Friday, January 07, 2011

Downsizing the Military

On top of slashing the number of F-22s to be built in face of evolving military capabilities worldwide, the Obama adminsitration has decided to do something about the U.S. military in these dire economic times. Namely Sec. of Defense Robert Gates in concert with Adm Mullens of the Joint Chiefs is going to do the following:

1. Starting in 2015 reduce the active Army and Marine Corps strength by 6% or 47,000 troops. 47,000 troops is the equivalent of NINE combat brigades.
2. Stretch out the procurement of 124 F-35 JSF aircraft. No word how all the international F-35 partners will be impacted. Countries like Turkey, Holland, Canada, England, Italy, and Australia. Nor what this delay will cost in dollars.
3. The Marine Corps replacement for the LVT-7/AAV-7, that first entered service in 1972, will be cancelled.
4. The DoD budget by 2015 will be flat, only adjusted for inflation.
5. And by far the greatest insult Gates is trying to do is INCREASE the fees for military health insurance for all military retirees under the age of 65.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!
---- Tommy by Rudyard Kipling

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