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Oversight of the US Armed Forces

redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1whole numbersRegistered User regular
edited March 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
This is a subject which I am somewhat ignorant, but recent events in the media have revealed yet another rather heinous misuse of funds and a case of rather awful mismanagement.

It seems, at least to me, that the military is pretty much totally incapable of looking after itself. While there is supposed civilian oversight, this organ seem equally incapable. Looking at how things actually function, both the military itself and its appointed civilian overseers see totally incapable of averting the kind of scandals that have been in the press almost constantly.

As things stand now, the job finding and addressing problems seems no to rest with the military or any branch of the US government. Instead this duty falls to the press, and after a certain level of outrage is reached within the electorate, and weeks and months of finger pointing, there is a bit of ritualistic bloodletting and eventually the problem is addressed.

Now, there may be something to the idea when the system works, we don't hear anything about it. While this pretty much would imply that the US military has the worst PR department ever heard of, which despite the vast number of tax dollars and man hours which it invests, would not be totally unbelievable at this point, at least in certain fields they do seem very willing to claim even rather small successes, at least when it is will help approval rating(Mission Accomplished lols). I find this doubtful, and the lack of deft with which these events are handled would seem in itself to be negligent if this is the case.


Am I the only person that feels this way? That feels that Congress, the executive branch and the military itself are apparently incapable of routing out these problems them selfs? Who feels dismayed that it is the only ones who are currently able to uncover them are reporters looking to make a name for them self and a buck for their employer?

What is causing this? Is it willful ignorance? Is the chain of command preventing the information for reaching the top? Is it systemic [SIZE=-1]Myopia and a near total lack of common sense? Is it due to how beholden congress and politicians are to the corporations that make up the military industrial complex?

How can this be fixed? Short of totally reworking the chain of command and creating full time positions for people to work within the system to find these problems, or giving the people existing positions greater authority to report these problems in such a fashion that the military is required to deal with them?

I just don't know, but it seems clear to me that there is much more to the problems of our military than just these individual events, and as much as I'd like to, don't believe I can wholly blame the current administration.
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Posts

  • siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    I'm kind of in a crunch for time, but this strikes near and dear to the heart. I think a lot of the current problems can be pointed out in this statement:

    Rumsfield, who flew trainer jets for the Navy in a reserve status, thought he was going to tell GEN Shinseki how he thought a ground war should be fought.

    siliconenhanced on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I'm kind of in a crunch for time, but this strikes near and dear to the heart. I think a lot of the current problems can be pointed out in this statement:

    Rumsfield, who flew trainer jets for the Navy in a reserve status, thought he was going to tell GEN Shinseki how he thought a ground war should be fought.

    I love how that works.

    Incenjucar on
  • JamesJames Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I'm kind of in a crunch for time, but this strikes near and dear to the heart. I think a lot of the current problems can be pointed out in this statement:

    Rumsfield, who flew trainer jets for the Navy in a reserve status, thought he was going to tell GEN Shinseki how he thought a ground war should be fought.

    What a prime example.

    Part of the problem is that few people in leadership roles actually know what they're doing. However, more media coverage into what happens behind closed doors would help.

    James on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Walter Reed is a bad example of a lack of oversight.

    Walter Reed was privatized to a civilian company by language inserted in Iraq spending legislation at behest of republican members of congress and the current administration.

    It was not longer a military job. Saying "olol civilian oversight" is fucking stupid in this situation because it was the civilian oversight that made the changes that fucked it up in the first place

    The problem isnt the military, the problem is people in charge who couldnt either gives a rats ass about what is happening or have a reasoned way to figure out how to solve it. The problem is republicans.

    Goumindong on
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  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Walter Reed is a bad example of a lack of oversight.

    Walter Reed was privatized to a civilian company by language inserted in Iraq spending legislation at behest of republican members of congress and the current administration.

    It was not longer a military job. Saying "olol civilian oversight" is fucking stupid in this situation because it was the civilian oversight that made the changes that fucked it up in the first place

    The problem isnt the military, the problem is people in charge who couldnt either gives a rats ass about what is happening or have a reasoned way to figure out how to solve it. The problem is republicans.

    I think that's what he's saying; the entire system, top to bottom, failed here because the civilians overseeing the war were incompetent. Without competent civilian oversight, the armed forces don't stand a chance of success.

    At least, that's how I read the stance of the OP.

    sanstodo on
  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Walter Reed is a bad example of a lack of oversight.

    Walter Reed was privatized to a civilian company by language inserted in Iraq spending legislation at behest of republican members of congress and the current administration.

    It was not longer a military job. Saying "olol civilian oversight" is fucking stupid in this situation because it was the civilian oversight that made the changes that fucked it up in the first place

    The problem isnt the military, the problem is people in charge who couldnt either gives a rats ass about what is happening or have a reasoned way to figure out how to solve it. The problem is republicans.

    Thank you. I agree totally.

    Of the problems the military is having right now, a LOT of them seem to stem from bad civilian contractors. I recently watched 'Iraq for Sale', and it points out a lot of glaring examples. Basically all this shit got contracted out to civvies, but there doesn't seem to be anyone fucking overseeing THEM. In the military there is a chain of command to make sure things work right, and if something is wrong there is military code and law to fix it.

    These civilian contractors were recruited because we started the war without enough resources and were desperate for help. But nobody is there to watch them and hold them accountable. Nobody can do anything to them, it seems like. Obviously the documentary was probably a bit skewed against them, but it comes across as they just want as much money as they can get, and don't seem to give a rats ass about the troops.

    MuddBudd on
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  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    sanstodo wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Walter Reed is a bad example of a lack of oversight.

