DOWNSIDE LEGACY AT TWO DEGREES OF PRESIDENT CLINTON
SECTION: STATUS OF US MILITARY
SUBSECTION: UNDERMANNED, POORLY EQUIPPED, SPREAD TOO THIN
UNDERMANNED AND POORLY EQUIPPED - SPREAD TOO THIN
Washington Times Rowan Scarborough - Clinton rebuffed defense spending increase. Lott: "growing inability of our country to man the uniformed services"... "The senator said the 1.4-million-member force is undermanned when matched against overseas commitments such as South Korea, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Persian Gulf."
Washington Times 8/13/98 Rowan Scarborough "The military is kicking out more than one-third of its enlisted personnel for misbehavior, performance shortfalls, obesity, pregnancy and physical problems before they complete a first enlistment"
Washington Post 8/13/98 Bradley Graham and Eric Pianin "The Marine Corps is using retreads on its armored vehicles. Rising numbers of Air Force and Navy jet fighters are being grounded by spare-parts shortages and maintenance backlogs, and pilots fed up with repeated duty in the Persian Gulf are bailing out of military service in droves. At Army training facilities, commanders report that units arriving for exercises have shakier combat skills than in years past. Throughout the military, there is mounting evidence of erosion in America's combat strength and troop morale. A decade of downsizing and reduced post-Cold War defense spending has coincided with a sharp jump in the number of troop deployments to Bosnia, the Middle East and elsewhere, straining the armed forces in ways unseen since the last wave of defense budget cuts after the Vietnam War"
Florida Times/Union 9/1/98 "The American military is on the verge of a major crisis. U.S. Rep. Tillie Fowler, RJacksonville, notes that deployments have increased dramatically under the Clinton administration. The Army, she says, has been assigned 26 non-routine ''operational events'' since 1991. There had been only 10 in the preceding 31 years. The Air Force has undertaken 500 humanitarian missions to former Soviet states alone since 1992. But funding has not kept pace."
Washington Times 9/10/98 Rowan Scaraborough "The commander for all Army forces in the United States warns in an internal memo that "we can no longer train and sustain the force" under current defense spending and says "this threatens our ability to mobilize, deploy, fight and win."
AP 9/29/98 "The nation's top general said today that without more pay, benefits and new equipment, America's undersupplied and overworked military will go into ``a nosedive'' and suffer irreparable damage...Shelton said. ``The best tanks, planes and ships in the world are not what make our military the superb force that it is today. ... Our people are more important than hardware.''
Seattle Post-Intelligencer 10/26/98 Ed Offle ".When one of its carrier-based electronic warfare squadrons returned from six months overseas a year ago, the first thing headquarters did was hold a homecoming party with families, champagne and balloons. Its second action, hours later, was to take away half the squadron's EA-6B Prowler aircraft and give them to other units, leaving the squadron unable to meet training requirements. The Electronic Attack Wing has 57 aircraft to divide among a training unit and 14 operational squadrons-19 aircraft less than the authorized inventory of four aircraft per squadron and 20 for the training unit..Squadrons in training that have to borrow other units' aircraft have to spend extra hours conducting the detailed maintenance to certify the aircraft. This overworks experienced technicians while cutting into the training time for junior sailors, officials said. Squadron commanders at Whidbey say there has been a recent exodus of experienced technicians from the service, partly because of these added pressures..Even when operating with a full load of aircraft, Prowler squadrons are frequently short of spare parts and must cannibalize planes to keep the maximum number flying..For budgetary and political reasons, the Navy this year severely cut back on low-level training flights and high G-force flight maneuvers that Prowler aviators say is essential to survive in combat.."
U.S. News & World Report 11/23/98 Richard Newman ".When Navy leaders realized earlier this year they would miss their annual recruiting goal, they considered a risky bailout: signing up applicants who scored near the bottom on mental-aptitude tests. After a minirevolt by several admirals, the Navy decided instead to leave unfilled about 7,000 seagoing slots in the recruiting year that ended in September. But they may have only been delaying the inevitable. Pentagon officials tell U.S. News that within six months or so, the Navy will have no choice but to start accepting some "Category IV" enlistees--those with below-average IQs who score between the l0th and 30th percentile on the military's SAT-style tests. The Army is also preparing to make concessions to fill its ranks. In October, it granted home-schooled teenagers the same status as high school graduates, making them eligible to enlist. And Army officials are considering ways to sign up more holders of general equivalency diplomas (GEDs), who typically don't perform as well as high school graduates. "The only way to solve this," says an Army official, "is to lower quality."."
