SD.

Blogger Jack Amok September 11, 2019 12:15 PM  

Dave Dave is quite the linear thinker who isn't making a distinction between the American people and the American State (or Empire). The latter is teetering and one good shove away from collapsing. The former is waiting for that to happen.

There is a lot of innovation and practical, productive behavior going on, but it has to stay small scale and obscure to avoid notice of the parasite class currently running the State. There's a lot of resentment bubbling along, and the weakness that means the American Empire can't win in Syria also means it can't win in America either. It gets by on an illusion that it's strong, but if that illusion is ever dispelled, it will collapse.

And the illusion will be dispelled sooner or later because the loons in charge can't help but overreach.

Blogger Theproductofafineeduction September 11, 2019 12:16 PM  

@46

It would be much better if we left the UN police the seas and I imagine the results wouldn't be all that much different from what we are edpereincing now.

Blogger JohnofAustria September 11, 2019 12:18 PM  

Any modern nation needs force projection, especially one as dependent on sea trade as we are. And you need full-time, high standard people to do it.

But in general I agree. We are buying trillion dollar war planes to do God knows what while bombing Yemenis to shore up the petrodollar. We dont need ARGs all over the world, or bases.

But we have to disentangle ourselves economically as we scale back militarily. One without the other is impossible.

Blogger Theproductofafineeduction September 11, 2019 12:18 PM  

@44

I remember the news reports saying the US military was anticipating tens of thousands of US casualties. It certainly shows that the military even back in 1990 had a far different mindset than today.

Blogger JohnofAustria September 11, 2019 12:20 PM  

Disagree about the results, but we could probably scale back to the Western hemisphere and make the Euros care for their own sphere and get along well.

Blogger Jack Amok September 11, 2019 12:24 PM  

It would be much better if we left the UN police the seas...

Snort. No. I doubt there's any hellhole on the planet the UN couldn't make worse if it was running it.

...and I imagine the results wouldn't be all that much different from what we are edpereincing now.

There would be considerably more child sex trafficking if the UN was in charge of it.



Blogger justaguy September 11, 2019 12:39 PM  

Why does anyone think that we ever had the capability to fight Russia or China? We certainly didn't have the ability after WWII, we only had a few nukes. The idea of fighting with many millions of men is something that the US has never really thought about. In WWII, it was our allies that spent the millions of men in fighting-- we merely provided the huge industrial effort. It was also after WWII and the Bombing study where we found out that air power cost more than it destroyed-- until nukes. So to look at the facts-- large nation versus nation destructive fighting is not something that the US has ever done, and in our democratic republic-- isn't something likely to support. Anything else is merely bad history or wishful thinking.

So while I may agree with the author's idea that the US military has become much less powerful in the last two decades, even at its height it was never a conventional powerhouse.

What has been lost is any sort of nation-wide unifying ideals--the kind that brought the Russians to overcome huge losses to win the Europe portion of WWII with or without our help. It is hard to see the current US society taking the large % of casualties and not splitting and fighting back as did the Russians. Hell, a good portion of the US gave up during the Cold War and still wants to surrender to somebody/anybody.

Blogger justaguy September 11, 2019 12:43 PM  

Anyone who thinks that the nuclear weapon is an outdated weapon isn't thinking. Why is every dictator trying to get one-- its utility to prevent the US or other powers from replacing him-- it makes it not worth the effort to fight. Nukes are better thought of as "The Absolute Weapon" read Brody 1946 for details.

Blogger xevious2030 September 11, 2019 12:54 PM  

Nuclear weapons have at least four values. One is if you have them, and your opponent does not. The second is to thwart any large scale conflict due to the understanding that their automatic use is a given in the event of large scale conventional war. The third is to prevent the use of them by the other (either) side if you have them, allowing you to wage conventional war. A fourth is a willingness by one side to exert dominance by having a willingness to use them for situations the other side does not.

The potential for direct military confrontation depends on the application of MAD for home defense, and the application of MAD for non-home defense/offensive cover. Meaning, is MAD (US, Russia, China, wherever there is a considerable stockpile) an all cases option, or is it reserved for only certain cases, today, five years from now? China creating EMPs over the US, or the US nuking Chinese cities is one thing. But the Spratlys and such, bases in Africa, carriers placed in contested locations, tankers in the Gulf (wherever), those are something else. If one side moves, confident there will be no MAD, because the conflict is over places of lesser value or with other localities of similar resources, might there be the willingness to wage non-nuclear, full conventional war? A rolling of the dice that the risk of MAD will shelve the use of nukes? Not whether or not it is a smart move, or whether or not nukes would necessarily end up being the outcome, but “are the various PTB nearly over their fear of large scale conventional war among nuclear powers?”

Blogger Tars Tarkas September 11, 2019 1:00 PM  

justaguy wrote:What has been lost is any sort of nation-wide unifying ideals--the kind that brought the Russians to overcome huge losses to win the Europe portion of WWII with or without our help.

Pre-war Soviet Russia was anything but unified. It was probably worse than America is right now. Scores of languages and ethnicities under foreign occupation and a culture of narcing to your foreign occupiers on your fellows to gain an upper hand or even an old score. That narcing didn't bring social media shame and maybe lost job opportunities, but being tortured and sent to a labor camp if you were lucky.

I would imagine China's military is just as bad. Huge numbers of women and a culture of cheating.

As bad as our infrastructure is, China's buildings that were built 2 years ago are already falling down.

America's power came from the industrial capacity we had at the time. This just doesn't exist anymore. America really didn't have much of a military before the war and so the huge military build up was of what was needed. There were few or no projects already entrenched. War planners told suppliers 'this is what we require' rather than suppliers telling war planners 'this is what you can get'

Blogger Garen Tulien September 11, 2019 1:03 PM  

I.e.: Germany, 1945.

