Club PA 2.0 has arrived! If you'd like to access some extra PA content and help support the forums, check it out at patreon.com/ClubPA
The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Cutting the [US Military Budget]: Nothing is Sacred

2456713

Posts

  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Malkor wrote: »
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    Malkor wrote: »
    You guys just don't understand geo-politics.

    We're still fighting the Cold War in a lot of ways, and only recently figured out what "FUTUREWAR" will be like. But you can't just turn this around without a shit ton of people losing money/jobs/whatever.

    Look at that damn chart. I couldn't tell you which parts of it are redundant, and I bet neither could the people who ultimately sign off on it. Plus, a Congressman who wants 'x' built in his district isn't going to care about all the other steps it takes to get it there, as long as he can smile for some cameras.

    gotta love the horse blanket!

    to answer your question: none of it is 'redundant'

    Even the TRR or TRA?

    Test Readiness Reviews are done before operational testing (and sometimes DT) to ensure that you have a clear objective for doing the test and a clear chriteria for determining how the test went afterwards as well as logistically setting up the test schedule and ensuring that everybody is ready to go without any major delays. these should be done before any testing that is costly enough or complex enough to require a review beforehand to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

    a Technology Readiness Assessment is done prior to getting a milestone B or C decision and is mainly used for systems that are introducing new technology that hasn't been tried before. for something standard, they would not be completed. these are done by an independant assessment group.

    that being said, all of that chart is completely tailorable for any major defense program... so long as you can get the MDA to sign off on your changes.

    Dunadan019 on
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Surely we dont need all those bases we have all around the world. I dont know how much they cost, but it cant be cheap to house 50,000 troops in Germany, and another 50,000 in Japan.

    Germany has one of the best equipped armies in the world.

    The US presence in Japan has cause a hilarious amount of political turmoil.

    So yeah, bring them home.

    But then those countries will fall to Communism and where will we be then?

    While there are major areas that could stand to have cuts (contractors and ridiculous high situational tech for starts) I'd rather not cut something that's stabilized the area. I do not want to see the result of a rapidly militarizing Japan competing in an arms race with China over a handful of islands and pride.

    Quid on
  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2010
    You guys have no idea how much money the military wastes unless you were in. I have been on a lot of week/s long trips for almost no purpose. Went to a base for training where I learned almost nothing and had to relearn it all in a month, flew to north dakota a couple times just to do what we always do at work but somewhere else.

    Pilots fly circles over the states to burn fuel and get hours of flight time, there are requirements that they have to maintain so we just fly all the time burning money. I really don't think bomber air crews need so much practice, especially since the reserve guys who fly a quarter of what they do can do it just as well.

    I don't even know where to start with contractors...there are hundreds of cases of corruption and waste that are fully endorsed by the military but they are just unable to do anything about it...just the way things are.

    In Iraq and Afghanistan there are civilians who do exactly what people in the Air Force do...but they are civilians so they get $100,000 + oh and since they are civilians they only do a very small fraction of the job because somehow some civilian contractor convinced the air force that they would save money if this company contracted out technicians to work on this part. Hell maybe it was even apart of the contract when the part was made. It is fucking ridiculous, these people are everywhere, contractors who do almost nothing, have little experience and make tons of money.

    Oh and the air force loves to buy new uniforms, we just got new PT and work uniforms, but there are already talks of new versions on both of the uniforms because they are all so horrible. I can't even imagine how many millions were wasted on that initiative. But really that probably doesn't matter compared to all the wasted money in flight hours. I think we did some rough math once and just on the flight hours they spent over $3 million just on fuel, not including all the man hours, parts and everything else.

    The air force had some bullshit PR article in the news about how they are trying to save money by flying more efficiently, why not just fly less?

    Fizban140 on
    533570-1.png
  • MidshipmanMidshipman Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Aeneas wrote: »
    there's a ridiculous level of corruption and inefficiency with private contractor companies.

