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Archive for December, 2010
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 19, 2010
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 18, 2010
Here’s the 14th edition of the Defense Reform Proposals Package.
Ever since 2008, I’ve been posting proposals of real reforms of the DOD (as opposed to the pseudoreforms instituted by Bob Gates). I publish the complete, updated, comprehensive package of defense reform proposals (which I dubbed the DRPP) every month. The DRPP includes all the reforms necessary to fix the DOD itself and to eliminate the flaws of the US intel community identified by the WaPo (which exaggerated them and the USIC’s budget). It also includes additional reforms necessary to confront cyber threats.
In May, Gates promised that he would work with “think-tanks, academia and others” to develop proposals to reform the DOD. Below are my proposals.
In this article, I’m presenting all the reform proposals that I have devised to date (including 135 annual cash saving reforms):
A) Healthcare cost and benefits reforms
1) American troops should be immediately withdrawn from Iraq.
2) The DOD should stop sending ordinary MRAP vehicles and conventional armored vehicles (tanks, IFVs, APCs, Humvees) to Afghanistan and start using small MRAP vehicles there instead (because ordinary MRAP vehicles, AKA big MRAP vehicles, often roll over). This will radically reduce healthcare costs for the DOD and the DVA, and reduce the costs of replacing vehicles that have been written off.
3) As for other IED-intensive theaters, the only vehicles sent by the US military to those theaters should be mine resistant vehicles such as RG-32s, RG-33s, Stryker-based ambulances, Cougars, Casspirs, etc. (but not RG-31s).
4) M113s, including M113-based ambulances, must bewithdrawn from all theaters, and eventually retired and replaced with GCVs or Strykers and Stryker-based ambulances. These four reforms would protect American soldiers from mines, thus reducing healthcare costs and vehicle costs.
5) Military housing projects should be built, whenever possible, on lands already owned by the Federal Government.
6) The bureaucratic labyrinth that harms many wounded soldiers should be radically reduced; the budget of the DVA (Department of Veterans’ Affairs) should be reduced (if possible) – DVA should provide good services to American vets at a low cost.
7) Backlogs of claims of DVA benefits must be eliminated and so should be the bureaucracy that created them.
The bureaucratic hurdles and long waits that American vets complain about should be eliminated; the waits should be short.
9) The DOD and the DVA should have a unified benefits-for-vets system.
10) VA hospitals should be privatized if this would reduce VA healthcare costs.
11) Only military personnel, their relatives, veterans, DOD officials and the President should be allowed to use DVA and DOD hospitals. (Currently, Members of the Congress are also allowed to use these hospitals, with the DVA or the DOD paying the costs.)
12) All DVA and DOD hospitals must adopt electronic health records to reduce costs.
13) VA policies and VA disability regulations must be made simple, and their numbers must be reduced. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/13/AR2007101301426.html)
14) Religious workers (priests, pastors, pops, rabbis, imams, et al.) should always be available to all veterans.
15) The Martinsburg VA hospital PTSD program should be expanded by 25 beds. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/13/AR2007101301426_4.html?sid=ST2007101902742)
16) DOD hospital staff and DVA hospital staff should be legally obliged to ensure that their patients will not overuse prescription drugs and will not drink alcohol. Alcohol drinks must be banned from DOD installations, DOD hospitals and DVA hospitals. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/17/AR2007021701172_2.html)
17) Spanish-speaking personnel of DOD hospitals must always be called upon to help Spanish-speaking troopers and vets. All recruits who don’t speak English must be taught this language after they join the military.
18) Because 88% of American troopers believe that current Army literature for DODH patients is useless, the Army must prepare a handbook called “the handbook no one gets”, which would explain how outpatients live.
19) The complex disability benefit process must be simplified and its costs curtailed.
20) The number of documents a soldier is required to file with the DOD must be reduced from the current level (22); the 8 commands he must file them to must be merged with each other (thus creating a single command); a single information system should be used to process all forms (rather than 16 different inf. systems); the Army’s 3 personnel databases must be merged; the new single Army personnel database must be able to interact with the separate pay system and the medical recordkeeping databases. The Army should consider merging these MR databases. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/17/AR2007021701172_4.html)
21) Forms and records must always be kept on the military’s databases and at DOD hospitals, and must never disappear (the disappearance of forms and records is the most common reason why troopers languish at WRAMC); the name and photo of every trooper who ever served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and other warzones must be entered to the apropriate databases and sent to all DOD and DVA hospitals.
22) “Civilian care coordinators” and case managers must be well-trained by the DOD or the DVA and and must understand the DOD medical system. When hiring them, the DOD and the DVA should always choose experienced DVA or DOD employees and experienced vets who have used the DOD system or the DVA system. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/17/AR2007021701172_4.html)
23) Every hospital platoon sergeant and every case manager must keep a written list of all patients assigned to him, the wars during which they fought, and their sigs, and must always have a copy of that list in his pocket.
24) Troopers should be allowed to use umbrellas at military hospitals. They should also be given winter clothes. Amputees and troopers whose legs or arms are broken shouldn’t be required to wear uniforms. DOD hospitals should try to devise a way other than a formation (which soldiers hate) to “keep track of their patients”. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/17/AR2007021701172_5.html)
25) The staff and the platoon sergeants of DOD hospitals should eliminate all rodents at DOD hospitals.
26) Hospital cafeterias must be located close to hospital rooms.
27) Injured soldiers (except lightly injured soldiers) shouldn’t be obliged to guard military hospitals – healthy soldiers should serve as their guards.
28) The streets and boroughs surrounding military hospitals must be purged of drug dealers by municipal PDs, state PDs and the FBI.
29) Paperwork for new uniforms must always be kept at appropriate desks, and must never disappear. Troopers who lack new uniforms must be provided with civilian business attire as interim solutions (they need appropriate attire for their Purple Heart ceremonies). (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/17/AR2007021701172_4.html)
30) DOD hospital staff must fight all kinds of stachybotrys, including black mold, and must fight cockroaches and any other insects that invade DOD hospitals. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_mold)
31) Every DODH platoon sergeant and every DODH employee must study all of his patients.
32) A CH system and water must be available at all DOD hospitals. Their elevators and garage doors, if broken, must be repaired. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/17/AR2007021701172_5.html)
33) The Service Secretaries should review all military hospitals and, if they can, merge them with each other to reduce installation costs (just like Walter Reed is scheduled to merge with Bethesda Naval Medical Center). Hospitals should be merged with the BNMC, Fort Detrick, the Dewitt Army Hospital, or other hospitals. The medical unit based at Bolling AFB should be relocated to Andrews AFB. Other hospital mergers and unit mergers should be decided by Service Secretaries. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Detrick; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeWitt_Army_Community_Hospital http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Reed_National_Military_Medical_Center; http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=31660)
34) All records of veterans retired from the military should be stored exclusively by the DVA. The DOD should store the records of currently-serving servicemen and send these records to the DVA when these servicemen retire (but maintain the copies); and it should give the DVA any records it asks for. It shall manage the records together with the DVA.
35) The number of forms and signatures required of veterans by the DVA should be significantly reduced. The DVA should use all the information it has about veterans before it asks them for any further information, forms, or signatures. It must also solve all other problems mentioned by this article: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/03/va_nightmare_a_harbinger_of_wh.html
36) Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and Popeye restaurants should be banned from all American military installations in the US and abroad. Junk food should be banned from all American military installations, as well as OCSes, military academies, military colleges, and DOD-sponsored schools. (http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/02/gns_obese_troops_020109/; http://www.frumforum.com/the-armys-war-on-fat)
37) All members of the US military should be required to perform an annual physical test consisting of e.g. 36 push-ups. If they don’t pass it, though, they should be allowed to try to pass the test again. Members who are too obese to serve should be allowed to physically exercise and pass the physical test before they are discharged.
38) The Congress should ban junk food from all schools across the US, and require all American children to pass a comprehensive physical exam every 4 years. It should be required to graduate from elementary school and high school. It should entail: 1) push-ups 2) sit-ups 3) runs.
39) Cigarettes, cigarette machines and cigarette sellers shall be banned from alll American military installations (in the US and abroad) as well as OCSes, military academies, military colleges, and DOD-sponsored schools.
40) The Congress should adopt the wide-ranging nutrition statute proposed by the Mission Readiness group, except that it should not increase nutrition funding. (http://townhall.com/news/politics-elections/2010/04/20/report_says_school_food_making_kids_unfit_to_serve)
41) All members of the US military should be forbidden to eat junk food and served only healthy food such as bologna spaghetti and lasagna. (http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/02/gns_obese_troops_020109/)
42) The US military should hire only physically-fit, non-obese individuals; yoga should not be taught to recruits; recruits should be required to do pushups, sit-ups and runs. Schools and parents must force American youngsters to do exercise frequently, and the percentage of youngsters ineligible to join the US military must be reduced from the current level (75%). The military’s training curriculum must be revised. (http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/03/army_softens_training_for_recr.html)
43) The military retirement age should be increased to 70 years of age. Military personnel should be entitled to a military pension after they serve for 30 years (which should be the baseline service period for military benefits). The retirement system must be dramatically simplified by the Congress. (http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/generalpay/a/retirementpay.htm)
44) The DOD’s HC programs must be restructured and reformed so that they will function like free-market programs.
45) Military personnel dependents older than 18 years of age should not be eligible to use the DOD’s HC programs. It is ridiculous to claim that 26-year-old people are “children”.
46) The DOD should request additional Military Construction Appropriations to repair Camp Lejeune (NC), stop the toxic spill now plaguing that installation, and clean the base up. (http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DKnKFeGa3lUI&h=d68b8)
47) All medical facilites, agencies and commands of the DOD should be merged into a single Military Medical Command, which should be responsible to the relevant Assistant SECDEF. The saving would be $307 mn in CY/FY2007 dollars. (doctor-student.net/article.php%3Fid%3D616046)
48) The DOD should raise TC program premiums to adequately finance that program. (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4617597)
49) HC program costs must not be allowed to grow in real terms by even 1%, and must be reduced to their FY2001 levels.
50) The 2014 QDR must review how to stop the growth of personnel costs and HC program costs and how to reduce them. But even before the QDR is written, the DOD should submit reform proposals along with an annual DOD budget request. (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4617597)
51) Every year, the DOD’s medical facilities and agencies must find savings on their programs.
Aside from these reforms (including 26 cost-controlling methods), the DOD and the DVA could certainly devise additional ways of healthcare cost reduction if they wanted to. The goal should be to reduce the annual total cost of the DOD’s HC programs by 60%, from $50 bn proposed for FY2011 to $20 bn. (One analyst claims that the FY2010 cost of DOD HC programs was $59.7 bn.) This annual cost must, of course, be prevented from ever rising to $65 bn per year. (http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=4669) However, to stop the growth of, and reduce, HC program costs, the US government must also stop waging unnecessary wars and stop deploying American troopers to countries where they don’t need to be.
B) Procurement methods
1) Economies of scale should be implemented. Large quantities of ships and planes (e.g. Virginia class submarines and F-35 planes) should be ordered to bring prices down. For example, the order for F-35s should be increased by 1285 planes.
2) The DOD (and all other governmental departments) should _always_ sign fixed-price contracts (they don’t do that now, the grim result being that contractors hike prices after contracts are signed).
3) Whenever a contractor of any governmental department (e.g. the DOD) allows a large-cost overrun to happen, the guilty contractor should be punished (the US government does not do that at present even though it legally could).
4) The US government should sign free trade agreements with raw material supplier countries (including titanium producing countries) to bring the prices of raw materials (including titanium, which is used to produce F-22s among other things) down.
5) The Defense Business Board (a subversive, traiterous organization) and the Office of Net Assessment should be abolished.
6) The procedure for the acquisition of military equipment by the DOD should be as follows: when the DOD decides to order a new weapon type, it should first send RFPs and tell candidates what the exact requirements of the DOD are. After candidate corporations submit their proposals, the DOD should objectively evaluate them according to the requirements earlier stated to these candidates, and choose the best offer, regardless of local politics. For example, in the KC-X program, the DOD should choose whichever tanker type is the best one, regardless of the protests of trade unions and certain regionalist members of the Congress.
7) Program requirements should never change (except for exceptional circumstances) after the deadline for candidate corporations to submit bids.
8) To curb inflation, the US government should stop printing money, and must adopt the gold standard.
9) To further drive weapon costs down, the DOD, the DOS and the White House should permanently conduct a huge campaign of promoting American weapons abroad in order to receive foreign contracts for American weaponry. Currently, foreign orders are small. For example, in Poland, which has thousands of various obsolete Soviet weapons (e.g. An-2 and An-28 utility planes, Su-22 and MiG-29 fighterplanes, Mi-2 and Mi-8 transport helicopters, Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters, and BMP-1 IFVs), the US government should offer Poland replacements for those weapons (e.g. M1 tanks, F-35 jets, M2 IFVs, M1 tanks and AH-64 helicopters). All other Eastern European NATO countries, as well as Georgia and Ukraine, should also be offered American weapons as replacements for their Soviet weapons. For Britain, the UK MOD should be invited to participate in the SSGN-X program, allowed to buy new SLBMs in America, asked to order additional F-35s, and given a complete TOT of F-35 technology. In France, America should offer KC-767 tankers as replacements for France’s obsolete B707-derived tankers, and RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft or P-8 planes as replacements for France’s obsolete Atlantique-2 planes. Finland, South Korea, Japan, Greece and Spain should be offered F-35s to replace their obsolete fighterplanes. As for Taiwan, it should be allowed to buy whatever conventional weapons it wants to buy (incl. F-35s), and required to buy large quantities of American weaponry. All countries which use M60 Patton tanks should replace them with new Abrams tanks (not tanks of the US military). The US government should lobby heavily on behalf of American corporations bidding for Indian military contracts. In Israel, the Israeli MOD should be asked to buy hundreds of American jets, and American armored vehicles as replacements for Soviet vehicles. Japan should be asked to significantly increase its military spending and order dozens of new ships and aircraft. America should offer to sell Brazil aircraft to replace obsolete Brazilian AF training gliders, tankers, Hercules transport planes, fighterplanes and helicopters. Italy should be asked to enlarge its carrier fleet and its orders for F-35s. Super Hercules planes should be offered to the Saudis and the Israelis so that they would be able to replace their Hercules-E and Hercules-H planes; their old Hercules planes should be sold to the US military for reclamation. The RSAF should also be offered replacements for its other obsolete aircraft (e.g. F-15s, F-16s or F/A-18s as replacements for its 87 obsolete Tornado IDS planes). The Saudi Army should be offered additional M1 tanks to replace its obsolete AMX-30 and M60 tanks, M2 Bradley IFVs to replace its obsolete AMX-10P IFVs, M119 howitzers to replace its obsolete M102 howitzers, and Stryker APCs to replace its obsolete M113 APCs and EE-11 Urutu APCs. Egypt should be offered 4 C-130J planes to replace the 4 Hercules planes it lost some time ago, 26 C-130Js to replace its existing 26 C-130Hs, dozens of training aircraft to replace its current fleet of obsolete training aircraft, and 173 F-16s to replace its Mirage V, J-7 and MiG-21 fighterplanes. Romania should be offered at least 48 F-16s to replace its 48 MiG-21s. Azerbaijan, Croatia and Yemen should be offered F-16s as replacements for their MiG-21s. America should sell Turkey whatever weapons Turkey needs, including M2 IFVs, Javelin antitank missiles, M72 antitank missile launchers, and PATRIOT, THAAD and MEADS theater ABM systems. Turkey should also be offered 19 Super Hercules planes to replace 19 of its C-160 and C-130B/E planes, 7 KC-767s as replacements for its KC-135R tankers, 100 F-35s as replacements for its F-4s and F-5s, and 209 F-35s as replacements for its F-16s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z30Ynw74u7Y). AH-64D helicopters should be sold to South Korea (which is interested in them). Israel should be offered AH-64Ds as replacements for its AH-1 helicopters. India should be asked to buy AH-64s (it plans to buy 22 new attack helicopters). Poland should be asked to buy AH-64s to replace its obsolete Mi-24 helicopters. Canada should be offered F/A-18E/F fighterplanes and F-35s to replace its CF-18 jets. Australia should be allowed to buy the 24 HH-60 helicopters it has requested, and South Korea should be allowed to buy the eight MH-60S helicopters, 16 GE T700-401C engines, and related sensor systems it has requested. Tunisia should be allowed to buy the 12 HH-60 helicopters it has requested. Israel should be offered B767 aircraft to replace its obsolete B707 AWACSes, tankers, and EW aircraft, and KC-130J tankers to replace its obsolete KC-130H tankers. All countries which operate old variants of H-47 helicopters, or any other transport helicopters, should be offered H-47F helicopters. American corporations must win all the Indian defense contracts for which anyone is bidding, including the contracts for medium helicopters, heavy lift helicopters, trainers, fighterplanes, stealth UCAVs, and cargo aircraft. At all times, unless otherwise stated here, America should export newly-made equipment, not used military gear. Equipment should never be given as FMF aid – only money should be. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Arabian_Army; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EE-11_Urutu; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M102_howitzer; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_Air_Force; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MiG_21; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SH-60_Seahawk#Other_and_future_users; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AH-64_Apache#The_Netherlands; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M60_Patton#Current; http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/israel/iaf-equipment.htm; http://www.vectorsite.net/avch47_2.html#m4; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Air_Force#Under_procurement)
10) The US military must never decrease the number of weapons it has and must never trade quantity for quality.
