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Why is the US military budget so large?

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Posts

  • ToxTox I kill threads Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    So, my question is, when people talk about the US military's budget being so large, can anybody give examples of things that it's hard to argue against?

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
    Secret Satans! Post | Gaming Wishlist | General Wishlist
    Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I'm AFROTC, they pay all my tuition because I'm pursuing an Computer Engineering degree. I rarely have to work, unless I fuck up my grades this semester.

    My goal is to go here. It's a summer program in the middle-of-nowhere Rome, NY where you learn about network security, some classified shit. 50 page paper a weekend and other stuff. But the students have fun and get into some really sweet career fields when they comission.

    steam_sig.png
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Tox wrote: »
    So, my question is, when people talk about the US military's budget being so large, can anybody give examples of things that it's hard to argue against?

    An army moves on its stomach.

    Why would you outsource all of our food and supply line services? If anything these are the precise services the military should never outsource. You pay more, get no oversight, end out held hostage by the supply lines you require and can never be sure of the quality of goods you are getting.

    Correct me if I am wrong (please) but hasn't the United States always had exceptional logistic and engineering programs designed to make our military as self-sufficient and efficient as possible?

    Why would you let these dipfucks come in?

    Edit: By this I mean it would be hard to argue against giving the military back its own legs when it comes to self-sufficiency

  • ToxTox I kill threads Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    Tox wrote: »
    So, my question is, when people talk about the US military's budget being so large, can anybody give examples of things that it's hard to argue against?

    An army moves on its stomach.

    Why would you outsource all of our food and supply line services? If anything these are the precise services the military should never outsource. You pay more, get no oversight, end out held hostage by the supply lines you require and can never be sure of the quality of goods you are getting.

    Correct me if I am wrong (please) but hasn't the United States always had exceptional logistic and engineering programs designed to make our military as self-sufficient and efficient as possible?

    Why would you let these dipfucks come in?

    Edit: By this I mean it would be hard to argue against giving the military back its own legs when it comes to self-sufficiency

    I agree with the point you're arguing, but every single meal I received (DFACs, etc) was cooked by soldiers.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
    Secret Satans! Post | Gaming Wishlist | General Wishlist
    Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Tox wrote: »
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    Tox wrote: »
    So, my question is, when people talk about the US military's budget being so large, can anybody give examples of things that it's hard to argue against?

    An army moves on its stomach.

    Why would you outsource all of our food and supply line services? If anything these are the precise services the military should never outsource. You pay more, get no oversight, end out held hostage by the supply lines you require and can never be sure of the quality of goods you are getting.

    Correct me if I am wrong (please) but hasn't the United States always had exceptional logistic and engineering programs designed to make our military as self-sufficient and efficient as possible?

    Why would you let these dipfucks come in?

    Edit: By this I mean it would be hard to argue against giving the military back its own legs when it comes to self-sufficiency

    I agree with the point you're arguing, but every single meal I received (chow halls, etc) was cooked by soldiers.

    Yeah, I know the media has sort of shut up about the whole KBR thing and I assumed it was because things were improving. I read a story the other week on how the contractor who put up a base in Iraq didn't bother putting in proper water treatment facilities so the stuff that came out of those guys sinks smelled like raw sewage. That sort of pisses me off.

  • zakkielzakkiel Registered User
    edited April 2009
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    Tox wrote: »
    So, my question is, when people talk about the US military's budget being so large, can anybody give examples of things that it's hard to argue against?

    An army moves on its stomach.

    Why would you outsource all of our food and supply line services? If anything these are the precise services the military should never outsource. You pay more, get no oversight, end out held hostage by the supply lines you require and can never be sure of the quality of goods you are getting.

    Correct me if I am wrong (please) but hasn't the United States always had exceptional logistic and engineering programs designed to make our military as self-sufficient and efficient as possible?

    Why would you let these dipfucks come in?

    Edit: By this I mean it would be hard to argue against giving the military back its own legs when it comes to self-sufficiency
    It's not clear that you pay more. You probably pay less, especially in country. Soldiers cost a ton more money than their pay alone.

    Not that I don't whole-heartedly agree that critical logistical support in a theater of operations should be kept entirely within the Armed Services. The extra money is definitely worth it for the reliability, quality, and preventing KBR from being able to blackmail the government.

    Smash Bros - 4639-8632-8299 (WA)
  • ToxTox I kill threads Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    That stories ancient. The part of the story you missed is that this is still going on, all these years later. That first popped up during the '04 election campaign, if I recall.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
    Secret Satans! Post | Gaming Wishlist | General Wishlist
    Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    zakkiel wrote: »
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    Tox wrote: »
    So, my question is, when people talk about the US military's budget being so large, can anybody give examples of things that it's hard to argue against?

    An army moves on its stomach.

    Why would you outsource all of our food and supply line services? If anything these are the precise services the military should never outsource. You pay more, get no oversight, end out held hostage by the supply lines you require and can never be sure of the quality of goods you are getting.