    This is probably the biggest single cause of waste for the US Navy. Contractors are currently not held accountable for any mistakes they make (instead they are paid a second time to fix their own mistakes). Additionally, in the last 10 years or so, the Navy has drastically cut back on their investment in training and empowering their sailors to do their own maintenance and repairs and currently relies on contractors for anything more involved than changing light-bulbs or replacing filters (only slight hyperbole here). Many ships have their own machine shops that half the time don't have any trained machinists in them and are just used to store parts instead of repairing/fabricating parts.

    Hold contractors accountable, reinvest in in-house training and capabilities, and then start weening off contractor usage once training catches back up again and you have not only saved a ton of money but actually have a Navy that will be able to take care of itself in an actual shooting war. Currently if the contractors aren't on board you are fucked if the ship takes a hit. All the sailors are currently trained to do is stop the flooding, not how to put anything back together.

    I know that back in WWII there was a whole set of jobs in the military dealing with contractor liaison. It wouldn't hurt to have some officers trained in keeping an eye on contractors and empowered to hit them in the wallet if they aren't satisfied in their level of work. Kind of like a Soviet political officer except not directed internally.

    Midshipman on
    midshipman.jpg
  • ph blakeph blake Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Midshipman wrote: »
    Aeneas wrote: »
    there's a ridiculous level of corruption and inefficiency with private contractor companies.

    This is probably the biggest single cause of waste for the US Navy. Contractors are currently not held accountable for any mistakes they make (instead they are paid a second time to fix their own mistakes). Additionally, in the last 10 years or so, the Navy has drastically cut back on their investment in training and empowering their sailors to do their own maintenance and repairs and currently relies on contractors for anything more involved than changing light-bulbs or replacing filters (only slight hyperbole here). Many ships have their own machine shops that half the time don't have any trained machinists in them and are just used to store parts instead of repairing/fabricating parts.

    Hold contractors accountable, reinvest in in-house training and capabilities, and then start weening off contractor usage once training catches back up again and you have not only saved a ton of money but actually have a Navy that will be able to take care of itself in an actual shooting war. Currently if the contractors aren't on board you are fucked if the ship takes a hit. All the sailors are currently trained to do is stop the flooding, not how to put anything back together.

    I know that back in WWII there was a whole set of jobs in the military dealing with contractor liaison. It wouldn't hurt to have some officers trained in keeping an eye on contractors and empowered to hit them in the wallet if they aren't satisfied in their level of work. Kind of like a Soviet political officer except not directed internally.

    It seems to be a mixed bag on my ship. Our engineering department is perfectly willing to let the general workshop rig up something to fix a downed AC system or generator, but the chain of command in combat systems/weapons seems to follow the "just order a new one, and maybe a new one of those too" philosophy of troubleshooting. Quite annoying for me actually since I work in the 2M shop (electrical repair and soldering workshop) and have to sign off saying I've screened for repair any electrical parts that are ordered through our supply system, which covers everything from keyboards to SPY radar drivers.

    Most of the time the parent work center will just try to order it anyways and the job just sits there for weeks before anyone realizes it was canceled due to lack of 2M paperwork, leading to 3 different angry e-mails headed my way and myself protesting that I never saw or received any parts relating to the job in question. Of course by this time the issue has blossomed from "hey we need to fix this I guess" to "OH GOD FIX NOW JESUS" so I basically get asked to just sign off on it so that they can get their new part soon instead of going through the entire 2M repair process.

    In my younger days I used to go along with this just fine because, hey, I really don't give a fuck. Now however I've found a kind of perverse joy in telling Division Officer and Department Head types that, no, I can't just sign the paperwork off because the Joint Forces Maintenance Manual (I have learned to love this book) says that I have 72 hours to screen any part that passes through our system and up to 30 days (this is the part where they start to turn red) to fix the part if I find anything wrong with it and our new CO really wants us to get our 2M savings numbers up for this fiscal year (he does and has had my back more than once on this) and oh can I get you to fill out this form for our savings records and by the way if I don't get that form back you probably (definitely) won't get your part back ever again, thanks. It is about this time that they start righting the CASREP message up, those bastards.

