47,000 troop reduction in the Army and USMC

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Chockstock, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/07/us/07military.html?_r=1&hp

    I wonder how much of an impact this will have? I don't agree with controlling the size of the military by comparing it to how robust our economy is. I guess unless the spending was truly exorbitant and shrinking our budget, I would agree. Our military spending isn't really to blame for the economy and I feel like we should be ready regardless of how things are at home. If according to the Chiefs of Staff our ability to respond to crisis wouldn't change with the reduction, why did we have that additional 6% funding in the first place?
     
  2. linkgmr

    linkgmr Old Grad

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    Wait. Let me get this straight. We all agreed that stop-loss was a bad thing, and now that we're actually reducing the size of the military, the implication is that we are less prepared to deal with global threats?

    Fact of the matter is, we're pulling troops out of Iraq. I mean, it kind of makes sense. Less war = less military spending=less troops required.

    Granted, if we started using more commercial products rather than trying to come up with government produced ones, we wouldn't need anywhere near the kind of budget we do now, as the enormous scale of congressional kickbacks counts for a lot of our military spending...
    I mean, look at Net Warrior. What can that system do that an iPhone can't, for a tiny percentage of the weight and space? Sorry about going off topic, but that's something that really grinds my gears.
     
  3. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Ah, the "off the shelf" or OTS technology argument. I did a large report for a RAND project assessing some procurement programs which were supposed to use a large part of their technologies from the OTS idea (FCS, some BMDS, and DEEPWATER). Long story short, OTS did not meet military needs like it was thought and the budget sky-rocketed when they tried to modify for the job or ended up scrapping because the OTS tech wasn't right.

    It was a good argument, and the rave in the late 90s, early 2000s, but isn't the magic bullet that it would seem.
     
  4. linkgmr

    linkgmr Old Grad

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    Is there any unclassified reason that it would not meet military needs? I mean, by all accounts, it just seems like there's a lot of commercial technology out there that would be easily modified to military use. I guess I just don't understand why it's not a viable option.

    Furthermore, it seems that oftentimes the military needs are overly complex, in order to justify additional expense on the part of the government. For example, the SR-47 project was a failure, due to the fact that they not only needed an AR that could fire 7.62x39mm, but that it also needed to feed from AK-47 magazines. Now, AR uppers that feed 7.62x39mm are readily available, and would solve the problem of ammunition shortages, as well as fulfill the original requirement for an AR platform that fired 7.62x39mm. Later, the specification was changed to include the addition of having to feed from AK magazines, and the result was that the project was changed from a relatively simple drop-in series of parts to be included in a SOPMOD kit to a separate weapons system entirely that, quite simply, would never have been issued.
    To me, it just seems like they took a look at a problem that could have quite easily been solved with commercially available products, then tacked on a "does it do windows?" requirement (in this case, the requirement that it feed from AK magazines), and as a result wasted taxpayer dollars on a system that never expanded past the testing phase.
    To my uninitiated eye, the reasoning behind this was government spending for the sake of government spending, that they changed the specification for the sake of spending money, moving away from a simple solution to a simple problem and towards an overly complicated and impractical solution to a simple problem.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Maybe some of that $6 billion can be used by the Coast Guard to finally fix an aging fleet AND accomplish it's missions.....


    ....no, that would make too much sense. :rolleyes:
     
  6. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    It was typically a security or survivability issues. In the large projects (DEEPWATER or FCS) using many OTS techs resulted in big compatibility issues.

    But really, OTS and its arguments either way are really red herrings. The issue is with the contractors underbidding the crap out of the programs because the government will pay more when they go overbudget. The problem isn't that the tech is too expensive, its that we aren't valuing it correctly in the contracting phases.
     

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