    Correct me if I am wrong (please) but hasn't the United States always had exceptional logistic and engineering programs designed to make our military as self-sufficient and efficient as possible?

    Why would you let these dipfucks come in?

    Edit: By this I mean it would be hard to argue against giving the military back its own legs when it comes to self-sufficiency
    It's not clear that you pay more. You probably pay less, especially in country. Soldiers cost a ton more money than their pay alone.

    Not that I don't whole-heartedly agree that critical logistical support in a theater of operations should be kept entirely within the Armed Services. The extra money is definitely worth it for the reliability, quality, and preventing KBR from being able to blackmail the government.

    I think treating hundreds of soldiers for any number of illnesses they will obtain over the course of a deployment or even after being discharged should be weighed into the cost. Short term gains for a private company aren't a very good way to gauge long term reliability for an entire countries military.

    edit: I think it should be enough that soldiers are paid to get shot at and possibly die for a country. They should be given every consideration when it comes to keeping them healthy, happy and most of all wanting to re-enlist.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    I think treating hundreds of soldiers for any number of illnesses they will obtain over the course of a deployment or even after being discharged should be weighed into the cost. Short term gains for a private company aren't a very good way to gauge long term reliability for an entire countries military.

    I still think you'd be surprised. The amount it costs to train and care for a soldier for a 4-6 year enlistment, plus the benefits he or she receives, are a pretty big chunk of change. The cost per meal we pay KBR may sound like a lot, but it's fixed. Like, if a mortar comes in and kills one of the Pakistanis KBR brings in to do the cooking, it doesn't cost Uncle Sam an extra dime.

    Also, you have to factor in the savings realized for the ten years leading up to OIF. And the four years after OIF ends when cooks and plumbers would still be on enlistments, but not needed.

    Yes, Army cooks prepare meals in DFACs stateside every single day. Even now. But the number of cooks it takes to run a DFAC for a brigade-sized element stateside is way different than what it takes to feed a brigade in Iraq...especially since Brigades like ours wound up split out to like six different FOBs...so that would be six DFACs they'd have to run.

    Basically most units leading up to OIF were not maintaining the number of cooks it would require to actually cook for the entire unit in a combat situation. Which means that you need to factor every cook (and plumber, and every other support function contracted out) we weren't paying in August of 2001 into that equation as well. And by "paying" keep in mind we're talking full VA benefits, enlistment bonuses, re-enlistment bonuses, medical care, and possibly retirement.

    EDIT: In case it wasn't clear, I agree with you that you'd have to factor in costs like increased illness. I just don't know that it doesn't still come out to a net positive, money-wise. I also agree that you need to factor in non-monetary costs, like KBR having us by the short and curlies.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    That's a damn good point. It seems a bit backward, though, that the military cooks are more likely to be stateside, and the civilian contractor cooks are more likely to be overseas. I understand your point, and to that end, it makes sense, but it sounds backward, at face value.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
    Secret Satans! Post | Gaming Wishlist | General Wishlist
    Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Tox wrote: »
    That's a damn good point. It seems a bit backward, though, that the military cooks are more likely to be stateside, and the civilian contractor cooks are more likely to be overseas. I understand your point, and to that end, it makes sense, but it sounds backward, at face value.

    Well, I don't know about elsewhere but when I was up in Kirkuk "civilian contractor cooks" were almost entirely foreign nationals...Pakistanis, Indians, I don't know. But not from the U.S. Same for the bulk of the laundry crew...you're talking 30 local nationals (Iraqi) and maybe two American dudes to supervise. On the plumber/electrician/whatever end it was almost all Americans, though.

    The amount we pay KBR per meal, considering it's all cooked and served by Pakistanis making next to nothing, probably sounds absurd...until you factor in that it isn't like they're getting their food delivered by Sysco or anything. It's expensive as hell to get food moved to and around in Iraq.

    They're still making some very healthy profit margins, I'm just saying they aren't quite as absurd as they may sound when you hear what they bill the government.


    EDIT: I also don't want anybody getting the idea that I like KBR. I hate KBR with a hate that burns like the fire from a thousand suns. HATE.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    EDIT: I also don't want anybody getting the idea that I like KBR. I hate KBR with a hate that burns like the fire from a thousand suns. HATE.

    Hahahaha, yeah, I know what you're saying. You're talking about the theory under which KBR is an example of said theory gone horribly, horribly wrong.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
    Secret Satans! Post | Gaming Wishlist | General Wishlist
    Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    I think treating hundreds of soldiers for any number of illnesses they will obtain over the course of a deployment or even after being discharged should be weighed into the cost. Short term gains for a private company aren't a very good way to gauge long term reliability for an entire countries military.