    I totally agree about the contractors though, fuck those guys. Bastards ripped out our SHF waveguide for no reason and then didn't come back for 3 weeks with no one able to get a hold of them.

    ph blake on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Why do we need a plane that can keep up with Russian or European planes? Let them waste the money. If we get into a real fight with a nuclear power, I dont think those planes will do us much good.

    No. You do not want to paint yourself into a corner where your only retaliatory option is nuclear. Sure, we can "win" by nuking any country on the planet, but you still want to maintain the ability to fight a conventional war so that "end the world" isn't Plan A.

    That said, we over do it. Everybody knows we over do it. Plus, half the time the "threats" we're developing weapons to fight get their shit from...us.
    Surely we dont need all those bases we have all around the world. I dont know how much they cost, but it cant be cheap to house 50,000 troops in Germany, and another 50,000 in Japan.

    Also, this. Though I'm pretty sure we have been scaling that shit back.

    Malkor wrote: »
    You guys just don't understand geo-politics.

    We're still fighting the Cold War in a lot of ways, and only recently figured out what "FUTUREWAR" will be like. But you can't just turn this around without a shit ton of people losing money/jobs/whatever.

    Oh man, that chart. So many hours spent learning that chart.
    As I said, I suspect it would help if we ended the revolving door between the Pentagon and lobbyists/defense contractors.

    Pretty much any time you find a program or a piece of technology that is fuckspensive and doesn't even fucking work, you can trace it directly back to a flag officer (general or admiral) who retired and got a job with that contractor.

    mcdermott on
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I remember the ship paid 40k for a special plasma screen monitor for the reactor.

    40k and it's a 16 inch monitor that only has one color (orange) on a black background. So I guess it's like 200 bucks for the monitor and 38,800 for the mounting bracket.

    Regina Fong on
  • ph blakeph blake Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    This exact hard drive costs $614 if I order it through the Navy Supply System. I've never had one last more than 4 months before frying.

    The worst thing I've ever seen though was our former CO who payed 15k to have stained oak wood paneling installed in the pilothouse and on the bridge wings. Fucking wood paneling, serves no purpose whatsoever except for him to show off to random guests. He even had a giant wooden box build around one of our consoles on the bridge (it looks pretty!), damn thing overheated and caught fire 2 months into deployment. Cost 200k total to get a new high voltage power supply, video driver CCA and plasma monitor, and, of course, to fix the wood paneling that was burned in the fire.

    ph blake on
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    ph blake wrote: »
    This exact hard drive costs $614 if I order it through the Navy Supply System. I've never had one last more than 4 months before frying.

    The worst thing I've ever seen though was our former CO who payed 15k to have stained oak wood paneling installed in the pilothouse and on the bridge wings. Fucking wood paneling, serves no purpose whatsoever except for him to show off to random guests. He even had a giant wooden box build around one of our consoles on the bridge (it looks pretty!), damn thing overheated and caught fire 2 months into deployment. Cost 200k total to get a new high voltage power supply, video driver CCA and plasma monitor, and, of course, to fix the wood paneling that was burned in the fire.

    The deck tiles in control and nav center were redone completely on my ship before we were done with the overhaul.

    And had to be completely redone as soon as we pulled in from sea trials because of a massive low pressure hydraulic oil leak that occurred shortly before we pulled out. You can blame that on the crew, I guess.

    Most of the fake wood paneling in the forward part of the boat had to be redone also, because it looked like total shit and started to warp almost as soon as it was finished. You can't blame that one on the crew.

    Regina Fong on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Aeneas wrote: »
    The US military budget is 40% of the world's total defense spending. On paper, that may seem like a lot, but the funny thing is, even with our massive budget, the US military is far from being some ultimate, unbeatable juggernaut. Other countries are catching up to, or even surpassing us, in many areas. Our legacy fighter aircraft are outmatched by new Sukhoi aircraft and modern European designs like the Eurofighter. China's navy has blossomed into a modern force with a ballistic anti-ship missile in the works that can completely negate a carrier's range advantage. Our infantry in Afghanistan are using the same battle rifle that was used in Vietnam. We're far from being at the top of the mountain, and care must be taken that any defense cuts we initiate do not bring us further down.