11) The US military should have a two-service CSAR helicopter program (instead of a single-service CSARH program) and should conduct it together with the Polish AF in order to 1) reduce unit costs (and total program costs) and 2) ensure the commonality of Polish and American CSAR helicopters.
12) America should ratify DTCTs with the UK and Australia; and negotiate, sign and ratify DTCTs with Denmark, Holland, Germany, El Salvador, Turkey, Kuwait, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Chile, Panama, Norway, the Philippines, Georgia, Colombia, South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, and Eritrea, and possibly other countries as well.
13) No-bid contracts should be banned.
14) Once the DOD signs an order for a given quantity of weapons, it should not reduce its order.
15) America should sign titanium purchase agreements with the Russian state-owned titatium producing corporation and establish a vertical supply chain for titanium.
16) Ramp up the production rates of F-35s, and order hundreds of additional F-35s to reduce the price per plane (i.e. to implement economics of scale).
17) The DOD must negotiate a reduction of the per-plane price of an F/A-18E/F plane to $50 mn with the producer of that planetype (Boeing). (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALHwrfRsPNE)
18) With few exceptions made on a case-by-case basis, the DOD should rely exclusively on governmental employees rather than contractors. DOD contracts must be managed only by DOD employees, not by contractors.
19) The USAF’s crucial CSAR-X program (which was supposed to yield replacements for the USAF’s Combat Search And Rescue Helicopter Fleet) was cancelled in April 2009 by Bob Gates. I have developed an alternative way to replace the USAF’s vintage CSARH fleet: buy 141 (or more) casual HH-47 Chinook helicopters or H-60 Black Hawk helicopters and modify them for the CSAR role (as was done with the USAF’s first MH-60 helicopters – they weren’t purpose-built CSAR aircraft, but rather modified H-60 helicopters). Black Hawks and Chinooks (not CSAR helicopters) are currently being procured by the US Army and the USAF anyway, and have been procured for many years. As interim helicopters, the 27 H-1 Iroquis helicopters currently parked at AMARC, all H-34 helicopters currently parked at AMARC, all H-46 helicopters parked at AMARC, and all H-53 helicopters currently parked at AMARC, should be recommissioned and modified for the CSARH role. These helos should also become available to the governors of Gulf Coast states.
20) The US military should replace its UH-1 Iroquois utility helicopters and its UH-1N Huey utility/SAR helicopters with the same type of aircraft that will replace the USAF’s obsolete MH-60 CSAR helicopters. Such a common type of replacement helicopters would mean significant savings. For the USAF alone, it would mean a one-time saving of $600 mn.
21) America’s allies should not be required to obtain licenses to repair their American-produced equipment. (http://www.lexingtoninstitute.org/reform-of-export-controls-is-part-of-the-gates-grand-design?a=1&c=1171)
22) America must create a single agency responsible for licensing and enforcement (which must be a part of the DOD), with one all-encompassing list of controlled items (right now there are several lists that are the responsibility of different agencies) and a unified information system for tracking license requests and licensed items. The US government should also establish a single enforcing agency that would enforce the law and coordinate, and a single black list of all end-receivers who must not be allowed to receive American technology. Such a list should include any country or group that is hostile to the US or conducts policies that harm the US. (http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=4613; http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=58830)
23) The USDOD should create a Strategic Weapon Programs Fund and finance the SSBNX program from it to protect other ship programs. The fund should receive money exclusively from the sales of exquisite equipment of the DOD and obsolete warships. These funds should be devoted exclusively to that fund. (http://www.lexingtoninstitute.org/lynn-rejection-of-need-for-strategic-programs-fund-neglects-key-concerns?a=1&c=1171)
24) The DOD should lobby the UAE government to purchase F-16 fighterplanes. (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dassault_Rafale)
25) The highest-priority programs of the DOD, such as bomber, submarine, fighterplane, tanker, AWACS, ICBM, SLBM, cruise missile, attack aircraft, aircraft carrier, amphibious assault ship and LPD programs, should be managed by three-star officers.
26) The New SSBN program should use a modified Virginia class hull design, not an entirely new design, thus saving the USN $7 bn. This means that the USN’s future submarines should be derivatives of the Virginia class, which is one of the quietest submarine classes on the planet.
27) As the Heritage Foundation has recommended, the Congress and the DOD should “Modernize Logistics Systems. Currently, performance-based logistics partnerships between Department of Defense and defense industry personnel have helped increase our combat capabilities. The Aerospace Industries Association estimates that modernizing and expanding such performance-based logistics could save as much as $32 billion per year.” (http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/08/The-Building-Blocks-of-a-Strong-National-Defense)
28) As the HF suggests, the Congress should “Undertake Broader Acquisitions Reform. Congress should promote a wider reform agenda for acquisitions that includes restoring a systems engineering team approach, simplifying criteria, continuing competition well into the production phase, and carefully deregulating the defense market to remove barriers to entry and cut through the red tape that drives up costs.” (http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/08/The-Building-Blocks-of-a-Strong-National-Defense)
29) The DOD should always use multiyear procurement contracts when ordering surface combatants, fighterplanes, attack aircraft, EW aircraft, bombers or helicopters, because MPCs reduce costs and stabilize the shipbuilding industry. (http://www.marines.mil/unit/hqmc/cmc/Documents/2010%20SASC%20Posture%20Hearing.pdf)
30) The DOD must develop a rapid, cost-efficient method/procedure of procuring everything it needs, including insulation materials and other products that reduce the rates of consumption of fossil fuels. But whenever possible, the DOD should buy commercial (civilian) off-the-shelf-products – e.g. civilian insulation materials, which the Army is already buying. (http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=61265)
These reforms would truly reform the procurement division of the DOD, unlike the McCain-Levin legislation, which would not reform, but sabotage, DOD procurement (http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/24/congress.pentagon/index.html). Levin is the same anti-military liberal who, during the Clinton era (and during other times), argued against military procurement and against increases in military spending.
There are only a few pseudomilitary procurement programs which should be closed. Here are those programs:
C) PROGRAM CLOSURES
1) The presidential helicopter fleet modernization program (which replaced the VH-71 program) should be closed. The DOD should order 12 VH-60 helicopters instead.
2) The Alternative Jet Engine Program (the F136 jet engine program) should be closed. It deprived the F-35 program of money that could’ve been spent on additional F-35 planes. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-35_Lightning_II#Engines; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Electric/Rolls-Royce_F136)
3) The DOD should cancel the order for 54 RQ-4 Global Hawk drones and order 54 MC-12 Huron ISR planes instead, at a price of $10 mn per plane. the DOD should offer RQ-4 aircraft only to foreign countries (including France, Canada, Spain, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia). If no one orders any additional RQ-4 UAVs, the RQ-4 production line should be closed.
4) The Navy should end the LCS program with the order for the 4th vessel and order 51 Ocean Patrol Cutters or Offshore Patrol Cutters (like the ones the US Coast Guard has ordered) or NSC vessels, to significantly reduce program costs. Such a reform will save the DOD $530 mn per each vessel. As Adm. James Lyons suggested, “The program should return to its original target of $220 million per ship and combine with the U.S. Coast Guard to build a dual-purpose ship with a credible integral combat system that can meet limited warfare requirements. This very different ship should be built in large numbers as part of the coming Ocean Patrol Cutter Program. Such a change would achieve huge savings for both the Navy and the Coast Guard tied to large production numbers. The funding saved from canceling the LCS could be used to procure the most capable high-end combatant ship with margins enough to allow future modernization.” Alternatively, the DOD should purchase 55 Holland class ships (which are cheaper than LCSes) or French-produced avisos (e.g. D’Estienne D’Orves) or British-produced offshore patrol vessels. (http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/05/why-we-need-better-ships/; http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/01/ship-shopping-list/)
D) BUREAUCRACY REDUCTION
1) The US military should transport only the necessary WH staff (e.g. the Secret Service), medical staff and military staff during official tours; only such staff should be allowed to make tours on any DOD-owned aircraft; all in all, an American delegation for a summit should number no more than 100 people.
2) The staff of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Public Affairs should be reduced by 50%.
3) Reduce the staff of the Office of the SECDEF by 75%, and the budget of the OSD by 75%. This should include a reduction of the SECDEF’s salary by half, and a reduction of the salary of the DOD spokesman ($165,000 per year) by 25%.
4) The DOD Police should be merged with the Pentagon Police, and should become responsible for the Pentagon in Arlington (VA). It should also be merged with the PFPA, and inherit all of their rights and duties. (http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/510568p.pdf)
5) The Office of the Under SECDEF for Policy should be abolished. The “Defense Prisoner of War/MIA Office” should report to the USD for Personnel; the Offices of “the ASD for Intl Security” and “the ASD for Global Security” should be merged and should report directly to the SECDEF and the Deputy SECDEF, as should the other 3 ASDs currently reporting to the USDP (the ASD for Homeland Defense, the ASD for Asian Affairs and the ASD for Special Operations). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under_Secretary_of_Defense_for_Policy; http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/33/DoD_Structure_Jan2008.png)
6) The number of Naval Districts should be reduced from 10 to 7 by: a) merging the DC Naval District with the 5th Naval District; b) merging the 13th Naval District with the 17th Naval District (and the HQ should be in Juneau); c) merging the 8th Naval District with the 7th Naval District. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_district)
7) The CIA should be abolished because it pointlessly duplicates (and rivals with) the DIA. All of its personnel, equipment, and buildings should be given to the DIA. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_Intelligence_Agency)
The Pentagon Task Group on Climate Change should be dissolved.
9) The number of paperwork doers in the Pentagon must be reduced by at least 25% (http://www.bens.org/our-work/signature-issues/defense-reform/tail-to-tooth-commission/why-t2t.html)
10) The office of Deputy Under Secretary of the Army and the office of the Chief of Public Affairs of the Army should be dissolved. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Organization_of_the_Department_of_the_Army_Headquarters.png) The office of the Chief of Naval Information should be merged with the office of the Chief Information Officer of the Navy.
11) The cost of overhead must be reduced as a share of the DOD budget from 40% now to no more than 20%, and ideally 10%.
12) The DOD must review all of the “positions” it maintains and consider how many of them could be merged or abolished.
13) The number of command tiers/ bureaucracy tiers separating the SECDEF from a line officer must be reduced from 30 to 17, and then to 9.
14) All contractors who only supervise other contractors, all bureaucrats who only supervise other bureaucrats, and all secretaries who only supervise other secretaries should be sacked.
15) The USMC’s Combat Development Command (MCCDC), which is responsible for training and similar roles, should be merged with the USMC’s Training and Education Command.
16) The cost of the administration of the Department of the Army must be reduced by 25%, from $13.786 bn to $10.3995 bn.
17) The number of Presidential appointees (incl. Assistant Secretaries and Under Secretaries) employed by the DOD must be reduced by 50%.
18) All unneeded boards and commissions in the DOD must be abolished. Their number must therefore be halved from the current level (65), as must be their cost ($75 mn per year). One of the boards that should be dissolved should be the DPB. (http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=13782)
19) The number of the internally-demanded reports and studies generated every year must be reduced by at least 25%. The DOD should also work with the Congress to reduce the number of Congressionally-directed reports by at least 25%. Likewise, the number of the intel reports generated by the DOD’s intel agencies and the rest of the USIC should be reduced by at least 25%. (http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=13782)
20) The DOD should review if every single building it owns is truly needed, and sell all unneeded buildings.
21) At the DOD, there should be only one agency (and only one military command, subordinated to it) responsible for information operations (influencing foreign populations to like the US); and only one agency (and one military command, the US Cyber Command) responsible for cyber wars.
E) FUEL COST REDUCTION
1) By 2040 every aircraft bought or owned by the DOD must be able to use not only kerosene, but also: a 50/50 blend of kerosene and Fischer-Tropsch fuel, 100% Fischer-Tropsch fuel, a 50/50 blend of jatropha-oil-derived-fuel and regular kerosene, fuel entirely derived from jatropha oil, a 50/50 blend of kerosene and fuel derived from camelina, and a 50/50 blend of kerosene and biodiesel; by 2050, every vehicle in the US military’s arsenal (i.e. every conventional ship, plane, helicopter and ground vehicle) must be able to use such fuel (every time the price of oil goes up, so does the price of fuels). All aircraft of the DOD must be able to use a 50/50 blend of kerosene and FT fuel by 2020. This doesn’t mean, however, that the DOD should always use only one type of fuel regardless of its swinging price. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jatropha)
2) Require that all American military installations (except Nellis AFB) be powered only by nuclear reactors.
3) The DOD should begin research on solar-powered planes.
4) The US military should encourage the construction of synthethic fuel factories around the country, ignore environmentalists’ protests, and deny that global warming is happening.
5) All future BMD cruisers of the US Navy should be propelled by nuclear reactors rather than diesel engines.
6) The US military should start recycling nuclear fuel.
7) All civilian employees of the DOD should use laptops rather than stationary PCs (laptops are 11 times more electricity-efficient than stationary computers).
8) The DOD should stop buying solar panels and stop building solar electric plants. The Army’s solar electric plant project should be cancelled.
9) The DOD should stop trying to “green” the US military. (http://bigjournalism.com/lfairchok/2010/02/16/condition-red-obama-attempts-to-turn-the-defense-department-green/)
10) No flyovers.
11) People who are not members of the Executive Branch (including the Speaker of the House) should fly commercial airliners, not military jets. Military VIP jets must be reserved exclusively for members of the Executive Branch. The fleet of Gulfstream-V jets should be reduced from 9 to only 6 jets. Any orders for any additional VIP jets (excluding three large VIP jets to replace SAM28000 and SAM29000) must be cancelled. (http://www.ntu.org/news-and-issues/multimedia/new-jets-ordered-for-congress.html)
12) The USAF should use Fischer-Tropsch fuel for 80% of its North America based aircraft by 2050. To enable the US industry to produce large quantities of FT fuel, the USAF (or the Dept. of the Interior) should donate land to FT fuel producers, if they build FT fuel factories on it. All environmental restrictions on the US military must be abolished. (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,340923,00.html)
13) All civilian cars owned by the DOD must meet a 80-mpg CAFÉ standard. Simoultaneously, the fleet of civilian cars owned by the DOD must be reduced by 50% and the surplus cars should be sold.
14) The US military should exploit all unused coal reserves in the US.
15) All algae in the US must be reserved for fuel producers, so that they can produce biofuels for the US military if need be.
16) Winglets should be installed on all civilian aircraft of the DOD (C-40s, Gulfstream jets, C-32s, E-4s, VC-25s, OC-135s, WC-135s, B737s, etc.) and on all KC-10 tankers of the DOD. All future civilian aircraft that the DOD will buy must have winglets. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_757#Winglet_upgrades)
17) The USAF should replace its 4 B757s (C-32s) and its 2 B747s (VC-25s) with 4 B787s. (http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/AF1-012809.xml&headline=Boeing%20Only%20Contender%20for%20New%20Air%20Force%20One)
18) WH helicopters should be available ONLY to members of the Executive Branch, and no one else. (http://www.frumforum.com/dnc-donors-paid-for-pole-dancers-plus-wh-helicopters)
19) If possible, algae-derived fuel must be competitive with, and must not cost more than, fossil fuels. The oil extraction cost must be reduced to $1 per gallon. Otherwise, algae-derived oil should not be used. Algae colonies should be established by the DOE if needed. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/13/algae-solve-pentagon-fuel-problem; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_fuel; http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/09/o_algae_save_us_from_big_oil.html)
20) LV100-5 engines should be installed on all M1 tanks of the US Army, and should be made able to run on Fischer-Tropsch fuel and on a 50/50 blend of diesel and FT fuel. New APUs should be installed on all M1 Abrams tanks. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_Abrams)
21) C-26 aircraft shall be used only as cargo aircraft, not as antinarcotics aircraft. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-26_Metroliner)
22) All American military installations, academies, colleges and office buildings (such as the Pentagon building) should be provided with electricity exclusively by nuclear reactors, solar panels, hydroelectric plants, and coal electric plants.