Blogger justaguy September 11, 2019 1:07 PM  

#58: Stalin managed to reverse course and play to/use a nationalism that a large portion of the peoples of Russia had to motivate them to fight. Although some sections of the USSR welcomed the Germans as saviors, the German's actions quickly ended those thoughts. Lots of books on Russian spirit/morale/ideology during the war... Makes for good reading, but very few places in academia actually study war -- I think only the military schools do now.

Blogger dc.sunsets September 11, 2019 1:11 PM  

especially one as dependent on sea trade as we are

Bug, not a feature. I still remember last week, when "we" were dependent on Saudi Arabia for energy (not that US refineries EVER were set up to process sour Saudi crude.)

A city may not be able to maintain a 20th century standard of living via autarky. North America, however, can most certainly do so. The only barrier is will, and when our Wiemar phase ends and the insanity of the last 60 years is reconciled, those who emerge will probably do so. As trade (and population) collapsed in the wake of the Western Empire's fall, resulting in numerous, more self-sufficient political laboratories in Europe's Middle Ages, so looks to be in our future.

Complacency, squabbling and triviality are symptoms of late-cycle sclerosis. Americans lead utterly trivial lives now. That's going to hurt when the reconciliation arrives.

Blogger Dave Dave September 11, 2019 1:20 PM  

Dc.sunsets, Weimar was a weak government but the German people were strong. Berlin was degenerate, but thats a small fraction of the population. Half of Americans live in cities and are demoralised. Look at how the Amish live, or follow the Chinese example. Use connections and community to form networks that exclude outsiders. Discriminate against everyone not in your group. Don't buy from their stores. Don't let them in the club. Act low trust to outsiders and you will shift the culture and start to repair the attitude.

Blogger OneWingedShark September 11, 2019 1:27 PM  

GAU-8 ammo is in short supply because theory says the F-35 will do tank busting.
Wow, that's stupid.

The F-35 is NOT a tank-buster, and if you're going to say "well it has X-type missiles, or Y-type bombs which can kill tanks!" you're almost certainly not looking at the logistics: how much easier is it to manufacture and/or transport a gun-round vs a missile/bomb? (And that's without looking at the economic costs.)

Ominous Cowherd wrote:Dave Dave wrote:The Western world cannot build anymore. Buildings are not made to last: they are made as quickly and cheaply as possible. This is the attitude we see.
Westerners? Or a mix of diversity and (((Westerners)))?

Americans are about the same as we were a century ago, all 200 million or so of us. The other 130 million people here are not Americans, and most not Westerners at all.

Once we jettison some of that baggage, and get the Fake Americans out of decision making roles, we can get back to building to last, rather than to maximize graft like they do back home in Israel or Somalia.

This is an excellent point. There's a lot of crap that's due to non-Americans and fake-Americans, and a lot compounded with heritage-Americans that simply aren't trained well or actively denied promotion or secondary-/tertiary-effects of the indoctrination programs.

Solon wrote:We can still reign supreme in technology, assuming we stop importing illiterate shitskins, and we can regain supremacy of production, assuming we successfully undo decades of exporting labor to China and the third world.
A lot of these issues aren't American companies pushing it, but multinational ones. A lot of these are populated at the executive level by people who have little connection or loyalty to the US.

A lot of things would actually work if we had Justice — bring back hanged by the neck until dead sentencings and Treason charges.

Blogger Don't Call Me Len September 11, 2019 1:29 PM  

theory says the F-35 will do tank busting

Now it's replacing the A-10 too?! Is the F-35 being built by Ronco?

Blogger Dave Dave September 11, 2019 1:31 PM  

Irrelevant nations like Pakistan want nukes as leverage against India. We're talking about world powers. Think about what a nuke does. If New York City was nuked, what would happen? A million people would die, a few hundred buildings would be destroyed, and the other 200 million white Americans would pick up their guns and keep fighting. It's less effective than a constant attack like the London air raids or the Firebombing of Tokyo. Constant attacks kill the fighting spirit. Sudden ones ignite it.

Blogger pyrrhus September 11, 2019 1:51 PM  

@65 No, Pakistan understands that nukes are very effective against invading armies, and pretty much preclude invasion....

Blogger Ledford Ledford September 11, 2019 1:55 PM  

Not whether or not it is a smart move, or whether or not nukes would necessarily end up being the outcome, but “are the various PTB nearly over their fear of large scale conventional war among nuclear powers?”

The PTB are capable of paying someone to think about large scale conventional war. They don't wake up at night worrying about it. They do wake up at night worrying about being metoo-ed or canceled for racist homophobia, so they prioritize diversity and inclusion over war-fighting. Nukes afford them this luxury, mistakenly or not.

Blogger Noah B. September 11, 2019 1:55 PM  

"If New York City was nuked, what would happen? A million people would die, a few hundred buildings would be destroyed..."

If the attacker gave any thought to selecting strategically significant targets the damage would be much worse than that. Not immediately, but in the weeks and months following the attack.

Blogger OneWingedShark September 11, 2019 1:59 PM  

dc.sunsets wrote:Borders are FORCE. The lack of consensus over using FORCE means that chaos results. You may be willing and able to enFORCE the border of your front door against those who would invade your home to rob you, but unless you want to put your name on the martyr list, you're talking trash and no more when it comes to the *collective.*
You do realize that there's far more consensus to enforce the border than is recognized by the media, right?
Heck, I would be unsurprised if there weren't a huge number of people that would approve of deploying the military to the border with intent to kill in order to enforce the border — the one thing that the continual screeching of "you have to be nice to immigrants!" by the wackos seems to have done is exhausted the sympathy/gentleness from people: if you can't detain illegals to keep them out, then what else is there but to kill them? (Of course, those pushing for the invaders want the native population dead.)