AP 11/17/98 Laura Myers ".Frequent military buildups in the Persian Gulf since the 1991 war have cost the nation about $7 billion, in addition to the tens of billions of dollars some budget analysts estimate is spent annually on maintaining a strong U.S. military in the region. The Pentagon does not release figures on the spending for day-to-day Gulf duties, though officials said that if that force weren't deployed in the Gulf region, it would be operating elsewhere. But by private budget analysts' estimates, roughly $50 billion of the annual $270 billion in U.S. defense spending goes toward maintaining the Gulf deployment and keeping the Iraqi president in line..The extra cost of military buildups in the Gulf since the war has ranged from $100 million in 1992 to $1.4 billion for the two U.S. confrontations with Iraq during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. The total is about $7 billion, the Pentagon said. In comparison, the Gulf War -- with a U.S. military buildup that began in 1990 after Iraq invaded Kuwait -- cost $61 billion, but U.S. coalition allies picked up all but $7.4 billion, the Pentagon said. ."
Investors Business Daily 12/7/98 Brian Mitchell ".A reporter recently asked Adm. Harold Gehman, commander of the U.S. Atlantic Command, about the Navy's mission and how the Navy planned to accomplish it with just 330 ships afloat. Gehman answered, ''It all depends on what the definition of 'it' is.'' During the Reagan administration's buildup in the '80s, the fleet had more than 550 ships. The Navy can't get any smaller with all that it's doing now, Gehman said. ''On the other hand, if the world turns into a peaceful place, we can afford a smaller Navy,'' he said. Today's U.S. military strategy is unclear.."
ABCNews.com 12/29/98 ".By attacking Iraq earlier this month, the U.S. military may have bombed its way into a shortage of the cruise missiles it uses to keep aircraft and their pilots out of harm's way. Pentagon planners, already dealing with tightening budgets, must now decide whether to spend the millions it takes to replace the crucial weapons, or wait for next-generation technology that may - or may not - be just over the horizon. U.S. B-52 bombers fired more than 90 cruise missiles into Iraq in the four days of Operation Desert Fox, using up some 40% of the most powerful missiles in the Air Force's inventory. But the air-launched weapons, made by Boeing, have been out of production for years, and there is no easy way to replace them. Not only does each missile cost $1 million, but to re-open production would be "prohibitively expensive," says Robert Wall, military editor of Aviation Week and Space Technology..."
Washington Times 01/01/99 Rowan Scarborough ".Navy Secretary Richard Danzig says there is a morale problem among his surface-ship officers and believes the malady is tied to high deployment rates and relatively low pay. Mr. Danzig, a former Navy undersecretary who was sworn in Nov. 16 as the Navy's and the Marine Corps' top civilian, also said in an interview he is embarking on a program called "Smart Work" to reduce ship workloads. "I think there is a morale problem," Mr. Danzig said, referring to a recent survey of surface-warfare officers who man destroyers, cruisers and other combat ships. The Navy has known for months that aviators are fleeing the service in near-record numbers. The pilots are put off by high operational rates and enticed by better-paying jobs flying commercial airliners. Now the sea service sees those same disturbing trends among young officers who operate the 300-ship Navy. Commenting on a survey showing fewer junior officers want command jobs, Mr. Danzig said: "That worries me. That worries me a lot. Just as it worries me when I see the retention rate in the surface Navy among junior officers is 25 percent, where our desired retention rate is more like 38 percent." "What I find is they're concerned. They're concerned about their activities in terms of wear and tear on them during deployment. They're concerned about issues associated with pay and retirement. ... And they want to see a leadership that genuinely cares about them. And so for me, they are all issues." ."