23) The statute which prohibits the US government to buy synthetic fuel which emits more CO2 when produced than oil-derived fuels must be repealed. The DOD should not sequestrate the CO2 emitted when such fuel is produced, but it should use biomass as well as coal and natural gas to produce such fuel. (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=3969089&c=FEA&s=TEC) Biomass should be used to produce synthetic fuel when it becomes as cheap as coal. When it does, a sufficient amount of biomass should be reserved for the US military.
24) The US military should use synthetic fuel (alongside petroleum-derived fuels) to propel its tanks, IFVs, APCs, MLRSes, trucks, generators and heaters. (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=3969089&c=FEA&s=TEC) When buying synthetic fuel for any purposes, the US military should not discriminate against foreign synthetic fuel producers.
25) When buying synthetic fuel, the US military should require that synthetic fuel be derived from lignite or other cheap genres of coal. This will guarantee that the US military will always buy the cheapest genre of fuel possible. Other genres of coal are also acceptable, though. (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=3969089&c=FEA&s=TEC)
26) All bases and buildings of the DOD should be thermically isolated. (http://lci.tf1.fr/science/environnement/2010-04/l-armee-americaine-se-met-au-vert-5824550.html)
27) The DOD must not use any foodstock plants as sources of fuel. (http://lci.tf1.fr/science/environnement/2010-04/l-armee-americaine-se-met-au-vert-5824550.html)
28) Bases of the US military which do not have their own solar panels should stop buying electricity from solar electric plants and start buying electricity from nuclear electric plants or coal electric plants. (http://lci.tf1.fr/science/environnement/2010-04/l-armee-americaine-se-met-au-vert-5824550.html)
29) The DOD should stop trying to “green” fighterplanes (including F/A-18 jets). The cameline fuel program should be extended, however: all aircraft of the US military (not just F/A-18s and A-10s) should be made fit for a 50%/50% blend of kerosene and cameline-derived fuel. The DARPA should determine whether plane enginges can be made fit for several various types of fuel – not just regular kerosene and the forementioned blend, but also 50%/50% blends of kerosene and other unconventional fuels such as FT fuel, animal-fat-derived fuel, switchgrass-derived biofuels, waste-wood-derived-biofuel, and algae-derived oil. (http://lci.tf1.fr/science/environnement/2010-04/l-armee-americaine-se-met-au-vert-5824550.html; http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/04/22/341032/navy-green-hornet-goes-supersonic-with-biofuel.html; http://www.wpafb.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123197414)
30) American coke and imported coke must be reserved for steel mills.
31) A military counterpart of the following hydrogen fuel research program should be created at the DARPA. It must be well-funded and made a priority program of the DARPA. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/04/cheap_energy_and_genetic_engin.html; http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=engineered-virus-harnesses-light-to-10-04-14
32) All civilian vehicles of the DOD and the rest of the US government must be fit for a 50/50 blend of FT fuel and casual gasoline, as well as for 100% Fischer-Tropsch fuel.
33) Notwithstanding the above policies, the DOD should always buy the cheapeast available fuel, regardless of whether it’s ordinary kerosene or something else.
34) When buying algae-derived fuel, the DOD should buy only AD fuel produced from oil from an algae fermentor, not from an algae pond (except when the price of oil is above $70/bbl) nor a PBR. (http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Biofuels/5-Issues-with-Algae-Fuels.html)
35) All jet aviation units of the US military around the globe should adopt a goal of meeting 50% of their jet fuel requirement with alternative fuels by 2020. Jet aviation units based in the Continental US should adopt a 75% target. By 2020, all aircraft of all services should be certified to fly with alternative fuels, if possible. (http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123196846)
36) All services should investigate whether they can use biofuels (incl. animal-fats-derived fuels, cameline-derived biofuels, switchgrass-derived-biofuels, algae-derived oil, wastewood-derived biofuels, and all other types of biofuels) to propel their ships (the USN) and ground vehicles of all types.
37) Economies of scale must be implemented to ensure that alternative fuels are financially viable (i.e. that they do not cost more than regular fuels). (http://www.wpafb.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123197414)
38) The T55 engines of all H-47 Chinook helicopters must be replaced with new engines to reduce their fuel consumption rate by 1/3 and costs by 1/2. (http://www.vectorsite.net/avch47_2.html#m4)
39) All aircraft of the DOD should be made fit for a blend of regular kerosene and fuels made from animal fats and various plant oils, and to have the entire global fleet of DOD aircraft (not just the aircraft based in the CONUS) to be 50% dependent on alternative fuels by 2018. (http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123196846)
40) All new civilian aircraft bought by the DOD must be equipped with winglets.
41) New engines, ones which will save 19% of the fuel consumed by E-3 aircraft, should be installed on E-3 planes. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-3_Sentry#Future_direction)
42) When the First Lady travels anywhere, she should never use the USAF’s VC-25s (B747s); instead, she should use smaller aircraft such as B757s or Gulfstream jets. Similarly, the President of the United States should, whenever possible, use one of the USAF’s 4 B757s or Gulfstream jets rather than B747s. (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100050002/the-obama-presidency-increasingly-resembles-a-modern-day-ancien-regime-extravagant-and-out-of-touch-with-ordinary-people/)
43) All tents of the US military should be foam insulated; the US military should stop buying tents that have solar batteries, because they needlessly burden the troopers who carry them. All buildings of the DOD which the DOD does not plan to close or sell should be thermally-siolated. (http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=61265)
44) The US military should immediately stop fueling its ground vehicles and conventional ships with regular diesel and start fueling them with Fischer-Tropsch fuel, which should be derived from coal, peat or wastewood. The US military should not buy any FT fuel derived from natural gas, because NG should be reserved for the civilian market.
F) PERSONNEL REDUCTION
1) Reduce the aggregate number of civilian employees of the three service departments by at least 50%; The number of DOD speechwriters must be reduced by 50%; the number of DOD advisors must be reduced by 25%.
2) Radically reduce the number of generals (Russia plans to reduce the number of serving Russian generals from 1100 to 900). The number of generals and admirals should be reduced to no more than 776 (the pre-9/11/2001 number) from the current number (876), and preferrably to 700. Also, reduce the number of DOD civilian employees to the CY2000 level. This means that the growth of the number of generals, admirals and DOD civilian employees since 2000 must be completely reversed. (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/intro/ranks.htm; http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=13782)
3) Withdraw America from the useless NATO alliance (and discharge all American personnel currently serving at NATO HQ);
4) Dual-hat some commands and merge others (e.g. the US Army’s FORSCOM should be merged with the Army’s SDDC, and the Army’s Materiel Command should be merged with the Army’s AASC);
4a) Replace all unreplaceable C-5s (i.e. C-5As) with C-17s (the crew of a C-17 consists of 3 people; the crew of a C-5 jet consists of 9 folks) or An-124s or An-225s;
5) Replace the 3 Seawolf-class SSNs with 3 Virginia-class submarines when the Seawolf-class retires;
6) Cap the salaries of all civilian employees of the DOD;
7) Require that every new ship program reduce the number of personnel required for 1 ship in comparison to the ship program it is replacing (the Gerald R Ford class is supposed to require 25% fewer crewmen than the Nimitz class); and
Replace M1 Abrams tanks with AMX-56 Leclerc tanks or a new American tank type that would have only 3 crewmembers per tank (thus reducing the number of tankmen in the US military by 25%).
9) The posts of the Vice Chairman of the JCS, and the Administrative Advisor of the SECAF should be abolished as should be the entire Environmental Division of the CNO’s Office, the AFIS and the AFPS; the military bands of the USAF, of the USMC, of the USN and of the US Army (except their central bands) should be dissolved.
10) The Honor Guards of the four services of the DOD should be reduced by 50%. The 3rd Infantry Regiment of the US Army should be reduced to 1 battalion.
11) The Army’s PSYOPS group, the 4th PSYOPS group, should be disbanded. It’s a useless propaganda unit. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4th_Psychological_Operations_Group)
12) The aggregate number of soldiers and marines should be initially capped at the 2009 treshold.
13) The US Army’s NASCAR team should be abolished. (http://www.army.mil/-images/2009/07/13/44751/army.mil-44751-2009-07-14-070737.jpg)
14) The US government should abolish the CIA and assign its functions to other intel agencies (e.g. the DIA). It should also create a dedicated counterintel agency at the DOD.
15) Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Asian part of Russia should be added to the AO responsibility of the USPACOM. The US Africa Command should be disbanded; Africa should become an AOR of the US Central Command. Israel and the rest of Asia Minor, should be added to the AOR of the USCENTCOM, too.
16) The presidential helicopter fleet should be replaced with 8 VH-60 helicopters. No separate program for that purpose is needed, these 8 VH-60s should be derivates of H-60s.
17) The Naval Historical Center and the Army Historical Center shall be abolished, and all historians employed by the DOD except the historians at military universities shall be retired and not replaced.
18) The Joint Staff’s personnel should be reduced by at least 25%; the Air Staff’s personnel and the Naval Staff’s personnel should both be reduced by 10%. The personnel of the Directorate for Strategic Plans and Policy of the JCS should be reduced by at least 25%. (http://www.af.mil/information/bios/bio.asp?bioID=6545)
19) The US Strategic Command’s Center for Combating WMDs should be abolished. The Civil Affairs Commands of the US Army should be merged to form 2 commands, one on the East Coast and the other one on the West Coast (in CA); their personnel should be reduced by 50%. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army_Civil_Affairs_and_Psychological_Operations_Command)
20) The staff of every Marine and Army division should be reduced by at least 10%, as should be the number of personnel at each geographic AF command and at each Numbered Air Force except the 18th AF.
21) The staff of each task force should be reduced by at least 10%. The JFCOM (including the personnel the Strategy and Policy Directorate) and the AFRICOM should be dissolved. The HQ personnel of every other unified combatant command (the geographic and functional commands alike) must be reduced to pre-2001 levels. In the case of the NORTHCOM, which did not exist before 2001, the number should be reduced by 50%. Unfortunately, these numbers have grown at all DOD commands since 2000, even at the EUCOM, even though since 2000 the DOD has withdrawn tens of thousands of military personnel from Europe. Gates would only freeze the number of HQ personnel. The total HQ personnel numbers and post-2000 HQ personnel growth rates for each command and MIlitary Department are available at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/43794546/DoD-HQ-Staff-Comparisons-2000-2010
Complete data on HQ personnel of each comamnd and each Military Department as well as the Joint Staff should be provided to the Congress, and Sen. Webb’s questions should be answered. (http://webb.senate.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/11-24-2010-01.cfm)
22) The number of officers should be reduced if it can be done in a way that would ensure that this policy doesn’t weaken the US military. The current number of American military officers who are not generals or warrant officers is 209,878. The total current number of American military officers is 226,565. (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/intro/ranks.htm)
23) Replace all C-130E-Hs with Super Hercules planes, because according to the USAF’s website, “The C-130J is the latest addition to the C-130 fleet and will replace aging C-130E’s. The C-130J incorporates state-of-the-art technology to reduce manpower requirements, lower operating and support costs, and provides life-cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models. Compared to older C-130s, the J model climbs faster and higher, flies farther at a higher cruise speed, and takes off and lands in a shorter distance. The C-130J-30 is a stretch version, adding 15 feet to fuselage, increasing usable space in the cargo compartment.
C-130J/J-30 major system improvements include: advanced two-pilot flight station with fully integrated digital avionics; color multifunctional liquid crystal displays and head-up displays; state-of-the-art navigation systems with dual inertial navigation system and global positioning system; fully integrated defensive systems; low-power color radar; digital moving map display; new turboprop engines with six-bladed, all-composite propellers; digital auto pilot; improved fuel, environmental and ice-protection systems; and an enhanced cargo-handling system.” – http://www.af.mil/information/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=92
24) The third batch of Virginia class submarines must be as automated as the Russian Graney class, so that the crew of one Virginia class submarine will be reduced to only 50 crewmembers. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graney_class_submarine)
25) On top of the above reductions, the DOD should retire the 14,650 Air Force personnel and 2,477 Navy sailors hired in 2009 (under the FY2010 budget), and reverse the Bush expansion of the military by 100,000 men (the “Grow the Army Initiative” and the “grow the USMC program”).
26) On top of the above reductions, the increase of the number of military personnel by 100,000 men proposed by Sen. Joe Lieberman in 2009 should be reversed.
27) On top of the above reductions, the USN, the USAF and the US Army should review whether they can afford to reduce their officer-to-enlisted-man ratio to 1:9 (the USMC’s ratio) and their civilian-to-military-man ratio to 1:15 (the USMC’s ratio). (http://www.marines.mil/unit/hqmc/cmc/Documents/090515%20–%20Gen%20Conway%20at%20CSIS.pdf)
27) On the whole, the number of military personnel (counting Guardsmen, Reservists and AC personnel together) should not exceed 2 million.
28) The annual cost of military personnel (which was $170 bn in FY2010), on the whole, must be radically reduced, by no less than $40 bn, and its inflation-adjusted growth must be stopped. Salaries and privileges must be reviewed. The DOD must also invent a system that will be generous enough to recruit and retain high-quality people, but not one that will cause the DOD to collapse under the weight of personnel costs like GM and Chrysler did. (http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=1508)
G) SHIP AND PLANE RETIREMENTS
1) Retire all obsolete aircraft as soon as their replacements arrive. By “obsolete aircraft” I mean aircraft that can neither fly nor fight. For example, the USAF’s entire Hercules fleet of the non-Super-Hercules variants should be replaced by Super Hercules planes (as should be the Hercules planes of the non-Super-Hercules variants owned by foreign AFs); the USMC’s KC-130 tanker fleet should be replaced by tankers derived from Super Hercules planes. The USAF’s obsolete CSAR helicopters should be replaced with new MH-53 or new MH-60 helicopters, or other CSAR or multi-purpose helicopters, but these must be new. All E-3 AWACSes should be replaced with E-10 jets. The Army should reclaim all H-57 helicopters parked at AMARC for spare parts or recommission them and modify them for the CSARH role.
2) Offer the aircraft carriers USS Constellation and USS John F Kennedy to India (or any other country) if India (or any other country) pays for these ships and refits them. If not, refit them and recommission them.
3) Strip the two remaining reserve battleships of the USN, the USS Iowa and the USS Wisconsin (and two decommissioned battleships, USS Alabama and USS Massachusetts) of their guns, then sell the 2 reserve battleships (Iowa and Wisconsin) to scrappers. The guns themselves should be used to arm two monitors that should be ordered.
4) All KA-planes, A-4 jets and F-4 planes parked at AMARC should be sold to the IAF, the Luftwaffe, the Argentine AF, the Japanese AF, or the ROKAF. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-4_Phantom_II_non-U.S._operators) All SH-2 helicopters parked at AMARC should be sold to the RNZAF. All C-9 and DC-9 planes parked at AMARC should be sold to Third World airlines.
5) The Spruance class vessel still moored in a reserve fleet should be sold, not sunk; USS Barry should be scrapped; CG-47-49 and CG-51 should be recommissioned and upgraded with the Aegis BMD system; no American ships should be sunk by the USN; the USN must not donate any ships as museum ships.
6) All obsolete ships in American reserve fleets (i.e. all ships in those fleets except modern ones like those of the Ticonderoga class and Los Angeles submarines, which should all be recomissioned except those LA class submarines whose lives have ended) should be sold or scrapped to earn money for new weapons. All 4 Forrestal class aircraft carriers should be scrapped. The USN’s reserve fleets (mothballed fleets) currently number 251 ships. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_fleet; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Navy_reserve_fleets#List_of_USN_reserve_fleets; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_River_Reserve_Fleet)
7) All F-16s, F-15s and F/A-18s that are too old to fly or cannot fly for any other reason must be cannibalized for spare parts. All F-15s and F-16s that are flyable should be recommissioned as interim aircraft to replace retiring F-15s and F-16s. This means that all F-15s and F-16s which are not too old to fly should continue to serve the USAF. All F/A-18s which are flyable should be recommissioned as interim aircraft to replace retiring F/A-18s.