    Eh, not really.

    I agree the m-16 should be replaced (it'd cost 1-2 billion if costs were real, but since they're inflated lets say 10 billion), but some of that other stuff is questionable.

    Hitting a moving carrier that isn't traveling in a straight line with a ballistic missile is kind of like hitting a baseball thats moving at 100mph with a bb gun, from the time you launch to the time it gets there the target is a kilometer away, and you don't know precisely in which direction (satellites with the accuracy to see a carrier have a pretty slow turnover time)

    I could go on but the reports of the US military's obsolescence are greatly exaggerated. It's easy to think the military is a toothless bear because of 9 years of insurgency, but an occupation and a war are two different things, for an example of the latter see the first gulf war (third largest military on the planet armed with the best fighter jets in the world and top of the line russian anti aircraft missiles defeated in the most one sided conflict in human history).

    Edit: Not that I think we should rest on our laurels, but stop and ask yourself why develop something that's better than the eurofighter and blow tens of billions on R&D when we could have just bought the damned eurofighter?

    override367 on
  • nstfnstf __BANNED USERS
    edited September 2010
    If you want LOL military spend you should see how HP fucked the US Navy and that fiasco :lol:

    nstf on
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Edit: Not that I think we should rest on our laurels, but stop and ask yourself why develop something that's better than the eurofighter and blow tens of billions on R&D when we could have just bought the damned eurofighter?

    It's not just bought, so much as as "bought, and then implemented your own revisions".

    While I'm sure physical maneuverability is important in air combat, given the op profile of the US and it's set of allies it seems unlikely you're ever actually going to go to war with England.

    electricitylikesme on
  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Edit: Not that I think we should rest on our laurels, but stop and ask yourself why develop something that's better than the eurofighter and blow tens of billions on R&D when we could have just bought the damned eurofighter?

    It's not just bought, so much as as "bought, and then implemented your own revisions".

    While I'm sure physical maneuverability is important in air combat, given the op profile of the US and it's set of allies it seems unlikely you're ever actually going to go to war with England.

    Well, it's happened a couple of times before. Constant vigilance!

    saggio on
    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    God damn do I miss Eisenhower Republicans.

    They are democrats now and not the blue dog kind.

    Kipling217 on
    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
  • AeneasAeneas Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »

    Pretty much any time you find a program or a piece of technology that is fuckspensive and doesn't even fucking work, you can trace it directly back to a flag officer (general or admiral) who retired and got a job with that contractor.

    So true. I remember reading an article that talked about how these retired generals or admirals (who were already raking in nice retirement pay) got paid millions by certain companies to sit on their "advisory boards" and basically call up their buddies in order to push for certain contracts.

    Also, who can forget about NMCI and how everytime I ask an IT to do something, he responds by saying, "Can't do that, NMCI takes care of that." :x
    Eh, not really.

    I agree the m-16 should be replaced (it'd cost 1-2 billion if costs were real, but since they're inflated lets say 10 billion), but some of that other stuff is questionable.

    Hitting a moving carrier that isn't traveling in a straight line with a ballistic missile is kind of like hitting a baseball thats moving at 100mph with a bb gun, from the time you launch to the time it gets there the target is a kilometer away, and you don't know precisely in which direction (satellites with the accuracy to see a carrier have a pretty slow turnover time)

    I could go on but the reports of the US military's obsolescence are greatly exaggerated. It's easy to think the military is a toothless bear because of 9 years of insurgency, but an occupation and a war are two different things, for an example of the latter see the first gulf war (third largest military on the planet armed with the best fighter jets in the world and top of the line russian anti aircraft missiles defeated in the most one sided conflict in human history).

    Edit: Not that I think we should rest on our laurels, but stop and ask yourself why develop something that's better than the eurofighter and blow tens of billions on R&D when we could have just bought the damned eurofighter?

    Though we're far from certain over the accuracy of China's anti-ship ballistic missile, it wouldn't be as difficult as shooting a speeding baseball with a BB. For one thing, carriers are HUGE.

