Thoughts

I probably should be working on a long winded post one of several contemporary topics. But the news is so depressing, it’s just too hard.

Afghanistan: Much as the British and French cut out Czechoslovakia from from the 1938 preemptive surrender of the Sudetenland, Obama is cutting out Pakistan and Afghanistan from his “negotiations” with the Taliban. It’s gonna end just about as well. But he’s determined to surrender there in a manner similar to Iraq.

The looming budget cuts for DoD: They’re coming. The question is, just how bad will they be? On a side note, in a perfect strategic world, the National Command Authority would determine strategy by studying our national goals, strategic interests, and the spectrum of likely threats, then craft, field and fund a force based on that analysis. Sadly, in this case, the plan is to fund a force, and then field the best possible force with those funds. The mission set won’t decline, just the resources. And the resultant weakness will invite aggression.

So, the Chief of the National Guard will now have a seat at the JCS table. Never mind that SecDef, and all the service chiefs were against it.  At a time when everyone recognizes the bloat at the upper echelons of the defense establishment, why are we adding another layer to the cake of fat? Fans of the Guard will argue that they need a seat to ensure they are well resourced. But that ignores the fact that the Army and Air Force chiefs, increasingly reliant on the Guard to supplement their relatively small active duty components, already have championed making sure Guard units are well equipped and resourced.

Any other topics of discussion you wanna hit on today?

7 thoughts on “Thoughts”

  1. Not sure that the analogy to 1938 is appropriate when it comes to Afghanistan. No one is talking about using it to appease an outside actor, as the West did when it threw Czechoslovakia to Hitler hoping it would satiate his hunger.

    I think a closer parallel is the British experience during the First Afghan War of 1838 to 1842. In both, the Imperial Power came in, won a quick victory and held the cities. But then there was confusion about what to do next. Under Bush, we effectively ignored it and allowed NATO to demonstrate that it could do a job without the US calling the shots. When we did turn back to ti, it was late in the second Bush Administration and there was confusion on what the goal should be. (Victory is nice, but defining what Victory in Afghanistan would look like is hard to do.)

    I’m not saying that there will be another Gundamak fight, but when we do leave, anyone who backed us is going to get stood up against a wall or sent to a the Islamic version of a reeducation camp. I shudder to think what will happen to the girls in that country after we leave.

    1. The choice of Embraer over Beech doesn’t bother me. It’s a fine aircraft, and the choice is generally thought to mean that Boeing has a greater chance of selling SuperHornets to Brazil. The balance of trade would definitely be in our favor.

      And the other thing is, the LAARA contest isn’t really about equipping our air forces. Ten years ago, it would have been a good idea. Today, the idea is the USAF will operate a small training unit of them, and our partner nations such as Afghanistan or Iraq or other third world allies will buy their own fleets, and train under the auspices of the US. With that in mind, paying attention to what airplane those nations prefer makes good sense.

      And in the end, the LAARA contract is low hanging fruit that is likely to be pruned long before any of the more core acquisition programs are killed.

  2. “And the other thing is, the LAARA contest isn’t really about equipping our air forces.””

    understood…

    I did not fully lay out my thoughts; my apologies. My trepidations revolve around this administrations push to remove the US from a position of leadership in all things international. Our role should never be one of condescension and/or retreat… this program is both. We are saying to Afghanistan “we will equip and train you with tools you can handle and be trusted with”, while at the same time waste and degrade our own resources…

    Another item of great concern involves financial dealings vis-a-vis Brazil, the Obama Administration, Petrobras (Brazil) & large scale contributors to both camps.

    i’m thinking – follow the money. This project is not right.

    side note:
    Boeing pissed away more money in the South Carolina move issue than this “deal” could ever net with Brazil. It’s political theater and not even that well hidden.

  3. This is just a question, president company set aside, if everybody is so interested in cutting the military, are they equally as interested in cutting THEIR expectations of the military? Are they willing to take an equal approach in places where it may benefit them in some way? This is an equal opportunity question.

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