All S-2s parked at AMARC should be sold to Taiwan, as should be some S-3s parked at AMARC. (Alternatively, all S-2 planes should be sold to the Government of California. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X721NfyQTQo)
) All T-2s parked at AMARC should be sold to Greece.
9) The USS Tarawa (LHA-1) should be sold, not sunk. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Tarawa_(LHA-1) )
10) All 7 C-20s (i.e. Gulfstream-III jets) should be retired and sold to private owners. All C-32 (B757) aircraft of the USAF should be retired and replaced with 2 B787 jets. 3 of the 9 Gulfstream-V jets of the USAF should be mothballed at AMARC.
11) The Pentagon should give 12 of the Hercules planes parked at AMARC to the RAF; it should then reclaim (i.e. use for spare parts) all other aircraft (incl. B-1s, B-52s, C-5s and A-10s) parked at AMARC (except F-15s, F-16s and A-6s, which should be recommissioned and kept in service as interim aircraft until additional F-35s are ordered, if they are ever ordered) to keep the US military’s aircraft flyable. (Note: the currently planned Pentagon figure of 2443 F-35s for the entire military is woefully inadequate, as was the previous DOD figure of 2543 F-35s.) At the same time, the DOD should continually buy spare parts and upgrades for F-15s and F-16s, taking advantage of the still-open F-15 and F-16 production lines, and continually modernize F-15s, F-16s and A-10s to keep them flying for as long as possible (to prevent a “fighterplane gap”).
H) BRAC POLICY
1) A new BRAC round should be implemented (Fort Gordon, Bicycle Lake Army Airfield, Heslar Naval Armory, NSA New Orleans, NASJRB New Orleans, Henderson Hall, Camp Kilmer, Navy Broadway Complex, NB Point Loma, NSF Anacostia, NSF Thurmont (AKA Camp David), NSY Portsmouth, the WNY, the 70th Regional RC, the the 96th Regional RC, the 77th RRC, Carlisle Barracks, DC Marine Barracks, Fort Lee, Fort Chaffee, Fort Myer, NIMSF Philadelphia, Pitt US Army Reserve Center, Fort Totten (with the USAFRC), Fort Hamilton, Fort Jackson, Fort Lawton, Fort McPherson, Fort Gillem, Fort Shafter and Gunter Annex should be closed during that round and sold). Fort Gillem was recommended for closure as early as 2005, and Fort Chaffee no longer houses any military units. Units stationed at Fort Lawton should be assigned to other military installations. This article recommends the closure of 1 USAF, 1 USMC, 20 Army and 10 Navy big installations, a total of 32 big military installations, plus 1 small USMC installation (Henderson Hall) and 1 small USAF installation (Bellows AFS), on the condition that these bases would not be occupied by American troopers returning from abroad.
2) The US Army, Pacific command (and all other units based at Fort Shafter) should be relocated to Schofield Barracks; subsequently, the DOD should close Fort Shafter.
3) All retired ships mothballed at NIMSF Philadelphia should be moved to other NIMSFs.
4) All units and persons based at Fort Myer should be moved to Fort Belvoir or Fort Meade. Afterwards, Fort Myer should be closed and sold during a BRAC round. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Myer)
5) The US Army’s Reserve Command, Forces Command and Central Command, and the IMC for the Southeast should be moved to other Forts. Afterwards, Fort McPherson shall be closed during a BRAC round and sold.
6) All units stationed at Cannon AFB should be moved to the Hurlburt base (FL), which should be renamed Hurlburt-Johnson AFB (after Donald Hurlburt and Clarence Johnson). Subsequently, Cannon AFB should be reserved for the USAF wings that will come back from Europe. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannon_Air_Force_Base#BRAC_2005)
7) The unit stationed at Henderson Hall should be moved to Quantico (VA). Afterwards, Henderson Hall should be closed.
All units and equipment based at Cheyenne Mountain Station should be moved to Peterson AFB. Cheyenne Mountain Station should not be closed, however. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheyenne_Mountain_Air_Force_Station)
9) The DOD should close the Naval Shipyard Portsmouth, Kittery, ME; Relocate the ship depot repair function to Naval Shipyard Norfolk, VA, Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility Pearl Harbor, HI and Naval Shipyard Puget Sound, WA; Relocate the Submarine Maintenance, Engineering, Planning and Procurement Command to Naval Shipyard Norfolk. DOD recommended to close NSY Portsmouth as early as 2005, but the BRAC Commission removed the NSY from the list. The DOD doesn’t need NSY Portsmouth because it has 2 NSYs in the Pacific area (Puget Sound and Pearl Harbor) and 1 on the East Coast (NSY Norfolk).
10) The entire 42nd Airbase wing should be based at Maxwell AFB. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/42d_Air_Base_Wing)
11) The wings which would come back to the US under this plan (including 1 tanker wing from Britain, 1 F-15 wing wing Britain, 1 F-16 wing from Germany, and 1 fighterplane wing from Japan) should be based at Jacksonville AGS (FL), Otis AFB (MA) and Cannon AFB (NM) (which should remain open).
12) The DOD should distribute the eight C-130H aircraft of the 914th Airlift Wing (AFR) to the 314th Airlift Wing, Little Rock Air Force Base, AR. The 914th’s headquarters moves to Langley Air Force Base, VA, the Expeditionary Combat Support (ECS) realigns to the 310th Space Group (AFR) at Schriever Air Force Base, CO, and the Civil Engineering Squadron moves to Lackland Air Force Base, TX. Also at Niagara, distribute the eight KC-135R aircraft of the 107th Air Refueling Wing (ANG) to the 101st Air Refueling Wing (ANG), Bangor International Airport Air Guard Station, ME. The 101st will subsequently distribute the remaining 8 tankers to Bangor AGS, and 16-17 new C-130Js should be ordered and parked at Niagara, and a new Airlift Wing should be established at that base.
13) The 77th Brigade of the US Army and the AFRC (Reserve Center) should be relocated from Fort Totten to Fort Dix. Subsequently, Fort Totten should be closed.
14) The 2nd Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment, of the 244th Aviation Brigade of the US Army should be relocated from Horsham (PA) to Fort Eustis (VA).
15) The Pitt US Army Reserve Center should be relocated to Fort Dix (NJ).
16) The 416th Theater Engineer Command should be relocated from Illinois to Vicksburg (MS). (http://www.usar.army.mil/arweb/organization/commandstructure/USARC/OPS/Pages/default.aspx)
17) The 80th Training Command (TASS) should be relocated from Richmond (VA) to Fort Lee or Fort Pickett. (http://www.usar.army.mil/arweb/organization/commandstructure/USARC/TNG/Pages/default.aspx)
18) The 70th Regional RC (based in Seattle, WA) and the 96th Regional RC (based in SLC, UT) should be relocated to Los Alamitos (CA) and merged with the 63rd Regional RC based in Los Alamitos. The 77th RRC should be relocated to Moon Township (PA) and merged with the 99th RRC based there. The 88th RRC should be relocated from Fort Snelling (MN) to Fort McCoy (WI). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army_Reserve_Regional_Readiness_Commands)
19) All 7 subs and all 3 Torpedo ships from Naval Base Point Loma (CA), and all commands based there, should be relocated to Naval Base Kitsap (WA) and/or Naval Submarine Base New London (CT) (the 3rd Fleet must be based at NB Kitsap). Subsequently, the DOD should close NB Point Loma. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Base_Point_Loma; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Base_Kitsap)
20) The tenants of NSF Anacostia should be relocated as follows:
a) Commander, Naval Installations; the Naval OSC; the Naval Media Center; and the Naval Research Laboratory – to the DC Navy Yard;
b) the DOD Inspector General and the Office of Chief of Information – to the Pentagon;
c) the Marine Helicopter Squadron (HMX-1) and the Marine FRC – to USMC base Quantico;
d) the DC Army National Guard – to Fort McNair (DC);
e) the WH Communications Agency – to the WH, Fort Meade or Andrews AFB;
f) Construction Battalion Unit 422 of the Navy – to the closest naval base or USMC base (preferrably USMC Base Quantico).
Subsequently, NSF Anacostia should be closed.
21) NSF Thurmont (AKA Camp David) should be closed during a BRAC round and subsequently given to the Executive Office of the President.
22) The former Fort Missoula and the former Camp Lockett should be sold.
23) Bellows AFS should be closed, and instead, NAS Key West should become the military’s holiday resort.
24) The HQ of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing should be relocated to NAS Key West (the wing’s units are scattered throghout the US). The Commander of the NF Reserve Command and the Commander of the NAF Reserve should also relocate to NAS Key West. The USMC Reserve should relocate to Camp Pendleton, as should the HQ of the 4th Marine Division (whose units, like the units of the 4th MAW, are scattered throughout the US). Subsequently, NSA New Orleans should be closed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Pendleton; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSA_New_Orleans)
25) All units based at NASJRB New Orleans should relocate to NAS Pensacola, NAS CC, NAS Mayport or NAS Corpus Christi. Subsequently, NASJRB New Orleans should be closed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Air_Station_Joint_Reserve_Base_New_Orleans
26) The US Army Installation Management Command for the Northeastern Region should be relocated from Fort Hamilton (an administrative installation) to Fort Drum (also located in NY state). Subsequently, Fort Hamilton should be closed. (http://www.hamilton.army.mil/)
27) The Naval Operations Support Center Indianapolis, Marine Corps Reserve Center Indianapolis, and Naval Recruiting Station Indianapolis, as well as the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps Cruiser Indianapolis (CA 35) and all the equipment stored at HNA, should be relocated from Heslar Naval Armory to the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (70 miles south of Indianapolis). Subsequently, the Heslar Naval Armory should be closed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heslar_Naval_Armory; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Surface_Warfare_Center_Crane_Division)
28) The US Army Chaplain School and the US Army Drill Sergeant School should be relocated from Fort Jackson (SC) to Fort Leonard Wood or Fort Leavenw. Afterwards, Fort Jackson should be closed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Jackson_(South_Carolina) )
29) NAS Jacksonville and NS Mayport (located in the city of Jacksonville) should be merged.
30) All commands based at Fort Lee (VA) should relocate to Fort Eustis (VA), which is the principal logistics installation of the US Army. Subsequently, Fort Lee (VA) should be closed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Lee_(Virginia) )
31) The 11th Wing of the USAF and all ceremonial units should be assigned to Andrews AFB and leave Bolling AFB (as should all other agencies based at Bolling AFB except the DIA). Bolling AFB should be separated from NSF Anacostia (which should be closed) and become a base for a new CSAR helicopter wing that I would create. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolling_AFB)
32) The Army War College should be relocated to Fort Leaven. Subsequently, Carlisle Barracks should be closed and should become a historic landmark.
33) The Navy Broadway Complex in San Diego should be closed. All institutions based there should be relocated to NS San Diego. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navy_Broadway_Complex)
34) The SIGINT brigade currently stationed at Fort Gordon should relocate to Fort Bragg, where it was previously stationed (until 2007). All other units and agencies currently stationed at Fort Gordon, except the Eisenhower Medical Center, should be relocated to Fort Huachuca or Fort Meade. Subsequently, Fort Gordon should be closed.
35) The USMC’s Mobilization Command should relocate to San Diego; the Army’s Richards-Gebaur Army Reserve Center (MO) should be relocated to Fort Leonard Wood (MO); United States Army Reserve’s 308th Tactical Psychological Operations Company should relocate to Fort Leonard Wood or another installation. Consequently, the DOD should stop Rusing the already-closed Richards-Gebaur AFB. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richards-Gebaur_Air_Force_Base; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Corps_Mobilization_Command)
36) All units based at Bicycle Lake Army Airfield should relocate to Los Alamitos Army Airfield. Subsequently, Bicycle Lake Army Airfield should be closed, but retained by the DOD as its property. (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/bicycle-lake.htm)
37) Both Navy Air Test and Evaluation Squadrons based at NAS Point Mugu (Squadrons #9 and #30) should relocate to NWS China Lake.
38) The National War College should be relocated to Fort Leaven. and merged with the Command and General Staff College. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Defense_University#National_War_College; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command_and_General_Staff_College)
39) The Marine Corps Institute should be relocated from the Washington Navy Yard to MCB Quantico; the Naval Systems Command HQ, the Navy JAG Corps HQ, the NCIS and the Naval Reactors HQ should be relocated from the WNY to the Pentagon. The CNO should relocate from the WNY to the DC Naval Observatory (the residence of the Vice President of the United States). The WNY should serve only as a museum. Eventually, the WNY should be closed as a military installation and ceded to the Department of the Interior.
40) NS San Diego should be merged with NAB Coronado (which is on the opposite side of the SD harbor and is connected to SD by a bridge). Hurlburt field should be merged with Eglin AFB, which it serves and to which it was subordinated before 1955. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurlburt_Field#History)
41) The USS Barry and all other museums located at the WNY should be relocated to NS Great Lakes, IL. Subsequently, the WNY should be closed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Station_Great_Lakes)
42) All tenants of the DC Marine Barracks should relocate to Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA, located in the Prince William County, which shares a boundary with DC (the Potomac River). Subsequently, the DC Marine Barracks should be closed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Barracks,_Washington,_D.C.)
43) Dobbins AFRB and NAS Atlanta (a Georgia National Guard facility) should be merged (the two installations share runways). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dobbins_Air_Reserve_Base)
44) Some closed bases and bases slated for closure should be used as locations for new nuclear electric plants if they’re suitable. Usually, it is difficult to find a location for a new NEP. The DOD should identify and designate those military bases and former military bases which would be good locations for NEPs. (http://www.americansolutions.com/solutionsacademy/wiki/index.php/Nuclear_Energy)
45) Hurlburt Field should be merged with Eglin AFB, which it serves. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurlburt_Field)
46) Fort Drum should be merged with Wheeler Army Airfield.
I) POLICY ON VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULTS
1) All reported perpetrators should be tried by a court-martial, even if there’s insufficient evidence. “According to DoD statistics, only 181 out of 2,212 subjects investigated for sexual assault in 2007, including 1,259 reports of rape, were referred to courts-martial.” – http://harman.house.gov/2008/09/9-30Hill.shtml
2) The superiors of the alleged perpetrators may use “nonjudicial punishment”, but must always refer these alleged perpetrators to courts-martial.
3) Every sexually-assaulted servicewoman shall have the right to relocate to another base.
4) Sexual assault victims should never be subjected to “investigations for disciplinary violations”, nor to restrictions. (http://www.defense.gov/news/Sep2003/d20030922usafareport.pdf, page #33)
5) Every victim who reports her sexual predator to the appropriate authorities should be rewarded with an amnesty. (http://www.defense.gov/news/Sep2003/d20030922usafareport.pdf, page #33)
6) Besides any punishment that a court-martial orders, all convicted sexual assault perpetrators should also be deprived of their entire salaries and demoted to the lowest officer rank or the lowest enlisted rank, depending on whether the perpetrator is an officer or an enlisted trooper. (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/17/eveningnews/main4872713.shtml)
J) REFORM OF THE INTEL COMMUNITY
1) The number of intel agencies, the size of their administration and their armies of civilian workers (janitors, chefs, etc.), and the amount of money they spent on their buildings must be significantly reduced.
2) All commands and agencies (of the DOD and other departments) which perform the same tasks should be merged. The 51 federal agencies and commands which track down terrorist funds should be merged into 1 agency at the DHS and 1 military command at the DOD. A Goldwater-Nichols Act for the entire federal government should be written and approved by the Congress. (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/articles/a-hidden-world-growing-beyond-control/)
3) Rather than produce a great quantity of intel reports which no one reads or needs, the intel community should start producing only reports which federal officials truly need, on all issues which might interest them. Intel reports must be prioritized according to how important they are, and how important the issues they describe are, and the most important reports shall always be the first reports delivered to, and read by, federal officials.
4) The range of government executives who are entitled to know about all government intel programs (including all DOD intel programs) (the so-called “Super Users”) should be extended to include the personnel of the WH Military Office, the DNI, the leaders of all combatant commands, and other leaders that the President or the SECDEF may designate.
5) All intel agencies must share info with each other on request of one of the agencies. Whenever one agency receives word that a terrorist attack is plotted, it must alter the other 15 intel agencies.