    I still think you'd be surprised. The amount it costs to train and care for a soldier for a 4-6 year enlistment, plus the benefits he or she receives, are a pretty big chunk of change. The cost per meal we pay KBR may sound like a lot, but it's fixed. Like, if a mortar comes in and kills one of the Pakistanis KBR brings in to do the cooking, it doesn't cost Uncle Sam an extra dime.

    Also, you have to factor in the savings realized for the ten years leading up to OIF. And the four years after OIF ends when cooks and plumbers would still be on enlistments, but not needed.

    Yes, Army cooks prepare meals in DFACs stateside every single day. Even now. But the number of cooks it takes to run a DFAC for a brigade-sized element stateside is way different than what it takes to feed a brigade in Iraq...especially since Brigades like ours wound up split out to like six different FOBs...so that would be six DFACs they'd have to run.

    Basically most units leading up to OIF were not maintaining the number of cooks it would require to actually cook for the entire unit in a combat situation. Which means that you need to factor every cook (and plumber, and every other support function contracted out) we weren't paying in August of 2001 into that equation as well. And by "paying" keep in mind we're talking full VA benefits, enlistment bonuses, re-enlistment bonuses, medical care, and possibly retirement.

    EDIT: In case it wasn't clear, I agree with you that you'd have to factor in costs like increased illness. I just don't know that it doesn't still come out to a net positive, money-wise. I also agree that you need to factor in non-monetary costs, like KBR having us by the short and curlies.

    I am willing to pay whatever monetary difference exists in any program that benefits soldiers directly. This does not mean that I enjoy funding the osprey and star wars. I wish they would have a seperate budget for research and contract labor. If I saw that it costs 2.3 billion dollars to pay soldiers abroad with combat pay and at home for the next three months I would say "that is fine, they deserve it". If I saw it costs 29.7 billion for "military funding" over the next three months, I would be (and am) rather angered by it.

    Everyone wants to "support the troops" but it's become such a drape in the flag issue that no one is willing to ask questions.

    edit: Numbers entirely made up, and I'm sure the difference between the two should have been at least one order of magnitude larger.


    edit: If this means you have to pay 38$/lb to fly in turkey for thanksgiving, fucking bill me.

  • MishraMishra Registered User
    edited April 2009
    mcdermott wrote: »
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    I think treating hundreds of soldiers for any number of illnesses they will obtain over the course of a deployment or even after being discharged should be weighed into the cost. Short term gains for a private company aren't a very good way to gauge long term reliability for an entire countries military.

    I still think you'd be surprised. The amount it costs to train and care for a soldier for a 4-6 year enlistment, plus the benefits he or she receives, are a pretty big chunk of change. The cost per meal we pay KBR may sound like a lot, but it's fixed. Like, if a mortar comes in and kills one of the Pakistanis KBR brings in to do the cooking, it doesn't cost Uncle Sam an extra dime.

    Also, you have to factor in the savings realized for the ten years leading up to OIF. And the four years after OIF ends when cooks and plumbers would still be on enlistments, but not needed.

    Yes, Army cooks prepare meals in DFACs stateside every single day. Even now. But the number of cooks it takes to run a DFAC for a brigade-sized element stateside is way different than what it takes to feed a brigade in Iraq...especially since Brigades like ours wound up split out to like six different FOBs...so that would be six DFACs they'd have to run.

    Basically most units leading up to OIF were not maintaining the number of cooks it would require to actually cook for the entire unit in a combat situation. Which means that you need to factor every cook (and plumber, and every other support function contracted out) we weren't paying in August of 2001 into that equation as well. And by "paying" keep in mind we're talking full VA benefits, enlistment bonuses, re-enlistment bonuses, medical care, and possibly retirement.

    EDIT: In case it wasn't clear, I agree with you that you'd have to factor in costs like increased illness. I just don't know that it doesn't still come out to a net positive, money-wise. I also agree that you need to factor in non-monetary costs, like KBR having us by the short and curlies.

    It's like this in the acquisition community as well. Engineers have a lot of overhead, like 50-80% the key difference is I can surge and reduce the number of cooks very quickly and easily. I can't with engineers, because they have to be intimately familiar with a program, an Lockheed is going to move them to somewhere else if we're not using them. That's one reason why acquisition program costs can spiral so wildly out of control.

    "Give a man a fire, he's warm for the night. Set a man on fire he's warm for the rest of his life."
    -Terry Pratchett
  • zakkielzakkiel Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Mishra wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    I think treating hundreds of soldiers for any number of illnesses they will obtain over the course of a deployment or even after being discharged should be weighed into the cost. Short term gains for a private company aren't a very good way to gauge long term reliability for an entire countries military.

    I still think you'd be surprised. The amount it costs to train and care for a soldier for a 4-6 year enlistment, plus the benefits he or she receives, are a pretty big chunk of change. The cost per meal we pay KBR may sound like a lot, but it's fixed. Like, if a mortar comes in and kills one of the Pakistanis KBR brings in to do the cooking, it doesn't cost Uncle Sam an extra dime.

