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December 16, 2005



I saw in JDW last week that the airforce was buying their first batch of laser-rifles.

Some Soldier's Mom

yes, agreed. a very, very bad idea. so do you think there are actually advisors whispering in his ear telling him this w/b a good thing? or do you think he's not listening to anyone but himself at this point? he's stuck on that whole "light & agile" and "technology" trough... but no machine or weapon will ever replace a well-trained (and well-paid) dedicated soldier.


There's a whole lot to be said for including in the selection criteria for the SecDef job that they be qualified to wear the CIB.


I am not an expert but, I do know that through Afghanistan and Iraq, Rumsfeld was the champion of the "boots on the ground" theory of winning. He was the only proponent of raising the risk factor to acheive the objectives. It should also be remembered that he is SECDEF, not SECIRAQWAR. Rumsfeld has more than seventy war plans to keep current and must be prepared for the future. I would also comment that I am sure he has seen and recognized the amazing job the "boots" have done in the 'stan and in Iraq.
If there are significant differences b/t Congress and Rummy, I'll go with Rummy.
Resectfully, Streeter. Major K, please thank all your troops for me.


Sorry Major, add a p to resectfully.


Go to any university in this country and look at who funds the research in any of the hard sciences or engineering: chances are, it's DoD subsidized(especially in electrical engineering, CS, or math). As an EE myself, I've worked on projects that were DoD subsidized(ad-hoc networks for comms).

America keeps her edge by having the best technology, and to do this we need to keep the research institutions well funded. Rumsfeld knows he needs to preserve these in order to have the next generation weapons ready to fend off future aspiring hegemons(*china ahem ahem*).

We all know retrenchment of forces in Iraq will occur. Rumsfeld is looking a few steps ahead: he has to in order to manuever a bureaucracy with as much inertia as the DoD.

Scruffy American

I've always said that instead of building newer and better weapons of destruction, we should try and get more use out of the ones we already have first. (just kidding).

It sounded good on paper.

I'm an American who lives in Greece and I've been looking for a Pro-American blog to hang out. It looks like I found it.

Scruffy American

I've always said that instead of building newer and better weapons of destruction, we should try and get more use out of the ones we already have first. (just kidding).

It sounded good on paper.

I'm an American who lives in Greece and I've been looking for a Pro-American blog to hang out. It looks like I found it.


We are going through the latest BRAC closings, where a lot of Guard units are being eliminated or consolidated, leaving major population areas unprotected, and now he wants to cut more Guard batallions. Rumsfeld is only concerned with cutting costs. He is trying to run the defense of the country like a business, but it is not a business.

Papa Ray

The big bucks are being spent right now by R&D by the Navy and the Air Force.

The results the Navy has are dismal, ships that are in 30 percent overruns and don't work, subs that cost twice what they were supposed to and are so full of bugs that they can't even start testing them.

The Navy has no ship builders that they can depend on. Except one and it didn't get any good contracts.

The Air Force has spent its billions on a handful of fighters that cost so much more to get to this point, they can't afford any more.

The waste and corruption in the supply of weapons systems to our military is busting the bank and getting the US very little for its investment.

Meanwhile the Marines can't get what they need RIGHT NOW and the Army is waiting on things that they should have already had and needed yesterday.

Its a national disgrace, but corporations and others in the system are making so much money that they can't stop the feeding frenzy.

It took three years to get just a few thousand "shotgun shells" for our tanks. Even now at 3.000.00 per shell, we don't have an inventory worth talking about of them.

We need new or improved on transport, armor and tires. Do you have any idea how many tires the military goes through in a year?

There are so many things that are needed now, but they pols, and chair warmers want things like new Carriers and a new high speed bomber.

Its a disgrace and a waste and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it.

Papa Ray
West Texas


When talking about these programs, one has to be specific. Many of them save lives by letting troops "see," giving them better accuracy of munitions, etc .... Others are wasteful and seem to stick around thanks mainly, though not wholly, to congress. But like so many things, generalizations dont do the subject justice.

Don Miguel

The U.S. could buy a lot of ammo and arms and even new F-16s with the money spent on the Joint Strike Fighter, a plane without an enemy.


I think Rummy's doing the right thing. He's thinking 5, 10 years down the line.


