Panetta to be SOD

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Pima, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    So it was announced today that Petraeus would be CIA director and Panetta will be going to Defense.

    I think Petraeus is a good selection, but not sure about Panetta.

    The only reason I say that about Panetta, is I respect him for supporting the CIA when Pelosi attacked them, BUT, I don't know if he is too political.

    I state that because he was in the Clinton administration as Chief of Staff, and he only spent 3 yrs in the military back in the 60's. His background appears to be more politics than military.
     
  2. rkrosnar

    rkrosnar Member

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    I would rather General Petraeus become SECDEF, than Panetta. Either way General Petraeus comes out a winner on this, I believe. DOD will lose under Penetta leadership.

    RGK
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    CIA is known to be the stepping stone for SoD, so if that remains true, the military will be in great hands soon enough.

    Panetta is 73, (5 yrs older than Gates now) I can't see him being anything more than a place holder for Petraeus.

    Again, I just feel Panetta was a strange choice for a President who ran on being a Washington outsider. You can't get any closer to being an insider than Panetta.
     
  4. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

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    Panetta is a budget guy. Uh oh. :eek: Here's his Wiki info:

    A member of the U.S. House Committee on the Budget from 1979 to 1985—and its chairman from 1989 to 1993—he played a key role in the 1990 Budget Summit.[citation needed]
    Though elected to a ninth term, he left the House in 1993 after President Bill Clinton selected him to be Director of the United States Office of Management and Budget. He is credited with developing the budget package that would eventually result in the balanced budget of 1998. On July 17, 1994, he was appointed White House Chief of Staff by Clinton, a position he held until January 20, 1997. He was an important negotiator of the 1996 budget, which was another important step towards balancing the budget.[
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    patentesq,

    You called it. Here's a link to an AP article posted today.
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/storie...ME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-04-28-03-07-28

    Notice the title of the article
    I think that is the big question...where he is going to cut. Cut pay and bennies, they may find a hollow force like they did under Carter. Cut force structure and it will limit their ability to be a reactionary force which is what we have currently. Cut modernization and weapons, you weaken the futire military, but you also weaken the economy since people who work on these programs are not military, but the avg employee working for a particular company on a particular project.

    None of these decisions will be easy, IMPO I would say hold onto your seats folks the next few yrs will be a bumpy ride.

    One thing to remember is last yr Obama also created a fiscal problem for Panetta. He converted contractor jobs over to govt jobs. Once these employees make it past probationary, it is like tenure, hard to cut them loose. Had Obama kept them as contractors; money could have been found by canceling or riding out the contracts to the end of the commitment. That option no longer exists.
     
  6. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    If anyone care for my opinion, limit the modernization and weapons. My rational, recenlty we have been modernizing and purchasing weapons based on PROJECTED threats (that hasn't materialized).

    - Russia, China, or even Europe develop any new advance generation aircraft lately? Or is there a peer competitor to our F22 or anything in development for against F35?

    - did T-90 (?) ever go into mass production. Consider the cost difference between Strykers and MRAP vs cancelled FCS.

    - Last new type of submarine launched by Russia?

    - have we invested in better defense against anti-ship missiles?

    Ther reality is that other countries cannot afford to spend money to modernize and develop new weapons systems. It is possible Russia can with its oil wealth, but not likely. China needs to spend money to catch up, not to get ahead. EU don't have the money. Countries with money can't do it themselves.

    I don't understand why Army brass will rather spend billions to develop some advance fighting vehicle system against future projected threats than spend less than a billion to give soldiers better individual weapon system. M4 is not a bad weapon, but there are better choices.

    I do agree that less modernization and weapons will hurt our economy, but not an effective argument as the ROI is not good ROI - spending billions to protect limited number of jobs.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Actually I disagree I think we need to keep moving forward with modernization. Getting new equipment is not an overnight feat, it takes yrs and yrs. Look at China and Russia they are still bringing on line new equipment, granted we are still one step ahead of them, but if we stopped? We would than be behind them.