    Walter Reed was privatized to a civilian company by language inserted in Iraq spending legislation at behest of republican members of congress and the current administration.

    It was not longer a military job. Saying "olol civilian oversight" is fucking stupid in this situation because it was the civilian oversight that made the changes that fucked it up in the first place

    The problem isnt the military, the problem is people in charge who couldnt either gives a rats ass about what is happening or have a reasoned way to figure out how to solve it. The problem is republicans.

    I think that's what he's saying; the entire system, top to bottom, failed here because the civilians overseeing the war were incompetent. Without competent civilian oversight, the armed forces don't stand a chance of success.

    At least, that's how I read the stance of the OP.

    right. the civilian oversight is shit. They are part of the problem. Just like the civilian oversight of shit like contracting, they don't really do a bad job, just bullshit, mainly pork barrel politics frequently a lot of the shit they say to fall on deaf ears.

    Either they don't see the problems, or the see them and don't take sufficient steps to stop them. Neither are really acceptable, not to the degree that it is occurring.

    redx on
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  • siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    Again, crunched for time, but you can thank Rumsfield for that as well. It was a keystone of "Transformation" to contract out as much service/support jobs as possible.

    Basically his "Transformation" thinking went like this:

    - Contract out service support MOSes while phasing out training and duty facilities for said jobs.

    - Use freed space on combat troops while saving money since all the training, support, feeding, medical care is done out of house.

    - "Transform" rarely used MOSes into high rotation jobs (This is when you hear about guys who used to do Air Defense getting a month of training and TA DA, now they're military police!)

    - ????

    - PROFIT!

    Sounds good on the outside. Thing is, it takes more than handing someone a rifle and saying "Hey buddy, you're not longer a cook, you're an infantryman, have fun," which is what Rumsfield and Co wanted to pretend.

    A guy joins the Army to be a cook or a driver or a personel clerk, he has certain expectations, and one of those is that he's not going to spend 6 days out of 7 each week for a month out in the mud playing war games every other month. And that's where you were seeing this "Warrior Ethos" and "Every Soldier a Warrior" bullshit coming from, which was basically some hooah sounding bullshit based off the Ranger/Airborne Creed that was supposed to instill "warrior values" into everyone who didn't join the Army to kill other people, but because the benefits package was nicer than what the Marines were serving up.

    Really, there's enough blame to go around, but I'm placing mine pretty securely on the civilians in charge and the generals who let them get away with this horseshit. The kicker of the situation, total and complete, is that many of these generals saw the same shit go down when they were just fresh lieutenants fighting Vietnam. They know the signs, but they're closing their eyes and hoping the next guy who's coming along will deal with them because they don't want to rock the boat and get everyone wet, because God knows then you can't be like that corn fed fuckstick Tommy Franks and get a multil million book deal with a title like "American Soldier".

    I hope Casey, Franks, Schoomacher, Pace, and the rest of those fucks all have uneasy sleep for the rest of their life. They forgot that when you're a general, if you have to fall on your goddamn sword, its your responsibility to fall on your goddamn sword, not get on Fox News and lie about how great Iraq is going and how everyone is happy to be there painting schools. Great power, great responsibility, all that.

    siliconenhanced on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    - Contract out service support MOSes while phasing out training and duty facilities for said jobs.

    Don't get me fucking started on this. There's nothing quite like seeing a civilian trying to talk some SPC at FOB Bumfuck through how to fix some piece of equipment it's his job to fix because he decided he wasn't up for a HMMWV ride through IED alley that day. And there's not shit you can do, because UCMJ doesn't apply to these civilians and thus at best you can get them fired only to have some other fuck who'll do the same shit show up in a month.

    And of course the civilian is making more than twice what that SPC is making to boot.
    They know the signs, but they're closing their eyes and hoping the next guy who's coming along will deal with them because they don't want to rock the boat and get everyone wet, because God knows then you can't be like that corn fed fuckstick Tommy Franks and get a multil million book deal with a title like "American Soldier".

    You know, for all the shit we used to talk about General Shinseki, it at least seems like he wasn't that kind of guy. He may not have pushed as hard as he could or should have, but at the same time he didn't seem afraid to make unpopular decisions or voice unpopular opinions.
    MuddBudd wrote:
    Of the problems the military is having right now, a LOT of them seem to stem from bad civilian contractors.

    Am I wrong, or are most of the decisions to use these contractors made by the civilians who are supposed to be overseeing the military? The very civilians I'm talking about? I can't imagine some General jumping at the opportunity to have a bunch of people under his command he can't actually depend on to follow his orders, and who will be more worried about the bottom line than getting the job done. That seems like the kind of shit that comes from Congress, the White House, and the motherfuckers in the Pentagon who are wearing suits and not uniforms.

    mcdermott on
  • siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    Jameserson wrote: »
    I'm kind of in a crunch for time, but this strikes near and dear to the heart. I think a lot of the current problems can be pointed out in this statement:

    Rumsfield, who flew trainer jets for the Navy in a reserve status, thought he was going to tell GEN Shinseki how he thought a ground war should be fought.

    What a prime example.

    Part of the problem is that few people in leadership roles actually know what they're doing. However, more media coverage into what happens behind closed doors would help.


    Part of me wants to agree with you, because sunlight kills slime. On the other hand, a lot of civilians don't understand certain aspects of war, and the last thing we need is Joe Smith of Anytown, USA being the final arbiter on what is and is not acceptable in war.

