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Military may be pricing itself out of business

Discussion in 'Economy' started by ethics, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I remember years ago there was an exceptional thread on the contracts in the defense department and how many of you agreed that it was out of control. I guess it's time where it reached unsustainable status?

    Air Force on Wednesday called for a shift away from big-ticket weapon systems that take decades to develop and a move toward high-technology armaments that can be quickly adapted to meet a range of emerging threats.

    An Air Force strategic forecast, looking 20 years into the future and spurred in part by looming budget constraints, also calls for a faster pace, with lower price tags, in developing both airmen and the technology they use, warning that the current way of acquiring warplanes and weapons is too plodding.

    ..

    “To boil this down, we have to buy things very differently and develop and employ our people differently,” said Maj. Gen. David W. Allvin, one of the authors of the report. “We have to behave more like an innovative 21st-century company.”


    I hope that's true and this is a start of something that will make US kick ass.

    Air Force Plans Shift to Obtain High-Tech Weapon Systems - NYTimes.com
     
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    While the sentiment is good, the reality is the existing laws regarding acquisition need to be changed in order to streamline the process. The laws and rules in of themselves, create the bloated processes that they currently go through. Sadly, this has to be changed by Congress, and we all know what happens when they get a hold of something. They'll most likely create a bad situation even worse.
     
    ethics likes this.
  3. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Acquisition processes across all services are bloated beyond repair. Too many programs are actually initially funded with a couple of billion dollars, whether they enter dem/val or not. It's ridiculous, it's wasteful, and it's quite controllable, but too many politicians and their dirty money campaigns stand in the way of reform. Might as well be focusing on campaign reform, or revaluing social security, or outlawing cars because people drive over pedestrians when they get behind the wheel while inebriated.
     
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  4. Spartacuss

    Spartacuss New Member

    As I have always understood it, the military has certain mandates on weaponry which have not really changed much over the years which entail development of new state of the art weapons which derive from current advances in technology and naturally information gleaned from espionage on what the other side has in its arsenal.

    One could say that it's sort of MAD on steroids policy. Having understood this as basic doctrine then comes the bill for same which is by all measure bordering on insanity, which is to say that no price tag is too high in order to stay one step ahead.

    So, to put a stopper in there would seem appropriate by first looking at what future conflicts would consist of. By that it should be apparent that financial profligacy is not a necessary platform for future weapons advancement and that more thought needs to be given to operational requirements suitable to handle the types of conflicts most likely to be encountered in todays world. One of the hot topics is the fighter aircraft now set to be sustained at the level 5 category. Well, level 5 is monstrously costly and so we realize at the margin that the F-16 is really the baseline workhorse for most conflicts. An F 35 is way too expensive to risk in the battle field where limited engagements prevail consisting of conventional conflict ingredients such as we see now playing out in Iraq and perhaps extending into Syria.

    I do believe though that thinking is and has been sidelined in this area due to the obvious availability of more and more deficit funding where the money spigot favors certain constituancies, i. e., "the military industrial complex" that everyone knows about and somehow congress never seems to be able to get a handle on.

    In sum, reductions in financial profligacy would seem the obvious direction for congress and the pentagon to focus on given our current state of indebtedness. Well, it hasn't happened yet so most likely the printing press at the Fed will continue to grind on into the night so to speak.
     
  5. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    The Fed doesn't print money.

    The Treasury does.

    Just in case you wanted to know.
     
  6. Spartacuss

    Spartacuss New Member

    In case you wanted to know, just about everyone knows that the phrase "Fed prints" is just a way of stating that "effectively" the Fed prints whereas the Fed doesn't have to bear the expense as it simply hits some keys on the computer and creates whatever money it wants to. The Treasury prints fiat and also T-bills which in turn the Fed is able to create money out of thin air and purchase those same T-bills at auction if no one else does to keep interest rates down to zero or close to it.

    I am well studied in economics and how the system works and even perhaps how it should work but doesn't.
     
  7. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    That's not the case...while the Fed's BOG informs fiscal policy, it's the Treasury that carries it out. The Treasury is the senior government agency, whereas the Fed--where I work, BTW--is a civilian entity operating under the auspice of accepted service. The Fed can't do anything without the Treasury, whereas the reverse is hardly true.
     
  8. Spartacuss

    Spartacuss New Member

    I am afraid we differ on this subject as the whole Fed structure is without doubt the most opague institution in the world.