Don't Call Me Len wrote:theory says the F-35 will do tank busting
Now it's replacing the A-10 too?! Is the F-35 being built by Ronco?

They've been saying this for years now.
There's a rather large contingent in the Air Force that want to ditch the A-10 utterly [as well as traditional CAS] — most of them seem to have jumped all-in on the F-35's branding as a "it can do EVERYTHING!" jack of all trades.

It's incredibly stupid, but like the LCS fiasco it's likely not going to stop until people are hanged for Treason (i.e. not just military deaths, but multiple deaths showing an undeniable pattern).

Blogger justaguy September 11, 2019 2:13 PM  

#65: Look at Herman Khan- thinking about the Unthinkable or On Thermonuclear War. These thoughts were all explored thoroughly in the 1950s and early 1960s. Khan was a founder of the Hudson institute, but I haven't followed its noeclowning for a while.

Blogger pilgrims progress September 11, 2019 2:47 PM  

That's too bad, there are many CUCKservaTARDS that won't know what to do with themselves now if they can't destroy things and kill innocent people ie... "serve" for your freeDUMBS.

Blogger HouellebecqGurl September 11, 2019 3:57 PM  

Yes.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd September 11, 2019 4:40 PM  

Don't Call Me Len wrote:Now it's replacing the A-10 too?! Is the F-35 being built by Ronco?

The F35 is built by the Ginsu Knife Company. But wait, there's MORE!

Blogger Frank Lee September 11, 2019 4:45 PM  

Look, no question all these little wars are stupid and stupidly run. We should get out of them.

That being said, the US Military would beat the shit out of anyone in a real war, extended or not. For anyone knowledgeable about history, Fred Reed's arguments as a reporter playing arm chair general, worring about spare parts and fearsome enemies and lack of will by the young people, sounds exactly like American journalistic coverage leading into any conflict from the Civil War through WWI, WW2 to today. Reporters love to write stories about how we shouldn't fight because we can't win. Often leading up with arguments about no spare parts and outdated weapons. (Which are often correct, but get fixed quickly in a real war.)

The core problem with recent military conflicts goes back to what General Powell warned about (back in the good Powell days) that when you go to war, you have to be completely committed, have a goal and an exit planned for victory. We did that in the first Gulf War, and from a military standpoint, we kicked ass. Got in, won our objectives, and got out. We also blew the shit out of Iraq and Afghanistan (not just peasants, but any serious military opposition) easily and quickly.

The problem in Iraq is we should have either taken it over as a colony, or set up a puppet dictator and got out quick. In Afghanistan, we only had one option, set up a brutal dictator to run the country for 30 years or so to try to bring it into the 20th Century. Or just murder all the Taliban leaders and exit to let it sort itself out.

All this postering about us losing a war with China and Russia and (really?) Iran is stupid. What kind of war, for what? If China invades Hawaii, or Russia nukes Washington DC, trust me, the spare parts issues will be solved overnight, as will the issue of a draft. We would demolish both of those countries for basically the same reasons we won WWI and WWII and the Cold War. Because America is geographically blessed, we have a better than average system of government, slightly less corruption, and a long history of conducting wars. (As possibly, God on our side.) In an all out war, we would win. With knives, with tanks, or with nuclear weapons. With one hand tied behind our back, as it almost always is.

Now, will we "win" a proxy war in Africa against China and Russia? That depends on how hard we're willing to fight and what our goal is. Unfortunately, the answer most likely would be, we don't really want to fight that hard, and we aren't sure what we want. So yes, we'd lose like we did in Vietnam.

Will we "win" if we launch a war into Iran to set up a democracy? No. But if we bomb the shit out of it, take the oil fields and cut it into little pieces and divide up the coastline between Iraq and Pakistan and leave it a landlocked opium addicted mess? Sure, we could do that if we really wanted to. But we don't. (At least, thankfully, Trump doesn't.)

Yes, massive unfocused US intervention in the Middle East has left it an absolute fucking mess, but frankly the US military position (and probably it's diplomatic) has has probably been strengthened by destroying Iraq a couple times. Was it worth the cost (particularly to Iraq?), probably not. Could it have been done better. Absolutely.

And for anyone thinking that the American Lion has no teeth, I remind people of the Falklands War, where Argentina thought that the British Navy, despite technical superiority, couldn't fight anymore. Didn't go so well for them. And the British Navy was pretty much a joke for about 30 years prior. But it was still 100 times better than the Argentine military. Iran's Navy barely better than the Argentine. Even the British could probably win a war with Iran if they seriously committed to it.

Blogger Iron Spartan September 11, 2019 4:47 PM  

The West in general and the US in particular does not need innovators.

We need inventors. Creators. People who can come up with new solutions, not rehashes of leftover failures.

If you think the two words mean the same thing, INGSOC did its job.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd September 11, 2019 5:05 PM  

Frank Lee wrote:Often leading up with arguments about no spare parts and outdated weapons. (Which are often correct, but get fixed quickly in a real war.)

How do they get fixed quickly? Will the Chinese Commies work overtime to fill our logistics needs? If not them, who?

Frank Lee wrote:If China invades Hawaii, or Russia nukes Washington DC, trust me, the spare parts issues will be solved overnight, as will the issue of a draft.

Again, how? Why do I want my children to die to preserve the empire that hates me and my nation? China is welcome to Hawaii, and there are millions of Americans who will chip in if somebody takes up a collection to nuke DC.

