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Posts Tagged ‘center for defense information’

CDI: The Stench of Elitism in the Defense Budget

Posted by picard578 on December 1, 2014

The stench of elitism is permeating Washington, just as it did a decade ago when everyone of consequence bought the proposition that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction — and even if there was room for doubt, he was a threat and “had to go.” Today, the subject matter is different, but the methods are the same: say things that are demonstrably false but use enough extreme rhetoric from four star admirals, cabinet secretaries and congressional chairmen to establish a middle ground that eliminates opposition. Those who fear being labeled out of the mainstream, especially the major media, are buying it just as mindlessly as they did before the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

This time the subject matter is the defense budget. Cutting it is the target of rhetorical gibberish, just as President George Bush warned of a “mushroom cloud” over America if we didn’t invade Iraq. Nonetheless, it is politically potent and intimidating to opponents who might otherwise speak up.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in spending | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

CDI: The F-22: expensive, irrelevant and counterproductive

Posted by picard578 on November 1, 2014


Special to the Star-Telegram

On Dec. 12, the Air Force announced with considerable fanfare at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia that its F-22 fighter had reached “full operational capability.” Air Combat Command commander Gen. John Corley called it a “key milestone.”

Brimming with pride, a spokesman for the manufacturer, Lockheed, stated: “The F-22 is ready for world-wide operations” — and then added, “… should it be called upon.”

His afterthought makes the point: There are, of course, two wars going on, and the F-22 has yet to fly a single sortie over the skies of Iraq or Afghanistan. Nor has the Air Force announced any intention of sending the F-22 to either theater.

The Air Force is quite right to keep the F-22 as far as possible from either conflict. The airplane is irrelevant to both, and were it to appear in those skies, it almost certainly would set U.S. and allied forces back. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 57 Comments »

CDI: Still more F-35 growth to come

Posted by picard578 on July 12, 2014

This week some Pentagon officials morphed into street cleaners as the Defense Department’s F-35 “Joint Strike Fighter” left yet another load of unpleasantness on the street for all to see. It came in the form of major new revelations from Jason Sherman at with an article titled “DOD Warns Congress JSF Costs Could Skyrocket To $388 Billion.” The new, higher cost estimate intensified the sticker shock for the already unaffordable F-35. The word went out from the “E” ring of the Pentagon; reporters and others—including myself—were told it was all “shaky math,” “garbage,” “totally wrong.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 17 Comments »

CDI: Putting Lipstick on the F-35

Posted by picard578 on June 14, 2014

(Source: Center for Defense Information; published May 4, 2009)

by Pierre M. Sprey and Winslow T. Wheeler

On April 6, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced a number of decisions on major weapons programmes in the Pentagon’s next budget.

Hyperventilating, the New York Times termed the decisions a “sweeping overhaul” of the Pentagon. Indeed, Gates’ decision to cut off F-22 fighter production at 187 fighters is an essential step in any real reform plan.

However, his complementary decision to rely on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to modernise US Air Force (USAF) undoes everything constructive that he accomplished – more so than he might ever imagine.

Quite justifiably, Gates said the decision to stop F-22 production was not even a “close call”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 10 Comments »

CDI: Pentagon reports continuing Lockheed Martin failures

Posted by picard578 on April 12, 2014

Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the CDI Straus Military Reform Project has obtained almost two years of monthly reports from the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) on Lockheed Martin’s production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The documents do not paint a pretty picture, explains Straus Military Reform Project Director Winslow Wheeler.

The Defense Contract Management Agency’s (DCMA) most recent reports cover the months July through November 2009. The full reports are available below. Their major points, as summarized by Winslow Wheeler, are as follows:

The F-35 assembly line at Forth Worth, Texas is being cannibalized for parts to support flight testing. This may be the first time an assembly line has been cannibalized for parts. See the summary of the August report below. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 17 Comments »

CDI: Joint Strike Fighter: The Latest Hotspot In The US Defense Meltdown

Posted by picard578 on April 6, 2014

While its illusion as an “affordable” multi-role fighter-bomber is alive and well in Washington D.C., the F-35 “Joint Strike Fighter” is already a disaster, and the bad news has barely begun to roll in. Internationally recognized combat aircraft designer Pierre Sprey and Straus Military Reform Project Director Winslow Wheeler summarize the many failures in a new opinion piece that appears in the Sept. 10, 2008 issue of Janes Defence Weekly and is reproduced below.

“Joint Strike Fighter: The Latest Hotspot in the U.S. Defense Meltdown” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 11 Comments »

CDI: F-35: Out of Altitude, Airspeed, and Ideas — But Never Money

Posted by picard578 on March 29, 2014

By CHUCK SPINNEY | January 30, 2012

No program better illustrates the pathologies of the weapons acquisition process as it is currently practiced by the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex (MICC) than the entirely predictable, and in this case, predicted, problems dragging the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter into a dead man’s spiral.

The F-35 in on track to be the most expensive program in the history of the Defense Department, and it has repeated just about every mistake we invented since Robert McNamara concocted the multimission, multi-service TFX — a program conceived with the same kind of fanciful one-shoe fits all imaginings as the F-35. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 11 Comments »

CDI: F-22 analysis: the good, the bad and the surly

Posted by picard578 on March 23, 2014

Today, America spends more on defense than at any time since the end of World War II, based on the Pentagon’s own official budget data. The previous high point in post-World War II defense spending was 1952 – during the Korean War – at $589 billion in today’s dollars. The Pentagon’s budget request for the current fiscal year totals $670 billion, or a substantial 14 percent above the previous high water mark.

U.S. defense spending is now also larger than the rest of the world – combined. The CIA’s 2007 Word Fact Book estimates all other nations to spend about $400 billion on defense. That amount is for not just our potential opponents, whoever they might be; that’s the entire rest of the world.

We are told we must worry about China and Russia and prepare against them; something we should really lose sleep over is how they can be such a major concern – to those who point them out as looming threats – with defense budgets of just $81 billion and $21 billion, respectively, according to the CIA. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 38 Comments »

CDI: The F-22: not what we were hoping for

Posted by picard578 on March 15, 2014

by James Stevenson and Pierre Sprey

The F-22 fighter aircraft’s focus on stealth brings big disadvantages in cost, weight and manoeuvrability, argue Pierre Sprey and James Stevenson

For decades, the US Air Force has pushed the F-22 as its fighter for the 21st century. Advocates tout its technical features: fuel-efficient, high-speed ‘super-cruise’; advanced electronics; and reduced profile against enemy sensors, known as ‘stealth’.

However, on measures that determine winning or losing in air combat, the F-22 fails to improve the US fighter force. In fact, it degrades our combat capability. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 22 Comments »

CDI: F-22 – arguments for stopping the production

Posted by picard578 on March 1, 2014

The F-22 Controversy, Part I: Arguments for Stopping Production.

The F-22 Controversy, Part I: Arguments for Stopping Production

There is a burgeoning debate in the Senate over the 13-11 vote in the Senate Armed Services Committee to buy seven more F-22s for $1.75 billion (an apparently new and improved unit “flyaway” cost of $250 million each, not the Lockheed/U.S. Air Force advertised $143 million each).

The Levin-McCain amendment to undo the new F-22 acquisition is refreshingly upright and clear cut. It restores $1.250 billion in readiness-related spending that Lockheed, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and 12 other SASC senators thought should be raided from the Military Personnel and Operation and Maintenance accounts to pay for the seven F-22s. It also undoes a “management savings” of $500 million to pay for the rest of the F-22 cost – a savings that both Levin and McCain properly found unjustified; “bogus” would be a better word. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 55 Comments »

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