    Also, you have to factor in the savings realized for the ten years leading up to OIF. And the four years after OIF ends when cooks and plumbers would still be on enlistments, but not needed.

    Yes, Army cooks prepare meals in DFACs stateside every single day. Even now. But the number of cooks it takes to run a DFAC for a brigade-sized element stateside is way different than what it takes to feed a brigade in Iraq...especially since Brigades like ours wound up split out to like six different FOBs...so that would be six DFACs they'd have to run.

    Basically most units leading up to OIF were not maintaining the number of cooks it would require to actually cook for the entire unit in a combat situation. Which means that you need to factor every cook (and plumber, and every other support function contracted out) we weren't paying in August of 2001 into that equation as well. And by "paying" keep in mind we're talking full VA benefits, enlistment bonuses, re-enlistment bonuses, medical care, and possibly retirement.

    EDIT: In case it wasn't clear, I agree with you that you'd have to factor in costs like increased illness. I just don't know that it doesn't still come out to a net positive, money-wise. I also agree that you need to factor in non-monetary costs, like KBR having us by the short and curlies.

    It's like this in the acquisition community as well. Engineers have a lot of overhead, like 50-80% the key difference is I can surge and reduce the number of cooks very quickly and easily. I can't with engineers, because they have to be intimately familiar with a program, an Lockheed is going to move them to somewhere else if we're not using them. That's one reason why acquisition program costs can spiral so wildly out of control.

    What do you think of moving to a pure rewards-based system? I.e., the first company to produce 10 systems that meet X requirements gets a billion dollars. That way, cost overruns fall on the contractor, not the government. Or, if just having all the money at the end is too formidable a barrier, portion it out every time a company reaches a certain pre-designated step in the design. No negotiations, no worries about corrupt bids, no perverse incentives or market distortions.

    Smash Bros - 4639-8632-8299 (WA)
  • MishraMishra Registered User
    edited April 2009
    zakkiel wrote: »
    Mishra wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    I think treating hundreds of soldiers for any number of illnesses they will obtain over the course of a deployment or even after being discharged should be weighed into the cost. Short term gains for a private company aren't a very good way to gauge long term reliability for an entire countries military.

    I still think you'd be surprised. The amount it costs to train and care for a soldier for a 4-6 year enlistment, plus the benefits he or she receives, are a pretty big chunk of change. The cost per meal we pay KBR may sound like a lot, but it's fixed. Like, if a mortar comes in and kills one of the Pakistanis KBR brings in to do the cooking, it doesn't cost Uncle Sam an extra dime.

    Also, you have to factor in the savings realized for the ten years leading up to OIF. And the four years after OIF ends when cooks and plumbers would still be on enlistments, but not needed.

    Yes, Army cooks prepare meals in DFACs stateside every single day. Even now. But the number of cooks it takes to run a DFAC for a brigade-sized element stateside is way different than what it takes to feed a brigade in Iraq...especially since Brigades like ours wound up split out to like six different FOBs...so that would be six DFACs they'd have to run.

    Basically most units leading up to OIF were not maintaining the number of cooks it would require to actually cook for the entire unit in a combat situation. Which means that you need to factor every cook (and plumber, and every other support function contracted out) we weren't paying in August of 2001 into that equation as well. And by "paying" keep in mind we're talking full VA benefits, enlistment bonuses, re-enlistment bonuses, medical care, and possibly retirement.

    EDIT: In case it wasn't clear, I agree with you that you'd have to factor in costs like increased illness. I just don't know that it doesn't still come out to a net positive, money-wise. I also agree that you need to factor in non-monetary costs, like KBR having us by the short and curlies.

    It's like this in the acquisition community as well. Engineers have a lot of overhead, like 50-80% the key difference is I can surge and reduce the number of cooks very quickly and easily. I can't with engineers, because they have to be intimately familiar with a program, an Lockheed is going to move them to somewhere else if we're not using them. That's one reason why acquisition program costs can spiral so wildly out of control.

    What do you think of moving to a pure rewards-based system? I.e., the first company to produce 10 systems that meet X requirements gets a billion dollars. That way, cost overruns fall on the contractor, not the government. Or, if just having all the money at the end is too formidable a barrier, portion it out every time a company reaches a certain pre-designated step in the design. No negotiations, no worries about corrupt bids, no perverse incentives or market distortions.

    I'm not quite sure what you mean here. If your saying that we should switch everything to be along the lines of the X-prize it would never work. There's just to much risk involved, a companies investors would toss the ceo out on his ass the first time he poured billions into a project only to have someone beat them to it. Not to mention the hideous law suits that would erupt when a winner was declared. You'd be surprised how complicated the process just to request proposals is. My directorate almost got sued once because some companies didn't have access to the classified network and we had to mail them the information we wanted, which gave their competitors and extra 12 hours to produce a bid.

