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The military exists to protect us, not as an ongoing jobs program

by: Eric B.

Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 14:18:17 PM EST

Did y'all hear about the Pentagon budget? It calls for deep cuts and a reshaping of the nation's military from a 20th century force to one better suited for 21st century battlefields. As such, it is intended to minimize large combat formations (already on their way out) and to de-emphasize weapons systems suitable for the wars of yesterday. Like the Cold War. The one we were going to fight against the Soviets (the real ones, not the ones menacing the Crimean Peninsula). That meant large, World War 2 style tank battles which we ruled through air power. Back then, it was the P-47 and the P51. Back in the Cold War it was the A-10 Warthog, an aircraft built around a 30 mm cannon. We used them in the first Gulf War to great effect.

But no one wants to spend the money building lots and lots of tanks anymore because they're expensive and passe and too easily defeated for the investment (no matter how much we spend, it's still vulnerable at the tracks), that means we don't need to pay millions and millions of dollars to weapon systems that support them. Weapons systems like the A-10, some of which are based at Selfridge Air Force base.

At the same time, the proposed Pentagon budget also unveiled this week, which would eliminate the A-10 aircraft at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township, could have been more than offset, from a political standpoint, if the Obama administration had agreed to put the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute and it’s 10,000 new jobs in Macomb County.

Chad Selweski has been all over this the last couple of weeks. We're going to eventually do away with the A-10 for the same reason why the Navy no longer counts in its fleet colliers. We don't need them. They are obsolete and have little utility on today's battlefield.

It's a shame that this is the case, but let's not insist that military procurements are primarily intended to provide job security. Let's insist that military procurements keep us as safe as possible for the investment.

Eric B. :: The military exists to protect us, not as an ongoing jobs program
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But what is an army without horses?
A generation from now, marching is going to be restricted to re-enactments.  Horseshoes will only be an obscure old-folks game.  

Ingham County has a pair of genuine cannon, roughly 130 years old, representing the Civil War and Spanish-American War.  What exactly will we place on courthouse grounds to represent the modern military? Something electronic, I suppose, for the website.  

There's always boot camp
For reasons that I've never understood, the ability to march was highly prized in Navy boot camp 20 years ago. I was terrible at marching. I was a lot better at electronic warfare, which coincidentally is the job the Navy paid me to do.

Among the Trees

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