RANGER AGAINST WAR: Pentagon Fire Sale <

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pentagon Fire Sale

"He was found guilty of speaking his mind"
Hu Jia's mother, on the Chinese human rights activist's
sentencing to 3 1/2 years in a labor camp for subversion

Someday this war's gonna end

--Apocalypse Now

In the long run, we are all dead

--John Maynard Keynes


The U.S. Naval Institute's journal Proceedings has become more candid and accessible in recent years. (Note: The "Going Out of Business" sign graced the photo in the hard copy, but had been scrubbed in the online edition. Candor only goes so far.)

One recent article projected bankruptcy for the Pentagon (fiscal, not moral) in the near future based on acquisition figures dating back through the last century and the laws of then-Martin Marietta Aerospace executive Norman R. Augustine
(DOD on a Glide Path to Bankruptcy.) Anderson foresaw unsustainable exponential increases in unit costs of military equipment vis-a-vis military budgets.

"Growth rates for unit costs of major systems are greater than those for total defense procurement, total defense spending, and the gross domestic product (GDP). If these historic trends are not addressed, the U.S. military will cease being a significant influence in world events because of shrinking force structure. Past acquisition reforms have been unable to change the trend because they focused on the problem's symptoms (e.g., schedule slippages and cost growth), not its causes."

Augustine's growth rates (Augustine's Laws, 1982), which have been borne out in the 30+ years since he developed them, "procuring a single tactical aircraft by 2050 [will] take the entire defense budget."

"If [this] trend continues, the entire defense budget would be required to buy one aircraft carrier early in the 22nd century. Thus, the problem is not just with aircraft. . . .estimates for the Future Combat System, the Army's current largest acquisition program, have increased more than 75 percent over the 2003 baseline estimate."

"Recently defense budget requests have not included the majority of costs of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most wartime supplemental funding has been for increased operating costs plus replacement of consumable items. At the same time, accelerated use of military equipment is increasing the need for replacement of systems. Thus, recent supplemental funding is not easing the acquisition problem."

It is hard to imagine the defense establish in a state of decline when it is taking in over $400 billion a year, not including supplemental appropriations. However, unless changes are made in the procurement process, the author asserts,
"U.S. defense forces will continue to shrink and age, and we rapidly will cease being a dominant military force in the world."

Maybe having empty pockets is the only thing that will stay our hand.

Labels: , , , ,


Anonymous Rick98C said...

Well, we'll just have to go back to living like peasants in order to support our glorious military might. Woohoo!

Meanwhile, in moral bankruptcy, pretty-boy Petraeus furthers the notion of an evangelical-Christian Army:


Back on Intel Dump there were a lot of posters that would stand on their heads to deny that this sort of thing was happening.

Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 10:13:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i have been branded as a heretic more than once when i counter the whole "we won militarily but lost politically" argument about vietnam by citing the breakdown of the armed forces themselves. fifteen years of warfare will do that to the finest troops imaginable. (10 years was what it took for alexander's army to break, 12 years for caesar, 6 for napolean, 5 for rommel, george washington's continental army was in a state of near collapse after 8 years)

remember the strikes on bases? remember the race riots on aircraft carriers? remember the young lt's who were told "you can go ahead and walk down that trail, we'll just stay here."

bankruptcy will drive that too. and, speaking as somebody who grew up reservation poor, fiscal bankruptcy always has moral implications.

Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 11:26:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Many Americans are actually living like peasants now.

One wonders where separation of church and state begins and ends today, in this post-Saddleback world.

Our leadership has clearly been promoted military on the basis of religious affiliation. I would bet that the service academy criterion for entrance are weighted for religious affiliation.


Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 5:33:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


You are a heretic, but you also are correct.

When I was duty officer I wouldn't enter the EM club without a weapon.

I had a black soldier assault me when he was drunk, and I was on courtesy patrol. I still remember Spec 4 Alexander, and his BN. commander would not prefer charges b/c he said Alexander was drunk. Those were the good old days.

Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 5:37:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Rick98C said...

So why are those bloody peasants still falling for the blather of any yahoo who waves a flag and a cross in their face? It's insane.

Sunday, August 24, 2008 at 12:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


That is the golden question. I will be doing a book report soon on this very matter.

Jim says they are running on emotion vs. reason, which they do not posses in abundance. Our entire current policy is based upon fomenting emotional overreaction and schizophrenic behavior. TV land places people squarely in the land of unreality, as well, and this is where most people reside outside of their workplace (which is also a land of unreality.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008 at 4:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jim and Lisa,

I am still here. Spend most of my time debunking all the racist low life myths surrounding the election.

Here's a new one ALA Joe

"A Noun A Verb and POW."

Why is it so many of our SOCOM Brothers completely stick their heads up their asses when it comes to exercising their rights as citizens by doing a little fact checking themselves.

I am out in in the LP/OP if you two need anything. :)

William Ranger Hazen

Sunday, August 24, 2008 at 7:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooops! I hope I did not give you the wrong idea with my Joe comment. I signed on to Obama's campaign last year.

William Ranger Hazen

Sunday, August 24, 2008 at 7:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Jonas Koackaigne said...

This is an unbearable turn of events. Just when you think it can't get any worse, it gets worse. And then you are forced to say to yourself, "Damn, I was wrong, it got worse." Because you were wrong; that is the way this world works these day...things keep getting worse. Well, that's my take on the subject of your post.

Monday, August 25, 2008 at 6:19:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

jonas, after reflection the point of this article is- FLUSH TWICE ,IT'S A LONG WAY TO THE PENTAGON.Seriously though you know we're in trouble when the Navy official magazine notes problems like this. jim

Monday, August 25, 2008 at 10:09:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Ranger H., let me ramble and frolick a bit here.
- I am not a fan of either candidate.
-I do not believe McCain should be Prez b/c he was a POW.With all respect and reverence for all POWs and their experience there is no way in hell any former pow is normal in the sense that he should have a finger on the 60'000 plus US nuclear weapons.It's just not a smart idea.
-Having said the above - Obama/Bush have no credibility to do so either.Let's throw HRC and Blow job Bill in there also.Just to cover all bases.
-I say again- We at RAW espouse no candidate. IMHO America has lost the ability to pick or nurture real leaders.Our system is the ultimate survivor show.Hell even our good democratic candidates fuck whores when given half a chance.
-Let's talk heroes now since you mention socnuts-.It's funny that only conservatives can be heroes-nobody questions McCains heroism BUT look at Kerry.He's every bit the hero Mc Cain was/is but he got pissed on from all directions. Even Clinton and Gore couldn't defend him b/c they are nutless and have no experience level to protect anything.My cmts are not atks on McCain but simply observations.Look at the cosmic joke of atk Kerry and accepting Bush as a wartime president. RIGHT.
As for socnet they do not deal in reality or in good faith- they are simply mindless atk dogs with more nuts than brains.In my last personal ltr to Michael Kirk i offered to open my records at my home to his representative and to date none has contacted me. They like snarling more than thinking.Ironically about 2.4 % of my readers come from socnet so not all are numbnuts or maybe they simply read our cartoons.
It's always nice to hear from you. Ranger H

Monday, August 25, 2008 at 1:31:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous CSI said...

All the easier technological advances were made during the cold war. Now big advances requires extremely expensive new technology and very complex software development.

Of course, there is also the crazy creeping featurism and wildy overambitious product specifications which runs riot through the pentagon. Many examples - but just look at the president's new VH-71 helicopters. These custom-built aircraft could each give Airwolf a run for its money, and cost something like $500M each.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 1:48:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi Lisa,

I tried to email you, but got a "failure to deliver message".

My addy is:


Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 3:30:00 PM GMT-5  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home