The military procurement system is really as bad as Fred is saying. It exists to maximize graft. If it delivers supplies to troops, that's a side effect. If the supplies are actually usable for fighting a war, that's an unexpected side effect.

Blogger ZhukovG September 11, 2019 5:21 PM  

@Frank Lee: No one is going to attack us. You may have failed to notice, but it's the good ole USA that is the primary aggressor in the world.

It could be argued that the last 'Just War' fought by Americans was lost in 1865.

Fred's point is, that if we attack Russia or China or even Iran we will likely get our clocks cleaned.

Blogger Z MAlfoy September 11, 2019 5:28 PM  

"The military procurement system is really as bad as Fred is saying. It exists to maximize graft. If it delivers supplies to troops, that's a side effect. If the supplies are actually usable for fighting a war, that's an unexpected side effect."

This is absolutely correct. The current logistics situation is already falling apart, running on lies and pixie dust. Add the stress of a "Real War", and the pixie dust will run out in a week. Our procurement systems can barely handle the September End-of-FY load, and people think they can handle a "Real War"?

I always see people blithely underestimating the importance of logistics. But all the best soldiers are worthless if they haven't any weapons, ammo, uniforms, shoes, food, etc. And the problems are written into the laws and regulations that the procurement and contract-writing people have to follow. They're written into the patchwork coding of our accounting systems, payment systems, contract writing and tracking systems. "Real Wars" don't fix these things-- they inevitably make them worse.

If you want to see why everything is ponderous and slow, start perusing the Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR) at Acquisitions.gov. Then, when you're done with that, check out the supplements (DFARS and down for the military). And then realize that every command has their own policies for every little thing on top of all of that. Then realize that all of those regulated systems DON'T WORK. Wide Area Work Flow is a mess. GFEBS is a mess. Everything is broken and it's too big to fix. But "Real War" is gonna fix that? Not unless the entire FAR is tossed, and the DFARS too.

And that's just the Logistics/ Procurement problems I deal with every dang day, just a small piece of the problem.

Blogger OneWingedShark September 11, 2019 5:34 PM  

Iron Spartan wrote:The West in general and the US in particular does not need innovators.
We need inventors. Creators. People who can come up with new solutions, not rehashes of leftover failures.
If you think the two words mean the same thing, INGSOC did its job.

Innovators are the crapheads in BigTech who are either busy trying to polish a turd (e.g. the Go programming language, about the billionth "let's fix C!") or who are busy pushing agenda (e.g. YouTube).
Inventors and Creators are the ones that are actually driven to solve problems, to do things actually right.

Though this thread does illustrate that US manufacture should be sought; if I had enough capital, I would get the equipment now. (Sadly I don't quite have enough to get in on the production equipment… yet.)

Blogger ZhukovG September 11, 2019 5:52 PM  

@Z MAlfoy: I believe it was Hasso von Manteuffel who said, "Any competent officer can command a panzer division; it takes a genius to supply one."

Blogger Gettimothy September 11, 2019 6:07 PM  

To the "Americans Cannot Innovate" crowd...

Boston Dynamics
SpaceX Dual Rocket Landing straight out of Buck Rogers mf.

Fracking

All this is under a period of attempted suppression during a partially completed subversion process.

Also F.U.



Blogger Slippin JImmy September 11, 2019 6:22 PM  

The US Navy may not have fought a fleet action since 1945 but that's modern history compared to the Chinese (1895) and the Russian (1905) fleets. With respect to ground combat, the Russian Army hasn't faced a serious adversary since May 1945. The last proper war the PLA fought was against Vietnam in 1979 and it was a costly strategic failure.

I don't doubt that the American military would underperform in a shooting war with China or Russia, but the preparation and performance of either of those militaries is equally suspect.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd September 11, 2019 6:27 PM  

Z MAlfoy wrote:GFEBS is a mess. Everything is broken and it's too big to fix.

A few years ago I got a CAC. Getting the CAC took more than three months. Later, several of us were given GFEBS accounts, and told to do GFEBS training. Several months later, none of us were trained - we could not open the training on GFEBS. We were using government computer systems, and apparently they were a big part of the problem. The procurement people eventually gave up on getting us trained, and on having us use GFEBS at all.

Blogger pilgrims progress September 11, 2019 6:28 PM  

"Fred's point is, that if we attack Russia or China or even Iran we will likely get our clocks cleaned."


Ie… the white fuckTARDS in America are just as stupid as the Israelites in the OT AND reaping the same results.

Blogger Z MAlfoy September 11, 2019 6:29 PM  

ZhukovG wrote:@Z MAlfoy: I believe it was Hasso von Manteuffel who said, "Any competent officer can command a panzer division; it takes a genius to supply one."

Yes. Guess how many geniuses are setting policy in the Procurement Divisions? Our military suffers the Death of 1K Papercuts. Maybe other militaries are just as bad, I don't know. I do know that as things currently are, our logistics systems are falling apart.

Blogger Z MAlfoy September 11, 2019 6:35 PM  

Ominous Cowherd wrote:Z MAlfoy wrote:GFEBS is a mess. Everything is broken and it's too big to fix.

A few years ago I got a CAC. Getting the CAC took more than three months. Later, several of us were given GFEBS accounts, and told to do GFEBS training. Several months later, none of us were trained - we could not open the training on GFEBS. We were using government computer systems, and apparently they were a big part of the problem. The procurement people eventually gave up on getting us trained, and on having us use GFEBS at all.