    "Give a man a fire, he's warm for the night. Set a man on fire he's warm for the rest of his life."
    -Terry Pratchett
  • KiplingKipling Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Mishra wrote: »
    zakkiel wrote: »
    Mishra wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    I think treating hundreds of soldiers for any number of illnesses they will obtain over the course of a deployment or even after being discharged should be weighed into the cost. Short term gains for a private company aren't a very good way to gauge long term reliability for an entire countries military.

    I still think you'd be surprised. The amount it costs to train and care for a soldier for a 4-6 year enlistment, plus the benefits he or she receives, are a pretty big chunk of change. The cost per meal we pay KBR may sound like a lot, but it's fixed. Like, if a mortar comes in and kills one of the Pakistanis KBR brings in to do the cooking, it doesn't cost Uncle Sam an extra dime.

    Also, you have to factor in the savings realized for the ten years leading up to OIF. And the four years after OIF ends when cooks and plumbers would still be on enlistments, but not needed.

    Yes, Army cooks prepare meals in DFACs stateside every single day. Even now. But the number of cooks it takes to run a DFAC for a brigade-sized element stateside is way different than what it takes to feed a brigade in Iraq...especially since Brigades like ours wound up split out to like six different FOBs...so that would be six DFACs they'd have to run.

    Basically most units leading up to OIF were not maintaining the number of cooks it would require to actually cook for the entire unit in a combat situation. Which means that you need to factor every cook (and plumber, and every other support function contracted out) we weren't paying in August of 2001 into that equation as well. And by "paying" keep in mind we're talking full VA benefits, enlistment bonuses, re-enlistment bonuses, medical care, and possibly retirement.

    EDIT: In case it wasn't clear, I agree with you that you'd have to factor in costs like increased illness. I just don't know that it doesn't still come out to a net positive, money-wise. I also agree that you need to factor in non-monetary costs, like KBR having us by the short and curlies.

    It's like this in the acquisition community as well. Engineers have a lot of overhead, like 50-80% the key difference is I can surge and reduce the number of cooks very quickly and easily. I can't with engineers, because they have to be intimately familiar with a program, an Lockheed is going to move them to somewhere else if we're not using them. That's one reason why acquisition program costs can spiral so wildly out of control.

    What do you think of moving to a pure rewards-based system? I.e., the first company to produce 10 systems that meet X requirements gets a billion dollars. That way, cost overruns fall on the contractor, not the government. Or, if just having all the money at the end is too formidable a barrier, portion it out every time a company reaches a certain pre-designated step in the design. No negotiations, no worries about corrupt bids, no perverse incentives or market distortions.

    I'm not quite sure what you mean here. If your saying that we should switch everything to be along the lines of the X-prize it would never work. There's just to much risk involved, a companies investors would toss the ceo out on his ass the first time he poured billions into a project only to have someone beat them to it. Not to mention the hideous law suits that would erupt when a winner was declared. You'd be surprised how complicated the process just to request proposals is. My directorate almost got sued once because some companies didn't have access to the classified network and we had to mail them the information we wanted, which gave their competitors and extra 12 hours to produce a bid.

    Also, you corrupt that system by giving a company a head up of what should produced, getting a kickback when they produce those 10 systems much faster than the competition who doesn't have the advance info.

    There is competition if there is a open bidding process. Of course, the rule for science government funds was to produce very detailed requirements to get the exact piece of research equipment you want. In most cases for unique needs, there is a limited field of companies that can bid. Consumer goods that the government needs are generally different than the specialized requirements of the DOD or NASA, for instance.

    3DS Friends: 1693-1781-7023
  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Part of the purchasing process is also designed to keep at least two competitors in a position to produce the product in the future. That way:

    a) You can't be held up by a single company for parts.
    b) Can rapidly ramp up production in case shit.

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    i think the real question is do we need to be able to field a 150,000 troop occupying force at the drop of a hat

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    i think the real question is do we need to be able to field a 150,000 troop occupying force at the drop of a hat

    That's harder to answer than, "Do we need that supersonic stealth bomber that's already cost us a mint?.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • The Raging PlatypusThe Raging Platypus Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Spoiler:
  • BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Its kinda misleading what the news is doing with that, as the f22 production is essentially complete. Yet they congress wont want to change that spending. Good example of military over budgeting bureaucracy back to the congress... again... as always. The F35 should turn out nicely yet nope, they have to spend money where its not needed and the military is not to blame.

    Oh ye well, i hope the whole thing gets passed in full. But its going to be interesting to see the budget hawks on both sides drop all pretense of a small budget for the sake of cold war wackyness when that gets passed.

  • deowolfdeowolf Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Cantido wrote: »
    I'm AFROTC, they pay all my tuition because I'm pursuing an Computer Engineering degree. I rarely have to work, unless I fuck up my grades this semester.

    My goal is to go here. It's a summer program in the middle-of-nowhere Rome, NY where you learn about network security, some classified shit. 50 page paper a weekend and other stuff. But the students have fun and get into some really sweet career fields when they comission.