Sorry Anthony, Defense is a business, it is supplied by business. These are not greedy warmangers for profit but managers who need to keep their companies afloat. After WWII many good firms shut their doors for good because they had served only one customer at a discount, when that customer went away thousands of companies folded because they had no other customer base. No company worth it's salt allows the military contracts to be more than te to fifteen percent of business; therefore they do not need to promote war in order to "rake in the cash". Most wartime K's are done at a discount anyway.
Rummy is trying to change the whole procurment program and give much more control to the lower level commanders over what they require. He is one of the hardest working men in the world and is trying to build a force to address the world we will see in the future. Yes there are many problems now, but he did not create all of them.
Major K, thank your men for me, Streeter


Here's the thing...there is a fine line you have to walk when you are talking personnel vs technology. You need both. I personally think that technology is a great force multiplier, but many in the head shed, use it as a crutch. Technology breaks. So what are you going to do when it does? I think we need to look at Nazi Germany as a lesson. They had the best and most advanced weapons bar none during WW2. Yet they still lost. Why? The weapons were so expensive and advanced that they couldn't make enough of them. And the ones that they did have kept breaking. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

SGT Jeff (IRR)

Sounds like he's trying to restructure the composition of forces back out of the "Depend on ARNG for combat units" mode.


No, the Nazis lost because so many of their men died.

In Feb. of '45, Albert Speer had higher industrial output than he did in Feb. '42!!!

The Nazis had plenty of weapons but not enough men. I guess that's what happens you fight the entire freakin' world.


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Merry Christmas

Tom the Redhunter

"technology breaks"

Well yes, but the whole thing depends on who you're fighting. Most of the comments on this thread seem to assume another Iraq style war.

But very likely is a shootout with the PRC over Taiwan. If it occurs, we will want all the high-tech weapons we can lay our hands on.

So the trusty .50 cal may be a tried and true weapon, and great for ground warfare, but we're going to want F-22s by the dozen if we have to fight the PLA.


well, i guess cutbacks are part of the military. as a british marine commando iv seen many cuts in our budget leading to a smaller and smaller corps. the thing is, they always gorw back quickly and end up gettin cut back again. as for new weapon systems... id rather use your mi16's over our sa80's any day :P


I have followed the SECDEF closely for several years and I have to say his is only one with the guts and fortitude to cut high price weapons programs. He cut the crusader, the comanche, tried to cut the F-22 and a host of other programs, but the bureaucracy of the Pentagon has slowly eroded his ability to make change. It's sad the technocrats in the Pentagon don't realize what is needed; people not toys.


Technology is important within reason, it should not be depended on solely. I kept thinking of "I, Robot."

Also, I just wanted to say thank you for your service to this beautiful, wonderful, frustrating country! Oh, and Merry Christmas!!


Well, it is a lot easier to overpay for goods (weapons)... than to over pay personnel ... and no one gets kickbacks from soldiers' paychecks (notwithstanding taxation with representation)...

Wild Thing

I agree with you MajorK. You said it better then I could. I read the article you posted about what the plans are and it is very disappointing to say the least.

Captain Snuffy

Major K is right. The wiz bang stuff truly is wonderful but at the end of the day highly trained troops on the ground is what wins wars. Specifically 4g asymmetrical wars. Whether it is proper armor, side and crew served arms and or training the best force multiplier starts at the squad and platoon level.

The fact of the matter is that I am a reserve Infantry Officer with a Civil Affairs batt that cannot get the full ICCC because the Reserve component does not have enough money.

My civilian experience 12plus years of banking combined with a top 40 MBA would be useful to a maneuver commander in Iraq who needs to dispense monies to win the hearts and minds. That experience combined with Active, National Guard Infantry and Arty time is invaluable. If I could attend the full ICCC course I would develop additional skill sets that may prove to be invaluable to in theatre Infantry maneuver commanders and their mission.

The active component needs to seriously consider the opportunity cost of not combining my civilian skill sets with a quality active duty training regimen.

Major K is spot on here. Spending monies on big ticket items which are at best unproven and more than likely are a waste of money before allocating resources to train the force is a travesty.

We need to focus on the micro level before moving on to the macro level. We already know we can win 1,2 and 3g wars. We need to get back to basics and focus on the small stuff to defeat our new enemies.

This may not be glamorous or sexy but it is what is needed.

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