Yep. *Chuckles in the Key of Despair* that sounds pretty typical. I'm one of the few people in my office that still has (limited) GFEBS access. It's so awful, it always has been, and we even told the Chain o' Command before they brought it in "Hey, you know this is never gonna work, right?" They didn't listen because they didn't care. And if they don't care about the danged accounting system, you can be darn sure they don't care about anything else.

Just gonna collect my taxpayer-funded paycheck to pay my way outta debt slavery, and then I'm off to the mountains to really get my metalwork going.

Blogger Hammerli 280 September 11, 2019 6:51 PM  

Hmph. The hardware works. At least once the software is mature. It's not the 1960s any more, with electronic gadgets palmed off on working troops.

It pays to have been in the T&E business for the last 39 years.

Having said that, the magazines are pretty low. There's a reason why Trump is trying to disengage from the Middle East - we need the money to equip and train for a possible conflict with China. Which will be a sea war, not a counterinsurgency effort in some desert or other.

Blogger Hammerli 280 September 11, 2019 6:53 PM  

Government computer systems, on the other hand, are a Grade-A screw-up. Trash. There's a hell of a lot of soft graft going on.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd September 11, 2019 7:03 PM  

Z MAlfoy wrote:It's so awful, it always has been, and we even told the Chain o' Command before they brought it in "Hey, you know this is never gonna work, right?" They didn't listen because they didn't care.

We were told it was imperative that we engineers used GFEBS for cool-kid accounting stuff. We never had any clue what sort of accounting stuff we were supposed to be doing, and when they could not even get the training to work for us, they eventually pencil-whipped the requirement.

I gather the Army is required to make a show of using GFEBS. The actual accounting people did claim to get some information from it, so it may be somewhat functional.

Blogger Frank Lee September 11, 2019 7:28 PM  

Re: Ominous Cowherd

Military procurement systems are always rife with problems (and corruption). Particularly between wars.

The problem is, we can't be ready for every single possible war scenario, with every type of weapon system fully ready to go 24 hours a day 7 days a week forever. It's just not feasible financially or on any other level. So the military has to make best guesses about what the most likely conflict will look like, and what weapons systems will most likely be needed, and what supplies and spare parts they will need.

And sure, any reporter can find thousands of military experts who will question those priorities and say there's a huge crisis because the next war will be completely fought by air to ground tank killers and we've lost all our air to ground capacity because of X, Y, Z.

But guess what, they will probably be wrong, that's not what the next war will require. And the generals that decided to put the priorities elsewhere? They probably will be completely wrong too. And virtually everyone will be wrong. Once war breaks out, it will turn out everything everyone thought would happen happens differently, and the weapons systems we really need are something no one expected. That happens in just about every war.

What happens while we figure out we need more cruise missiles instead of fighter jets? Well, people will die. That's what happens in wars. And yes, depending on how wrong the guesses were about what military systems to support were, more people will die.

So why am I confident the US would win any full out war with any opponent? Because, again, the US is blessed with good geography, and because we vastly outspend every other nation. We have tons and tons of weapons and bases and assets. They might not be exactly the right mix, but we probably can adapt quickly, and yes, we can quickly build spare parts or buy them.

(And frankly, all these stupid little wars give us good practice at testing weapons. Which may be their real motivation.)

As for those who think I'm suggesting the US keep attacking other countries, that's not my point. I agree we should stop with these stupid attempts at nation building and get out of the Middle East and Afghanistan.

As for those who worry China is rotting our industrial base, it's a legitimate concern, but I feel Trump is pushing back on that fine.

As for Russia, never fight a ground war with them. You always lose. As far as fighting proxy wars with them, we win about half the time. But they can't really afford those kinds of wars, so in the long run it just makes them weaker. That's why the USSR went bankrupt.

Blogger thethirdcoast September 11, 2019 7:35 PM  

Fellow defense industry drone chiming in to second everything Z MAlfoy says as accurate.

I'm dealing with the slightly different nightmare of trying to get a subassembly qualified in a larger system. It's an ever-expanding black hole of documentation and test requirements, made even worse by the fact the brain trust at our prime, who deal directly with the end user, cannot decide on a reasonable package of mission profiles.

On the logistics/supply chain side, go look at the lead times for a seemingly simple machined aluminum plate coated against corrosion. The *best* you're going to do right now is about 12 weeks, with 16-24 weeks the norm.

Blogger thethirdcoast September 11, 2019 7:41 PM  

@ 90

The sheer scale of US military is irrelevant.

From my time in the defense industry I'd estimate that AT LEAST 50% of every dollar spent is consumed by bureaucratic inefficiency, fraud, waste, incompetence, sloth, etc.

Then you have the totally incompetent designs that are pure money pits like the LCS, Zumwalt-class, Ford-class, F35, etc.

I've been around a couple smaller-scale circus projects, and it's amazing how these brilliant managers all think the solution is throwing more bodies and money on the pyre. Never, "Gee, maybe we should have a B-team cleansheet a new design in a totally different direction and see what kind of progress they make."

Blogger thethirdcoast September 11, 2019 7:42 PM  

thethirdcoast wrote:The sheer scale of US military is irrelevant.

Errr...should read, "The sheer scale of US military SPENDING...."

Blogger Frank Lee September 11, 2019 7:52 PM  

thethirdcoast wrote:@ 90

The sheer scale of US military is irrelevant.

From my time in the defense industry I'd estimate that AT LEAST 50% of every dollar spent is consumed by bureaucratic inefficiency, fraud, waste, incompetence, sloth, etc.

Then you have the totally incompetent designs that are pure money pits like the LCS, Zumwalt-class, Ford-class, F35, etc.

I've been around a couple smaller-scale circus projects, and it's amazing how these brilliant managers all think the solution is throwing more bodies and money on the pyre. Never, "Gee, maybe we should have a B-team cleansheet a new design in a totally different direction and see what kind of progress they make."