    An example would be the fuss over the use of White Phosphorus mortar rounds in the second battle of Fallujah. For a good month or so people were screaming about war crimes because they thought that people were dropping WP on people (which its pretty fucking ineffective for) thanks to the media saying that it had "napalm like" effects and ignoring the fact that WP is mainly used for marking, concealment, and destruction of equipment.

    siliconenhanced on
  • JamesJames Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Jameserson wrote: »
    I'm kind of in a crunch for time, but this strikes near and dear to the heart. I think a lot of the current problems can be pointed out in this statement:

    Rumsfield, who flew trainer jets for the Navy in a reserve status, thought he was going to tell GEN Shinseki how he thought a ground war should be fought.

    What a prime example.

    Part of the problem is that few people in leadership roles actually know what they're doing. However, more media coverage into what happens behind closed doors would help.


    Part of me wants to agree with you, because sunlight kills slime. On the other hand, a lot of civilians don't understand certain aspects of war, and the last thing we need is Joe Smith of Anytown, USA being the final arbiter on what is and is not acceptable in war.

    An example would be the fuss over the use of White Phosphorus mortar rounds in the second battle of Fallujah. For a good month or so people were screaming about war crimes because they thought that people were dropping WP on people (which its pretty fucking ineffective for) thanks to the media saying that it had "napalm like" effects and ignoring the fact that WP is mainly used for marking, concealment, and destruction of equipment.

    Well, you know, enough media coverage that we know things like this exist. Or media coverage that gives a truthful idea of what's going on and why, instead of appealing to emotion.

    Geez, use of white phosphorus isn't even a war crime. It's like saying M67 grenades are a war crime.

    "Oh, well... they explode into itty-bits and rip people apart."

    James on
  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    So maybe the solution is a publicly funded 'think tank' with the best and brightest drafted from the military and civilian leadership charged with taking the strategies and concerns of the military and the restraints and whatever imposed by the executive branch and presenting it to the Joint Chiefs and White House for approval and tweaking. Did I just describe one of the senate sub-committees?

    Malkor on
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  • The Green Eyed MonsterThe Green Eyed Monster i blame hip hop Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I just want to point out that I saw an opinion piece, I forget in which media outlet exactly but not one I'm prone to just immediately distrust, but the headline was "Gates Applauded for Handling of Scandal" or something like that, and then all the article did was present how everyone was super pleased with his firings

    although wait

    there were a few critics who felt his punishment was too harsh. So according to the discursive limits set out by the article, you were wither happy with the scandal resolution or felt it was too harsh. The option to still be unpleased even given the firings was not presented at all.

    If this is the press "muckraking" or really going after the scandal at all, someone pinch me.

    The Green Eyed Monster on
  • siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    Malkor wrote: »
    So maybe the solution is a publicly funded 'think tank' with the best and brightest drafted from the military and civilian leadership charged with taking the strategies and concerns of the military and the restraints and whatever imposed by the executive branch and presenting it to the Joint Chiefs and White House for approval and tweaking. Did I just describe one of the senate sub-committees?

    I'm not sure if you were being sarcastic by this or not. I'm going to withold commenting until I can get a clarification please?
    Well, you know, enough media coverage that we know things like this exist. Or media coverage that gives a truthful idea of what's going on and why, instead of appealing to emotion.

    Geez, use of white phosphorus isn't even a war crime. It's like saying M67 grenades are a war crime.

    "Oh, well... they explode into itty-bits and rip people apart."

    Well its like some of the hand ringing I saw on some of the leftist blogs I go to. "Oh my God, they call themselves "Assassin Company", they're Mai Lai in the making!!!!1".

    The biggest problem I'd have to say I have with both sides of the aisle is the fact that many think that they can understand the mindset and experience of war through media, be it movies, video games, or books. The mindset is just so terribly alien to them that nine times out of ten I've found its best to simply not answer any questions at all about what its like over there. Most people have predefined notions of what the Middle East is like, and tend to get defensive when you break that down.

    But yeah, it was pretty stupid, and might have almost cost us the use of a valuable tool if Rummy had been told by the White House "stop using WP because soccer moms don't like the idea of Iraqi kids getting napalmed". I don't know, maybe we wouldn't need civilian journos if our own Public Affairs got rid of the idea that the only news is good news, and stopped writing pieces on how the MPs at the gate are providing valuable force protection or some shit.

    See those kids down by the riv-er/Drop some napalm watch em shiv-er

    siliconenhanced on
  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Nope, no sarcasm.

    Malkor on
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  • siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    Malkor wrote: »
    Nope, no sarcasm.

    Thing is, when Shinseki stood up there and gave his answer for how many troops it would take to occupy Iraq successfully, he was shouted down by the Pentagon and the Congressional hawks who were beating the drums for war.

    The more I read about the Iraqi War, the more it seems like the system totally and completely failed. Part of me wonders if this was a flaw in the civilian/military relationship (parts of which I think need to be changed), or if the military could have stopped this given the culture frame we were in. Remember, this was fresh off our victory over the Taliban, everyone was screaming for Saddam's head and talking about nerve gas sprayers off the East Coast, and you couldn't spit without hitting someone in a fucking "twin towers on fire/american flag/eagle crying" t shirt.

    I really think the American public and the US military need to start thinking in terms of defeat, and not declaring victory and running away.

    Another point to make: The Officer Corps got a makeover when Macnamara was Secretary of Defense, and decided to use an "up or out" policy to make the officer corps more effective and competitive, like they did at Ford with managers. To wit: You had X amount of time to get to the next rank, or else you were history. This ignores the fact that not everyone is going to be a good battalion commander, or S-3 officer, or higher rank, but if you wanted to stay in, you weren't going to be able to stay at company officer rank if you had no ambition or desire or ability to lead a battalion. If you're building cars, this system of career paths and one size fits all might work, but leading men into combat or whatever is highly different than that. Unfortunately, now you've got people who were really good at kissing ass and filling out paper work in charge, and we're seeing the results now.