    Again, it is also an economic issue from employment POV. In this economy when 75,000 people applied for 2000 McDonald's jobs in Chicago, we can't afford to cut more jobs without doing harm. People tend to forget it is not just Boeing or Grumman that employ people when it comes to hardware. Look inside a tank, or a jet or a ship, and you quickly realize many industries are subcontracted to build that item. Boeing does not make the computer chips, some other company does. Grumman does make paint or glass or leather, some other company does. When you stop investing in hardware you are touching many people. I read a while back when the 22 pipeline was closed that 1 in 6 jobs in the US could be tied to an industry that was involved with the project....like I said, steel, glass, leather, rubber, plastic, even down to light bulbs go into a jet. It is like the automobile industry.

    Look at the towns where these items are built, it is the big business, and if you shut down a project, you kill the town. No job and you are not even shopping at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart than doesn't hire. That means they don't go out to eat or buy a home. It is truly a trickle down effect on the economy. History from BRACs illustrate how many towns died when gates closed.

    I would suspect that the 1st item on the list is going to be re-modifying pay. Currently, I believe it is either 0.5-1.0% above COLA. Back in the early 90's they hit pay and brought it down to below COLA. Fed employees pay is locked at no pay raise for this yr, prior to that it was -0.5% below COLA. You could see a pay freeze. Millions of soldiers and not a penny in pay raise will say billions of dollars.

    You may also see a RIF like the 90's, but this will depend upon us leaving Afghanistan. The AF had already announced that if they did not get enough member through VSP they would start the RIF and SERB process.

    I also bet that you will see bennies change like you did in the 90's, which can include small things like medical premiums and co-pays or halting building projects like housing or new commissaries.

    Every penny is going to be pinched IMPO before they touch projects. Not saying they won't, just saying if they need to save 100 Billion a yr for the next 10 yrs, a big chunk can come from other areas, and as I stated if the 90's is a predictor personnel will take a hit.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree you can cut the govt workforce in many ways!

    1. Do not fill jobs as they are vacated
    2. Cut the lower GS jobs
    ~~~Just like in the 90's they cut the people who work as electricians, plumbers, etc on base. Thus, before you would have a 24 hour work order, it will now become 48.

    ~~~Few yrs ago at SJAFB they had to cut money, and one way was to cut the janitorial bill. Funny to watch Officer's in flight suits dumping out the garbage cans and windexing the windows. Now if only the wives could have trained them to do that at home!

    3. Don't allow them to get passed the probationary period.
    4. If they do get passed that point and a project is shut down, place them in a job that forces them to quit, i.e move them to another state.

    Personally I think you will see more of number 1 and 2 than anything else.

    A yr ago I sold a home to a GS 9 electrician and what I learned was shocking! The job ended and he was offered a position here in NoVA. As a military spouse what was the most disheartening to me was that the govt paid all of his RE costs (selling, buying sides, mtg fees, etc), plus gave him a 60 day moving stipend to live in temp quarters. Anyone who has served knows even if you move overseas we don't get 60 days. Nor do they pay for RE costs.

    He went on to tell me that he had so much leave his intention was to never work more than 4 days a week and he had been doing this for 2 yrs already. Remember their leave program is actually more liberal than the military because they get the traditional 30 days, PLUS 10 personal AND comp time. They are allowed to roll like the military. Want to talk fraud, waste and abuse, that to me hit the peg as a taxpayer.
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    The GS benefits are not that great

    The GS leave program is not as liberal as the military. For example, when a service member is sick/in hospital, they are not charged leave. GS employees have to use their sick leave. If a service member has to go home early after reporting to work, he or she is not charged no leave. If a GS employee leaves early, he or she is supposed to charged leave.

    The maximum annual leave your earn is 8 hours per 80 hour pay period and 4 hours sick leave. Sick leave is only supposed to be used for medical reasons. The supervisor is entitled to request documentation or disapprove sick leave if her or she suspect abuse (i.e. being sick every Friday).

    So 8 x 26 is 208 hours or 28 days of leave. Don't get any personal days. Comp time is for extra hours your worked. You are only authorized to have 240 hours of annual at the end of calendar year. Forfeited leave can be restored by the agency. Comp Time expires or converts to overtime pay after 1 year.

