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Dept of Defense: Budget cuts here need to be of the scalpel variety.
March 22, 2011
Particularly after a Defense-hating Democrat administration, any needed Defense budget cuts may be offset by the need to rebuild.
Vic Biorseth, Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The Constitutional mandate for Defense is established in Article 1 Section 8, as follows:
… To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer term than two years;To fulfill that Constitutional mandate, in fiscal year 2010 the DOD budgeted $1.2 trillion, representing about 4.5% of GDP, and about 21% of the whole US budget. Nearly all the rest of the remaining 89% of the 2010 US budget was spent on entitlements and social programs. Still, compared to other nations, the 2010 US defense budget came in second in actual dollars, but about 30th in per capita military spending among nations. Defense has been and is being radically cut under this administration; indeed, Defense is the only part of the budget this administration has cut, while radically increasing spending everywhere else. There is an important message in that fact.
The need to be able to defend ourselves should be obvious. What may be less obvious, but is no less important, is the need to be able to project very serious military power not only beyond our shores, but to anywhere in the world. The modern world being what it is, there is no free-world nation other than America capable of making a credible threat to such huge military powers as Russia and China. Indeed, most free-world nations have no capability of so much as defending themselves against such powers, let alone posing any sort of threat to them.
America spends considerably more on citizen entitlements than on defense, but most European nations moved past that point long before we did. They now have populations heavily dependent on government entitlements, and they have become nations increasingly dependent upon America for defense, as they become more and more helpless over time. Few of them have any capability of projecting any serious military force beyond their own borders, and so they present no serious threat to any would-be foreign enemies. Not only can they not carry any fight to any enemy’s territory, but most of them could not even defend themselves on their own ground against any significant aggressor.
I submit the argument that, at this time there are, in the entire world, four world military powers that might be considered serious threats by any nation anywhere, and they are, the U.S., the U.K., Russia and China. Two of these four, currently, are purposely reducing their military power, and two of them are purposely increasing it. The two who are reducing their own military power have no history, at least in the last century or so, of military aggression toward others, and the two who are radically increasing their military power do indeed have a long, long history of military aggression against their neighbors, and against other nations, near and far. In fact, their national economies have often depended upon military conquest and domination of others.
That is not to say that such rogue states as Iran and North Korea pose no threat; but the threat they pose is to do very grievous harm to others in the world, and to perhaps invade and conquer others very near to them. Compared to the super-powers, their ability to project significant and long-term military power very far beyond their own borders is quite limited. Of greater significance, at least at this moment in history, is the threat posed by the freedom and the advance of the ideologies of Marxism and of Islam, because they present an ever present and on-going non-centralized threat from inside America and other free nations. These ideologies convert, recruit and train mortal enemies of free nations within the very citizen populations of the free nations. It is often done under the innocent sounding names of diversity, and/or tolerance, and/or religious freedom, and/or freedom of expression, and so forth. But Marxism and Islam remain mortal enemies of free nations, and of liberty.
Still, the danger of outright military conquest has never left the planet. Nor has evil left the world. Treachery is always afoot. When I try to imagine what the world might be like with a totally disarmed America, I begin to shudder. No matter what agreements they might sign, Marxism and Islam will never disarm, nor will they ever peacefully coexist, for very long, with the liberty of man. They seek and intend to dominate man, and to dominate the world. People who believe that there is no such thing as good guys and bad guys are living in some unrealistic and doomed dream world, in which their idealistic, multi-colored happy-faced balloon never seems to land.
Let us now look at DOD in greater detail.
U.S. Defense Forces of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps began life in 1775 during the Revolutionary War. The War Department, which would become the Department of Defense, was established in 1789, and the U.S. Coast Guard was established in 1790. The U.S. Army Air Corps was spit off from the Army to form the U.S. Air Force in 1947. The organization and function of DOD is set forth in the Title 10 of the United States Code. Title 10 also provides the legal basis for the role, mission and organization of each of the services, through specific Subtitles.
The Top of the Chain of Command fixes civilian authority over military authority. The President is the Commander In Chief of all armed forces. His Secretary of Defense is the Cabinet-level director of the military. Reporting to the Secretary of Defense are the civilian Secretary of the Army, Secretary of the Navy and Secretary of the Air Force. Their military counterparts are military officers of the highest rank: the Chief of Staff of the Army, the Chief of Staff of the Navy, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and over them, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who would be the military counterpoint to the civilian Secretary of Defense.