The sheer scale isn't irrelevant. It's everything.

Of course at least 50% is wasted (more likely, stolen by corruption). Probably more is wasted between wars due to corruption and mismanagement, but even in the middle of WWII, there was tons of waste and corruption. (US Civil War too.)

But do you really think there isn't military waste and corruption in China, Russia, or (jeez) Iran? You don't think 50% of their military budget is completely wasted? Okay, what if they are a little better and only 25% is wasted. We still blow them away on every level.

We can nuke any country on the planet from orbit (as they say) we can bomb them back into the stone age, and we can murder the leaders or at least drive them deep underground. What more do you want?

Can we do it without any casualties? No. Can we do it politically? Maybe not. Will we upset our allies? Sure.

Can we invade South Africa and set up a stable government where everyone lives peacefully? No.

In case I haven't made myself clear, I'm not in favor of war, nor do I think the US is perfect. But Fred Reed's article is silly and stupid and wrong.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd September 11, 2019 8:19 PM  

The sheer scale isn't irrelevant. It's everything.

Of course at least 50% is wasted (more likely, stolen by corruption). Probably more is wasted between wars due to corruption and mismanagement, but even in the middle of WWII, there was tons of waste and corruption. (US Civil War too.)

But do you really think there isn't military waste and corruption in China, Russia, or (jeez) Iran? You don't think 50% of their military budget is completely wasted? Okay, what if they are a little better and only 25% is wasted.


The scale of the spending is the problem. The purpose of the system is to deliver graft to every level. We can't afford it, and we aren't going to have anything to show for it militarily.

Russia and China may not spend a tenth of what we do and might still get more bang out of their spending. That's how bad our system is, by design. It's not broken, it's working as designed by the MIC and their pet Congresscritters.

We have to have more or less bogus programs to funnel money to kleptocrats. In Russia and China, the Kleptocrats can take their cut up front, and important things like military procurement don't have to be hijacked and perverted. Yes, low-level people probably take their little skim, but the Kleptocrats are likely to have them shot if the bill gets too high or if the soldiers aren't happy - after all, nationalist Kleptocrats care about national security, unlike ours.

Blogger jarheadljh September 11, 2019 8:38 PM  

The United States military cannot currently be beaten by any one single country one on one even without resorting to conventional nuclear weapons(they're obsolete anyhow). That's what you get when you outspend the rest of the world combined by a factor of four. In twenty years even rolling out every classified orbital bombardment system, stealth toy, and energy weapon may not be enough to counter simple numbers, especially considering the likelihood of being attacked three or four on one.

Here's the thing, until November 9th, 2016 I was certain Hillary would be cheated into the White House and get the US into the single most pointless war in all of human history with Russia, and finish off what was left with a civil war so that she could deliver a neutered husk of the US to the UN and rule over the ashes. And then Trump.

Owen likes to talk about despair - you can safely tune out anyone talking conspiracies or whatever that doesn't end everything with, "and then Trump." The divide is that extraordinary.

It's something that Tucker said about Trump's win, "it's like finding out that the Loch Ness Monster is real. First thought, what about the Yeti? No, seriously, what ET's?" Trump is unprecedented in US history. People have constantly asked what makes Americans think that the US is the exception? There always is one, and somebody has to be it. Trump should not have won, they had the voter system rigged well enough to win any other election, but they still lost. Nothing is impossible if that's the case. Unlikey? Sure. Guaranteed not gonna happen? Hardly.

In this case, Trump will keep the US out of new war, the empire will slowly be dismantled. Don Jr. will essentially be his father's avatar when he gets elected to succeed his father. By the end of the sixteen years it's entirely possible that they will have reversed enough of the bad that the ship is righted. Having grown up in California in the 80's, my money is still on Aztlan becoming a thing, but then Trump.

Blogger Frank Lee September 11, 2019 9:38 PM  

Re: Ominous Cowherd

Yes, China and Russia "might" get more bang for their buck, but they probably don't. And it's not enough bang for too little buck spread over huge land masses that they barely control. They wouldn't stand a chance against us in any major conflict that can be reasonably imagined.

We can't afford all the military waste? Well, we do. Would it be better spend on parks and puppies and nice homes for the elderly? Sure. But life doesn't work that way. If they stopped spending it on waste in the military, it would go to waste in Obamacare or waste in aid to foreign countries or "supporting the arts." Kind of rather have it wasted on the military.

You say: in Russia and China, the Kleptocrats can take their cut up front, and important things like military procurement don't have to be hijacked and perverted. Yes, they don't "have" to be, but they are. America does not have world dominance on corruption and Kleptocrats. Talk to some real Russian military experts over a vodka or two. Corruption is a major problem. Same for China.

Worrying about whether the US is prepared for a major war is like a bunch of survivalists in a huge compound in North Dakota, stuffed with every weapon imaginable and food and water for 50 years, worrying about whether they are prepared for every possible world apocalypse. Yes, they won't survive for long if their compound is nuked. If the Russians invade North Dakota, and the US military refuses to act, they might lose. And yes, they might run into trouble if there is a major Zombie attack. But if a bunch of burglars come, they'll be fine. If there are some riots in big cities and food is cut off for awhile, they'll be fine. If they are snowed in, they will be fine. Basically, they will realistically be fine no matter what will likely happen.

Re: jarheadljh: Yes, Trump changes everything, but increasingly it seems Trump was inevitable. The Democrats and Neocons were determined to overplay their hand until someone like Trump could walk in and take the keys from the drunk driver while America applauded.