    I don't understand the Shinseki hate either. The man is remembered for issuing black berets (formerly property of the Rangers) to the entire Army, but no one wants to remember him going against the grain and saying 400K troops when everyone was saying "slam dunk" and "100,000 tops".

    siliconenhanced on
  • JamesJames Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    but no one wants to remember him going against the grain and saying 400K troops when everyone was saying "slam dunk" and "100,000 tops".

    That is actually how I remember him. And he's apparently the only one who had his head on straight. And that's only half the strength of the first Gulf War.

    James on
  • siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    Jameserson wrote: »
    but no one wants to remember him going against the grain and saying 400K troops when everyone was saying "slam dunk" and "100,000 tops".

    That is actually how I remember him. And he's apparently the only one who had his head on straight. And that's only half the strength of the first Gulf War.

    Dude left half a fucking foot back in Nam, and I've had people say to me with a straight face "oh he was just some S-1 pogue he didn't do anything".

    I like to tell myself that this war wouldn't have gone forward or had half the episodes it did if he had been in charge.

    Incidentally, there's a serious schism right now in the military. Right now you've got the civvies and the Air Force allying themselves against the Marines and the Army, with the Navy being split between those who want gold plated destroyers and subs and the guys who are seeing what kind of carnage is being wrought over there by people who have access to cell phones and ball bearings. This latter group realises that a hundred million dollar destroyer isn't going to do jack and shit except be a feather in someone's hat when it comes time to be looked at for admiral rank.

    I really think, since no one in Congress (outside of maybe Jim Webb) has a vested interest in ending this war, eventually the Army and the Marines are going to be broken, followed by the parties blaming each other and trying to figure out how the fuck it happened.

    God knows something has to change though.

    siliconenhanced on
  • LondonBridgeLondonBridge __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    This is bullshit, only reason the gubment is doing anything is because it was reported in a magazine. There is plenty of nasty worms under this rock.

    LondonBridge on
  • Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    The Air Force can't help but be pissed right now; we're being told that the defense budget isn't big enough to support us AND help the Army increase their numbers. We've had to cut 100,000 troops from our branch so that the Army can increase by the same number, and that more cuts are going to be needed. They also don't have the money to update our old-as-fuck fleet, upgrade our attack fighters, and they won't let us keep the edge in the air by purchasing more Raptors. We're getting shit on by the DOD, the US Govt, other branches, and our own fucking branch.

    And why? Because no one wants to join the fucking Army unless you throw obscene ammounts of cash at them. Sorry the Army's shit isn't smelling so good right now, but you don't need to fuck us (or the Navy) over because of it.

    And don't anybody say the Raptor isn't needed, check out what the Russians and Chineese are making in the new SU's; those fucking things are impressive.

    Capt Howdy on
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  • siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    Ah, the commie boogeyman. BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA.

    The Air Force needs to realise its mission right now consists of CAS and UAVs and not air to air dogfights.

    Cry about Russia and China all you want, but you're an idiot if you think they pose any real threat. China's got the numbers, but their training is terrible. Russia is barely holding it together as a country. We're the largest training partner to China, do you really think we're going to get into a war with them anytime soon?

    Maybe the Air Force should have thought ahead before deciding to spend most of its budget pouring sidewalks and making the bases pretty. I'd also have more sympathy for you guys if you didn't try to mothball the A-10 because it was ugly yet effective for something sleek and cool named the Raptor, but between that and my first issue, I've got nothing for you guys. Its time for the Air Force to do something other than deploy to the UAE and call it a "combat deployment", to actually sacrifice something other than a 4 month rotation.

    Sorry dude, but we can go another few years without a Raptor wing. We could use Dragon Skin body armor tech and a replacement for the humvee right the fuck now.

    siliconenhanced on
  • Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Shit, I've seen entirely to many videos of 10 soldiers pinned down by 3 guys having to call in the Chair Force to make their lives easier with a nice bomb. Any grunt who thinks we're not needed is an idiot. Granted, thats the bombers, but the point remains. Of course it was the Army General who JUST figured out that a B1 is a better choice than the Apache for long range air attacks, especially in poor visibilty. But hey, he is kind of old, and the Bombers are little after his time; I guess you can't blame him.

    The A-10 is one of the planes we're trying to update.

    Oh, and how are those Iranian pilots? You know, the ones we will be going against when we head into that shit hole? I heard they're pretty good, but that was from a pilot, not a grunt, so I guess it's not to be believed. (sarcasm)

    As for us not eating shit like the soldiers; piss off. If you prefer to clean sand out of your dick hole on a regular basis, good for you. I ENJOY AC and comfortable chairs, and good food, and quality of life. I really like the part where I don't deploy for a year, come back for a month, redeploy for a year, come back for a month and not re-up just to be told that you can't get out because the Army sucks and no one wants to join so you have to stay in despite having finished serving your enlistment.

    I'm weird that way.

    Capt Howdy on
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  • AsumaAsuma Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    The more I read about the Iraqi War, the more it seems like the system totally and completely failed. Part of me wonders if this was a flaw in the civilian/military relationship (parts of which I think need to be changed), or if the military could have stopped this given the culture frame we were in. Remember, this was fresh off our victory over the Taliban, everyone was screaming for Saddam's head and talking about nerve gas sprayers off the East Coast, and you couldn't spit without hitting someone in a fucking "twin towers on fire/american flag/eagle crying" t shirt.