Washington Times 1/7/99 Harry Summers ".While 1998 was our "Year of Living Shamelessly," 1999 may well prove to be our "Year of Living Dangerously." As we begin the new year it is becoming increasingly apparent that the underlying strategic tenet of the early Clinton administration -- that war-fighting, not peacekeeping, was the military's fundamental purpose -- has seriously eroded. "We're warriors," said Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Colin Powell in 1993 when he announced the results of Mr. Clinton's "Bottom Up Review" on the size, structure and purpose of the post-Gulf war military. "Because we are warriors, we can do some of these other new missions that are coming along --peacekeeping, humanitarian relief, disaster relief -- you name it, we can do it. . . but we never want to do it in such a way that we lose sight of the focus of why you have armed forces -- to fight and win our nation's wars." .But that emphasis on war-fighting came under fire almost from the start. Led by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who now dominates the national security debate, foreign policy internationalists condemned what they saw as the Defense Department's xenophobic concern with U.S. national interests and instead advocated a new national strategy of "enlargement and engagement." Like the fatally flawed Vietnam War counterinsurgency strategies before it, this new strategy was based on the conceit we knew what political, economic and social structures were best for other nations. If they were weak enough, as in the Balkans, we would bully them into it, at the point of a bayonet if need be. The earlier emphasis on war-fighting has been swept aside. "Nation-building" is now the rage, with U.S. troops now deployed in some 100 nations around the world.."
USA Today 1/11/99 Bob Smith by Freeper Stand Watch Listen "."Which military are you looking at?" That's my question for anyone who thinks that America is spending too much on defense. Since 1985, the U.S. military has - in real terms - become 40% smaller and 40% poorer. The armed services are lowering quality standards and still falling short of recruiting goals easily met a decade ago. Equipment is aging. Airplanes are in disrepair, ships are undermanned, units go without vital training, and individuals spend too much time overseas. It's no surprise that thousands of good people leave each year.."
Defense Week 1/11/99 John Donnelly by Freeper Stand Watch Listen ".If the Clinton administration keeps increasing defense spending at this rate, the military could face a $90-billion shortfall in the next six years. Notwithstanding popular opinion, the president last week gave the joint chiefs about 40 percent of what they asked for last September in high-profile testimony. What they asked for may have been, as some contend, excessive. But they never said so at the time, only now that the president has, as is his right, declined most of their request. Make no mistake: The chiefs got more money, a lot more money. But the gap between what they asked for in September and what they got in January is far wider than has been reported. ."
Seattle Post-Intelligencer; 1/16/99 ".Facing a shortage of sailors at sea, the Navy announced yesterday that it would lower educational standards for new recruits as part of a series of initiatives to increase enlistments. Since the end of the Cold War, the Navy has required that 95 percent of new recruits have a high school diploma, but for the first time in a decade it will require no more than 90 percent.."
Associated Press 1/20/99 Tom Raum Freeper Brian Mosely ".The $12 billion in extra military spending President Clinton is proposing falls short of meeting many pressing Pentagon needs, the nation's top military commanders told Congress Wednesday.."
Navy Times 2/1/99 Bob Barr Freeper Stand Watch Listen ".Clinton's misuse of the military started Aug. 25, 1992, when Governor Clinton told the American Legion's national convention in Chicago: "As commander in chief, I will fight to ensure that our troops who must go into battle are the best trained, best equipped and the best supported in the world." ...* In each defense budget for the past five years, inadequate funding has clearly jeopardized national defense. Army Gen. John Shalikashvili, Powell's successor, warned Clinton that his budget for weapons procurement posed a national security threat that will "risk future combat readiness of the U.S. military." Based on recent testimony by the service chiefs, the president now concedes a readiness problem exists in our armed forces.."
Washington Times 1/27/99 Helle Bering ".One wonders if the state of American defense is not worse than has been argued by conservatives when even President Clinton starts to take notice. The weeks preceding and following Mr. Clinton's State of the Union address have seen several defense initiatives emanate from the administration, much to the astonishment of the people who have been advocating them for years. It may simply be that White House polls have turned up defense as a winning issue with the public, the result of our tug of war with Saddam Hussein and terrorist bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya last summer. But whatever the reason, Mr. Clinton has appropriated yet another set of Republican issues -- having successfully moved to take credit for welfare reform and the balanced budget."