6) The US government must designate the ODNI as a small, lean, efficient agency which will coordinate all the intel agencies, programs, operations, databases and budgets of the USIC (as well as its contractors). The DNI must, by statute, be given wide legal and budgetary prerogatives (including prerogatives over the entire intel budgets of all federal agencies) to command and coordinate the 16 intel agencies of the US. A statute should make it clear that the ODNI controls the entire intel community. He shall meet monthly with the SECDEF, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General and the DHS Secretary to coordinate all agencies of the USIC.
7) At each department, there shall be only one agency to collect threat tips, one agency to track WMMs, and one agency to coordinate counterterrorist policies. The 263 agencies created or reshuffled after 9/11/2001 must be merged with each other to significantly reduce this number, because multiplication of agencies/bureaucracies/departments doesn’t make the US government more capable to collect intel data and protect America from terrorists.
The ODNI, including the National Counterterrorism Center, must be allowed to view all classified information, including the most secret information, of all intel agencies, including the CIA (which should be merged with the DIA).
9) The size of the ODNI must be radically reduced, ideally to its pre-2008 size.
10) All intel agencies must employ enough analysts and translators to translate and analyze the information they receive, but they must also make sure that they obtain only relevant data, and only on those issues which the US government is interested in or should know about. The NSA should stop wiretapping everyone. The volume of data obtained and stored by the USIC should therefore be reduced.
11) All intel databases of the US government should be connected to each other and viewable for all “Super Users”.
12) The USIC should never hire inexperienced analysts. Instead, it should hire only those analysts who are at least somewhat experienced in terms of the subject they work on. No fresh college graduates should be hired. Analysts must speak the languages of the countries they work on.
13) Reports must not simply “reslice” the facts that are already known by the USIC. They must tell the USIC something new.
14) The ODNI must continually eliminate redundant intel programs, policies and agencies and must ensure that everyone doesn’t produce the same reports.
16) Whenever warnings about intra-Army terrorists are sounded, they should be directed to the Army’s 902nd Military Intelligence Group (the Army’s counterintel group), which shall immediately warn all 16 agencies of the USIC; it should also stop trying to assess general terrorist affiliations in the United States, because the DHS is already doing so.
17) The President, the Vice President, the DNI, the SECDEF, the Deputy SECDEF, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the DHS Secretary and the Director of the WH Military Office should be authorized to view all Special Access Programs (SAPs) of the US government.
18) Military commanders must be allowed to view everything their subordinates are authorized to view. The “laws of secrecy” must never undermine the military chain-of-command.
19) The SECDEF and the DNI should review all intel programs and policies and abolish all of them which are ineffective.
20) On all databases of the USIC, information shall be strictly hierarchized and prioritized according to how important it is. Information about Yemen and Yemeni terrorists must be prioritized above all other information for as long as Yemen remains a sanctuary for terrorists.
21) A statute should clearly delineate all the “lines of responsibility” of all intel agencies, DOD agencies, DOS agencies and DHS agencies.
22) At the NCTC, there must be analysts who will put all bits of information together and send warnings, as should have been done with warnings about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
23) The flood of information into the NCTC must be reduced and controlled.
24) The DHS should stop buying body scanners and should stop hiring air marshals. Instead, it should authorize and obligate all aircraft pilots to arm themselves with guns.
25) The USIC must stop expanding its new offices and stop building new offices.
26) The US government should assess whether the DHS needs its own research arm, its own command center and the kind of large fleet of armored vehicles that it currently has.
27) The number of senior executives at DOD and non-DOD intel agencies should be significantly reduced – not merely freezed as Bob Gates has done. (http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=13782)
K) VARIOUS OTHER REFORMS
1) The Secretary of Defense should rank in the American order of precedence ahead of all other Cabinet secretaries.
2) The 11th Wing of the USAF and all ceremonial units should be assigned to Andrews AFB and leave Bolling AFB (as should all other agencies based at Bolling AFB except the DIA). Bolling AFB should be separated from Naval Facility Anacostia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolling_AFB)
3) The exploration of Outer Space should be conducted jointly by the US, Britain, Canada, India, France (an EU member) and the EU. The US should work on its Moon program together with these countries.
4) The Army gun ban shall be abolished. All members of the US military should be allowed to bring weapons (including their personal weapons) on DOD land and at US military bases, and everywhere else.
5) Except the one fighterplane wing mentioned above, missile defense personnel, and the personnel of the Landstuhl hospital, Moron AFB, Sembach Annex and Ramstein AFB, all American units stationed in Europe should be brought back to America and stationed at American bases (new bases should be built or leased for them if need be). Their bases in Europe should be given to host countries. The USMC’s III MEF (incl. its 31st MEU and its 3rd Marine Division), as well as the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, should be brought back from Okinawa to the US together with all other Marines stationed in Japan (rather than just 8000 Marines). (Currently, there are 20,000 Marines stationed in Okinawa.) All Marines stationed in Guam, all Marines stationed in Korea, and all American troopers stationed in Australia, should be brought back to the US. The 35th Fighterplane Wing should be relocated to Osan AFB. The 8th United States Army must return to the US. The fighterplane wing stationed at Spangdahlem AFB (Germany) and the F-16 wing stationed at Chievres AFB (Belgium) should be brought back to the US (to Duluth Airport and Cannon AFB). All US Army troops stationed in Germany and Italy (incl. members of the V Corps, including the 172nd Brigade), all Marines stationed in Europe, all Army troopers stationed in Kosovo, Bosnia and other European countries/territories, all American troopers stationed in Haiti, and ALL American troopers from the Persian Gulf (except the 5th Fleet) should be brought back to the US. All of their facilities abroad should be closed. The F-15 wing stationed at Bitburg AFB, Germany, should be relocated to Otis ANGB, should be redesignated Otis AFB. The F-15 squadron stationed at Soesterberg AFB (in the Netherlands) should be relocated to Eareckson AFS, Alaska, where there is a 3-km runway long enough for F-15s to take off. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-15#Operators) These withdrawals should be cancelled only if their costs would exceed the savings they’d produce. (http://www.therealitycheck.org/?p=10657; http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-2684-Law-Enforcement-Examiner~y2010m1d22-Haitian-rescue-US-forces-in-Haiti-to-number-33000; http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/usmc/iii-mef.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Expeditionary_Unit#Japan_MEU; http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/usmc/3mardiv.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawa_Prefecture; http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/usmc/1maw.htm; http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/usmc/usmarfork.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/35th_Fighter_Wing; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_Corps_(United_States); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2nd_Infantry_Division_(United_States); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighth_United_States_Army#Current_Composition; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Corps_(United_States)#Organization; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USFK; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/172nd_Infantry_Brigade_(United_States) ) These troop withdrawals will significantly reduce the stress on the military, prevent the lengthening of tours, and increase “dwell time” even as the US military’s personnel would be reduced by 400,000 troopers. They would also remove a thorny issue poisoning Japanese-American relations, improve America’s relations with many countries, improve America’s ability to cooperate with its allies, close hundreds of unneeded facilities abroad, and save taxpayers much money. However, I would deploy a second carrier battle group to Japan (if Japan agreed), and would deploy a few Burke class vessels of the Ballistic Missile Defense fleet to Incheon, SK, to protect SK from NK missiles. American tactical nuclear weapons should be consolidated at either RAF Laken. or at Incirlik AFB. (Turkey wishes to keep American tactical nukes in Europe.)
6) The DOD should assess whether any of the troopers currently working at the Defense Logistics Agency could be replaced by civilians (thus freeing troopers for military tasks). If so, they should be replaced by civilians. The DLA currently numbers 21,000 employees.
7) The DOD and the US military must adopt the metric system.
The requirements of the budget calendar should never marginalize the defense policy-making process.
9) No F-22s should serve with the ANG of any leftist state (including Hawaii).
10) Any savings in the DOD must be reinvested in the DOD.
11) Every USS Arizona veteran should have the right to be buried in the wreck of that ship if he wants to be; his family members should have such a right, too, if they want; but the spill of oil from Arizona’s tank must be stopped and the oil must eventually be pumped out of the tank of the USS Arizona.
12) Other than classified projects, budget gag rules should be banned.
13) The DOD should withdraw all American troops from Iraq and all other Persian Gulf countries, and bring 50% of American troopers in Afghanistan home.
14) The war on drugs should be ended.
15) All members of the JCS should become members of the NSC.
16) The 37 billets identified by a certain DOD report (http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=1467) should be downgraded to a lower rank than the flag rank.
17) The US Cyber Command, which groups together the 4 cyber groups of the 4 armed services, should be made an independent functional command (currently, it is a unit subordinated to the US Strategic Command). As many IT specialists as possible (including foreign IT specialists) should be hired by the US Cyber Command. A USAF Cyber Command (which should be subordinated to the US Cyber Command) should be established as a “major command”, as a replacement for the 24th AF. It should be established at Lackland AFB. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Force_Cyber_Command_(Provisional); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Cyber_Command)
The Cyber Command should partner with NATO’s Cyber COE. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_Command_Transformation#NATO_Centres_of_Excellence)
18) B-1 bombers and F-111s (which should be recommissioned) should be subordinated to the USAF’s Global Strike command (just like B-2s, B-52s and ICBMs are).
19) American nuclear weapons, and the funding for them, and the role of the caretaker of nukes, should be given to the DOD.
20) The DOD should never pay the Taleban to escort American convoys or protect American supply lines; instead, it should hire private contractors or local militias (or ask NATO allies) to provide escorting troops. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/13/us-trucks-security-taliban)
21) Japan must increase its funding for the American troops stationed in Japan. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Forces_Japan)
22) The USAF should deploy an F-16 wing stationed in Europe (the one currently stationed at Aviano AFB) to Poland, as per the recommendation of LTCOL Chris Sage. Alternatively, the wing could be moved to Otis ANGB (MA)
23) The four-star rank should be reserved only for the Chairman of the JCS, Service Chiefs (and their deputies), commanders of Combatant Commands, commanders of geographic fleets/armies/marine corps groups/fleets (e.g. the US Pacific Fleet), the commander of American troops in Afghanistan and the commanders of American troopers in whatever country America might invade in the future.
24) It must be made certain that all American troopers will be able to vote.
25) Arms reduction treaties should be rejected; the START-1, START-2, SALT-1, SALT-2, SORT, CFE-1, CFE-2, TTBT, and CTBT treaties should be repealed.
26) Personnel of the US military should never be given government-funded credit cards, which they use to spend money on strip dancers and prostitutes. (http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2009/10/50-Examples-of-Government-Waste#_edn31)
27) The Congress should authorize, and the President should appoint, an “Undersecretary of Defense for Management”.
28) Globalsecurity.org complains that the Navy has no ship naming regulations and that this is bad for the Navy; I agree on that issue. Therefore, I recommend the adoption of the following ship naming standards: 1) Ship names should not (with exceptions granted by the SECNAV) repeat themselves, so if a ship name has already been used once, it should never be used again. 2) Ships should, with few exceptions, be named only after American figures and American cities. 3) Ships should receive the names of American figures or American cities regardless of what ship category they represent. 4) Without any exceptions, no ship of the US Navy should be named after a living person.
29) The USS Utah (BB-31), sunk by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, should be raised and scrapped. The dead sailors who are still aboard that ship should be transported from that ship to a military cemetery and buried there with military honors. Thus, the harbor will be cleared, because the wreck of the USS Utah will no longer clog it. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Utah_(BB-31))
30) All DOD and USCG aircraft shall be banned from participating in air shows.
31) All B-52s parked at AMARC should be reclaimed to provide spare parts for the rest of the B-52 fleet before B-3 replacements arrive. The same applies to B-1s parked at AMARC. Enlarging the bomber fleet should be done solely by buying new bombers (e.g. B-3s).
32) Cannibalising any aircraft not retired by the DOD shall be banned. There is an abundant supply of spare parts at AMARC – use that supply.
33) Denying spare-parts from AMARC to in-service planes when in-service planes need spare parts can result in either the grounding and mothballing of those in-service planes which need spare parts but lack them, or the cannibalizing of some in-service planes for spare parts, both of which is unacceptable.
34) The only solution to prevent the disasters spoken of in #33 from happening is to maintain an adequate supply of spare parts at AMARC or other aircraft maintenance centers.
35) America should guarantee TOT whenever bidding for Indian and British contracts.
36) As many scientists as possible should be allowed to immigrate to the US and recruited to work in American governmental laboratories – a total mobilization of the global scientific workforce should be conducted. One of the tools that should be used to conduct such a mobilization should be the SKIL Bill. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SKIL_Bill)
37) The DOD should not employ any unionized workers.
38) All exquisite pictures on the Pentagon’s walls, all luxury furniture items, all luxury lamps, all sculptures and all luxury carpets at the Pentagon should be sold and replaced with non-luxury, cheap items (http://www.defenselink.mil/dodcmsshare/photoessay/2006-12/hires_061215-D-7203T-041.JPG).
39) The NSA and the Defense Logistics Agency should, like agencies of the USDOD, sell their exquisite equipment, including exquisite cars. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fort_Belvoir_DLA_building.jpg)
40) Like the Schwarzenegger Administration of California, the DOD should organize a garage sale of all of its exquisite civilian equipment (e.g. furniture, cars and lamps).
41) All contracts – even small contracts – must be competitive, that is, contractors must compete for it. No-bid contracts should not be authorized, unless a waiver is granted by the SECDEF. (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2009807689_apusstimulusfactcheck.html)
42) “Supervising America’s participation in conventional arms control treaties” (which treaties should be repealed) shall be removed from the DTRA’s list of responsibilities.
43) No military parades involving any military vehicles should be organized.
44) American nuclear weapons stockpiled in Europe should be consolidated in Britain; some tactical American nuclear weapons should be deployed to Turkey and SK.
45) The DOD should stop writing and conducting Nuclear Posture Reviews, and should start issuing annual reports on the North Korean, Iranian, Russian and Venezuelan militaries.
46) A new National Defense Strategy – one that will treat conventional and irregular warfare equally and reject the numerous ridiculous notions (such as the claim that there will never again be a conventional war involving America) that the Pentagon subscribes to today – should be issued. The Joint Doctrine For Operations (which wrongly says that “that irregular warfare in the later phases of a campaign could require a level of military effort as great as—and perhaps greater than—what is needed for so-called major combat operations”) should be amended accordingly.
47) The National Security Council shall be stripped of its right to issue directives binding on the DOD.
48) M9 pistols should be retired and replaced with M1911 pistols; M16s should be replaced with M14s; M240 SAWs should be replaced with Ma Deuce machineguns.
49) America should withdraw from the UN and the UN Disarmament Conference and refuse to send its representatives to any disarmament conferences.
50) The DOD’s command structure (or at least its middle and upper echelons) must be radically simplified and flattened, like private sector corporations’ structure.
51) The DOD shall resume the pursuit of information on all Americans who went missing during the Vietnamese war and haven’t been found yet (deceased or alive). (http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/pmsea/Stats2009/Stats20091209.pdf)
52) All public DOD directives must be listed on the DOD’s website in chronological order, with the first DOD directive at the top of the list (currently, they’re listed chaotically).
53) The Uniformed Health Sciences University should be closed.
54) The 100th Reserve Regiment of the US Army should become an active-duty unit. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100th_Infantry_Battalion_(United_States) )
55) The Pentagon must stop trying to green the US military.
56) A new Defense Planning Guidance should replace the 1992 DPG.
57) All planned and ordered RQ-7 Shadow UAVs must be delivered, and then the program and the production line should be closed. The USAF should then standardize on MQ-9s and MQ-1s as recon UAVs. But the RQ-7 program mustn’t be closed prematurely. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RQ-7_Shadow)
58) The C-130 Avionics Modernization Program should be closed. The DOD should use the savings to buy additional C-130Js to replace old Hercules planes.
59) Vietnam, Lebanon, Mexico, India, Pakistan, Colombia, Thailand, Afghanistan, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru and Brazil should join the PSI.