Blogger Dave Dave September 11, 2019 10:52 PM  

Stop deluding yourself. Putin has overwhelming support. Xi Jinping has overwhelming support. Trump does not because America is heavily divided. American troops have been unenthusiastic since Vietnam and another war on foreign soil will blame that worse. Everyone knows that America cannot be invaded, but thats irrelevant in a war where nobody wants America. The conflict is about dominance, not controlling territory. Your attitude is just like the Allies that thought Hitler wanted world domination. Americans and Brits are the only people that care about world domination. Reduce your military presence overseas and focus on keeping America, alone, safe.

Blogger Jake September 11, 2019 11:11 PM  

I am a Nuclear electronics technician in the navy and have been saying that the navy isn't really a warfighting organization anymore. Whenever I say this to my chief he just shakes his head and "but it is" without any real conviction in his voice. We are constantly mired in sexual harassment, anti hazing, and other annoying training that has little to do with our actual purpose. The Navy is just another bloated bureaucracy that exists for feed itself. I am a submariner and part of the reason I joined was so that I wouldn't have to work with women, now they are even taking that away from me. The newest submarine's aren't designed to take a hit either. I get out in just over a year and couldn't be more excited to leave. I just hope nothing happens before then, because this is definitely correct, we aren't ready for a real war.

Blogger Dirk Manly September 12, 2019 12:23 AM  

@46

"The Navy is not small enough. We do not need 7 carriers to guard our borders."

We need carriers to protect our shipping lanes. Also we end up, (be default) being the country' whose navy does FoN (Freedom of Navigation) operations through various vital chokepoints precisely to keep the Freedom of Navigation concept valid by frequent exercise (Freedom of Navigation in the Law of the Sea Treaty is akin to the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution).

We could do with less army, and less Air Force, and more Navy. The navy is a great deal financially -- it's very presence tends to avert wars, thereby minimizing the outlays for the Army and USAF.

Blogger Dirk Manly September 12, 2019 12:27 AM  

@50

"It would be much better if we left the UN police the seas and I imagine the results wouldn't be all that much different from what we are edpereincing now."


That is, without a doubt, the most absolutely retarded thing I have read in months.


If there U.N. were policing the seas, and it was like any other U.N. presence, then the U.N. naval forces would be mostly hunting down cruise ships, and kidnapping the women and children, for use as either their own personal sex slaves, or trafficking them to some other entities.

Blogger Dirk Manly September 12, 2019 12:36 AM  

@64
"Now it's replacing the A-10 too?! Is the F-35 being built by Ronco?"

It's a watch!
It's a lawnmower!
It slices and dices!

NOW how much would you pay?

Blogger Dirk Manly September 12, 2019 12:43 AM  

@68

"If the attacker gave any thought to selecting strategically significant targets the damage would be much worse than that. Not immediately, but in the weeks and months following the attack."

Most of the rest of the world thinks that the most important places in the U.S. are

* Washington, D.C. (Central government)
* New York City ("Cultural" center -- headquarters for most mass media networks, and banking)
* Los Angeles ("Cultural" center)
* San Fransisico (banking and "tech")


VERY few foreigners understand how much the rest of the country would be glad to see all four of them given the Hiroshima treatment, and that with those 4 cities gone, how the productivity of the rest of the country would increase (especially with the boob-tube networks and worthless movies no longer being available)

Blogger Dirk Manly September 12, 2019 1:03 AM  

@85

"Yes. Guess how many geniuses are setting policy in the Procurement Divisions? Our military suffers the Death of 1K Papercuts. Maybe other militaries are just as bad, I don't know. I do know that as things currently are, our logistics systems are falling apart."

This reminds me of a riddle told to me by a Russian friend when I was over there:

"Russia and the U.S. have a nuclear war. Who wins?"

"Russia, of course. First, there is an initial exchange by both sides and everybody uses up all their missiles. 6 months later, a Russian soldier discovers a huge warehouse full of missiles that were lost and then forgotten about decades ago."

And there's a lot of truth to that. Russia's logistics system is even worse than ours, AND has practically no ability to project significantly past its own borders.

There are only 2 countries on the entire planet who actually know how to do over-the-horizon, transoceanic logistics: The U.S.A. and the U.K.

You might say Italy & Germany (North Africa in WW2), but that was 95% overland for Germany, with a 3-hour boat ride from southern Italy to Libya.... through waters only 80-feet deep or so at most (meaning, TERRIBLE operating conditions for submarines). Germany never did have enough sealift capacity for an invasion of England... and that would include commandeering every family pleasure boat along the English Channel and North Sea shores. In reality, Germany never even tried to do a real, opposed amphibious operation. (Yeah, Norway was partly amphib, but the Norwegians were occupied before they even had a chance to put up a fight).


Blogger Dirk Manly September 12, 2019 3:00 AM  

OH, Japan, of course. How could I forget them. But no amphib ops since 1945.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash September 12, 2019 3:11 AM  

The question isn't if we could win a full scale war against X, Y and/or Z right now. It's what happens in a bond crisis, in a liquidity trap, what happens when the checks don't clear?

Blogger Dirk Manly September 12, 2019 3:13 AM  

Domestic producers will still produce, because it would be an existentioal crises. Probably not for multinationals, though.

Blogger Paul M September 12, 2019 4:01 AM  

Dave Dave wrote:@20. https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/residents-of-melbourne-s-australia-108-tower-complain-of-cracking-20190726-p52azy.html

The Western world cannot build anymore.

Australia cannot build anymore, because we let the Chinese do it. All of these falling-down buildings, built by Chinese companies. The bullshit real-estate boom in the west is nothing compared to the bullshit real-estate boom in China. Entire cities that are uninhabited. People buy apartments because their value can only increase, and never live in them because that impacts the value. Every one of them shitty chinese construction, and no-one cares or even notices.