So, in the main bureaucratic structure under DOD, we have the obvious ones: the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy and the Department of the Air Force. There are other DOD agencies, chief among them:
Missile Defense Agency (MDA):
The “layered approach” means developing full capability of defending against a ballistic missile in the Boost Phase, in the Ascent Phase, in the Midcourse Phase, and in the Terminal Phase.
A ballistic missile is most vulnerable in the boost phase, but the counter measure must be very close and very fast. A boost-phase ballistic missile is easy to track because it is bright and hot. However, a ready counter-measure cannot always be in the neighborhood of a launch from within a vast enemy country, or from an undetected submarine deep beneath the surface of the sea. The ascent phase is somewhat less challenging; it is the phase after powered flight but before the apogee of its flight. The midcourse phase is begins after the booster burns out and the vehicle is coasting in space. Ground based defense missiles can defend against them. The terminal phase is the last chance scenario, when the ballistic missile is coming down on the target, and the defensive action will be very close to the defended target.
Boost phase defense systems such as the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI) and the Airborne Laser (ABL) have been cancelled or de-funded by Congress. There is a pitifully minimal $10 million R&D project looking at an airborne AMRAAM based missile defense system. Anti-missile missiles may either hit the ballistic missile, or get close enough to disable the warhead and all electronics on the missile.
Ascent Phase Intercept (API) is highly classified, and all we can know about it is that it is under development. I think.
Midcourse phase includes ground-based interceptor missiles and the required ground-based radars and command and control systems. This program has a remarkable record of successful hit-to-kill tests in space. The Obama administration has canceled plans to install ground-based missile defense in Poland in favor of the sea-borne Aegis program.
Probably the most famous midcourse anti-ballistic missile system is US Navy’s ship-born Aegis missile system. Aegis also transmits target detection information to the ground based midcourse defense system. Obama administration over-emphasis on cutting defense spending, including cuts in crews and “streamlined” training and maintenance has led to a drastic decline in Aegis readiness, according to a Navy panel headed by a retired Admiral. I’m sure the administration felt that money wasted on Aegis system maintenance and Aegis warship crews could be better spent on Obamacare.
Another midcourse anti-ballistic missile program under test was the Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV) program, in which a single booster could launch multiple small kinetic energy based warheads that could intercept and destroy multiple ballistic missiles, including decoys. The carrier vehicle and the individual killer vehicles each had their own onboard sensors and guidance systems, and the multiple killer vehicles each only weighed about 10 pounds. Many such vehicles in a “cloud” increased the probability of hits on all incoming ballistic missiles and countermeasures. All planned objectives were achieved in preliminary tests. However, in April 2009, the Obama administration “reshaped” the Pentagon’s budget, and terminated the MKV program.
Terminal phase anti-ballistic missile defense also includes multiple programs. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) is a system to shoot down short, medium and long range missiles with a hit-to-kill kinetic energy missile. That means there is no warhead, just the kinetic energy created in an impact. The hit-to-kill technology is similar to Patriot PAC-3, which carries a small warhead, and the Patriot PAC-2, which carries a warhead with a proximity fuse. THAAD is designed to hit Scud type missiles, but may also have a more limited capability against ICBMs.
Patriot is a surface-to-air anti-ballistic missile system using an advanced missile and a high performance radar. Patriot systems have been sold to several allies, including Israel and Poland.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA): DARPA develops new technology for military use. Many of the things we take for granted today came out of DARPA R&D, such as computer hypertext, computer networking and so forth, despite the self congratulatory false claims of Al Gore. The mission of DARPA is two-fold:
Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force requirements drive DARPA efforts, but DARPA operates independent of them, freeing them to do their main job, and freeing DARPA to do R&D. The only real charter of DARPA is radical innovation, which works best when unhindered by bureaucracy and authority. No radical or transformational military development in the last century came out of any request from the military; that includes the jet engine, the helicopter, the atomic bomb, various robots and unmanned vehicles of all sorts, and just about any innovative weapon you can think of. DARPA developed technologies include such every-day common-use things today as GPS and the Internet.
National Geospacial-Intelligence Agency (NGA): Geospacial Intelligence, or GEOINT, involves gathering and analyzing imagery and other forms of information depicting geographically-referenced features and objects on or near the surface of the earth. This information originates in mapping, surveying and other activities, gathered by commercial and government satellite, reconnaissance aircraft, unmanned aircraft, GPS, recorded information such as maps and charts, commercial databases, utility schematics and so forth.