60) After it is merged with the DIA, the CIA, which has established a special CIA station whose sole target is OBL, should establish special CIA stations dedicated to tracking down Ayman al-Zawahiri, Adam Gadahn, Mulla Omar, KSAAZ, and Zakariya Essabar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zakariya_Essabar, http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zakariya_Essabar). Special US military SOCOM groups should be established from among the current SOCOM troops to capture or kill Ayman al-Zawahiri, Adam Gadahn, Mulla Omar, Zakariya Essabar and Khalid Saeed Ahmad al Zahrani. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalid_al_Zahrani)
61) Training courses must never be duplicated; each service must recognize and honor the training courses, qualifications, certificates, documents, diplomas and graduates of every other service; each service must permit the members of all other services to use secure computer networks even if they had been trained (or cleared) by other Armed Services; members of one service shall not be forced to duplicate training courses or qualifications. (http://www.frumforum.com/a-gay-officer-at-war)
62) The entire federal government, including the DOD, should be computerized and should adjust to the information age. As Newt Gingrich correctly wrote, “Moving government into the information age is absolutely vital if the military and intelligence communities are to be capable of buying and using new technologies as rapidly as the information age is going to produce them.” (http://newt.org/tabid/102/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/2835/Default.aspx)
63) All unused flight tickets bought by the DOD should be refunded and the money spent on them saved and invested in equipment. (The saving would be $100 mn per year.) (http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2009/10/50-Examples-of-Government-Waste)
64) The US military should stop making photos of aircraft, regardless of whether a landmark serves as the background of a photo or not. It should also stop flying aircraft for the purpose of photographying them. (http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2009/10/50-Examples-of-Government-Waste)
65) The discriminatory DADT policy, which grounded on religious bias rather than facts, should be changed. Servicemembers should not be sacked if they merely admit that they are homosexuals, but they should be sacked if they attempt to marry a person of the same gender or commit fraternization with a person of either gender.
66) The DOD’s IT program must be reformed so that it will be on budget (i.e. its cost must be reduced). As of 29th September 2010, it was $6.9 billion over-budget. (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?r111:1:./temp/~r1115hCgtK:e23213 :)
67) The DOD should use, whenever possible, electronic messages and computers rather than paper.
68) The federal government must establish a clear chain of command for first responders and rescuers. The chain of command shall include all the relevant institutions, including local governments, county governments, state governments and all relevant agencies of the federal government (the WH, the DOD, the DHS, the FEMA, the DOT, and the DOS). FEMA should become an independent cabinet-level agency and its Director should be designated as the national coordinator of all relevant agencies. All these agencies and their relevant assets shall be subordinated to him during a response operation. The chain of command shall be as follows: the President – the director of FEMA – federal departments and state governments – county governments (subordinated to state governments) – local governments. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina_disaster_relief#Confusion_over_chain_of_command)
69) The Humanitarian Assistance Program of the DOD should be abolished or shifted to the DOS. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraguay_%E2%80%93_United_States_relations)
70) The DOD’s Comptroller should draft a complete roadmap of how all services and agencies of the DOD (i.e. all components of the DOD) will become audit-ready. The DOD must also produce financial statements reliable enough for an audit to occur. Subsequently, the entire DOD should be audited, as should be the rest of the federal government.
71) All savings made by the DOD on anything must be devoted EXCLUSIVELY to the force structure and to equipment – not to personnel accounts or unneeded units. (http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=59658)
72) The arbitrary “annual savings” goals (budget cuts for their own sake) instituted by Bob Gates should be abolished, and instead, the DOD’s executives should review the entire DOD budget every year, and abolish every unneeded program, agency, “job”, command and bureaucracy. Agencies which cannot give up any of their programs should not be ordered to give them up. Instead, the DOD’s executives should review the entire DOD budget every year and abolish every unneeded DOD program, agency, command and bureaucracy.
73) The President should receive the prerogative of a line-item veto to abolish unnecessary expenditures such as the Alternative Engine Program and additional VIP jets.
74) The Congress must not include any earmarks in defense budgets nor in Supplemental Appropriations Acts, and must eventually ban earmarks altogether. Earmarks included by the Congress in the DOD’s budget cost the DOD $4 bn per year and don’t pay for any personnel, equipment or fuel, but rather for pork projects that are useless for the DOD.
75) The DOD budget must not be used to finance abortions under any circumstances. A ban on DOD funding for abortions must be instituted by a DOD Directive. (http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=37622)
76) The CERP program should be halved, and the resulting savings should be devoted to the IED Defeat Fund.
77) The Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds must surrender their F-18s and F-16s (which should be given to combat-duty squadrons) and should start flying A-7s (which the Blue Angels have previously flown) and F-111s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-7_Corsair_II)
78) The personnel of the DOD (including military personnel) must stop wasting their time on PPT and its computer-generated charts, graphs and bullet points; the personnel of the DOD must stop obsessing with PPT; officers of the military must stop preparing any PPT slides; the DOD must learn to cope without PPT; PPT should be used only for press conferences. The justification: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/world/27powerpoint.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general
79) The DOD should post online Financial Performance Reports for every completed fiscal year, as well as the Audits and Investigative Reports of the DOD’s Inspector General; and enable every American citizen to report “fraud, waste and abuse” to the DOD via the Internet.
80) The Department of Defense should auction new, unused, or excellent condition excess inventory to the highest bidder rather than transfer it at no cost to federal and state agencies.
81) All 48 “projects to celebrate service and recreation on public lands” of the DOD should be abolished. (http://coburn.senate.gov/public/?p=washingtonwaste)
82) Every person buried in the Arlington National Cemetery must be registered along with his/her gravesite; the remains of every person buried in the ANC must be identified; any identification problems or questions must be reported up the chain of command; the ANC must be reviewed and audited; the burial records of the ANC must be computerized, but at a lower cost than the cost so far incurred by the government; the ANC should be managed by personnel of the Department of the Army rather than contractors; the ANC must be reserved exclusively to military veterans and their families; all graves at the ANC must be properly marked, and must be properly labeled on cemetery maps. The chain of command at the ANC should run from the superintendent of the ANC to the commander of the MDW and then directly to the Secretary of the Army. Alternatively, the ANC should be transferred from the DOD to the DVA, as some people have suggested. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38467878/ns/us_news-life/)
83) Except the official website of the DOD, all DOD websites must be in secure networks (the HTTPS protocol). The operative systems of DOD computers and their anti-virus programmes and “firewalls” must be updated daily. The NSA should establish a partnership with the US Cyber Command and develop active defense programs that will enable military IT specialists to track down and fight enemy hackers. America should forge a collective defense cyber alliance not only with Britain, Australia and Canada, but also with the Czech Republic, Georgia, Japan, South Korea, Lithuania, Estonia, Colombia, Romania and the Philippines. The time it takes for an IT program to become operational after it has ben funded for the first time must be reduced from 81 months to 12 months. Some protective programs against rogue code, including so-called “logic bombs”, and against remotely operated “kill-switches” and hidden backdoors (which can be written into the chips and physical buses used in military hardware) must be developed and installed on all computers of the DOD. Operators of critical infrastructure, and critical industries such as the defense industry, shall be legally obliged to join secure computer networks, i.e. government-sponsored, government-protected computer networks. (http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=1477)
84) The DOD should create a single payment system for all members of the military (just like the single payment system for all civilian employees of the DOD) to replace the separate payment systems of the separate military services that exist now. (http://www.jcs.mil/speech.aspx?ID=1321)
85) The US military should train all of its personnel by itself, at its own bases, rather than pay private corporations to train them. The DOD should stop staffing and funding think tanks. The DOD should also reduce the retirements of admirals and generals, at least those who are still employed by someone. (http://www.jcs.mil/speech.aspx?ID=1321)
86) All websites of the DOD, including the www.defense.gov website, should be moved to the .mil domain.
87) As AT rightly wrote, “There must be a partnership between the government and industry where they share information capabilities. Since every six months, the cyber industry is evolving, with the infrastructure quickly becoming obsolete, solutions must evolve as well.” Google and key industries must be protected by the DOD’s Cyber Command. (http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/08/the_new_generation_of_security.html)
88) As AT has suggested, the US government should start “expanding the national biosurveillance integration center, established in 2008. This center integrates clinical data, regular intelligence information, and Biowatch data so that decision-makers have an early, immediate, and comprehensive picture of the dangerous pathogens. Since in the U.S. alone, there are approximately four hundred research facilities with 15,000 people approved for working in these labs, there has to be more regulatory oversight. There is ongoing research on microbiological forensics, in which a pathogen can be traced to the user. Some government officials argue that this could be used as a form of deterrence.” (http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/08/the_new_generation_of_security.html)
89) WH helicopters should be available ONLY to members of the Executive Branch, and no one else. (http://www.frumforum.com/dnc-donors-paid-for-pole-dancers-plus-wh-helicopters)
90) Every service must establish a TF on troopers’ suicides and implement every policy necessary to prevent troopers from committing suicide; American troopers and veterans should be told that they shouldn’t be ashamed if they’re suffering from TBI or PTSD and should be encouraged to go to DVA hospitals.
91) The role of transporting members of the US government (including the Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries and military leaders) by helicopter should be assigned to a single helicopter squadron, either the USMC’s HMX-1 Squadron or the USAF’s 1st Helicopter Squadron, and the exquisite squadron should be disbanded. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Force_Two; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Helicopter_Squadron)
92) To preserve expertise and maintain needed experts, the DOD should establish an Office of the Special Investigator General to supervise contracts awarded in relation to any war or Contingency Op the US might be waging, as suggested by Sen. McCaskill during a SASC hearing on Sept. 28th, 2010.
93) Electoral ballots must be sent to American troopers stationed abroad on the first available plane; if necessary, USAF planes should be reserved for that purpose; all states must be obliged to send ballots to the DOD no fewer than 50 days before the election to which they pertain; no state’s Secretary of State shall be allowed to certify any putative winner of any election unless all ballots (including all ballots returned by American troopers stationed abroad) are counted; no state should be granted a waiver from the MOVE Act (the legal provision authorizing such waivers shall be abolished); a pilot electronic voting program should be established for American troopers stationed in the US and abroad; the DOD and the DOJ shall sue any state which refuses to comply with this. (http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/10/end_the_military_voting_scanda.html)
94) No less than 40% of every annual DOD budget must be devoted to equipment procurement accounts and to equipment RDT&E programs. Personnel costs and HC costs must not be allowed to grow nor be financed at the expense of equipment programs.
95) At all national cemeteries, concrete walls for cremated remains in place of old chain-link fencing, or where no sites for cremated interrees exist, if fiscally affordable, to allow additional people to be buried at National Cemeteries. The Arlington National Cemetery should be expanded, at the cost of Fort Myer if necessary. The Golden Gate National Cemetery should also be expanded. If necessary, the SF Columbarium should also be used. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Rosecrans_National_Cemetery; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Golden_Gate_National_Cemetery_main_gate.JPG; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbarium)
96) The DOD should greatly toughen the rules that determine who can access classified information, including a minimum age (e.g. 30 years) and a minimum rank (E-6 or O-3).
97) The DOD’s annual printing costs should be reduced by 50%, from $1.4 billion to $0.7 billion per year.
97) The DOD should not be micromanaged by the Congress, and should be debureaucratized. Specifically:
The DOD should be allowed to move any amount of money up to $20 bn freely from one DOD account to another.
Uniformed people should perform only military jobs.
The number of pages of justifications the DOD must submit every year to the Congress (26,000 as of 2005) and the number of reports the DOD must submit to the Congress annually (800 as of 2005) must be radically reduced.
The time it takes to develop a new weapons system must be significantly reduced.
A National Defense Authorization Act should number no more than 20 pages. The FY2005 NDAA numbered 534 pages.
The Congress should significatnly reduce the number of changes it makes every year to existing RDT&E programs.
Not only should the retirement age be significantly increased, but also military officers should be encourage to serve with the military until they’re really too old to serve. These days, military officers retire when they’re 45-55 years old.To quote Secretary Rumsfeld: “We spend millions of taxpayer dollars training top-notch officers and senior enlisted, giving them experience-and then we shove them out the door in their 40s and early 50s, when they are at the top of their game — and we will be paying 60% of their base pay and providing them with comprehensive healthcare for the rest of their lives. The loss in talent and experience to the Department and the country is sizable.“ (http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=179)
The DOD should stop transferring officers from one assignment to another during a period of just 16 months.
The DOD should reduce its huge number of inspectors, auditors, and investigators.
The DOD should, if possible, reduce the number of people who develop and justify the DOD budget, and ensure that all remaining budget developers and justifiers ensure that the DOD budget is spent effectively and produces the desired results.
How the numbers add up
It is impossible for me to estimate the total savings that my reforms would yield, but some reforms would certainly yield large financial savings for the DOD. The table below outlines those savings (based on the numbers from the President’s FY2011 budget request).
Item Annual saving ($ bn) (in 2010 dollars)
Dept. Of the Air Force admin halving 3.89
Dept. Of the Navy admin halving 2.5365
Dept. Of the Army admin reduction by 25% 3.4465
Discharging 400,000 military personnel 40
Closing the UHSU 0.085
The merger of the CIA with the DIA 1
The new BRAC round 5
Reduction of the OSD budget by 75% 3.9435
Reduction of annual DOD printing costs by 50% 0.7
Unused flight tickets 0.1
Reduction of the JCS budget by 50% 0.283
Closure of the RQ-4 Global Hawk program 1.201
Abolition of all DOD anti-drug programs 1.2
Total known annual savings 62.7925
The total annual savings would be $62.7925 bn. The unknown savings, which are impossible for me to calculate, would certainly be significant, too. I would spend 100% of the savings every year on equipment and on additional USAF wings.
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 17, 2010
I’m not sure why AT Associate Editor Rick Moran defended the New START treaty is a blogpost three days ago, titled “Senate has votes to ratify START treaty”. (http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/12/senate_has_votes_to_ratify_sta.html) Whatever the reason is, he’s wrong.
“Call it the “Let’s not be beastly to the Russians” treaty. Flawed as it is, not approving the treaty will have serious repercussions in our relations with Putin.”
The job of the federal government, including the White House and the Pentagon, is to defend the US against all enemies, not appease Putin or try not to be beastly to the Russians. (What is beastly about refusing a treaty unfavorable to the US, BTW?) As for “repercussions with Putin”, what is the old KGB thug going to do if the Senate rejects this treaty? Start a new arms race? Be my guest, Vladimir: America’s GDP ($15 trillion) is 7.5 times Russia’s GDP. Impose an oil embargo against the US? Yeah, I’m sure it will work, the US imports about 7% of the oil it consumes from Russia.
The most silly claim he has made, however, was that “With the Joint Chiefs behind it and most of the foreign policy establishment, you either have to make the argument that these people want the US to approve a bad treaty, or that it is as good as we can get and won’t damage national security.”
Admiral Mullen is a bureaucrat who has never seen war. Neither has SECDEF Robert Gates, despite talking about his “lifetime of experience in the national security arena”. I don’t recall the service chiefs endorsing the treaty.
It’s ridiculous to claim that this treaty “won’t damage national security”. It would severely reduce both warhead numbers and delivery system numbers down to totally inadequate levels (1,550 deployed warheads , 700 delivery systems, 800 deployed and nondeployed delivery systems). The Vice Chairman of the JCS, Gen. Cartwright, says that the absolute minimum number of needed delivery systems is 870. The treaty would oblige the US to reduce its fleet of delivery systems while allowing Russia to add such weapons and encouraging China to reach nuclear parity status with the US.
All of these reductions would be implemented while the White House and the Gates Pentagon refuse to modernize or replace the existing delivery systems, except SSBNs.
The endorsement of this treaty by “most of the foreign policy establishment” is an argument against ratifying this treaty. The utterly discredited, corrupt, liberal foreign policy establishment in Washington wants what is bad for the US, good for their beloved pacifist ideology, and good for their dreamed up “international order”. For them, disarmament, arms reduction, the appeasement of America’s enemies (which they wrongly call “realism”) and the supremacy of “international law” are dogmas, just like the perpetual virginity of the Holy Virgin Mary is a dogma for the Catholic Church. This establishment (the so-called Best and Brightest) is responsible for the foreign policy mistakes and disasters of the last 50 years, including detente, their model for present-day Russian-American and Sino-American relations. They also opposed all of the conservative policies Reagan and Bush II implemented, including the SDI, the 1980s’ defense buildup, the deployment of Pershing-II missiles to Europe, and withdrawal from the ABM treaty. And these establishment guys are supposed to be smart people? Please. They are no foreign policy experts, merely establishment figures who believe they know better than anyone else. By the way, several officials of the Reagan Administration, as well as credible experts of the Heritage Foundation, have spoken out against this treaty and have explained why it is bad for the US. They are:
Hon. Edwin Meese, III, Former Counselor the President; Former Attorney General of the United States
• Amb. John Bolton, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Former Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs;
• Amb. Henry F. Cooper, Former Director, Strategic Defense Initiative, Former Chief U.S. Negotiator, Defense and Space Talks with the Soviet Union;
• Hon. Paula DeSutter, Former Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation;
• Judge William P. Clark, Former National Security Advisor to the President;
• Hon. Kathleen Bailey, Former Assistant Director, U.S. ACDA;
(Please read: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=40551)
It is no coincidence that the Obama Admin and the foreign policy establishment want this treaty ratified during the lame-duck session, quickly, before a new Congress gathers. If the Senate had been allowed sufficient time to study and consider this treaty, it would’ve likely discovered the many irredeemable flaws it contains and most Republicans would’ve voted against it – probably enough of them to stop this treaty. So the WH, which knows that this treaty is very bad for the US, wants the Senate to ratify the treaty quickly, and not consider the consequences of this worthless piece of paper. If the treaty was good for the US, Obama would’ve simply allowed the Senate to take enough time to study it, confident that the Senate would ratify it anyway.