Washington Post 1/29/99 Vernon Loeb ".The general who commands U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf expressed deep reservations yesterday about the Clinton administration's proposal to arm the Iraqi opposition and said such a move could backfire and create a "rogue state" in Iraq even more destabilizing than the regime of President Saddam Hussein. Echoing concerns over arming the opposition voiced this week by key U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf, Marine Corps Gen. Anthony C. Zinni told the Senate Armed Services Committee that none of 91 Iraqi opposition groups has "the viability to overthrow Saddam at this point." Arming them, he warned, "could be very dangerous." .."
USA Today 1/29/99 Freeper Navigator ".The Army fell 20% short of its goal to enlist soldiers in the latest quarter, part of a worsening trend that threatens to leave combat units without the troops they need. From Oct. 1 through the end of 1998, the Army needed to sign up 12,420 men and women but sent only 10,075 to basic training. Unofficial estimates suggest that by fall, the Army could fall 10,000 troops below its congressionally required roster of 480,000. Unless the trend is reversed, Army units could lack enough personnel to do all the tasks needed for combat..."
USA Today 2/17/99 Steve Komarow ".To many Americans, the soldiers of the National Guard and Army Reserve are their neighbors. Thousands of these part-time "weekend warriors" meet once a month to train, often at a local armory. Otherwise, they hold down regular jobs until the governor calls them out to restore order in a natural disaster or the president declares a national emergency. So what is Capt. John Case, a computer system manager from Wilmington, Del., doing 4,000 miles from home in Bosnia where there is no war? And after 9 months, what will be the damage to his civilian career? "The Bosnia mission really has to be explained to the employer," says Lt. Col. Kevin McAleese, a reservist who works for a job placement firm in Philadelphia. "It's not Desert Storm," he said, referring to the wildly popular Persian Gulf War. ..If the demands continue, Army officials fear that reservists and Guard members will leave the service in large numbers because they are no longer willing to risk civilian careers for such low-priority operations. "We're just tearing the guts out of people," says Maj. Gen. Clyde Hennies, who retired in January as head of the Alabama Guard. He says some of his units were having troubling filling the rosters...
NY Post 2/17/99 Pat Buchanan ".Only hubris of a high order explains how we believe we can sustain such commitments on a defense budget that is down to 3 percent of gross domestic product, roughly the level before Pearl Harbor. Meanwhile, we have been antagonizing old enemies and creating new ones to the point that America is more widely resented than any nation on Earth. . . . Imperial over-stretch, the issuance of war guarantees they could not fulfill, has brought down every great empire of this century -- the British, French, Russian, German, Austro-Hungarian. And in the aftermath of her Cold War victory and emergence as the world's last superpower, the United States walks in the same arrogant way. President Clinton has now committed this nation, without debate or the assent of Congress, to put 4,000 troops into Kosovo. Some 6,000 are in Bosnia, hundreds more in Macedonia. Clinton's heart is in the right place in desiring an end to the carnage, but there is no vital interest in Kosovo to justify a permanent U.S. presence. This is Europe's problem. Let Europe deal with it or live with it. For 50 years, we defended Europe against the Soviet Empire. That empire is now dead; the European Union is as populous and rich as we, and emerging as a global rival. America's job is done. Yet instead of using our Cold War triumph as an occasion to discard Cold War commitments, we are adding to them, as we hack away at the power Ronald Reagan built up to sustain them. Since Reagan went home to California, the Navy has been cut from 565 ships to 346, the active-duty Army from 18 divisions to 10, the Air Force from 36 fighter wings to 20. The services now fail to meet enlistment targets. Yet, as our power contracts, our commitments grow.."