You know we here in Oz have Chinese agents sitting in parliament? It's simple: flood enough chinese into an electorate to tip the vote. They understand perfectly well that if they don't do what's best for The Party back home, it will go badly for their relatives.

Australia is lost. But then again, we were always a subject nation. The British, the USA, and now the Chinese. It's hapenning as we speak.

Blogger PG September 12, 2019 5:26 AM  

I know someone who was freedom fighting in Syria. I was in constant contact with them via text. I knew when Russia was about to show up before it was on the news, word on the street I suppose. People were in high moral over the news, and when they arrived and lit the place up, everyone was reportedly stoked. Then when the dust settles, America shows up. They were not well received and it sounded like they did nothing except ask questions.

This puzzled me as I had always thought of America as a big gun, but it appears they were just there for show and or gathering information.

As to whether the American people are still capable of innovation, I would say they likely are, and suggest it would be wise to focus on that rather than expect the military to solve everything.

Blogger PG September 12, 2019 5:36 AM  

108. Paul M

"Australia is lost."

Slap yourself in the face man! Australians are one of the toughest, smartest and strategic game players in the world. You only have to watch them play sports to understand that. Don't even start me on snakes, crocks and red backs. No one is going to waltzing matilda in and take the place, and certainly not any Chinese!

Blogger Mr.MantraMan September 12, 2019 8:41 AM  

If you entertain any doubts about the US Navy watch Gunny Ermey's (RIP) two shows filmed on the USS Makin,basically grannies running the show. Multiply that across the surface fleet, and none of the Ooorah from Gunny or Frank Lee reminding us how much we spend on whatever they spend on will actually win a friggin battle against anyone who can actually shoot back.

Not that I think any proposed enemy has much on the ball beyond their shores as uniform military goes, they don't really need it. Eg; The USA is sliding into a 4G situation simply from the old viruses the USSR injected into our polity.

Blogger JohnofAustria September 12, 2019 10:20 AM  

Man this is familiar shit

Blogger Tars Tarkas September 12, 2019 10:29 AM  

"And the problems are written into the laws and regulations that the procurement and contract-writing people have to follow. They're written into the patchwork coding of our accounting systems, payment systems, contract writing and tracking systems. "Real Wars" don't fix these things-- they inevitably make them worse."

Why wouldn't they just change the rules? If the current rules are for maximizing graft, they are meeting their purpose.

We tend to think the laws and rules are written in stone and will continue to exist after they either no longer serve their intended purpose or are at cross purposes with some new goal.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd September 12, 2019 10:39 AM  

Frank Lee, the US plans to spend nearly a trillion dollars on the F35 program. Each plane is forecast to cost nearly $100 million. These are the lowest numbers I find reported. US fighter plane designers are going to spend their careers correcting, covering up and ignoring the shortcomings of that one design.

Meanwhile, Russia builds a prototype super-high-tech jet fighter which it cannot afford to put into production. Over the lifespan of the F35 program, Russian fighter designers will get experience designing numerous prototypes, none of which will be put into production. Russian fighter designers will have broad experience with design tradeoffs, and how they affect fighter performance and fighter cost. Meanwhile, US fighter designers will have experience only with tweaking one design.

When the US begins a multi-trillion dollar boondoggle to develop the sixth generation fighter, US designers will have little experience beyond the F35. Meanwhile, broadly experienced Russian designers will quietly roll out their second or third sixth generation design, which they may or may not choose to put into production.

The F35 program is just one example. The LCS is another, the Ford is a third. Even if the machines someday become combat capable, we cannot afford them. How many $100 million aircraft can we afford to lose each week? How many $13 billion CVNs? Even if we can print the money to cover them, can we build them faster than the enemy can destroy them?

Russians have good enough and plenty of it, and factories which can turn out more. We don't have any of that, largely because of the scale and purpose of our spending.

The Russians learned their lesson from Reagan's SDI: if you can get your opponent to exhaust his resources, you win. The scale of our spending isn't why we'll win, it's how we'll lose. Mega-programs that don't deliver because that would be counter productive to their true purpose will destroy what little military readiness our diversity can muster.

Blogger Noah B. September 12, 2019 2:46 PM  

According to an aid worker I spoke to in 2015 who had just recently returned from Syria, the Turkish military was escorting arms shipments that were going directly to ISIS. He claimed to have seen this for himself. Everyone knew that the US was responsible for the arms shipments.

I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that the US government sucks at black ops as much as it sucks at everything else.

Blogger Daniel September 12, 2019 8:56 PM  

Dude the french did not gave up the arming codes for the exocets we bought from them
Chile used their radars to inform the brits our planes takeoff, and the us provided full support. Still we kicked brits ships ass
Give us a rest

Blogger RoRo71 September 12, 2019 10:21 PM  

This may have already been addressed, if so I'm sorry for not reading all the comments yet.
My concern isn't readiness to fight on 3 fronts(God forbid).
The question I have is: can the US-with its vast M/I complex, spending more on defense per GDP than the next 20 countries combined-become ready WHILE fighting off enemies attacking from the 3 fronts?
Can we produce a great arsenal while reeling from bombs and missiles or even EMPs raining down on us? How long can we hold them off before we can drive them back?
Or can we?
I doubt we'll be in full readiness at the outbreak of hostilities on 3 fronts(or even 1 front against a modern power) at any rate.
In these scenarios, tho, I'm guessing much of the world won't be worth inhabiting anyway in the aftermath.
But FWIW I think North America and/or NATO could pull it off.
The US going it alone?
Coin flip.

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