    Privately held instituted in 1913 in secret. Does not allow audits by anyone has engineered over 4 trillion of monies to bail out the banks and AIG in 2007. The oversight structure is a muddle. So, I would leave it there as the subject soon becomes too big to fit into the purposes of this venue. I might also add that just because you worked there, well, so do the janitors and by that I mean nothing derogitory except that because you worked at Intel does not mean you know anything about micro chips. So, becuase of the complexity of this subject I would prefer to not dig into a pile of controversy that would be useless to pursue.
     
  9. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    In secret? Really? The Federal Reserve was created by Congress via the Federal Reserve Act. It's comprised of privately AND publicly held components. The Federal Reserve's authority is granted by Congress and is subject to Congressional oversight.

    Let's leave the tin foil theories out of it and base the argument on factual information, shall we?
     
  10. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Whatever you say, pal. I'm as critical of the Fed as they come, because I see a lot of stupid stuff up close. But you only have guesses and conspiracy, whereas my viewpoints are informed by practical, rational experience, including FOMC operations.
    So are a lot of janitors, I'm told.

    Welcome to the forum.
     
  11. Spartacuss

    Spartacuss New Member

    Well, it becomes apparent that now name calling is in the works sans intellectual matter. You are the epitome of what we find on forums; the know it alls who lead the way to vitriolic diatribe. I dear sir am not your pidgeon so go search elsewhere with your wholly dismissive views Good day and good luck with badgering people for fun.
     
  12. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    "Custodial, clean up in post eleven..."
     
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  13. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I've worked in Investment Banking since 1988. The Fed was never a secret entity but created because of the free for all banks had back in the day. There was also a huge hole for manipulating markets and banks, currency, imports, exports, etc... The Fed was an attempt to rein that in. Unfortunately, when it was first created, it had little power, even in the '20s there was manipulation, very open one. You had bankers trying to cover their banks with their own money, or openly claim to invest in so and so to use the markets.

    Fed has since expanded.

    It had no choice as Obama admin made it a point to show how much banks needed to be bailed out on. It wasn't just banks and AIG, it was an entire auto industry (save for Ford) and plenty of welfare program infusions.

    Working at a place doesn't make one an expert on an entire field, but they certainly know a bit more than those that don't. Unless you are in the higher echelons of the Fed, your calling him out like this is a bit illogical.
     
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  14. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    :popcorn-58:
     
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  15. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    The Industrial-Military Complex or whatever which of the 100 different names or sub-names you want to call it cannot be meaningfully reformed.

    As to different branches of the military over-spending the Air Force is probably the worst, especially for the high-tech shiny fancy wow-factor stuff. Look at the F-22 as just one example. About ten years old now and never flown a single combat mission that I know about. The sucker can't even fly in the rain as water damages its finish. (Maybe they've "fixed" that by now. Don't know.)

    So far about 70 billion spent with the end result is less than 200 F-22 Hanger Queens. Another 59 billion is allotted to keep them “flying” until retirement. (Let’s be kind and call that what it is: A generously conservative estimate.)

    But hey, in terms of performance specs it’s the highest or best performing air-to-air fighter in the world. (And it just may retire as that having never having one single air-to-air combat against another fighter.)

    Meanwhile the F-35 horror story grinds on. Everyone is hoping for a Stephen King supernatural surprise happy ending to what currently looks like a “troubled” program. (Meanwhile the brains at Fort Fumble are working on the “Hey who can we sell and export some of these birds to out there?”)
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  16. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Spartacus, you'll have to excuse Arc. He often gets delusions of grandeur and thinks he runs the joint.
     
  17. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old school Conservative

    Sparticuss,

    Welcome to the forum. Most of the active posters here have a Conservative/Libertarian slant. Our last admitted LML (Loud Mouthed Liberal) left almost two years ago.

    You are welcome to discuss the subjects as you see them. Be prepared to take incoming facts that contradict the universe between your ears. Be gracious and be prepared to agree to disagree. Parroting unsupported theories don't fly around here. Personal attacks won't work here.

    Spouting conspiracy theory and half-truth stuff might work other places, just not here.

    When you start spouting off about The Fed (or whatever) and someone says, "I work there," I advise you to be quiet and listen to them. Because if you listen to someone who is on the inside I'll bet you will learn a lot more than what someone else is spouting.

    Also, he did not call you anything. So, pretending he called you something he didn't, that dog won't hunt.
     
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