The Will To Cut The Military Industrial Complex

October 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm Leave a comment

Congress, can never get its act together to cut military programs and does not seem like there is much room for axing programs. AS TPMDC puts it

The Republican and Democratic chairmen of the House and Senate defense committees are pleading with the deficit-reduction super committee to spare the Pentagon when it’s looking for places to slash spending.

Both Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), who heads the Senate counterpart, sent letters to the super committee Friday urging, if not downright begging, the 12 deficit deciders not to touch the Pentagon’s discretionary budget, although Levin suggested the panel propose a commission to look into finding savings in the military retirement and health care systems.

“While the Joint Select Committee must concern itself with the enormity of the federal debt, the Armed Services Committee is charged with assuring America’s military can defend the nation against a multitude of growing threats,” McKeon wrote. “We believe that additional reductions in the base budget of the Department of Defense will compound deep reductions Congress has already imposed and critically compromise nationally security. We urge you to refrain from any further cuts in National Defense.”

Members of Congress’ primary concern is keeping jobs in their districts so it’s hardly surprising that neither one offered up a single Pentagon program or defense contract for the chopping block.

McKeon also cautioned the deficit-reduction committee to handle any cutting of service member benefits, as the country “asks more of current and future military retirees than the general population

Instead of targeting lucrative programs, they are going after military compensation. It is easier than touch military pork than try to wholesale eliminate unnecessary problems.

And there is not part of the budget they are not talking about. They are not talking about classified budget, especially money that flows into classified procurement. Where is the money to get rid of the waste in those programs? What about the cost overruns on large classified programs?

But see, they are classified, so the American people do not see the large cost overruns. When large cost overruns occur, a program rarely, but sometimes does get terminated. This was the case of JTRS program. The JTRS program was described as a program where Boeing ” received an approximately $2 billion contract in 2002 to develop software-programmable vehicle-mounted radios capable of handling seven legacy and advanced broadband waveforms. (“Waveform” is the term for the method of transmitting sound as a radio signal; it involves modulation and demodulation, message formatting, transmission protocol–and especially for the military, cryptography.)” The article states that the cost of the radios got too high and they canceled the program

If they really had balls, they go after the F-35. The F-35 program could cost over $238,000,000,000 according to the AP. However, no one in Congress has the collective will to terminate the F-35 program and use the money to pay the interest on the United States debt.

In reality, military-industrial complex will still exist, despite attempts to cut it. And for me that is job safety. We have the willpower to scale the growth of the military-industrial complex, but the strength to make massive cuts is just not there.

Simce I work in the aerospace industry, the odds are reduction in force is not coming any time soon.

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