    Hey hey HEY HEY.

    Let's not say some shit we can't take back. Rome is right there on I-90. Of course it's not in downtown Syracuse. Why would you put your cool secret-squirrel place in the middle of a city? Griffith is not a bad place, and the food in the Utica/Rome area is fantastic. The people are, sadly, hideously ugly - but very nice.

    [SIGPIC]acocoSig.jpg[/SIGPIC]
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    deowolf wrote: »
    Cantido wrote: »
    I'm AFROTC, they pay all my tuition because I'm pursuing an Computer Engineering degree. I rarely have to work, unless I fuck up my grades this semester.

    My goal is to go here. It's a summer program in the middle-of-nowhere Rome, NY where you learn about network security, some classified shit. 50 page paper a weekend and other stuff. But the students have fun and get into some really sweet career fields when they comission.
    Hey hey HEY HEY.

    Let's not say some shit we can't take back. Rome is right there on I-90. Of course it's not in downtown Syracuse. Why would you put your cool secret-squirrel place in the middle of a city? Griffith is not a bad place, and the food in the Utica/Rome area is fantastic. The people are, sadly, hideously ugly - but very nice.
    I like how you list Syracuse, there, as if it were "somewhere." It's so cute. :P

  • deowolfdeowolf Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Look.

    It's got a mall, and a college. Way better set up then where I am now.

    [SIGPIC]acocoSig.jpg[/SIGPIC]
  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    deowolf wrote: »
    Cantido wrote: »
    I'm AFROTC, they pay all my tuition because I'm pursuing an Computer Engineering degree. I rarely have to work, unless I fuck up my grades this semester.

    My goal is to go here. It's a summer program in the middle-of-nowhere Rome, NY where you learn about network security, some classified shit. 50 page paper a weekend and other stuff. But the students have fun and get into some really sweet career fields when they comission.
    Hey hey HEY HEY.

    Let's not say some shit we can't take back. Rome is right there on I-90. Of course it's not in downtown Syracuse. Why would you put your cool secret-squirrel place in the middle of a city? Griffith is not a bad place, and the food in the Utica/Rome area is fantastic. The people are, sadly, hideously ugly - but very nice.
    I like how you list Syracuse, there, as if it were "somewhere." It's so cute. :P

    The last student who went there told me when he wasn't getting a signal and had to figure it out on his own, he realized he had to go out to the forest and chop down trees around the receiver by himself.

    steam_sig.png
  • zakkielzakkiel Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Mishra wrote: »

    I'm not quite sure what you mean here. If your saying that we should switch everything to be along the lines of the X-prize it would never work. There's just to much risk involved, a companies investors would toss the ceo out on his ass the first time he poured billions into a project only to have someone beat them to it. Not to mention the hideous law suits that would erupt when a winner was declared. You'd be surprised how complicated the process just to request proposals is. My directorate almost got sued once because some companies didn't have access to the classified network and we had to mail them the information we wanted, which gave their competitors and extra 12 hours to produce a bid.

    I guess I have to wonder: do contractors take on any risk at all by accepting a government contract? Why should all the risk fall on the government? Perhaps there's a more elegant method, but it seems like our current set-up creates all the wrong incentives.

    Smash Bros - 4639-8632-8299 (WA)
  • deowolfdeowolf Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Cantido wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    deowolf wrote: »
    Cantido wrote: »
    I'm AFROTC, they pay all my tuition because I'm pursuing an Computer Engineering degree. I rarely have to work, unless I fuck up my grades this semester.

    My goal is to go here. It's a summer program in the middle-of-nowhere Rome, NY where you learn about network security, some classified shit. 50 page paper a weekend and other stuff. But the students have fun and get into some really sweet career fields when they comission.
    Hey hey HEY HEY.

    Let's not say some shit we can't take back. Rome is right there on I-90. Of course it's not in downtown Syracuse. Why would you put your cool secret-squirrel place in the middle of a city? Griffith is not a bad place, and the food in the Utica/Rome area is fantastic. The people are, sadly, hideously ugly - but very nice.
    I like how you list Syracuse, there, as if it were "somewhere." It's so cute. :P

    The last student who went there told me when he wasn't getting a signal and had to figure it out on his own, he realized he had to go out to the forest and chop down trees around the receiver by himself.

    Ah, Air Force SERE ch. 1.

    [SIGPIC]acocoSig.jpg[/SIGPIC]
  • clsCorwinclsCorwin Registered User
    edited April 2009
    man, AF SEER is being left at home sans chauffeur/cook/maid. Survive!

  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    clsCorwin wrote: »
    man, AF SEER is being left at home sans chauffeur/cook/maid. Survive!

    The horror. The horror.

  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I'm intrigued by what some of the people here directly involved with military think about the new budget. I don't know enough to form a truly informed opinion, although most of it seems to make sense on its face.