    You have a secretary of defense hellbent on making radical changes... a vice president with arguably the most power ever in the office who supports him 110% and was a former secretary himself... a president who defers almost entirely to the VP because of his philosophical position ("I take care of the big stuff")... and a congress which up until recently had completely abdicated oversight of the executive branch because of 9/11.

    So I agree the system failed - the civilian system. But I don't see this is a flaw in the military/civilian relationship. No matter how good on paper, no system can succeed when all the safeguards are subverted and the players are acting dishonestly.

    Asuma on
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Shit, I've seen entirely to many videos of 10 soldiers pinned down by 3 guys having to call in the Chair Force to make their lives easier with a nice bomb. Any grunt who thinks we're not needed is an idiot. Granted, thats the bombers, but the point remains.

    No, the point doesn't remain. That role, and pretty much every role for which the Air Force is currently needed, can be filled with out Raptors.
    Oh, and how are those Iranian pilots? You know, the ones we will be going against when we head into that shit hole? I heard they're pretty good, but that was from a pilot, not a grunt, so I guess it's not to be believed. (sarcasm)

    See, and to me that's a reason to think twice about heading into that shithole not a reason to buy shiny new expensive planes. But the best part is coming...
    I ENJOY AC and comfortable chairs, and good food, and quality of life.

    Then don't bitch when there's no money left for things like Raptors. The Air Force pisses money away on quality of life improvements like there's no tomorrow, then begs for more money for their actual combat equipment. Compared to the Army, who buys the necessities first then asks for extra so that maybe Joe can live in a barracks that was built after the Civil War. It's a pretty cool strategy, I suppose...and I have to give it to them for coming up with it. But now that the Army is actually coming up short for things we actually need to, you know, fight the enemy and not die maybe it's time for daddy to take the credit card away from you guys.

    As for deployments, you're spot on. The Air Force is lucky because, in general, their jobs in a combat zone are such that the disruption due to transition is minimal. You're basically just running an airbase someplace with more sand. You guys don't have to learn your way around the local shitholes, figure out who the bad guys and good guys are, and generally get up to speed when it comes to combat operations. That takes time. That's why the AF can manage 4 month deployments, while the Army cannot (though I think we could cut it down to more like 7 or 8). I don't begrudge you guys that one luxury.
    I don't understand the Shinseki hate either. The man is remembered for issuing black berets (formerly property of the Rangers) to the entire Army, but no one wants to remember him going against the grain and saying 400K troops when everyone was saying "slam dunk" and "100,000 tops".

    Just to be clear, I was talking about hating on the guy back before all this shit went down. Basically for the whole beret thing, as well as the intermediate force thing (this was not popular among tankers, at least most of those I knew). All that was long forgotten when he was actually willing to tell the ugly truth when nobody wanted to listen.

    mcdermott on
  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    So. In Canada, all branches of the military were consolidated and unified in 1968 becoming one single force, "The Canadian Forces". It allowed for cost savings and the removing of redundancies, not to mention the end of bickering over allocation of the defense budget between competing entities. Originally, the unification, well, unified everything: ranks, uniforms, you name it. While there was some fallout (morale was pretty low for a few years afterwards; they abolished navy ranks and uniforms, but eventually brought them back), in the end it's created loads of benefits.

    With the unified command structure, absolutely everything is intergrated and more easily managed. The Chief of the Defense Staff (currently Gen. Rick Hillier) is the supreme military commander over the entire forces, regardless of element (the term used to differentiate responsibility for trades; it creates superficial divisions between what were the RCN, RCAF and Army), who then in turn answers to the Minister for National Defense and the Parliamentary Defense Committee. There are a few bonuses for civilian oversight when it comes to this structure: first, the Minister responsible for the DND is expected to answer questions in Question Period (that's just the Parliamentary system for you), second, there is one soldier responsible for the efficient operation of the entirety of the forces. You don't end up with, as I said earlier, squabbles over resources or stupid redundancies (all ground forces use a single rifle, etc.). Finally, the logistics of operation are much more simplified, as is the chain of command.

    In my mind, unified military forces seem to be superior in almost everyway.

    saggio on
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  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited March 2007
    saggio wrote: »
    In my mind, unified military forces seem to be superior in almost everyway.
    They are. The artificial distinction is expensive and unnecessarily divisive. Good luck asking three out of four organizational officers and civilian bureaucrats to give up their titles though.

    Irond Will on
    Wqdwp8l.png
  • siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2007
    Yeah, mccdermott pretty much said what I was going to.

    You guys were agitating for bombing the shit out of Iraq, talking about "airpower" as a valid way to fight and win a war, ignoring that even in your best case scenario (Bosnia), you lost a stealth fighter and we STILL needed troops on the ground.

    There was an old joke during the Cold War about two Russian generals having tea in Paris, asking each other "So, who won the air war?" You really believe that: A) Iran poses a viable threat to you, air to air and B) if the air war is won than the heavy lifting is over? Let's drop the pretense: We both know that as far as technology and training goes, we pretty much dominate the Iranians, God forbid we ever venture over there. What's the majority of their airforce consist of? Planes from the 70s and 80s, OH SHITS YUR RITE, BETTER THROW OUR BUDGET INTO SPACE SUPERIORITY FIGHTERS WITH LAZORS PEW PEW PEW.

    Hah. HAH HAH.

    You guys would have more fucking money if you didn't worry so much about quality of life, dumping your budget into pouring sidewalks then crying poverty to the Pentagon when you need the newest High Speed Toy. Your chief of staff, GEN Mosely, is currently up to his neck in questionable no bid contracts, including a 50 million dollar one to a friend's firm to produce something called THUNDERVISION.