World Net Daily 2/18/99 and Broken Arrow 2/15/99 to 2/19/99 Adm. Tom Moorer and Adm. Mark Hill ".When in need of a boost in the polls or apprehensive about keeping them up, our President likes to resort to the "100,000" ploy. Thus we saw the "100,000" policemen who never really materialized. (Though the lack of fulfillment of this political promise never bothered the ever-mesmerized press.) We have also seen the "100,000 teachers" ploy, equally lacking in substance. Now, as a way of attempting to deal with the dawning realization that he has destroyed the greatest military capability the world has known up till now, and as a way of diverting the public's attention from growing awareness that from the outset of his successful and single minded quest for the presidency he has been financed by, and responsive to, our greatest potential strategic foe rather than the interests of the Nation (see"The Year of the Rat", the Cox Report, and our own testimony on the control of our military capability at the choke point of Panamanian Isthmus in the Helms Committee hearings)and in the face of growing rebellion among the individual service members of the joint chiefs, despite his initially successful splitting and politicization of their ranks, the President presents us with the "100,000 pilots" version of this ploy in his attempt to beef up our deteriorated capabilities with a readily publicizable quick fix.Mr. President, it will not work. We cannot restore the military capability which you have wasted away by simply throwing money at the problem and declaring an increase in the number of pilots and by the reversing of the earlier mistaken adjustments to the retirement pay system, although that certainly is better than the wholesale destruction of military capabilities which up till now has been your policy and which has served the military ambitions of communist China far more than it has secured this Nation. There is far, far more to it than that.."
European Stars And Stripes 2/26/99 Chuck Vinch "...When the Joint Chiefs told House lawmakers Wednesday that many military readiness needs will remain unfunded next year, even after President Clinton's planned $12.6 billion increase, it was like throwing fresh meat in front of hungry lions. Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee, led by their chairman, Rep. Floyd Spence, R-S.C., unleashed a blistering critique of Clinton's defense spending plan, which they say relies heavily on shaky bookkeeping "gimmicks" and won't solve the military's long-term equipment and manpower problems...The problem goes beyond aging weapons systems. Every service except the Marine Corps has recruiting and retention problems - even the Air Force, which historically has been relatively unaffected in that area...."
Charleston Post and Courier 2/28/99 "...The military services are hemorrhaging manpower. They are hampered in their unsuccessful struggle to recruit and retain qualified personnel by a pay scale that is no longer competitive. Congress must act promptly to improve military incomes and recruiting prospects.... Meanwhile, concern about falling manpower strength has prompted the Navy to offer special awards to any sailor who signs up new recruits, according to the Washington Times, in effect deputizing the entire Navy as recruiters. And there is renewed discussion about the possibility of restoring a military draft, as part of a larger scheme of national service...."
BBC Asia Pacific Political via www.inquisit.com 1/10/99 Xinhua news agency ".Washington-based analysts held that Clinton proposed boosting defence expenditure out of the following considerations: First, it is to maintain the United States' hegemony status in the world. After the Cold War, the United States has become the sole military superpower in the world. When resolving international disputes, the United States is prone to use military threats. Moreover, it recently bombed Iraq wantonly and indiscriminately for three days; however, the Iraqi people did not surrender...Second, it is to cushion the pressure from the Republicans in the congress calling for increasing defence costs. In recent years, the defence spending of the United States saw a slight increase, but not much, though. The Republican senators and representatives have been pressuring the Clinton government to boost defence spending by large amounts... Third, it is to resolve the issue of the low morale of the US troops. In the confidential military meeting Clinton held in Washington with members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other high- ranking commanders in 1998, Clinton held that he was not satisfied with the situation of the second-line troops. Defence Secretary Cohen inspected some domestic military bases and held that the US troops, particularly the second-line troops of the air force and the navy, are having problems such as declining recruitment and increasing retirement.."
Cox Newspapers 2/28/99 Howard Kleinberg "…It is not surprising that Congress last week quickly and overwhelmingly passed a healthy pay and benefits increase for our people in the Armed Forces. Statistics showed that enlistments and re-enlistments in the military were woefully low. It is reported that the branches of our military will need about 200,000 new enlistments this year alone-and the chances of achieving that are not good. But any thought that a slightly larger paycheck is going to get a person to join or re-up is to miss the real point of why so many are declining to remain: Someone could get killed out there. The United States has become unbridled in its use of U.S. troops around the world. After frosty experiences in Bosnia, our young men and women in uniform now face the possibility of Kosovo. Meanwhile, we remain pitiably exposed in the Middle East, exposed to germ warfare, missiles and terrorism. The Iraq situation involves actual combat as well as jeopardy on a daily basis…."