Aren’t you curious, dear readers, why the Obama Administration has refused to provide the negotiations’ record to the Senate (let alone to the American public)? Because it knows that this treaty is disastrous, that it’s a capitulation act, and that the Senate would reject it if it knew the truth about how it was negotiated. This treaty is the biggest scam ever perpetrated against the US.
Moran wrote that he believes the DOD could detect if the Russians are cheating or not. Maybe. He can bet, however, that they will cheat if this treaty is ratified. They violated the SALT-I and SALT-II treaties (so egregiously that the Reagan Admin withdrew the US from SALT-II) and the LTBT (ground nuclear tests at Semipalatinsk continued until 1989). There’s no reason to believe they would comply with this treaty. A treaty signed with Putinist Russia isn’t worth the paper it is printed on.
He also said “So I’m not going to be too hard on Republicans who vote for it.” Actually, any Senator, Republican or Democrat, who votes for it should be voted out of office. This is the worst scam ever perpetrated against the US, engineered by KGB thugs and perpetually-adolescent Democrat peaceniks (useful idiots who are still dreaming of a nuclear-weapon-free world). Moran may not be “too hard” on Republicans who might vote for it, but he can bet that many Americans will be. (http://spectator.org/archives/2010/12/13/still-a-non-starter)
He closed his blogpost with a derisive remark that “It won’t sit well with the missile defense crowd but there is nothing specific in the treaty that precludes us from deploying our own missile defense.” Again, wrong. Vide Article V, which forbids the use of ex-ICBM siloes as missile interceptor siloes. Look also at the statements of the Russian President and the Russian FM, both of whom have correctly said any development, qualitative or quantitative, of missile defense would constitute a violation of the treaty and that should this happen, Russia will withdraw from the treaty.
Moran has not, however, corrected his factual errors.
Voting for the New START treaty would be a heinous betrayal of the conservative principle of a strong defense, a betrayal of conservative ideals, an anti-American action. Any Republican who might vote for it should be voted out of office.
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 17, 2010
On Wednesday, December 15th, 2010, the Congress considered the first real-term defense spending cuts since the Clinton era. Specifically, it has approved the Omnibus Appropriations Bill for FY2011 which, if signed by the President, would reduce defense spending by $19 bn in real terms from the FY2010 level. (http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=62117)
It should be noted that the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, did not protest. And why would he? He, like his boss, Barack Obama, ideologically opposes a strong defense.
What exactly did the Congress order to be reduced or abolished? The two crucial categories of defense spending that shoudn’t be reduced at all: spending on weapon purchases and on weapon RDT&E programs. Specifically:
1) The C-17 program, the CG(X) cruiser program, and the EP-X program would be abolished.
2) No funding would be provided for a Next Generation Bomber program.
3) No funding for the USMC’s Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program, the USMC’s #1 ground vehicle priority, despite the fact that the USMC’s FY2010 procurement budget was a paltry $2.765 bn and the fact that the USMC is the most efficient of all 4 military services.
4) The DOD would receive 7 F-35 aircraft fewer than it asked for this fiscal year (FY2011).
5) Funding for the development of F-35 software would be deferred.
6) Other defense cuts such as: no purchases of replacement aircraft for crashed fighterplanes, no funds to reactivate decommissioned F-16s, not enough funding to modernize all legacy aircraft, no funding for B-1 depot repairs, etc.
7) The Act authorizes the USN to order only 9 warships during FY2011. Shipbuilding experts can tell you that to prevent the USN’s warship fleet from shrinking and to build it up to 314 warships, you need to build at least 12 vessels per year.
According to Politico.com and the Senate Appropriations Committee, the actual budget the Omnibus would authorize for the DOD would be $10.3 bn lower than the President’s request, and would cut the F-35 program by $1.05 bn and 7 fighterplanes while authorizing $450 mn for an unnecessary Alternative Engine program. (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46383_Page2.html)
The Senate Appropations Commettee has published a partial summary of the Omnibus legislation. It is available at:
This Omnibus Act would be bad news for the military, because of the defense cuts it would result in, if signed into law, but at least it would constitute additional proof that the opponents of a strong defense are lying. It would prove that defense spending does not enjoy “protected status”, is not “shielded from serious scrutiny”, and is not treated by the Congress as “sacrosanct”. It would utterly discredit the opponents of defense spending, including Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Gerry Adams, and the libertarian organizations which sent that recent letter to Boehner and McConnell.
UPDATE: Harry Reid has decided to withdraw the Omnibus Act from the Senate’s docket because he doesn’t have enough Senators to get it passed by the Congress. The DOD, and the rest of the federal government, will therefore probably be funded by another continuing resolution (CR). (http://www.teapartynation.com/forum/topics/a-victory-for-now)
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 16, 2010
Unfortunately, the opponents of a strong defense have not surrendered. They continue to call for deep defense cuts, and they’ve introduced legislation that would do that.
RINO Senators Tom Coburn, Mike Crapo, Judd Gregg and Democrat Kent Conrad have endorsed the entire package of proposals of the misnamed Deficit Reduction Commisssion, appointed by America’s avowedly pacifist president Barack Obama. The Commission has proposed to reduce annual defense spending by $100 bn (i.e. almost 20%, and this cut would be done by reducing weapons purchases spending by 15%, weapons RDT&E spending by 10% (arbitrarily chosen numbers), closing dozens of needed weapon programs (including the F-35B, the V-22 and the EFV), and transferring any savings Secretary Gates achieves on bureaucracies, overhead and bases to the Treasury (to pay for the deficit caused by bloated domestic federal spending) rather than reinvesting them in weapon programs.
Tom Coburn and his anti-defense buddies Richard Burr, Saxby Chambliss and John Ensign have introduced legislation that would implement a part of these defense cuts: specifically, they have introduced legislation which would pay for the GOP-proposed tax cuts for the super-rich taxpayers by cutting weapons purchases spending by 15% and weapon RDT&E spending by 10%. This would mean a $21 bn reduction of annual defense spending, in the categories that shouldn’t be reduced at all: weapons purchases and weapons RDT&E programs. These numbers were arbitrarily chosen by the “Deficit Reduction Commission” whose members know nothing about defense issues, and are designed to simply deeply reduce the DOD’s weapons spending and its total budget.
So these Senators have proposed to deeply reduce two crucial categories of defense spending, and total defense spending, by $21 bn to pay for tax cuts for wealthy Americans who don’t even want these tax cuts. Normally, I would advocate tax relief legislation for everyone, including the rich, because they’re as entitled to their money as everyone else. But it is utterly unacceptable to reduce defense spending and thus weaken national defense to pay for tax reductions for anyone.
It is ridiculous to claim that Republicans can’t avoid reductions of defense spending AND preserve the Bush tax relief. Reagan reduced taxes AND increased defense spending (to rebuild a military massacred y 12 years of continous defense cuts). Republicans would preserve the Bush tax cuts AND protect the defense budget by simply reducing the bloated domestic spending of the federal government: unconstitutional agencies and programs, dysfunctional agencies, entitlements, welfare rolls, and the 2,001 federal subsidy programs. And America can have a fair, equitable, capitalist, nondiscriminatory tax system if the Congress adopts the Fair Tax Act. I’ve devised a plan to balance the federal budget without defense cuts. Rep. Paul Ryan has devised his own plan.Yet, the opponents of a strong defense continue to demand deep defense cuts while refusing to endorse any serious reductions of domestic spending. Why? Because they’re ideologically opposed to a strong defense.
Coburn’s plan, like the proposals of the “Deficit Reduction Commission”, would resignificantly reduce only ONE category of federal spending – defense budget, the one category of federal spending that shouldn’t be reduced at all. Both of these plans would only slightly reduce a few domestic programs and agencies: for example, Coburn has proposed to abolish the fossil fuel subsidies, to save the federal government a few hundred million dollars per year.
No intelligent person would give him any credit and if he doesn’t know that, he’s mentally deficient.
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 12, 2010
Recently, the representatives of a number of libertarian “limited government” organizations have sent a letter to GOP Leaders Mitch McConnell and John Beohner. In that letter, the libertarian organizations’ reps attacked defense spending, and only that kind of spending, and called on the Congress to reduce America’s defense investments.
These ignorant people have written this for ideological, not pragmatic, reasons. They’re simply opposed to a strong defense. There is no reason to reduce defense spending.
The letter starts with a false premise:
“We write to urge you to institute principled spending reform that rejects the notion that spending cuts can be avoided in certain parts of the federal budget. Department of Defense spending, in particular, has been provided protected status that has isolated it from serious scrutiny and allowed the Pentagon to waste billions in taxpayer money. A new Congress, with a clear mandate to cut spending and the size of government, should signal its fiscal resolve by proposing cuts for all federal spending.”
The claim that the budget cannot be balanced without defense spending cuts is ridiculous. The claim that DOD spending has enjoyed “protected status” is a blatant lie which will be debunked below. As for the claim that it has been isolated from “serious scrutiny”, and that the DOD has been allowed to waste billions of taxpayers money – again a lie. The DOD’s annual budgets are scrutinized every year by the Congress and by the media, debated, and voted upon. When defense spending is the subject, members of Congress are unafraid to ask tough questions. Moreover, the Congress requires hundreds of reports of the DOD, requires a quadrennial defense review, debates it, and has often closed or cut programs it deemed unnecessary. The DOD, like every government agency, wastes some money every year, but no more than any other government bureaucracy.
The letter then says “Proponents of a larger Department of Defense budget have argued that security outlays should be weighed against mandatory spending levels, suggesting that explosive entitlement growth serves as an appropriate metric for defense spending.” That is also a lie. We, the proponents of a larger DOD budget, never claimed that the growth of entitlement programs serves as an appropriate metric (or example to follow) for defense spending. What we did claim, and rightly so, was that defense spending must be counted in proportion to the total size of the federal budget, the economy, the discretionary budget, and other big government programs, including entitlement programs. These numbers reveal inconvenient truths for the opponents of defense spending, which is why they dismiss them. Defense spending is tiny compared to the annual costs of entitlement programs, which grow on autopilot.
The letter then says that “This not only ignores the unsustainable nature of entitlement spending but also the reality of defense spending, which has increased by 86 percent since 1998.” No serious person is denying that entitlement spending is unsustainable. But America’s defense spending is not. The claim that defense spending has increased by 86% since 1998 (I presume they meant FY1998) is a blatant lie. The FY1998 DOD budget was $277.2 bn in FY2001 dollars, i.e. $342.33 bn in FY2010 dollars. The FY2010 DOD budget was $534 bn. That is only 55.98%, not 86%, larger than the FY1998 DOD warchest. Someone could ask, “only 55.98%?!”. Yes, only 55.98%, because FY1998 was the nadir of 1990s, the era of drastic defense cuts which rendered the US military decrepit (a fact acknowledged by not only defense conservatives but also defense spending skeptics such as John Kasich and the Brookings Institution, which called for defense spending to be inreased by $100 bn in FY2000 dollars in CY2000). The FY1998 defense budget was the smallest since the 1970s. It was microscopic. The source: http://220.127.116.11/forum/showthread.php?t=24215&page=30
It is ridiculous for these ignorant people to use FY1998 as a benchmark for defense spending.
The letter further says:
“Defense spending, like the rest of the federal ledger, has grown substantially over the past few years. Under President Bush, military spending averaged 3.9 percent of GDP. Under President Obama, it has averaged 4.9 percent a full percentage point higher.”
Those numbers are false. President Bush’s military spending did not average 3.9% of GDP, and the 4.9% of GDP figure for President Obama is also false. His first total military budget (the FY2010 military budget, i.e. the core defense budget + the GWOT supplemental) constituted 4.5% of America’s GDP ($14.61 trillion as of 2008, according to the CIA World Factbook). His only second proposed military budget (the core defense budget + the GWOT supplemental) would constitute 4.72% of a GDP which today amounts to $15 trillion. Obama was sworn in as President on January 20th, 2009. The FY2010 budget was his first.
The liberarians’ letter further says:
“It is outrageous to assume spending under the president who launched the War on Terror, started the Department of Homeland Security and began the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is not sufficient for even the most hawkish member of Congress.”
No, it isn’t outrageous, it’s factually accurate. Bush did launch the GWOT, including the Iraqi war and the Afghan war, but he never even tried to rebuild America’s defense after 12 years of continous defense cuts. These 2 wars have consumed a large part of the US military budgets passed after 9/11/2001. The US military still uses obsolete weapons produced during the 1950s, the 1960s and the 1970s. As for the DHS, it is a nonmilitary, civilian bureaucracy which has nothing to do with the US military. Bush’s total military spending, by their own admission, averaged only 3.9% of GDP. That is a smaller amount than the amount the US spent on its military during the entire Cold War era except FYs 1947-1949. Even during the early 1990s, the US spent a larger percentage of GDP on its military than now.
The letter further states:
“And yet, defense spending continues to enjoy protected status. The Pentagon is slated to spend $6.5 trillion over the next ten years equal to the current projected deficit spending in the same time period. Ignoring the burden military spending places on the taxpayers promotes the same reckless spending ethos that led to failed “stimulus” policies, government bailouts and a prolonged economic recession.”
All of these claims are utterly false. They are lies deliberately made up by the authors of the letter. Defense spending has NEVER enjoyed “protected status” and does not enjoy such status now. It has been dramatically reduced in real terms, and as a percentage of GDP, numerous times during the last 65 years alone: year-on-year during the late 1940s, during the 1950s (after the Korean War), during the entire 1970s, and during the entire 1980s (actually, from FY1987 until FY2000, when defense spending grew slightly for the first time since FY1986). And even during periods when the Congress did not reduce total defense spending, it did close or cut many crucial weapon programs – even during the Bush era when the Comanche, XM2001, E-10MCA, and J-UCAS programs were closed and many other weapon programs (e.g. the F-22, F-35, Zumwalt class and San Antonio class programs) were significantly reduced. And, as everyone knows, during FY2010 the Congress closed or cut over 30 DOD programs, including over 20 weapon programs. Defense spending has NEVER enjoyed “protected status”. Not this fiscal year. Not during the previous fiscal year. Not during the Bush era. Not ever. The claim that “defense spending continues to enjoy protectd status is a blatant lie”.
Likewise, the claim that “the Pentagon is slated to spend $6.5 trillion over the next decade” is a lie. Firstly, the Pentagon is never slated to spend anything – it needs the Congress ‘ cosent to spent any taxpayers’ money. Every annual defense budget needs to be authorized by the Congress every year. Secondly, the $6.5 trillion figure is false. The DOD has not, so far, requested any money for post-FY2011 periods, nor has it published any projections for the 2010s. Projections are mere assumptions, not requests nor approved budgets. The $6.5 trillion figure is a lie made up by the letter’s signatories, plain and simple.
The claim about “the burden that military spending places on taxpayers” is another lie. Total American military spending amounted to 4.5% of GDP as of FY2010. This is an amount smaller than the vast majority of America’s Cold War erra’s military budgets. FY2010 military spending amounted to just 18.5% of the total federal budget, which means that only a paltry 18.5 cents out of every dollar every American taxpayer pays to the fedral government is spent on the military, and the rest (81.5 cents out of every dollar paid by taxpayers) is spent on purely civilian purposes. The military spending burden on taxpayers is very light.
It is ridiculous and insulting for these ingorant libertarians to equate military spending with bloated federal domestic spending and to claim that military spending represents “the same reckless spending ethos that led to failed “stimulus” policies, government bailouts and a prolonged economic recession.” The DOD was not responsible for this.