    Your warriors and fighters have slowly been pushed out by the bureaucrats who run that sorry service. You guys have a goddamned Pentagon Service Medal now. The fuck dude.

    For shits and giggles, put chair force into wikipedia and see what comes up.

    Irond & saggio: What you're talking about has been tried before, but there's one reason its not going to work: The United States Marine Corps. As a prelude to this, they tried to put all the recruiting into one office. As it stands now, there's an Army dude for the Army, a sailor for the Navy, and so on. What they tried to do was make it so that you sat down with a civilian or retired/former military counselor, who would ask you what you wanted to do.

    Let's say you wanted to work on helicopters. They'd say here's the jobs for the Army as far as helicopter crew chief goes, this is what the Navy offers, and so on. For whatever reason, the Marines refused to join in this plan saying "Only a Marine can tell about the Marines". Mainly, I think they didn't want their benefits package side by side with an Army or Navy benefits package, but that's just my opinion.

    siliconenhanced on
  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited March 2007
    Irond & saggio: What you're talking about has been tried before, but there's one reason its not going to work: The United States Marine Corps. As a prelude to this, they tried to put all the recruiting into one office. As it stands now, there's an Army dude for the Army, a sailor for the Navy, and so on. What they tried to do was make it so that you sat down with a civilian or retired/former military counselor, who would ask you what you wanted to do.

    Let's say you wanted to work on helicopters. They'd say here's the jobs for the Army as far as helicopter crew chief goes, this is what the Navy offers, and so on. For whatever reason, the Marines refused to join in this plan saying "Only a Marine can tell about the Marines". Mainly, I think they didn't want their benefits package side by side with an Army or Navy benefits package, but that's just my opinion.
    Yeah, I'm familiar with this, and worked for the Marines for quite a few years. Honestly, fuck 'em. There's no good rationale for the Navy having its own army, let alone one that basically refuses to take orders from its own parent branch.

    Irond Will on
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  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I know I wanna join the Chair Force! (I heard people who join actually like it there.)

    Cantido on
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  • AurinAurin Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    They like it, but they're downsizing the Chair Force. :P

    Aurin on
  • RchanenRchanen Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Yeah, mccdermott pretty much said what I was going to.

    You guys were agitating for bombing the shit out of Iraq, talking about "airpower" as a valid way to fight and win a war, ignoring that even in your best case scenario (Bosnia), you lost a stealth fighter and we STILL needed troops on the ground.



    Yeah. Gotta agree with Silicon. Mind you I'm just a civvie. But it looks to me that air dominance, nice though it is, is

    A) limited to keeping fire off the troops and providing close in support. Which better armor and morters could do faster and more efficiently. It used to be that carpet bombing and other mass-effect weapons could be used. But you can't do that shit anymore. Carpet bombing is nice and all, but it gets used once and then it goes on CNN and somebody gets fired or court-martialed. The public won't stand for the civilian casualties except under the worst circumstances. Sure air power helped defeat the Iraqi army, but how do I put this.... its not exactly like your-taking out the best in the business. Ground forces could have done it. (With more casualties)


    B) Overrated as a threat from Russia and China. If we go to war with China or Russia, I'm sorry.... you won't really be needed. You'll be vanishing in a puff of steam along with the rest of us. So relax, sit back. Enjoy being vaporized. It's guaranteed to take all the worries off your mind.

    Air power is nice. Don't get me wrong. I FULLY support making with the pew pew. But its boots on the ground who hold, take, and secure territory and resources. Without an airforce, an army has a hell of a time. Without an army, a country LOSES, no matter how good the airforce is. Its just that simple. Infantry is the last line of defense and offense. Thus it should always be given top priority.

    And I should also point out that recruitment in the army is down not just because of shitty army conditions (though God knows Dragonskin, Armored humvees, and better medical care, to name just a few things, would be nice). Recruitment is also down because its become quite clear to Americans that Iraq is not a current threat to American safety. Nor, quite obviously, is Iran.

    We aren't fighting the Japanese and the Germans. We're fighting some nasty but limited guys who can at best send a few terrorists over here. Which if we increased our intel capabilities (Oh my God. Humint. WTF? Not in America Son.) wouldn't be as bad a problem.

    America doesn't actually have a clear and present danger to its survival. Not China (which would only go to war with us over Taiwan, and who is not currently that stupid, since even winning would collapse their whole economy), Not Russia (who is climbing out of the whole, and is probably going to go back to Totalitarianism, but with a getting into the EU focus), and not the damned pathetic ass middle-east. Who couldn't force project to the Canary Islands.

    The War on Terror was never a job for the troops. Stupid fucking dumbasses in the administration.

    Rchanen on
  • Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    There's a reason people want to stay in the AF, the quality of life. The Army needs to take note of that. Also, we treat our people like human beings, instead of worthless pawns that can be replaced by anyone who can score a 32 on the ASVAB and doesn't have any major felonies on their record. It's also why the scandal happened at Walter Reed ARMY hospital, because the Army doesn't give a fuck about its people. "They can deal with some black mold, they're SOLDIERS". It should be "Those soldiers have been through enough. They deserve, in the very least, mold free rooms to recuperate in".

    If the Army spent all it's money on shit they needed, then why do they need our money? We didn't spend it all and ask for more; they CUT our budget so the Army could have more. Afghanistan is costing us (the AF) a shit ton of money, thanks to our increased ops there, and we're still being told to cut more people to free up cash because our ops tempo is expected to increase even more. That adds up.