    The headquarters for my writing:
    hummusandkimchi.blogspot.com

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/FriedRice-1814/hero/11834264
  • MishraMishra Registered User
    edited April 2009
    zakkiel wrote: »
    Mishra wrote: »

    I'm not quite sure what you mean here. If your saying that we should switch everything to be along the lines of the X-prize it would never work. There's just to much risk involved, a companies investors would toss the ceo out on his ass the first time he poured billions into a project only to have someone beat them to it. Not to mention the hideous law suits that would erupt when a winner was declared. You'd be surprised how complicated the process just to request proposals is. My directorate almost got sued once because some companies didn't have access to the classified network and we had to mail them the information we wanted, which gave their competitors and extra 12 hours to produce a bid.

    I guess I have to wonder: do contractors take on any risk at all by accepting a government contract? Why should all the risk fall on the government? Perhaps there's a more elegant method, but it seems like our current set-up creates all the wrong incentives.

    Sure there's risk, Lockheed was near bankrupted by the failure of the X-33. As to the new budget. Frankly I've always liked Gates and couldn't agree more with his decisions on what to cut. shame it'll never happen.

    "Give a man a fire, he's warm for the night. Set a man on fire he's warm for the rest of his life."
    -Terry Pratchett
  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2009
    clsCorwin wrote: »
    man, AF SEER is being left at home sans chauffeur/cook/maid. Survive!
    The AF runs SERE I thought, so all SERE is AF. Have you been through it? From what I here it isn't exactly easy. Someone I went through basic with went to be a SERE instructor and washed out. This guy was about 220 pounds, all muscle and he couldn't do it so just from that I know they do not fuck around with the instructors.

    533570-1.png
  • JudasJudas Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    As many have already mentioned here, it's not so much the size of the military budget that bothers me, as it is what they're spending that enormous amount of money on.

    If a majority of our future military engagements are going to be policing actions and/or fighting guerrilla insurgents, wouldn't it make much more sense to invest a very large portion of that R/D funding into a head-to-toe combat armor system?

    There are quite a few promising lines of research that could be followed.

    Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver.
    Situation excellent. I am attacking.

    - General Ferdinand Foch
  • ToxTox I kill threads Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Judas wrote: »
    As many have already mentioned here, it's not so much the size of the military budget that bothers me, as it is what they're spending that enormous amount of money on.

    If a majority of our future military engagements are going to be policing actions and/or fighting guerrilla insurgents, wouldn't it make much more sense to invest a very large portion of that R/D funding into a head-to-toe combat armor system?

    There are quite a few promising lines of research that could be followed.

    Those links lack pictures of soldiers in Robo-Cop armor.:v:

    The problem with trying to look at what the future missions are going to be is that you have to consider the overall mission statements of, for instance, the Air Force, which is to maintain global air superiority until Jesus comes back. So things like the Fs 22 and 35 come in handy, especially the 35 with it's joint force capabilities (it's nice to have a new VTOL to replace the Harrier).

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
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  • Kayne Red RobeKayne Red Robe Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Tox wrote: »
    Judas wrote: »
    As many have already mentioned here, it's not so much the size of the military budget that bothers me, as it is what they're spending that enormous amount of money on.

    If a majority of our future military engagements are going to be policing actions and/or fighting guerrilla insurgents, wouldn't it make much more sense to invest a very large portion of that R/D funding into a head-to-toe combat armor system?

    There are quite a few promising lines of research that could be followed.

    Those links lack pictures of soldiers in Robo-Cop armor.:v:

    The problem with trying to look at what the future missions are going to be is that you have to consider the overall mission statements of, for instance, the Air Force, which is to maintain global air superiority until Jesus comes back. So things like the Fs 22 and 35 come in handy, especially the 35 with it's joint force capabilities (it's nice to have a new VTOL to replace the Harrier).

    Yes, but it would be nice if the AF got their heads out of their asses a tad and drew up some plans for some close air support, so they have something to do after they achieve air superiority. Fighters are all well and good, but if you can't use air superiority to support the ground troops all you've really done is prevent the other side from bombing you. (Massively simplified I know).

  • South hostSouth host I obey without question Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I think the F-35 is supposed to do close air support, as it is replacing the F-16 and A-10.

    Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.
  • zakkielzakkiel Registered User
    edited April 2009
    It would be nice if we eliminated the Air Force. :P

    Smash Bros - 4639-8632-8299 (WA)
  • 3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Something McD mentioned a while back got me to thinking: How much does it really take to train a basic infantryman? Well, a bit sleuthing yielded this:

    It depends on what job the person is being trained to do, as more training obviously costs more. Additionally, more training usually means more expensive equipment, whether that be more realistic simulators, live-fire exercises, or burning gas to maneuver war-machines.

