Archive for November, 2013

A word about benefits and costs in the Military

Posted in army life, army training, HOOAH!, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 26, November 2013 by chockblock

Gee seems personnel costs aren’t eating the DOD alive. That the DOD’s senior leadership was lying and cost are up elswhere in larger ammounts than ”’personnel”’!.

Okay, lemmie ‘splain:

In the 90’s, weapons tech was teh smexy, but the budget was low. Pay, the housing allowance and other bennies ”barely” kept up with inflation. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines were on food stamps. Units were cut right and left (look at a map of pre-1989 West Germany, 1995 Germany and now). Many qualified troops left as flying hours were cut, 2 aircraft were cannibalized to keep one flying and the whole being military on food stamps thing.

Slick Willie agreed to the Future Combat System, JSF and a few other weapons programs, that were delayed. He punted and was more interested in oval sex in the oral office.

So 9/11 happened, BAH and pay were on the upswing. While recruitment was up before OIF, ~2004 the numbers went down. I was there, headlines like “empty seats at Benning” were in the Army times. Then some brain dead git addicted to power point came up with the “moral waiver”. Promotion points dipped and many idiots got in. So to preserve the proggies and hardware (and fat contracts) This Aint Hell gives us the money quote:

“Congress is deeply resistant to cutting pay and benefits. So the Pentagon leadership’s rhetorical focus on soaring personnel costs may help reduce pressure on the broader military budget.

“If you focus on the least doable thing, what you gain is leverage to bring the whole budget up,” Adams said. “By pointing to the hardest thing to change, they hope that the whole budget will continue to be high.”
Stars & Stripes: Report: Pentagon emphasizing personnel, but budget costs up across the board”

Well, not only is it the “hardest thing to change”, it impacts fewer voters, because cutting actual defense spending impacts contracting and manufacturing jobs and entire local economies. Whereas, cutting the number and pay of troops affects far fewer people – people who wouldn’t ordinarily vote for the current administration and it’s less likely to have any real impact on elections.
— Jonn Lilyea slams the DoD

Yup, because having good troops leave because they can’t feed their families, pilots leave because of poor maintenance and low flying hours and a garrison military nitpicking every little behavior worked so well in the Clinton Era.

If the Bush era was one of fat waste and flushing money down the toilet, the Clinto era was one of dry rot. It was Clinton’s DOD that came up with contractors and no-bid contacts to DynCorp, KBR et al. Bush just went over the top. Far from saving money, the new soldiers of fortune cost much, much more:

“We know that sergeants in the military generally cost the Government between $50,000 to $70,000 per year. We also know that a comparable position at Blackwater costs the Federal Government over $400,000, six times as much.”

The left wants to go back to a draft so they can take money from readiness, going back to the era of a small army/navy swelling with draftees. We have members of Congress saying that we need to “slash” future bennies.

Bollocks.

What is needed is to fire the contractors, replace them with Reservists/National Guard, enlarge the Guard and Reserve and slash the DoD Civlians, O-5 and up, E-7 and up armchair warriors who’ve never deployed. End the draft.

When an Active duty US Vice Adm. Bill Moran has to “dispell rumors”, things are bad (go click on that link).

The 90’s sucked. As troops leave for better pay elsewhere, the military rots from within. I suspect that’s what some want, but do we really want a return to the 30’s Army?

Check Yourself

Posted in rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , on 5, November 2013 by chockblock

The New York Times gives us this gem:

ISTANBUL — The Pentagon quietly announced last month that the U.S. military is leaving the air base it has operated in Kyrgyzstan as a staging area for American troops and matériel since 2001. While the move will complicate American efforts to wind down the war in Afghanistan, the decision has much broader ramifications: It marks the end of a brief experiment to extend American power and influence into the distant strategic arena of Central Asia

The move to Romania is suggestive, too, of a strategic retreat Westward. The edge of the Black Sea is the farthest east that NATO has been able to advance. Romania and Bulgaria are both members of the European Union and the Atlantic alliance. The future of the countries farther east on the Black Sea, notably Ukraine and Georgia, may still be up for grabs. But Central Asia now appears to have been a bridge too far.
U.S. Checked in Central Asia: By JOSHUA KUCERA

Oh Joshie my boy. I suspect that it’s not doom and gloom so much as the MSM is on the other side, to borrow a line from Professor Reynolds.

Ever since the 1960’s there has been the drumbeat of “America shouldn’t intervene”, “America should make peace” etc. From leftist profs. who were Soviet stooges to “peace movements” that hate America, the left wants so see the US recede from the world.

So with the current administration playing into Iraq and Afghanistan war fatigue, now comes US withdrawal from central Asia.

Just in time for that region to start boiling over.

So the Gray Lady sez that the US is “checked”. Of course we are! That’s what they wanted. The US out of the Middle East, the US to lay of Russia and China. Our heads in the sand and our eyes on the latest drek for Hollywood as we get our gov’ment cheeze. They can bemoan the lack of US bases in central Asia, but if we were still there, the NYT would be slamming the US for being there. “Why antagonize the Russians? Why provoke China?” or my favorite “China/Russia/Al Queda/Iran can’t fight the US directly! All this defense talk is scare/warmongering!”

It’s 1939 all over again folks. The media and many in DC have their heads up their forth point of contact. They are more concrened with winning over the dumb “low information voters” than the state of the world. We’ll have peace in our time, until the first shots are fired.

ZeroHedge nails it

Posted in politcs, rankers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 1, November 2013 by chockblock

I always wondered why the “tea party” and “limited government” see to be a dog-whistle to the left. Why do they hate these terms?

“Power, or perceived power, is a viciously addictive narcotic. It doesn’t matter what political or philosophical background a person hails from, very few have the self discipline or the self awareness necessary to relinquish the trappings of power once they have tasted it. This truth applies to conservatives as much as it applies to liberals.”
–“Guest Post: Are Constitutional Conservatives Really The Boogeyman?” Zerohedge.com

The Washington DC RINO‘s and Democrats are interchangeable. Those career politicians (something the founders feared and despised) are interested in power and the money from being the DC elite.

So they fear the group with the hand painted signs, the people meeting in their homes and on blogs. They sic the MSM and the IRS on innocent people.

Maybe on November 4th we should show them who’s the real boss.

UPDATE: Instapundit links to this:

Mr. Seitz-Wald’s alternative, using technology and innovation in the service of a more powerful, consolidated, and monopolistic state, is in an altogether different spirit, one that would have been familiar to George Orwell, who, in his more charitable moments, understood that nobody plans on becoming Napoleon, it just works out that way — something that happens as “they constantly try to escape from the darkness outside and within by dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.
–“ Memories of Futures Past:
A brief history of bold new visions of the American order “,
Kevin D. Williamson, National Review.

It’s never about “reform”, it’s about securing jobs for those in power. The media, the lawyers, the politicians, they all want money and power. If we let them dictate reform we’ll never get true reform, just more of the same cronyism.