    The relocation expanse is covered by the Joint Travel Regulation, so again what the GS-9 claimed sounds supicious.

    What it sounds like is somehow that GS 9 as an individual is abusing the system.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    We are getting off point.

    The fact is Panetta will be our next SoD if confirmed;I am sure he will be, but for those in the military, retired, and connected the bigger question is the direction he will lead our military.

    We all know in these economic times that the DoD will take a hit fiscally. Question is where will he cut?

    It is not only that issue, but nobody knows him as a person with military experience, we know him as a political insider. Where will he stand regarding Afghanistan or Libya?

    Back on topic.

    IMPO I think he is going to hit the troops from a fiscal position. Reducing pay raises, and slowing the pipeline.

    I say that because of the RIF in the 90's. He was a Clinton insider. It worked in the 90's. This economy is really mimicking that era. They hit the troops, and the DoD, once they got that under control, they were able to re-open the spigot. I think in 92 we got a pay raise of @1.5%. This was also at the same time RIFS and SERBs occurred, plus BRACS. FF to 98 and our pay raise jumped to 10% to bring us back on line with the economy. It was also when bonus pay jumped, especially for fliers and more so for Pilots. Also in this same time frame, gone were the days you could go to the hospital and get cough syrup, tylenol, Afrin without a script. Gone were the days where the O'Club had their own credit card, enter forced MC to be a club member and now NAF. Gone were the days of getting light bulbs, smoke detectors and air filters for your base house, or even getting mulch and free flowers. Yes, back in the early 90's that all occurred. Not to be vulgar, but you could go to the pharmacy and get condoms. That was how free flowing it was before 1992.

    However the economy tanked and the DoD had to cut costs. That is what we have now. Taxpayers are not going to stand for houses being renovated. They are not going to stand for the base/post hosting a 4th of July firework display only for the military, lighting a Xmas tree or a skateboard park. Believe it or not, but that occurs on every base. I wouldn't be surprised if Panetta sells the Disney Shades of Green or the Hale Koa!

    JMPO, but I think Panetta will take every cut he can to reduce the budget without touching hardware. That is the politician in him.
     
  11. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    You are proabably right. But, that will be wrong thing to do in my opinion. This is almost like chicke and egg question - better soldiers and not the latest equipment or latest equipment vs less experienced soldiers.

    Ultimately, soldiers lack lobbying powering of companies that produce hardware.
     
  12. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Questions answered last night. He will lead our military to win.
    He gets my vote. 'nuf said!
     
  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Understanding how complicated the military and foreign affairs is, I don't think the elimination of Usama Bin laden announced last night, with Panetta being the director of the CIA, answers any questions about how he'll perform as the Secretary of Defense. Life's a lot more complicated than that. Just like Panetta didn't single handedly eliminate bin laden.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I concur CC. The one thing I believe most people who are serving or have served realized after absorbing the death was the military may now be in a more dangerous situation today. We need to remember there are alot of zealots out there who will now take this action as a call to arms.

    Nobody predicted that Bin Laden would have started his journey because the infidels stepped foot on Saudi land.

    Panetta's job as an SOD just got 10K times harder since now he has to make very hard choices re:the DOD budget. It was easier before because you could have made a case for personnel cuts or hardware cuts, but how do you do that now? Without both of them this mission could not ave occurred. Decades ago I am sure people thought the predator was a waste of money, but look how invaluable it is now. Many Americans feel we don't need the size of the military we have, but here today they proved the need for each subset within the military. Trust me come September when the budget is due, Americans are still going to feel the economy pinch and the military will still be on the chopping block. Americans are fickle.

    Panetta's mission for the CIA is in it's title...INTELLIGENCE. Same as his mission will be in the title for his next job...DEFENSE.

    Leading military troops will be much different than gathering intelligence.

    Panetta is a political beast and the one thing we all learned from Rummy and Cohen, traditional they do not do well with the troops. Mainly because you can't take the politician out of them.
     