    Depends on what military, the base pay of a soldier varies enormously based on the country they are serving. As most folks don't flaunt their budget as openly, lets just look at the always well-know US military. The US Government pays differently depending on the rank of a soldier and their time in service, with the most recent chart being available here (http://www.dfas.mil/militarypay/militarypaytables/2008MilitaryPayCharts35.pdf)

    Basic US military training is anywhere from 3-6 months, which translates to ~$4,000 minimum just to pay a single trainee. Add in food, lodging, and equipment at government-contracted rates and that cost easily doubles. That doesn't include any of the support staff necessary to train, equip, or manage the logistics of a group of recruits. No good source for it, but its generally said that each front-line soldier requires eight additional folks to support them... not quite applicable to basic training so call it a really conservative 2:1 ratio of trainee to support staff, tack on the fact that support staff is probably averages at least four years of service, and three months of training a single soldier jumps easily jumps to $10,000. Once a soldier completes minimum training they're good for... pretty much nothing except wearing the uniform and being able to complete further training.

    Okay, so expand the training scenario a level and say that training a basic infantry soldier takes only a year (don't laugh too hard, its a simple analysis), that's a minimum of $40,000. Say that soldier gets shipped over to a combat region, now earns combat pay, serves only one year, comes back to the US and gets out (which is unlikely, as the minimum service commitments are a bit higher then that). That tacks $225/month on to their pay, ramp up all eight of the previously mentioned support staffers, and training, equipping, and fielding 1 each, US-issue Army grunt is going to run you over $250k. Add in health care benefits, tax breaks, life-insurance and disability insurance, wear-and-tear of equipment, ammunition, moral and transportation costs and a single soldier training and serving in the most basic capacity costs $400,000+.

    Now, take that end figure, 400k, and multiply it times 5. On average, that's probably what it costs to train a single fighter pilot - and to trust that pilot with a plane that costs US$137.5 million is insane. Your average M1-A1 Abhrams tank costs only $2.35–$4.30 million. So it's cruel, but it's true - the reason we care if a pilot gets shot down is because it's a shit load of money we've invested into one man. We can replace planes, it's tough as hell to replace good pilots.

    I think Pringles original intention was to make tennis balls... but on the day the rubber was supposed to show up a truckload of potatoes came. Pringles is a laid-back company, so they just said, "Fuck it, cut em up!".
  • ToxTox I kill threads Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    zakkiel wrote: »
    It would be nice if we eliminated the Air Force. :P

    I've been kicking around theories for a unified military force.

    Basically, take the Army, rename it the Unites States Armed Forces, reannex the Air Force, rename back into the Air Corps, annex the Navy and Marines, rename them the Marine Corps.

    USAF Mission: To maintain force superiority, on land, sea and air, and to maintain the security of and provide for the defense of these United States.

    Air Corps mission: To maintain air superiority through advanced aeronautics weapons systems.

    Marine Corps mission: To maintain the superiority of our waters and through advanced nautical weapons systems.

    Below this, USNG, Unites States National Guard, with two subservient corps, the Air Guard and the Coast Guard. Missions would reflect the same thing.

    The reason I like this idea -so- much is that it would likely reduce the overall force size (only slightly, and mostly at the upper, more expensive, echelons). It would also streamline uniforms, because you'd have less (the navy alone has almost a dozen). You would need four (three and a half, really):

    Field Duty Uniform (FDU): Current Army Combat Uniform (ACU) and field cap.

    Garrison Dress Uniform (GDU): Similar to old Air Force fatigues. Basically, olive drab cargo pants and a button-down, long-sleeve shirt with two breast pockets and two lover pockets. This uniform is for Garrison use, and is expected to be maintained. Also includes field cap.

    Military Dress Uniform (Class "A" & "B"):

    Class A- Highneck (USMC style) white jacket, with red trim. Blue pants, red stripe (RW&B, makes sense). Beret (color varying, standard blue, matching pants).

    Class B- White button-down dress shirt (long or short sleeve as seasonally appropriate), red tie. Pants, Beret as Class A.

    This is all just my imagination, but I think it'd be cool. For one, the RW&B dress uniform, I think, would look really cool. I genuinely believe consolidating the military would allow them to save money. I know they'd save money on the uniforms. Anyone who served during the BDU era knows how stupid it feels starching, ironing, and pressing a combat uniform. Having a garrison uniform that's not too nice, but nice enough that they want you to iron it, that's NOT CAMOFLAGE makes it easier to deal with. It's still an annoyance, but it's no different then wearing nice clothes to work. Of course, you could just cut out the Garrison uniform, wear the cammies all the time, and you'll save even more money on uniform designs and production.

    Oh, yeah, and fuck skirts, you want to serve, you put your pants on one leg at a time, same as everyone else. This is purely fiscal, skirts cost money to manufacture separate from pants. That's my only logic. That, and you're not gonna put a leg-stripe down the side of a skirt, either.


    So, anyway, I'm done rambling now.

    Also, whoever said something about close-air support, the Army and Marines both have combat aircraft. Close-air ground support is better served by helicopters, not supersonic fighters.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
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