    Also, we already did blow billions of dollars developing a better fighter than the Eurofighter. It's called the F-22 and look what happened to that program. Now it seems like all our fighter needs will have to be answered by the JSF, and that program is just a fucking mess. Though it's stealthy and it has extremely advanced avionics, it's not nearly as agile or fast as a Raptor or even a Su-30. And with Russia developing its own fifth-generation fighter (which will be exported and features a ton of nice gimmicks even the F-22 lacks), the US may find itself at a fighter disadvantage despite blowing away hundreds of billions of dollars.

    Aeneas on
    Hear about the cow that tried to jump over a barbed-wire fence? It was udder disaster.
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Jesus, NMCI is the biggest fucking waste. And the amount we pay for it is just retarded. The fact that the Navy literally cannot even afford for more than a fraction of their sailors to have NMCI accounts should probably be a warning sign that some other IT solution is needed that does not involve flushing wads of cash down the toilet until it clogs and then lightning the bathroom on fire to try and hide the mess.

    Regina Fong on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Jesus, NMCI is the biggest fucking waste. And the amount we pay for it is just retarded. The fact that the Navy literally cannot even afford for more than a fraction of their sailors to have NMCI accounts should probably be a warning sign that some other IT solution is needed that does not involve flushing wads of cash down the toilet until it clogs and then lightning the bathroom on fire to try and hide the mess.

    You know what's cool?

    Paying a contractor full retail price to install a piece of software for you.

    Then paying them monthly "maintenance" for that software. Which is a significant portion (like 10%) of the retail price.

    And no, that doesn't cover version upgrades...you have to pay full retail price again to get those.

    mcdermott on
  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    God damn do I miss Eisenhower Republicans.

    They are democrats now and not the blue dog kind.

    The Realignment started with the second Civil Rights Act and completed it's transition after Nixon. Democrats became the new party of reason and the GOP became the new party of insanity. Hard to believe they were once the party that freed the slaves. It would have been nice to know the racist whites did not have a party to turn to when it was the Dems that pushed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. No. They were so short sighted they flocked to the GOP regardless.

    Cantido on
    3DS Friendcode 5413-1311-3767
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Speaking of Contractors:

    Wasn't there an incident where the contractors that supply food to the US military (yes, afaik the US military relies on outside contractors to feed it's soldiers. WTF did Napolean know anyway, am I right?) essentially held the US military hostage by refusing to supply the food lest their demands were met?

    I swear it was brought up in a previous thread on this subject. I'm gonna hit the Google, but maybe someone remembers it clearly.

    shryke on
  • His CorkinessHis Corkiness Registered User
    edited September 2010
    I could go on but the reports of the US military's obsolescence are greatly exaggerated. It's easy to think the military is a toothless bear because of 9 years of insurgency, but an occupation and a war are two different things, for an example of the latter see the first gulf war (third largest military on the planet armed with the best fighter jets in the world and top of the line russian anti aircraft missiles defeated in the most one sided conflict in human history).
    Wasn't most of Iraq's Soviet hardware the "export" versions, which largely didn't work properly?

    His Corkiness on
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    God damn do I miss Eisenhower Republicans.

    They are democrats now and not the blue dog kind.
    Yes, but if at least some of them were still Republicans we might not be completely fucked.

    Instead we have all the sane people stacked on one side.

    OptimusZed on
    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
  • CasedOutCasedOut Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Cantido wrote: »
    The Air Force shut down their entire OTS. The only way to be an officer is through ROTC and the Academy, and if your grades slip up once and change your graduation date, you're out. Scary stuff for me actually.

    Woah what? When did this happen?

    edit: I think you have your information wrong, I can't seem to find anything about this happening.

    edit2: yeah you are definitely wrong, I am looking at OTS class dates for FY11

    CasedOut on
    452773-1.png
  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Malkor wrote: »
    Cantido wrote: »
    That thingy in the front? It's for bayonets.

    Yes, our guns can still attach bayonets. An NCO told me if you ever hear the command Affix Bayonets it's time to quit. :D

    Didn't someone here tell a story about British soldiers charging the Taliban successfully after they ran out of ammunition?