  15. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    FWIW - From news accounts released this morning ..... Pres Obama gave Panetta complete control of the Seal Team and CIA Paramilitary personnel. Make no mistake about it - He - Panetta - was the man in charge of executing this mission. Not Robert Gates or David Petraeus.
    If anything had gone wrong he would have been to blame (as well as Obama, of course).

    In my mind - Leon Panetta - has proven he will and can 'complete the mission'. BTW - prior to this - he did have the respect of a number of Republican lawmakers. I can think of far worse picks to run the DOD.

    Finally - I think the team of Panetta and Petraeus will be a good one; if not a great one. The CIA appears to be the *new* military. They have been hiring former Delta force members as contractors for a while now and using them for military missions. They can go where the military can't - e.g. Libya.
     
  16. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Time will tell. The military tends to have more political exposure and debating. Especially on capitol hill. If Panetta can perform without being primarily a politician, I think he can do a fine job. Like I said; time will tell.
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree only time will tell. I think with any transition there will always be the concern of the unknown, and that is exaggerated when a severe budget cut is looming under the new watch.

    I also agree that the DOD has a unique issue when it comes to the Hill because our elected officials always want cuts, but in someone else's backyard never in theirs. It does become very political. This can cause larger issues because you need to keep all of them happy at the same time for the other programs/issues that are also on the table.

    I don't believe the avg American knows how frequently there are briefings on the Hill re:military. It is constantly occurring, and like it or not it is political. It is that way because they have to go back to their constituents to explain why they lost jobs or even personnel size at the installations in their state.

    That being said maybe Panetta is the best choice because of his political background.

    OBTW, yes, Panetta was given the lead over Gates, but let's be real...Gates is leaving and Panetta is going to be the next SOD that was a no brainer. I also believe that Gates was in the room, it wasn't like he was at Five Guys having burgers with his family when it was going down.
     
  18. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    CC you might be interested in this:

    http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=6359109

    Read the whole thing but this is an excerpt:

    Actually it appear that Panetta was given the lead back in August.
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I only am relaying what I heard on MSNBC and that the decision was given to Panetta Sunday.

    It was also stated that this was actually Plan B. Back in March they had on the table of using B1B's and bombing the compound, however, Obama decided that the risk of collateral damage was too high, plus the inability to identify with 100% that he was the dead to go with that plan.

    This thread is not about the Bin Laden issue, but Panetta and being appointed SOD.

    Back on point. Panetta as an SOD, is a unique choice, but not truly unexpected because like the military there are positions that are known as a holding pattern or stepping stone. Everyone in the military knows if you get a certain job, it is a stepping stone for the next. In the 20 yrs Bullet served I never saw a DO become the commander of that same squadron, however it was a stepping stone to be a CC in another squadron.

    The same is true inside the beltway. CIA and NSA has been stepping stones. Other stepping stones have been politicians with unique background. Panetta has both. CIA and the unique background of budgets from the political perspective.
     
  20. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Other than Gates- what DCI/DNI has become the Secretary of Defense? I don't believe that it is any kind of stepping stone to OSD- in fact it's pretty unique until Gates and there was a pretty long lag between his tenure and the time he took over as the Sec Def (He was the DCI in 1993). Prior to that you have to go back to Sec Schlesinger in the 1970s to see a DCI who became the Sec Def.
    I'm sure that Panetta got chosen because of his understanding of the budget process combined with his performance as DCI in the last couple of years, whcih contrary to initial speculation was actually pretty solidly in the camp of protecting the Agency and it's personnel. That's probably a good thing for the DoD- he knows how things work in the budgeting process and can work with Congress to keep the Dod from catastrophically losing out on it's critical priorities.

    I think that Gen Petraeus appointment is the wild card here- he is obviously a very intelligent man who understands the users perspective on intelligence and having re- written the Counterinsurgency doctrine obviously understands that world pretty well. There is however an institutional resistance to radical change, and I wonder if Gen Petraeus will bring change, be changed, or be a short term resident of the position becasue he could neither adapt or force the change on his organization. I hope he's successful but a friend of mine who will shortly be working at a pretty high level for Gen Petreaus in his new job, is a little tentative because of the long record of crusaders fading into insignificance in that position. It will be very interesting to see how he fares there.
     

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