Baltimore Sun 2/27/99 Tom Bowman Freeper Stand Watch Listen "…More than one-quarter of the pilots in a California Air Force Reserve squadron are choosing to quit rather than take the Pentagon's mandatory anthrax vaccine, the latest protest in a service-wide revolt that could threaten the readiness of Guard and Reserve air squadrons. The loss of at least 11 cargo and refueling pilots at Travis Air Force Base near San Francisco follows the resignations last month of eight Air National Guard combat pilots in Connecticut who also refused to take the vaccine. Pilots from other units at Travis and at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey are also considering stepping down…."
San Diego Union-Tribune 2/28/99 AP Freeper Stand Watch Listen "…Displaying unusual candor, the commanders of combat training centers for the Army, Air Force and Marines described poor training conditions, outdated equipment held together by junkyard parts and an underpaid, overworked cadre of service workers who cannot wait to get out and find a better job. "We have a great Army filled with terrific soldiers who are suffering from an inability to train at every level with the battle focus and frequency necessary to develop and sustain its full combat potential," said Col. John Rosenberger, commander of opposing forces at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif…."
UPI Spotlight 3/1/99 "…Defense Secretary William Cohen (Monday) renewed his call for two more rounds of base closings, promising it will save an additional $3 billion a year that can be used to buy new weapons or keep troops in a high state of readiness. The Pentagon estimates that by 2001 the four previous rounds of base closures and realignments will have saved $14.5 billion, then $5.7 billion a year thereafter…"
Philadelphia Inquirer 2/28/99 L H "Bucky" Burruss Freeper Stand Watch Listen "…The cruelest aspect of the changes in the U.S. military under Clinton has to do with children. Here's why: More than 77,000 members of the armed forces are single parents. .....But when it does become necessary - and it will, if history is any teacher - will women be included in the draft? Will there be deferments for single parents, or just more day care (and new orphanages)? …"
AP 3/4/99 "…It's not just the high pay offered by airlines that is coaxing pilots to leave the armed services, a group of disillusioned military pilots told a congressional hearing Thursday. Also to blame, they said, are the military's poor working conditions, constant deployments overseas, broken equipment and routines hard on family life. ``No amount of bonus money would keep me on active duty,'' Marine Capt. James P. Clay told a House Armed Services subcommittee. The retiring Harrier jet pilot based at the Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in North Carolina cited ``low morale and low flight hours.'' He said it was ``not uncommon to see days when 50 percent of the aircraft are not ready for flight.'' He said he gets barely 10 hours of flight time per month. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Leon W. Smith, who flies E-2C radar planes from Norfolk, Va., testified he's leaving in April after 14 years. ``The hangar I've spent most of 11 years working out of - it's pathetic: rats, mice, lead paint, asbestos, no air conditioning,'' he said…."
MSNBC http://www.msnbc.com/ 3/4/99 Jim Miklaszewski Robert Windrem NBC Freeper A Whitewater Researcher "…EXCERPTS: "...hackers repeatedly tapped into military computers at Kelly Air Force Base...the center for the most sensitive Air Force intelligence...critical to American troops now on patrol over Iraq and in Bosnia....the attack was a sophisticated, coordinated assault through computer networks in Canada, Norway and Thailand....The hackers didn’t receive top secrets but the Pentagon’s No. 2 man...John Hamre, says the United States is essentially engaged in an all-out cyberwar...cyberterrorists, operating from as many as 15 locations worldwide, have launched a series of coordinated attacks on Pentagon computers — as many as 100 per day....The attackers remain unidentified and since anyone with a computer is a potential enemy...the United States military is vulnerable to a sneak attack...."It’s not a matter of if — America has an electronic Pearl Harbor — it’s a matter of when," said Rep. Curtis Weldon, R-Penn....The attack so worried the Pentagon that it called in the FBI…"