    I'm pretty sure it was somewhere here.

    Er, quite. Aside from the now-famous bayonet charge in Iraq (not Taliban), if you look at pictures from Afghanistan, you will find plenty with bayonets fixed. I've done it myself, though thankfully not had to use it. I do know several people who have, however.

    Also, unless there are actually still some US soldiers wandering around with M-16s (I haven't seen any recently), I don't think you can call the M4 variants the same weapon. They have been hugely modified, and for my money are one of the best all-round infantry rifles out there. Point being, your kit is a lot better than the rest of the world. You are top of the mountain, just perhaps the next bloke isn't quite so far down as you thought.

    Altalicious on
  • Just_Bri_ThanksJust_Bri_Thanks Seething with rage from a handbasket.Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2010
    Cantido wrote: »
    Jesus Christ don't even get me started on the M-16.

    What a piece of shit. It's only like, 5 times larger than it actually needs to be, but hey, that means it's comfortable for a 6'5" goon with gorilla arms to aim.

    And if you're not well then tough.

    That thingy in the front? It's for bayonets.

    Yes, our guns can still attach bayonets. An NCO told me if you ever hear the command Affix Bayonets it's time to quit. :D

    Even funnier than that, the bayonets we have for them cannot be affixed with the sheath still on the blade properly. You have to attach the knife, then kinda half-ass put the holster back on it.

    Just_Bri_Thanks on
    Some days I just want to smack people with a rolled up newspaper. Or a phone book.
    A folding chair is looking like an attractive option right now too...
  • CasedOutCasedOut Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Has anyone mentioned the gross amount of spending that happens towards the end of a fiscal year?

    "Oh crap guys we have thousands of dollars left over, if we don't spend it they will cut our budget next year!"

    *ten big screen tvs appear in different sections of the base*

    The way spending happens is really busted, I have seen it personally when I was in the USAF. Its just like if you don't need the twenty thousand dollars, who cares if your budget gets cut? But no, instead they just waste it like crazy at the end of the year.

    CasedOut on
    452773-1.png
  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Oh sweet, Wikipedia haves a pretty good breakdown:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States

    The way to cut spending is to focus on the procurement figure there. As people have pointed out, military procurement is hugely wasteful, and has plenty of secondary concerns like limited competition, contractual obligations, and political support (domestic jobs from the industry). This is as much as a problem in Britain as in the US, and often leads to ridiculously wasteful programmes which produce mediocre kit, which could have been bought off the shelf cheaper.

    But some people argue that the procurement budget is only $140bn, therefore you can't cut it enough to make real savings. The key point this misses is the $283bn spent on operations. With the cost of most current weapon systems, ammunition, and the extraordinarily expensive maintenance contracts, the cost of procurement is being carried over into the operational budget - that is the one you need to cut; the cost of some common shoulder-launched missiles being used daily out in Afghanistan is between $40,000 - $80,000 per missile, depending on who you believe. But politically and practically you can never tell soldiers / airmen / sailors: don't fire that missile, it's too expensive. The only really acceptable way to cut the operational budget is to cut the cost of the basic materiel: make the missile cost less. To do that, you need a less wasteful procurement system which yields cheaper products.

    Together, they account for 62% of the budget. If you can fix procurement to deliver cheaper materiel, you are cutting costs across most of the military spectrum. That's how the Chinese, Russians and other big military spenders deliver (for example) a 10% reduction in high-tech capability for a 50% bonus in military capacity. If that 10% allows you to defeat their 50%, then it is money well spent. Too often it doesn't, and we have simply been betting on the idea that you need technological superiority in all areas. The reality is that unless that technical superiority is enough to overcome the specific numerical / ideological / intellectual superiority which counters it on the other side, it isn't worth the price.

    Altalicious on
  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited September 2010
    CasedOut wrote: »
    Has anyone mentioned the gross amount of spending that happens towards the end of a fiscal year?

    "Oh crap guys we have thousands of dollars left over, if we don't spend it they will cut our budget next year!"