National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Security Service (CSS: NSA is an intelligence agency that does not perform any human or field operations; NSA is strictly limited to cryptography and to communications and signals of any kind. NSA concentrates on all varieties of foreign communications, from radio, telephone, microwave, laser, internet or any other form of human communications. NSA also protects US communications against foreign access. NSA has a heavy emphasis on cryptanalysis and cryptology, and may run the largest super-computer complexes in the world, and possibly run the world’s largest computer networks. NSA is reputed to be the world’s largest employer of mathematicians. CSS is a closely related intelligence agency that acts as intelligence coordinator between NSA and the crypto-intelligence organizations in each of the military branches.
For most of its life, the public did not know that NSA existed. When questioned, government representative’s responses earned NSA the nickname No Such Agency. The super-secrecy of NSA, and internal directives to never speak of it in public earned NSA the internal nickname Never Say Anything. The quiet NSA mission is to listen, gather, decrypt and analyze. NSA is always quietly listening.
NSA goes so far as to actually manufacture it’s own microchips for its own cryptographic purposes. NSA has the rather unique ability to obtain patents approvals from the US Patent and Trademark Office under an on-going gag order. NSA patents for codes and other tools are not revealed to the public, and they never expire. If someone else files for an identical patent, NSA’s patent is then revealed, and NSA is awarded the new patent for the normal expiration term. Therefore, some few of NSA’s patents are now public knowledge. One of them involves an ability to actually geographically locate an individual computer on a network or the internet based on “latency” of multiple network connections.
National War College (NWC,) and several joint service schools: NWC offers senior-level courses of study in national security strategy to selected military officers and high ranking federal officials as preparation for high level policy, command and staff responsibilities. Most of the student body is representative of land, sea and air forces, with a smaller representation from the Department of State and other federal level departments and agencies. Faculty is composed of officers from all branches of service, and academicians from the intelligence community, Department of State and other agencies involved in security issues.
However you feel about Defense spending, it is necessary for you to know that it is being radically cut by this administration in a time of rampant world instability, and that much of the world’s current instability was brought about or contributed to by this administration. Now, everybody would agree that there is a need to eliminate the sort of fraud, abuse and stupidity that brings about such scandals as the infamous $1,500 toilet seat, but that’s not the sort of budget cuts that are currently happening to Defense. They are major, significant across the board cuts, expressed as percentages of budget. I submit that the real purpose for these budget cuts involves treachery and evil intent.
Currently, China is building modern aircraft carriers and other ships at a faster rate than the US is moth-balling or scrapping them. While the US is cutting back on or even eliminating advanced aircraft and weaponry, China is making great strides in stealth technology and new, innovative systems, largely thanks to having obtained American military secrets during the Clinton administration, and probably during this one.
All you have to do is look at Obama’s own written and spoken words to know that he actually hates America, her history, and the very idea of her superiority to any other country. The man is a Marxist, and therefore diametrically opposed to Constitutional America. He seeks to replace the America that exists with something else. Here’s what I said about that in the Liberty Versus Marxism and Islam page:
The final goal of the true drivers of Marxism, and the final goal of the true drivers of Islam, are precisely the same: Borderless, nation-less, one world global government, which is to say, a world dictatorship. The highest ranking Marxists in the world, and the highest ranking Moslems in the world, are alike in this: They don’t particularly give a damn whether the final force that achieves world victory is Marxist or it is Islamic. They will easily pretend to be either Marxist or Moslem, as opportunity dictates, so long as they get to be the one who drives the world bus. The banner on the world bus can be changed quickly and easily. The people of the world will be kept in line by a combination of their own stupidity and a program of terror. It’s been done before, many times, on a smaller scale.I will go farther than that. An American dictator wannabe would potentially benefit from foreign military invasion, or even from a thermonuclear hit, provided he survived it. Recognize this: a dictator wannabe sitting at the level of a President Obama is a super-gambler and risk taker, for the sake of the destruction of the American super-power, and for the advancement of his favored ideology. His vision of America’s future involves smoke, charred ruins and a humbled and suffering people.
Now, some of you will think I’m nuts, and this is crazy talk. And that’s fine. This is still America. If you think Obama is just another American politician who won a big election, and I’m a crazy man, then support and follow the clear and obvious policy of the Democrat Party, which is to radically cut Defense spending, radically increase social entitlement programs, radically restrict oil and fossil fuel production and consumption, radically control big business and big finance, and radically increase taxes on the rich. Put your faith in the Communist Party. I mean Democrat.
I have stated my opinion; what’s yours?
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