Newsmax 3/9/99 Christopher Ruddy "…While America has been preoccupied with Clinton’s sexual shenanigans and Wall Street’s gyrations, extremely ominous developments have been quietly taking place within Russia and Communist China. These ominous developments have occurred during a time when President Bill Clinton has systematically moved to disarm the United States. While it has gone largely unreported, President Clinton has overseen the destruction of nearly two-thirds of America’s nuclear weapons stockpile. He has ordered that America no longer have a "launch on warning" policy and has replaced it with one that says America will retaliate only after it has been attacked. This non-sensical Clinton policy means that American cities and American military targets must first be destroyed before America retaliates. He has proposed taking computer circuitry out of land-based missiles, so that they could not be launched in an emergency. Clinton has proposed making it much more difficult for our submarines to launch their weapons, and even has suggested welding closed the missile hatches on our submarines. Most Americans assume that the Cold War is long over, and that we have nothing to fear from our new "friends," Russia and China. Such a notion is completely contradicted by Russia’s and China’s expansion of their nuclear arsenals at breakneck speed, and deployment of dozens of new weapons systems. Target: America. (Now, I know you may be saying this can’t be true, Russia is in chaos and China is just too weak to take on the United States. Please read on and then form your own opinion.) ….An enormous military build-up, including expansion of their arsenal of strategic nuclear weapons, and introduction of new biological and nuclear weapons with first-strike capability. A huge expansion of their navies (while the US mothballs over half its ships). A new form of brinkmanship, in which Russia and China regularly probe America’s defenses. Huge new civil defense programs, including enormous fallout shelters in Russia (one new underground city is larger than Washington, DC). At the same time, under Clinton, the US military has been cut to the bone, leaving America more vulnerable to foreign attack than at any time since the Cold War…."
European Stars And Stripes 3/9/99 Gary Kunich Freeper Stand Watch Listen "…Some of the top brass in Europe on Monday painted a dismal picture of future military readiness to a panel of the House Armed Services Committee. Unless Congress can devote more money to bolster quality of life, readiness and weapons modernization, the military will suffer, several generals and admirals said during their two-hour session with the U.S. congressmen.....Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas, said he wasn’t surprised by what he heard. "We saw this three or four years before," he told the generals. "But your civilian leaders in Washington said, ‘there are no problems.’ Now, all of a sudden, it’s biting us."…"
European Stars And Stripes 3/9/99 Ward Sanderson, Naples Bureau Freeper Stand Watch Listen "…Navy Lt. Rich Dodson told congressmen things are busy aboard his Aegis cruiser, the Philippine Sea. And firepower can be scarce. "Tomahawk stores are low," Dodson said in a slow, low voice. "… It is an enormous concern of mine." He said the ship lacks enough crew, and sailors are overworked........."There’s been almost a sea change from what we’ve heard in Washington," he said. Pentagon brass had told him all was well. Military officials in the capital only recently admitted there were serious problems, Bateman said…"
Aviation Week & Space Technology 3/8/99 "…The U.S. is having difficulties keeping watch on North Korea because it can't generate enough U-2 sorties to meet the demands of intelligence officials. U.S. forces "truly have a shortfall in the continual 'deep look' " mission, Army Gen. John Tilelli, commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, told Congress. The problem is simply that U-2s aren't flying often enough to continuously monitor what's going on more than 100 mi. inside North Korea, an intelligence officer added. Military officials in Korea would like to either add U-2s or increase the number of pilots and maintenance personnel to get more use out of the aircraft in theater. The U.S. Air Force currently has deployed one of its E8C Joint-STARS to Korea to provide additional intelligence on moving targets during the North Korean military's winter training cycle. Watching the movement of 10,000 artillery systems and 2,300 rocket launchers closer to the demilitarized zone are three U.S. Army RC-7 reconnaissance aircraft…."
U.S. House Policy Committee http://policy.house.gov/ 3/8/99 Christopher Cox "…In 1995, a large, bipartisan majority of the House (315-103) supported H. Res. 247, which called on the President to obtain congressional authorization before deploying U.S. troops to Bosnia. Nevertheless,...Clinton proceeded with the large-scale, long-term deployment of tens of thousands of American troops there without congressional authorization or any substantial national debate. Since then, the President has expended $12 billion in Bosnia, but has yet to include Bosnia funds in his budget. As a result, defense resources are being drained from other critical areas....Unlike President Bush, who won explicit approval from Congress before sending troops to Operation Desert Storm,...Clinton has now failed again to seek funding authority from Congress for his plan to deploy thousands of U.S. ground troops to Kosovo for years to come...."
