Let the games begin

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by cb7893, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

    Dec 6, 2011
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  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

    Feb 10, 2010
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    Yep, you need to subscribe.
  3. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

    Dec 6, 2011
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    Branches of Military Battle Over Shrinking War Chest

    From today's Wall Street Journal.

    I found it disturbing as a taxpayer and the father of an AROTC MSIII.

    Branches of Military Battle Over Shrinking War Chest

    Fights between branches of the U.S. military have erupted over responsibility for everything from drones to clocks as America's armed forces battle to keep their share of a shrinking defense budget.

    The emerging debate is expected to be the most intense in two decades as the branches of the military seek to retool their missions to match the needs of future conflicts.

    U.S. Navy Lt. Richard Dorsey signals aboard the USS Nimitz last week.

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday recommended cutting the Army to its smallest size since before World War II and making other force reductions that would prepare the military to live under a reduced budget. Final decisions are months away, fueling a bureaucratic battle over how the U.S. will project power around the world.

    In hindsight, U.S. Army Col. Mark Moser may have inadvertently fired the opening salvo. He was ordered last year to put together a presentation that envisioned stationing Army helicopters aboard Navy warships to support ground troops in far-flung battlegrounds. Word soon reached the Marine Corps, who now piggyback their helicopters on Navy vessels.

    In April, Army Maj. Gen. Kevin Mangum, commanding general of the Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Ala., said in a speech that basing helicopters on Navy ships could "be our ticket for the future." The Army, he added, must not concede the mission to the Marines.

    The Corps returned fire. "If anyone wants to spend money to duplicate our capability, just give it to us instead as we already know what we are doing," said Marine Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy, who commands a new rapid-reaction crisis-response headquarters in Okinawa.

    Mr. Hagel's strategic review didn't look at specific missions, such as whether the Army or the Marines should keep helicopters on Navy vessels. But, in an effort to save money and eliminate duplicate work, the Pentagon is reviewing the size of the military forces, as well as a choice between a smaller, technically advanced military on one hand, and a larger force on the other.

    "You have to ask what attributes you want for your military," said Air Force Maj. Gen. Steve Kwast, who oversees his service's strategic review. "Then we have to make sure the money follows the priorities."

    The formula for U.S. military spending has been constant for much of the time since the Vietnam War: The Air Force has claimed about 30%, the Navy and Marine Corps together between 30% and 35% and the Army claimed roughly 25%, though its share increased during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    But if the Pentagon changes the missions assigned to each service, so too might their share of military spending change, heating up the conflict.

    The Marines have their own plan of attack. As part of the Pentagon's strategic review, the Marines proposed to focus on quick-response forces world-wide and leave primary responsibility for big wars to the Army.

    Marine officials believe such teams—for, say, an attack on an embassy, humanitarian disaster or a terrorist strike—best matches the service with the kind of military operations the U.S. will most likely need in the years ahead.

    To follow that path and comply with mandated spending cuts, the Corps will give up at least a third of its tanks and trim its command structure. The Marines proposed cutting their force to 175,000, down from their current target strength of 182,000, although Mr. Hagel said Wednesday cuts could reach 150,000.

    The Marines are now building new land-based rapid-reaction forces. They have created a new 550-person task force of troops and aircraft, based in the Mediterranean. They are building forces in Australia, in addition to the new headquarters in Okinawa. Rapid-reaction forces are being considered for the Middle East and the Western Hemisphere.

    The Marines would still play a role in big conflicts, a showdown on the Korean peninsula, for example. In the first days of war, they would send airplanes, helicopters and infantry from Navy ships to secure a foothold.

    But Army officials say they also need the ability to attack from the sea and provide air cover for invading troops. With the shift to the Pacific, where the U.S. lacks the same concentration of land bases it has in the Middle East, the Army, like the Marines, says it needs a place to keep helicopters at sea.

    Participants in the strategic review said the Army appeared torn between competing missions. Traditionally, the Army's job has been to use overwhelming force on the battlefield to win a war against a nation-state. In recent months, the Army has tried to remake its training to improve such skills. But the Obama administration, wary of more overseas entanglements, seems more inclined to use the Air Force or Navy to deter would-be adversaries.

    So the Army has also focused on building small teams of soldiers who can move quickly to different parts of the world. It has retooled itself to deploy these smaller, lighter units for overseas missions, well short of war. Basing helicopters on Navy ships would be part of the new mission. Marines said the job was already taken.

