Michael's Dispatches

Secretary of Courage

Secretary Gates is taking tough decisions head-on, and making them.

 

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# Cecil Trotter 2009-03-18 16:36
What is courageous about cutting needed weapons systems while the rest of the federal government grows at an unprecedented rate? The constitutional obligation of defending the country is a higher priority than the unconstitutiona l social engineering programs being instituted by the Obama administration.

The USAF's F-15's are wearing out and are barely a match for the latest Russian fighters even if they weren't. The US needs the F22 in greater numbers if we expect to remain dominate in the air, cutting the F22 program isn't courageous it is STUPID.
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# Mike P 2009-03-18 18:48
Gates is a smart fella and knows how to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to buying into whether or not the F-22s are really needed. He knows that we already outgun any potential adversary multiple times over in conventional capabilities. He is very astute in realizing that special operations and the resources in men, weapons and support are what is sorely needed right now. Intelligence, intelligence, intelligence - it's only intelligent. Thank God we have a sec def that has the smarts and the cajones to do the right thing. I am not a conservative republican, but have been a big fan of Gates ever since he came in and added back some credibility to the CIA when he replaced the deceased Adm Poindexter who had tarnished the agency with the Iran Contra debacle (along with good ol' Ollie North). We have a real war going on that doesn't require F-22s and aircraft carriers, but does need the drones and spec ops enhancements and the best grunt gear money can buy and research can develop.
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# Cecil Trotter 2009-03-18 19:34
First off Mike P, the SecDef's name is Robert Gates, Bill Gates runs Microsoft.

Secondly what you advocate is classic "planning for the last war" thinking. Yes we're fighting non conventional forces now, so I suppose folks like you think that is the only type war we will ever be engaged in in the future. As you say we do "have a real war going on that doesn't require F-22s and aircraft carriers" but tell me this, if the next war requires us to fight China and/or Russia instead of cave dwelling insurgents what do we do then? It's probably not going to happen this year or next and maybe not in 5 or 10 years but the longer it is delayed the better equipped China/Russia are going to be and evidently the less we are going to be due to thinking like yours.

Our Army is the best equipped and trained in the world, but if we loose air dominance that will not matter. Our best fighters are wearing out and we're not replacing them, the same cannot be said for Russia and China. The latest SU27 derivatives (SU33, SU35, SU37) are superior to the F15 in practically every way and they are building them and exporting them at an alarming rate. They are rapidly erasing any edge we have in the air.

The USAF needs more F-22's and the US Navy needs more AESA and IRST equipped F-18E's if we're going to keep pace with potential enemies. Or better yet buy F-22's for the Navy as well, that will be more economical for both the Navy and Air Force.
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# mcmill1599 2009-03-18 22:29
I entirely agree with Cecil.

The F-22 program is absolutely essential to our national security. If Secretary Gates recommends cutting this program, and the Obama administration follows his advice, I seriously doubt that history would regard any of them as "courageous". It is much more likely they would be regarded as foolish and shortsighted.

In 1936, during the heart of the Great Depression, , facing a similarly cash strapped Congress, Franklin Roosevelt surreptitiously funded a program to develop and build a new heavy bomber. The B-17 bomber that emerged from this program was absolutely essential to the allied war effort and played one of the key roles in the defeat of Nazi Germany.

I hope that Secretary Gates and President Obama will choose to emulate President Roosevelt's courage and foresight, and do whatever it takes, to give our Armed Forces all the cutting edge F-22's they will need to successfully protect and defend our nation in the future. Keeping pace is not good enough. We will need to dominate the airspace, and to do that we will need the decisive F-22 in good numbers.
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# mcmill1599 2009-03-18 23:02
The administration plans to pour nearly a trillion dollars down the ratholes of Gaza.

How about taking care of our Armed Forces first.

You can buy a lot grunt gear for that kind of money.
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# Cecil Trotter 2009-03-19 00:39
To expand on a point mcmill1599 made with respect to FDR and the B-17.

With the current administration spending over a trillion dollars to supposedly "stimulate" the economy how can they not see the real economic benefits of defense spending? It is as if they believe DoD dollars are stuffed into the breaches of cannons and fired into space. But in truth DoD dollars go directly into the economy. If the F22 program is ended around 5000 people will loose their jobs. And those are jobs that support local economies, if those 5000 are out of work other non Lockheed people will loose their jobs as well because the unemployed Lockheed people won't be eating out and will be buying less gas, groceries, clothes, cars etc.

If $30 million to study the salt marsh harvest mouse can be classified as "stimulus" surely saving 5000 high paying American jobs can be considered as stimulus.
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# JS 2009-03-19 16:15
The F-22 (Air Force) and the F-35 lightning (Navy & Marines) are essiential weapon platforms that will ensure our air superiority for the next 2-3 decades. This is a major consideration when you think of China and Taiwan. China has for its long term plan the conquering of Taiwan. Not now, not tomorrow but 20 years from now. If in that time we do not have a air supremecy fighter the Chinese can and will use this to their advantage in the invasion and takeover of Taiwan. We can not let this happen.

As for the DDX program. This is a new age of destoryers and Cruisers that will use state of the art missle systems, air radar, and stealth technology. The future war in the S. Pacific will be fought in the air and on the sea, as have all past wars. We cannot hamstring ourselves there.
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# Mike P 2009-03-19 17:15
OMG, you mean Bill Gates didn't quit Microsoft to run DoD? My bad! I guess I also have my wars mixed up - instead of fighting the next war, I thought we kind of had one or two going on somewhere right now. Again, I must be mistaken. However, I do wonder why, in 2004 I was riding around in an RG33 and a Buffalo counting UXO and wondering why the troops didn't have these nifty machines to protect them? I guess Rummy thought it was more important to buy your F22 than protect the troops - we might have to fight China and it will have to be by air because we lost all our grunts to insufficient support and gear. Come to think of it - it's your bad.
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