    *ten big screen tvs appear in different sections of the base*

    The way spending happens is really busted, I have seen it personally when I was in the USAF. Its just like if you don't need the twenty thousand dollars, who cares if your budget gets cut? But no, instead they just waste it like crazy at the end of the year.

    Good luck stopping that. It's a management problem across large corporations in both public and private sectors (though probably worse in the public sector) not a military problem per se.

    Altalicious on
  • CasedOutCasedOut Registered User
    edited September 2010
    CasedOut wrote: »
    Has anyone mentioned the gross amount of spending that happens towards the end of a fiscal year?

    "Oh crap guys we have thousands of dollars left over, if we don't spend it they will cut our budget next year!"

    *ten big screen tvs appear in different sections of the base*

    The way spending happens is really busted, I have seen it personally when I was in the USAF. Its just like if you don't need the twenty thousand dollars, who cares if your budget gets cut? But no, instead they just waste it like crazy at the end of the year.

    Good luck stopping that. It's a management problem across large corporations in both public and private sectors (though probably worse in the public sector) not a military problem per se.

    Hey I never said it would be easy. I was just pointing out the problem.

    CasedOut on
    452773-1.png
  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited September 2010
    As I said, I suspect it would help if we ended the revolving door between the Pentagon and lobbyists/defense contractors.

    Really? You want to take the only people who have actual experience of what is required on the battlefield out of the equation? All you are going to get is less useful kit which has to be constantly re-engineered. This has almost happened in the UK already, due to an idiotic decision by management consultants McKinsey to name the MoD (civil servants in London who never touch the kit) as 'primary customers' for defence procurement, instead of the Services (soldiers, sailors and airmen who work the kit out on the battlefield), who have become 'secondary customers'.

    To judge by how we do things over here, you actually need to put better people in contractual and procurement departments within DoD, and give them more power while they are still serving. Part of the problem is that procurement is seen as a dead-end job for the third-tier people who are waiting out their time: not exactly the kind of astute go-getters who you want to get the best deal, like those who the contractors hire.

    Altalicious on
  • AltaliciousAltalicious Registered User
    edited September 2010
    CasedOut wrote: »
    Hey I never said it would be easy. I was just pointing out the problem.

    But as a solution to cut defence spending, it simply isn't practical, unless you have an effective plan to do so which nobody else has thought of over the past 50 years or so. If you do, please tell, I want to steal it!

    Altalicious on
  • CasedOutCasedOut Registered User
    edited September 2010
    CasedOut wrote: »
    Hey I never said it would be easy. I was just pointing out the problem.

    But as a solution to cut defence spending, it simply isn't practical, unless you have an effective plan to do so which nobody else has thought of over the past 50 years or so. If you do, please tell, I want to steal it!

    Well obviously the answer is to spend a shit load more on acquisitions, so we can create a mind control device. See problem solved. So easy.

    CasedOut on
    452773-1.png
  • ArchArch Neat-o, mosquito! Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Now, honestly? I haven't read the whole thread and so will risk the possibility of 'trolling' with this comment

    but

    All I can think is "Finally."

    Defense spending is always my first thought when it comes to 'cutting the budget' so to speak.

    Now, I understand we are currently embroiled in a war. I understand that cutting funding for that war is a dumb idea and will get brave individuals killed.

    But that doesn't mean I don't take a critical look at this monkey on our back whenever people get up in arms about government spending.

    That is about all I have to say. I also agree with the OP's assessment that we need to really examine how we handle defense contracts, and make sure we are really getting what we are paying. Which is, as I understand, quite a lot.

    Arch on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Why do we need a plane that can keep up with Russian or European planes? Let them waste the money. If we get into a real fight with a nuclear power, I dont think those planes will do us much good.
    No. You do not want to paint yourself into a corner where your only retaliatory option is nuclear. Sure, we can "win" by nuking any country on the planet, but you still want to maintain the ability to fight a conventional war so that "end the world" isn't Plan A.