“Leadership on spending requires commitment that aims to permanently change the bias toward profligacy, not simply stem the tide in the short-term. True fiscal stewards cannot eschew real spending reform by protecting pet projects in the federal budget. Any such Department of Defense favoritism would signal that the new Congress is not serious about fiscal responsibility and not ready to lead.”
The claim that the DOD is profligate is false. As stated above, total US military spending amounted to a tiny 4.5% of GDP and only 18.5% of the total federal budget as of FY2010. A budget that would spare the DOD from budget cuts would not be a sign of “DOD favoritism”, merely proof that the Congress treats the federal government’s #1 constitutional duty – defense. The claim that defense is a pet project is a lie. Defense is not anyone’s pet project, it’s a constitutional duty of the federal government (vide the 4th Article of the Constitution), and simoultaneously one of the reasons why the federal government was established in the first instance (vide the Preamble to the Constitution).
Unfortunately, the signatories of the letter ignored these facts – or are ignorant of them.
Defense is not an option, but rather an obligation of the federal government. The Congress should not even consider any defense spending cuts.
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 10, 2010
Last month, the misnamed “Deficit Reduction Commission”, co-chaired by Clinton’s chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former RINO Senator Alan Simpson published its report and said the moment when it was published was “a moment of truth” for America.
But the report itself is short on truth. It would be better termed “a hatched job”. It’s BS. It’s a litany of lies.
The report singles out only ONE category of federal spending for large budget reductions: defense spending, the one category which, if anything, should be grown, not increased.
The report calls for a reduction of the annual DOD budget by $100 bn per year, i.e. by almost 20%. Specifically, the report calls on the Congress to reduce weapons R&D spending by 15%, reduce weapons purchase spending by similar double-digit amounts, and cancel a number of crucial weapon programs, including the F-35B/C programs (which are the only options not only to the USMC and the USN but also to several allies of the US, including Italy, Spain and Britain), and redirect any DOD savings Secretary of Defense Robert Gates comes up with into the Treasury (putatively to reduce the deficit), rather than DOD accounts as Gates would prefer.
The Commission recommended such large budget cuts only for the DOD, and no other federal agency or program. Its report calls for all other agencies’ annual budgets to remain unchanged or reduced only slightly – you know, a few tiny reductions at the DOS, a few others at the DOA, etc.
The commission was evidently biased against the DOD and the US military, as it singled out only the DOD for large budget cuts.
Moreover, the commission left untouched, the Obama socialized medicine scheme, and the 66,000-page federal tax code. Which means that the commission believes that the Big Government that Obama has created should remain untouched – the only candidate for big cuts singled out by the commission is the DOD.
The commission ignored the fact that America’s defense spending is already miniscule (3.65% of GDP as of FY2010), that the DOD can’t afford these budget cuts and program closures the commission recommended, and that defense is not to blame for America’s fiscal woes. It also ignored the fact that defense is the #1 DUTY of the federal government. Taxes are collected every year to finance America’s defense and its diplomatic service, not the bloated domestic programs of the federal government, according to the Constitution.
The commission ignored these facts, and recommended that the DOD’s budget be reduced by $100 bn per year (Bob Gates has called these proposed cuts “catastrophic”, and that’s one of the few issues I agree with him on).
Because most membersof the commission were anti-defense liberals like Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. Bowles served as Clinton’s chief of the WH staff. Like other members of the former Clinton administration, he believes that the Pentagon is exclusively responsible for America’s fiscal problems and that any defense budget is too large.
During the 1990s, the Clinton administration gutted the military with deep budget cuts, thus rendering totally decrepit. Clinton even planned deeper cuts than the ones he was allowed to enact. Why? Because until FY1998, America had a budget deficit, and whenever the federal budget is short on revenue to finance its expenditures, liberals always blame the DOD only. Whenever the federal government registers a budget deficit, they always call for defense spending cuts.
So Bowles, as a former Clinton administration member, as a believer in the liberal weak-defense ideology, has called for deep defense cuts which would gut the military.
The commission was biased. Its report is ridiculous. Defense spending is not the cause of America’s fiscal woes. Let’s hope the Congress makes the right budgetary choices.
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 3, 2010
4 days remain before the 69th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor – a consequence of refusal to adequately invest in defense.
Sadly because the US has a $1.29 trillion annual budget deficit (which was not caused by defense spending), most politicians and commentators are discussing whether to significantly reduce American defense spending, and if so, how deeply. They include leftist politicians such as Rep. Jan Schakowsky (CPSU-IL), Congressman-elect Allen West (R-FL), Erskine Bowles, Alan Simpson, and AmSpec writers Joseph Lawler, James Antle and Philip Klein. Sadly, usually the debate is about how deeply, not whether to, reduce US defense spending.
The most extreme plan is the one proposed by Schakowsky, an extremist liberal from an extremely liberal state (IL). According to Philip Klein:
“On one end of the spectrum is a proposal advanced by the most liberal member of the deficit panel, Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky. Her plan calls for drastically cutting the military budget while raising income taxes, estate taxes, corporate taxes, payroll taxes, and capital gains taxes. She would implement “cap and trade,” add the government-run plan, or “public option” to ObamaCare, and have the federal government “negotiate” drug prices. In addition, she would spend $200 billion on more stimulus projects. In sum, her plan would put America on an accelerated course toward a European-style welfare state.”
Reducing defense spending – the most crucial item in the federal budget – is the absolutely worst option the federal government could pursue.
Schakowsky’s plan is even worse than that. Not only would it dramatically cut defense spending, it would also dramatically INCREASE domestic spending by adding a government insurance option, greatly increasing pseudostimulus funding (you think the $787 bn Obama stimulus was bad? This one would be even worse!), and growing other domestic government programs. On net, it would GROW federal spending and the budget deficit, even despite the massive defense spending cuts it proposes. Even the massive tax hikes it proposes would grow rather than shrink the budget deficit, because corporations and individuals would simply relocate to low-tax countries like Lichteinstein.
This ridiculous plan also proves that I was right all along: defense spending cuts will not even significantly shrink, let alone abolish, the budget deficit. The DOD (whose FY2010 budget was $534 bn) could be abolished entirely and there would’ve STILL been a $700 bn annual budget deficit.
Philip Klein mentioned that a stark contrast to Schakowsky’s proposal is the plan developed by another member of the Deficit Reduction Commission, Paul Ryan, the GOP’s budget expert.
Klein mentioned that the plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) does not call for any defense spending cuts. What he did NOT mention is that Ryan’s plan, called the Roadmap, would actually balance the federal budget completely (i.e. completely eliminate the budget deficit) in the long term, as certified by the Congressional Budget Office. It would also prevent entitlement programs from burying America under an even bigger mountain of debt than the current one. Needless to say, this means raising the retirement age. Which Ryan has publicly acknowledged.
In the final paragraph of his AmSpec article, Klein asked, “Do they want to maintain global military supremacy, or are they comfortable adopting a non-interventionist foreign policy and curtailing our military commitments?”
I think that regarding American military supremacy (which has already eroded over this decade, BTW), the answer is obvious: it must be restored. But Klein is offering Americans a false choice:
either a strong military AND a promiscously interventionist foreign policy, or a weak military and an isolationist foreign policy. This is a false choice and Americans should reject it.
What America needs is a strong defense (and therefore a defense budget not smaller than the current one, i.e. not smaller than 3.65% of GDP), coupled with a new foreign policy which, to borrow words from a former President, “recognizes the indispensability and the limitations of America’s role in the world”. This means that, even as America needs to maintain a strong defense, it needs to seriously reconsider all of its commitments to foreign countries and organizations, scale down or end some defense commitments, and bring troops back home from countries where they don’t need to be (e.g. Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Iraq and Afghanistan). A promiscously interventionist foreign policy would be bad for the Treasury as well as the military, because would waste limited DOD resources.
Allen West has endorsed defense cuts, as well a policy of ending wars of nationbuilding (which are financed by a separate GWOT supplemental budget) (http://spectator.org/blog/2010/11/30/possible-way-forward-on-defens). While I agree that the US should stop waging wars of nationbuilding, I believe he’s flat wrong on defense cuts.
The truth is that defense spending cuts are NEITHER necessary to balance the budget NOR acceptable under the present military circumstances (i.e. the multiple serious military threats America is facing).
Defense spending (not including spending on Iraq and Afghanistan) accounts for a paltry 14.87% of the total federal budget and only 3.65% of GDP. Those are miniscule numbers. The DOD is clearly not to blame for America’s fiscal woes. Moreover, 3.65% of GDP is such a paltry amount that it’s evident to anyone who isn’t blind that the DOD can’t do with less.
Cutting defense spending (rather than GWOT spending) when it is already so small would severely weaken the US military, and is therefore an utterly unacceptable option. The DOD’s share of GDP has been permanently under 4% since FY1996, and the current defense budget is the SMALLEST (as a percentage of GDP) since FY1948, together with its Clinton-era and Bush-era counterparts.
Also, Antle, West and the journalist who interviewed West all neglected to mention an inconvenient truth: the fact that defense is a constitutional DUTY of the federal government, rather than an option that the federal government might or might not undertake. It is not for the FG to dither whether or not to provide for the common defense – it is its duty to do so.
As Ronald Reagan correctly said in 1985: “we must not relax our efforts to restore military strength just as we near our goal of a fully equipped, trained, and ready professional corps. National security is government’s first responsibility; so in past years defense spending took about half the Federal budget. Today it takes less than a third. We’ve already reduced our planned defense expenditures by nearly a hundred billion dollars over the past 4 years and reduced projected spending again this year.
You know, we only have a military-industrial complex until a time of danger, and then it becomes the arsenal of democracy. Spending for defense is investing in things that are priceless—peace and freedom.”
Earlier, a New America Foundation pseudoanalyst, Parag Khanna, has falsely claimed that
“The United States still has the world’s most powerful military, of course, but its utility is diminishing as the capacity to deter and resist spreads…. More fundamentally, the world has quickly become multipolar, with the European Union a larger economic player than the United States while China rises quickly on all measures of hard and soft power.”
Firstly, the US military is no longer the world’s strongest. The PLA is. Secondly, it is incorrect to say that “its utility is diminishing”. The US military is useful for a wide range of purposes, including deterring America’s enemies and rogue states. Bullies can be deterred only by military means.
As for the EU, it’s incorrect to say that it’s a larger economic player than the US. True, it has a larger GDP than the US, but it’s a confederacy of 27 different countries which don’t have a common currency (11 countries are not members of the Eurozone), a common leader, a common military or a common foreign policy. The EU is not a country, not anymore than the OAS or NAFTA is a country. Moreover, the EU’s economy is, by many measures, inferior to the US economy.
As Ryan’s Roadmap, and my own Blueprint for a Balanced Budget have shown, defense cuts are not necessary to balance the federal budget. And, as the threats menacing the US (such as North Korea) have shown, reducing the defense budget (or weakening the military in any other way) would be an utter folly. The Congress must not do so.
Posted in Economic affairs, Military issues, Politicians | Tagged: Allen West, america, blueprint, budget, defense, defense budget, defense spending, DOD, James Antle, military, Paul Ryan, Pentagon, Philip Klein, USA | 2 Comments »
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on December 1, 2010
Many self-named fiscal conservatives claim that because of America’s current fiscal woes (a $1.29 trillion annual budget deficit and a national debt of almost $14 trillion), defense spending should be reduced – deeply reduced, according to some of them. These advocates of defense spending cuts can be divided into these groups:
1) Those who believe that the defense budget should be the only category of spending that should be reduced;
2) Those who believe that the defense budget should be the biggest, but not the only, spending category facing reductions;
3) Those who believe that all categories of federal spending should face equal or similar reductions;
4) Those who wish to abolish the federal government altogether.
All four groups are wrong. Defense spending should not be reduced even by one dollar per year. Why? For several reasons.
Firstly, defense is not an option, but rather a constitutional OBLIGATION of the federal government, as well as one of the reasons why the federal government was established in the first place. It’s not an option that the federal government might decide to pursue or not to pursue. The federal government is obliged to provide for the common defense, as per the Constitution.
Secondly, defense spending is NOT to blame for America’s fiscal woes. It constitutes only 14.87% of the total federal budget and a paltry 3.65% of GDP (FY2010 data). Total military spending, including the GWOT supplemental appropriation, constituted 18.5% of the total federal budget and just 4.5% of GDP as of FY2010. Obama’s proposed FY2011 federal budget would reduce the DOD’s share of the total federal budget to 14.31% (excluding GWOT spending). American GDP per capita is $46,000 per year, so 3.65% of GDP means that the annual defense budget costs the average American only $1700 per year.
From FY2007 to FY2011, defense spending has increased by $59 bn, from $475 bn to $534 bn, while total federal spending has splurged from $2729 bn to $3591 bilion and the budget deficit has grown from $161 bn to $1290 billion. So post-FY2007 defense spending growth accounts for only 6.844% of the total federal spending growth and only 5.22% of the total budget deficit growth witnessed since FY2007, when the budget deficit was small ($161 bn as of FY2007). The post-FY2001 trend is equally instructive. According to John R. Guardiano of the American Spectator, only 20% of the total federal spending growth witnessed since FY2001 was represented by defense spending growth.
It is evident to any honest person that the DOD is not to blame for America’s fiscal woes.
Thirdly, defense spending is too low already. The truth is that the US military can’t cope with less money than it already has. The FY2010 defense budget constituted 3.65% of GDP. During the entire Cold War, America’s defense budget was larger, except the FY1948 defense warchest (3.50% of GDP). The US military is now facing the necessary task of replacing the vast majority of its equipment: its warships, fighterplanes, attack aircraft, ASW planes, EW aircraft, tankers, cargoplanes, AWACSes, gunships, CSAR helicopters and APCs. These weapons are obsolete and most of them (as well as the military’s tanks, IFVs and attack helicopters) have been worn out as a result of 9 years of continous war. The US military absolutely needs this 3.65% of GDP to replace its weapons, maintain its current force structure (at least the structure of combat units), operate its weapons and bases, and prepare itself for new threats. Don’t believe me? Ask the Secretary of Defense or Rep. Paul Ryan.
That is not to say that every single dollar of the annual defense budget is spent properly or that the DOD can’t afford to abolish any of the items in its annual budget. But only non-combat related items in its budget (e.g. unneeded bases, nonmilitary projects, excessive benefits, oversized bureaucracies and unneeded reports) should be reduced or abolished. Moreover, the DOD needs the savings that would be generated this way to reinvest them in crucial equipment. The Secretary of Defense, as well as defense experts from the HF and the AEI, have said so.
Fourth, contrary to the often-repeated myth that any solution to America’s fiscal woes must include defense spending reductions, the truth is that the federal budget can be balanced without any defense spending cuts. How? By implementing my Blueprint for a Balanced Budget, a logical result of my Blueprint for a Smaller Government.
These blueprints have proven that a balanced budget and maintaining defense spending at the current level (3.65% of GDP) are not mutually-exclusive goals. Unlike most so-called fiscal conservatives, I have provided a blueprint of how to balance the federal budget without defense spending cuts. Most of them haven’t even presented any plan to balance the budget at all. (Please note that even if the entire DOD was abolished, the federal government would still be facing a $814-bn annual budget deficit.)
So please don’t listen to those who say that defense spending should be reduced. It shouldn’t be cut. If the Congress really wants to balance the federal budget, it should significantly reduced the FG’s bloated domestic spending.
Defense spending (=the defense budget): The annual core DOD budget which finances the military itself, and is supposed to make it possible for the US to build and maintain a strong defense.
GWOT supplemental spending (appropriation): The annual supplemental appropriation used to finance the GWOT, specifically, the Afghan war and the deployment of American troops to Iraq. It has nothing to do with the task of building and maintaining a strong defense.
Total federal budget: The entire federal budget, proposed by the President and approved (or rejected) by the Congress. Includes both obligatory spending (entitlement programs and debt interest payments) and discretionary spending (which includes defense spending and GWOT supplemental spending).
Domestic spending: Money spent on nonmilitary purposes in the United States. This term encompasses entitlements, debt interest payments, and discretionary domestic spending (e.g. the DHS, the DOT and the DHUD).
Posted in Economic affairs, Military issues | Tagged: america, budget, Congress, constitution, defense, defense budget, DOD, Federal Budget, Federal Government, military, military equipment, Treasury, USA, weaponry | Leave a Comment »