    I already admitted that the bombers are getting the majority of the action, so I'll leave that be. But to think they we shouldn't get the "shiny" (faster, more maneuverable, stealth capable, i.e. all around better) Raptor because at this minute the enemy isn't flying is stupid. What, we should wait until there is one? The best part is that if we don't buy them, the manufacturer can sell them to other countries. That's a good thing. (sarcasm) And yes, the Iranians fly the same shit we do at this moment; F-16s and F-15s. That’s not to say that Russia and China won't decide to hook them up with the SU's.

    Hate the AF all you want, but we have a legit reason to be pissed.

    mccdermott pretty much nailed why we don't have to be there for a year, so I'll leave that alone too.

    I'll be the first to admit that cross service hate is pretty fucking pointless, but I doubt it will ever end. The Marines will never like being told they're Navy and always insist their the greatest thing since... the greatest thing ever. The Army will always hate the AF and insist that we've got it too easy, and say the Marines are fucking over rated. The AF will always think they're the brains of the bunch and laugh mockingly at all the other branches. As for the Navy... they're stuck on boats and wear bell-bottoms, what else could I say.

    Thats a long off topic tirade.

    Certain civilian companies are enjoying under the table handjob deals and not giving a fuck about actually doing the job they were hired to do because they knew (thought) that someone up high had their back. I'm sure they didn't expect the Media to pry into their business and expose them the way they did.

    And depite our cross-service hate fest, I'm sure we can all agree that a couple of E-4s could do a better job in one day than some of these ass-hats could do in one month.

    Capt Howdy on
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  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Capt Howdy wrote: »
    There's a reason people want to stay in the AF, the quality of life. The Army needs to take note of that. Also, we treat our people like human beings, instead of worthless pawns that can be replaced by anyone who can score a 32 on the ASVAB and doesn't have any major felonies on their record. It's also why the scandal happened at Walter Reed ARMY hospital, because the Army doesn't give a fuck about its people. "They can deal with some black mold, they're SOLDIERS". It should be "Those soldiers have been through enough. They deserve, in the very least, mold free rooms to recuperate in".

    If the Army spent all it's money on shit they needed, then why do they need our money? We didn't spend it all and ask for more; they CUT our budget so the Army could have more. Afghanistan is costing us (the AF) a shit ton of money, thanks to our increased ops there, and we're still being told to cut more people to free up cash because our ops tempo is expected to increase even more. That adds up.

    I already admitted that the bombers are getting the majority of the action, so I'll leave that be. But to think they we shouldn't get the "shiny" (faster, more maneuverable, stealth capable, i.e. all around better) Raptor because at this minute the enemy isn't flying is stupid. What, we should wait until there is one? The best part is that if we don't buy them, the manufacturer can sell them to other countries. That's a good thing. (sarcasm) And yes, the Iranians fly the same shit we do at this moment; F-16s and F-15s. That’s not to say that Russia and China won't decide to hook them up with the SU's.

    Hate the AF all you want, but we have a legit reason to be pissed.

    mccdermott pretty much nailed why we don't have to be there for a year, so I'll leave that alone too.

    I'll be the first to admit that cross service hate is pretty fucking pointless, but I doubt it will ever end. The Marines will never like being told they're Navy and always insist their the greatest thing since... the greatest thing ever. The Army will always hate the AF and insist that we've got it too easy, and say the Marines are fucking over rated. The AF will always think they're the brains of the bunch and laugh mockingly at all the other branches. As for the Navy... they're stuck on boats and wear bell-bottoms, what else could I say.

    Thats a long off topic tirade.

    Certain civilian companies are enjoying under the table handjob deals and not giving a fuck about actually doing the job they were hired to do because they knew (thought) that someone up high had their back. I'm sure they didn't expect the Media to pry into their business and expose them the way they did.

    And depite our cross-service hate fest, I'm sure we can all agree that a couple of E-4s could do a better job in one day than some of these ass-hats could do in one month.

    I know that when I get there (AF), I wanna take my Computer Engineering degree and do Computer Engineering shit. Or even use my skills as a web programmer (not designer, PROGRAMMER) and do the web defense stuff they were talking about in the news. I know Spanish and am Hispanic as well. Pilot....well that'll never happen, I occasionally sneeze too much from allergies.



    On a lighter note, the Navy sounds good too.

    Cantido on
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  • Lucky7Lucky7 Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Shit, I've seen entirely to many videos of 10 soldiers pinned down by 3 guys having to call in the Chair Force to make their lives easier with a nice bomb. Any grunt who thinks we're not needed is an idiot. Granted, thats the bombers, but the point remains.

    No, the point doesn't remain. That role, and pretty much every role for which the Air Force is currently needed, can be filled with out Raptors.

    This comment right there mcdermott. It shows that you are the fucktardiest of all fucktards. The Raptor was designed primarily as a bomber and that is what is utilized as. They through some guns on it and designated it the F (for fighter) 22 because do to some treaty or something, we can only have a certain number of designated bombers in our fleet. If you would think a little bit, this is the same reason that we have the F (again FIGHTER) 117 which was used ONLY as a bomber.
    In closing (and i mean this to everyone) If you are not in the military, you dont understand the whole of whats going on. So before you make some half assed remark where you try to sound like you know what the hell your talking about, go deepthroat the buisiness end of a pistol and take a couple lead aspirin and think about what youve done.

    Lucky7 on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • JamesJames Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Lucky7 wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Shit, I've seen entirely to many videos of 10 soldiers pinned down by 3 guys having to call in the Chair Force to make their lives easier with a nice bomb. Any grunt who thinks we're not needed is an idiot. Granted, thats the bombers, but the point remains.