    That said, we over do it. Everybody knows we over do it. Plus, half the time the "threats" we're developing weapons to fight get their shit from...us.
    So, what you're saying is that we pay shitloads upon shitloads of money to develop weapons that are then purchased by the people we're fighting for a fraction of the cost of development...

    Why, exactly, is this a necessary strategy?

    Thanatos on
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    We aren't keeping up. We are trying to constantly stay ahead of them. If deterrence is the main reason, you don't need to do that. You just need to make it so that any single or small group of countries couldn't successfully fight a war against you. You don't need the current military budget and spending shitloads of money on trying to stay much more advanced than other planes to do so. You just need to be at about the same level.

    Couscous on
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    CasedOut wrote: »
    Has anyone mentioned the gross amount of spending that happens towards the end of a fiscal year?

    "Oh crap guys we have thousands of dollars left over, if we don't spend it they will cut our budget next year!"

    *ten big screen tvs appear in different sections of the base*

    The way spending happens is really busted, I have seen it personally when I was in the USAF. Its just like if you don't need the twenty thousand dollars, who cares if your budget gets cut? But no, instead they just waste it like crazy at the end of the year.
    This isn't unique to the military. Every government agency does this. Heck, this is standard practice in the private sector. Unless there's some incentive for not spending the entirety of your budget, no one in their right mind will be thrifty with other peoples' money.

    Modern Man on
    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    The whole process of procurement has gotten really screwed up after decades of new standards and requirements on the DoD's side, regular greed on the contractor's part, and a fair amount of incompetence on both sides. And that's not even taking into account the government employee / contractor revolving door, or the what happens when congress monkeys around with defense bills to force the creation of new jobs in their district.

    A good example of how bloated defense contracts have gotten:

    Grumman F6F Hellcat:
    Contract awarded: 1941
    Introduced to service: 1943

    Lockheed Martin F-22:
    Contract awarded: 1991
    Introduced: 2005

    Smurph on
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Smurph wrote: »
    The whole process of procurement has gotten really screwed up after decades of new standards and requirements on the DoD's side, regular greed on the contractor's part, and a fair amount of incompetence on both sides. And that's not even taking into account the government employee / contractor revolving door, or the what happens when congress monkeys around with defense bills to force the creation of new jobs in their district.

    A good example of how bloated defense contracts have gotten:

    Grumman F6F Hellcat:
    Contract awarded: 1941
    Introduced to service: 1943

    Lockheed Martin F-22:
    Contract awarded: 1991
    Introduced: 2005
    I think you have a good point about the shit-awfulnes of the procurement system. But I don't you can compare a relatively low-tech plane that was built in a desperate wartime situation to a high-tech, peacetime plane like the F-22.

    Granted, 14 years is a really long time.

    Modern Man on
    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • SimpsonsParadoxSimpsonsParadox Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    The F22 is not a great comparison for the reasons noted and the fact that stealth technology advanced greatly in the 90s.

    SimpsonsParadox on
  • PhistiPhisti Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I work as a consultant to the DND (Canada) and can tell you that as a consultant my company robs the government blind... but it's their own fault.

    A contracting vehicle is established to limit the scope and time-frame of a work project.
    Then, through no fault of our own (the Contractor) the client (Government) changes its requirements, changes the duration of the project, changes the goals of the project, changes the deliverables, and, above all, changes staff. Like daily.

    I've been working on the same project for over three years now. What was scheduled to take 6 months and 60,000$ has ballooned into almost 4-years and 300,000 dollars with a new DND project manager every 2 months.

    There is no corporate memory and no understanding of the consultant environment. My company needs to pay my salary, rent, profits etc. By the client's work, lack of dissemination of information and frequently mind-changing a simple task is now massively over-budget and past-due. Now multiply that by almost every DND contract out there...

    Phisti on
  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    14 years? 3D Realms can almost make a game in that time.

    Seriously, at the rate of technological advancement something that takes that long to build is old when it gets out the door. It didn't take us 10 years to go from hitting outer space to putting someone on the moon, it boggles my mind that it can take that long to build a plane that has problems when it rains.

    Tomanta on
Sign In or Register to comment.