    Although military service chiefs rarely, if ever, publicly criticize one another, the language of U.S. four-star generals has grown more strident.

    In early May, Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, said his service must maintain its capabilities to deploy quickly and act with overwhelming force in the opening days of a conflict. "We provide depth," he said. "The Marines know that. They're not built for that."

    At a speech in Washington later that month, Gen. James Amos, the Marine commandant, said, "Just the same way America doesn't need a second land army, America doesn't need a second Marine Corps."

    The Army and Marines aren't the only services battling. The Special Operations Command—which oversees the Green Berets, Army Rangers, Navy SEALs and other elite units—has proposed taking over combat-rescue duties from the Air Force.

    The Air Force needs a new rescue-helicopter fleet, which will be costly. Special Operations has the newly acquired V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, capable of pilot rescues. But Air Force officers said the service doesn't want to cede the responsibility, part of its core mission since its inception in 1947.

    Then there is the drone fight. Through wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Army built a fleet of unmanned aircraft. The Navy, meanwhile, has begun developing a drone for its aircraft carriers. The Air Force, which has the most advanced drones, has said it could manage, develop and deploy the U.S. fleet, arguing it would cost billions of dollars more for each service to develop its own drone units.

    The Navy and Air Force also operate manned-surveillance aircraft. The Navy's fleet is brand new; the Air Force fleet is obsolete. That has prompted suggestions by the Navy that it take over the entire manned surveillance mission. The Air Force is deeply skeptical of the idea, say Air Force officers.

    There is also the matter of the master clock. The Navy maintains some 80 atomic clocks, many of them at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. One of the most important uses of the master clock is to provide a time reference for the Global Positioning System. The Air Force, which has its own atomic clocks, argues it should take over the job of keeping time, since GPS relies on satellites. The Navy, which has been the U.S. timekeeper since 1845, objects.

    For the Army, the proposed strategic change means a new focus on the Pacific. The Army has traditionally been focused on protecting Europe and the Middle East, leaving Asia to the Navy. But the Obama administration believes that future economic and security challenges will be centered in the Pacific. Developing sea-based helicopters, some Army officials say, is a critical element of the Pacific shift and could counter criticism that the Army takes too long to get its powerful weaponry to a fight.

    Col. Moser, the Army's deputy director of aviation in the Pentagon, said he drew on his experience in the 1994 U.S. military intervention in Haiti to create his helicopter proposal. Most of the airfields in Haiti were booby-trapped, forcing the Army to fly its helicopters from the USS Eisenhower, a carrier stationed off the coast of the island nation.

    To develop the proposal, Col. Moser consulted with Marine aviators and the Army idea quickly spread around the Corps. Marines saw the proposed mission—including antipiracy and humanitarian assistance—looked a lot like the daily business of the Corps, kicking off the bureaucratic skirmish.

    The across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester exacerbated the tensions. Even though Navy and Marine Corps officials found enough spending reductions to prevent furloughs in their civilian workforces, top Pentagon officials decided the pain would be shared. The Defense Department forced the Navy and Marines to give up $742 million to the Army.

    The Pentagon review announced Wednesday said the size of the U.S. military could be cut dramatically if the across-the-board cuts remain.

    Defense officials said Adm. James Winnefeld, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been adamant about shrinking the size of ground forces, particularly in the Army. Adm. Winnefeld, these officials said, favored a smaller military that emphasized investment in new weaponry. A spokeswoman for Adm. Winnefeld disputed that characterization, saying that Adm. Winnefeld views ground forces as essential but believes the entire military must shrink.

    During initial strategic review sessions, Army officials opposed any cuts beyond the agreed-upon reduction of active-duty forces to 490,000. But senior Pentagon officials said that even without the across-the-board spending cuts, the Army should shrink to 420,000. Army officials offered a counterproposal of 470,000.

    Pentagon officials said Wednesday that the final cuts could leave the Army with 380,000 soldiers or less, if the sequester remains law.

    In the next months the debate will continue to play out between the services. Defense officials said Adm. Winnefeld favors a smaller, but technologically advanced military, while Army officers are pressing to minimize the cuts to their services.

    At Wednesday's news conference, Adm. Winnefeld said the review offered a "deep and very painful look" ahead. He added that as the services came to terms with the new budget picture, "nobody was very happy."
  4. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent 5-Year Member

    Apr 7, 2009
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    I think Congress should threaten the whole lot of them with joining the Coast Guard under DHS if they don't come up with an agreed upon plan. :yllol:

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