    No, the point doesn't remain. That role, and pretty much every role for which the Air Force is currently needed, can be filled with out Raptors.

    This comment right there mcdermott. It shows that you are the fucktardiest of all fucktards. The Raptor was designed primarily as a bomber and that is what is utilized as. They through some guns on it and designated it the F (for fighter) 22 because do to some treaty or something, we can only have a certain number of designated bombers in our fleet. If you would think a little bit, this is the same reason that we have the F (again FIGHTER) 117 which was used ONLY as a bomber.
    In closing (and i mean this to everyone) If you are not in the military, you dont know your brown eye from a hole in the ground and you need to STFU about things you dont understand.

    Regardless, there are enough bombers in the fleet. The AF has been able to do their job without Raptors until now; they just want some extra icing on their cake.

    James on
  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Lucky7 wrote: »
    So before you make some half assed remark where you try to sound like you know what the hell your talking about, go deepthroat the buisiness end of a pistol and take a couple lead aspirin and think about what youve done.
    "no u"

    Also I thought the Fb-22 was a separate more recent varient created because the F-22 didn't have bomber capabilities. From what I've read and seen on the History channel, there are better planes out there that can serve all the branches, not just the Air-Force.

    Malkor on
    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
  • JamesJames Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Lucky7 wrote: »
    take a couple lead aspirin

    Do they make that now?

    James on
  • Lucky7Lucky7 Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Jameserson wrote: »
    Lucky7 wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Shit, I've seen entirely to many videos of 10 soldiers pinned down by 3 guys having to call in the Chair Force to make their lives easier with a nice bomb. Any grunt who thinks we're not needed is an idiot. Granted, thats the bombers, but the point remains.

    No, the point doesn't remain. That role, and pretty much every role for which the Air Force is currently needed, can be filled with out Raptors.

    This comment right there mcdermott. It shows that you are the fucktardiest of all fucktards. The Raptor was designed primarily as a bomber and that is what is utilized as. They through some guns on it and designated it the F (for fighter) 22 because do to some treaty or something, we can only have a certain number of designated bombers in our fleet. If you would think a little bit, this is the same reason that we have the F (again FIGHTER) 117 which was used ONLY as a bomber.
    In closing (and i mean this to everyone) If you are not in the military, you dont know your brown eye from a hole in the ground and you need to STFU about things you dont understand.

    Regardless, there are enough bombers in the fleet. The AF has been able to do their job without Raptors until now; they just want some extra icing on their cake.

    The F-117 is being retired, the B1's are having to be canabalized because the companies that made parts for them are no longer in business. We have the b52 which is one hell of a workhorse. The airforce wants to keep them untill 2040 (which is nuts considering that the last one was built in 1962). The B2 is set to retire soon as well.

    While there is talks of retrofitting the b52 with new engines and fielding the B-1R to replace the B-1Bs, what will continue to keep the united states as the strongest in the skys is new airframes. Between the F22 (to replace the bombing fleet) and the F-35 (to replace the F/A-18, A-10, F-16 and AV-8B) All of the other planes could be scrapped and in the long run, save the DoD some money.

    Lucky7 on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Lucky7Lucky7 Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    saggio wrote: »
    So. In Canada, all branches of the military were consolidated and unified in 1968 becoming one single force, "The Canadian Forces". It allowed for cost savings and the removing of redundancies, not to mention the end of bickering over allocation of the defense budget between competing entities. Originally, the unification, well, unified everything: ranks, uniforms, you name it. While there was some fallout (morale was pretty low for a few years afterwards; they abolished navy ranks and uniforms, but eventually brought them back), in the end it's created loads of benefits.

    With the unified command structure, absolutely everything is intergrated and more easily managed. The Chief of the Defense Staff (currently Gen. Rick Hillier) is the supreme military commander over the entire forces, regardless of element (the term used to differentiate responsibility for trades; it creates superficial divisions between what were the RCN, RCAF and Army), who then in turn answers to the Minister for National Defense and the Parliamentary Defense Committee. There are a few bonuses for civilian oversight when it comes to this structure: first, the Minister responsible for the DND is expected to answer questions in Question Period (that's just the Parliamentary system for you), second, there is one soldier responsible for the efficient operation of the entirety of the forces. You don't end up with, as I said earlier, squabbles over resources or stupid redundancies (all ground forces use a single rifle, etc.). Finally, the logistics of operation are much more simplified, as is the chain of command.

    In my mind, unified military forces seem to be superior in almost everyway.

    A unified military for the US would be so damn cost effective its unbelivable (although it would really suck at first) Everyone using the same equipment, same uniforms. Its a great idea but sadly i dont see it happening for a loooong time

    Lucky7 on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • JamesJames Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Malkor wrote: »
    Lucky7 wrote: »
    So before you make some half assed remark where you try to sound like you know what the hell your talking about, go deepthroat the buisiness end of a pistol and take a couple lead aspirin and think about what youve done.
    "no u"

    Also I thought the Fb-22 was a separate more recent varient created because the F-22 didn't have bomber capabilities. From what I've read and seen on the History channel, there are better planes out there that can serve all the branches, not just the Air-Force.

    Wait...

    The F-22 is replacing the F-15, an air superiority craft, and does not actually have bombing capabilities. The FB-22 (the bomber version) is a proposed aircraft, meaning non-existant, and wouldn't even be entering service until 2037. So why are we even arguing about it replacing bombers?

    Also, the F-22 is the most expensive fighter aircraft to date.

    James on
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