Savannah Morning News 3/12/99 Editorial "…THE CLINTON administration continues to talk about sending ground troops to Kosovo. Before it moves from talking to action and troops start to head overseas, some rational thinking is necessary. Fortunately, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi is wielding the big stick that's needed to get the administration's attention…. One key condition in the Senate funding debate is a timetable that includes an end to American intervention in the Balkans. The U.S. already has about 7,000 soldiers in Bosnia, troops who should have been home a long time ago. Now, Mr. Clinton is proposing that another 4,000 soldiers be sent as part of a 28,000-person NATO force to help keep the peace in Kosovo, which is part of Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, what is taking place in Kosovo is similar to a civil war. U.S. troops should not be put in such a precarious position. It's particularly precarious because Mr. Clinton is leaving U.S. involvement open-ended -- there's no end-game strategy on how our troops will get out of this quagmire….. "
Associated Press 3/12/99 Robert Burns "…The Air Force's bomber fleet, which includes B-52s that have been flying since before the Vietnam War, will have to last another 40 years, the Air Force's top officials said today. Gen. Michael Ryan, the Air Force chief of staff, said $3.6 billion is being invested over then next 10 years to upgrade the fleet — giving it more advanced communications links and newer precision-guided weapons…. Peters said the intention is to keep 130 of the planes in combat-ready condition. The others are backups. Although the Air Force would like to bring on a new generation of bombers earlier, it cannot afford to move faster. The main priority in aircraft development over the next two decades will be new fighter planes — the F-22 stealth plane and the so-called Joint Strike Fighter, to replace today's F-15s and F-16s…."
Newsmax 3/17/99 Christopher Ruddy "…At the same time that Russia has been building an enormous war machine and making war preparations, the US has been slashing its strategic nuclear arsenal, mothballing ships, and eliminating entire military battle groups. Equally suicidal, Clinton has cut troop levels in the US Army by 40% and the Air Force, Navy and Marines by over 30%. Clinton has also tied up many of America’s best troops in endless and futile foreign quagmires, including "peace-keeping" in Bosnia and the Middle East, humanitarian projects in Africa, and drug interdiction in Latin America. Few troops are left to defend the United States. Clinton also been throwing away America’s limited arsenal of cruise missiles. These missiles were primarily built to deliver strategic nuclear warheads deep into Russia. Russia is believed to be vulnerable to such weapons because they evade radar and fly low to the ground.
ABC News reports that before Operation Desert Fox (our recent, undeclared war on Iraq) the US had just 239 cruise missiles left. In the first few days of Desert Fox Clinton ordered that over 90 of these precious cruise missiles be fired on Iraq against what has proven to be mainly empty warehouses and radar installations that were rebuilt in days. As this article is being written, additional cruise missiles have been launched in continuing confrontations with Iraq. Each missile expended in Iraq is one less that can be used to defend the US -- and at the current rate of expenditure, the US military would have none left in less than 30 days. Why is Bill Clinton squandering these crucial weapons? This question becomes even more serious when one considers that the US is not currently making cruise missiles and has no plans to do so…."
International Herald Tribune 3/23/99 Brian Knowlton Freeper Stand Watch Listen "…''There is a significant strain, even now, even before NATO presumably heads into Kosovo,'' said James Anderson, a national-security analyst with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. ''These pell-mell, frantic deployments are putting a strain on the troops, their families and everyone else.''......But it is unclear, they said, that the military could actually meet the two-war objective, and its present involvements make that even more uncertain. The Kosovo and Gulf operations, Mr. Anderson said, ''undermine our stated ability to prosecute midlevel regional conflicts.'' ''We would be hard pressed today to mount an operation on the size of Desert Storm _- that would be very difficult - yet we're claiming we can do two nearly simultaneous wars. That's bluffing….''
Congressional Quarterly Weekly 3/27/99 Pat Towell Freeper Stand Watch Listen "…NATO's airstrikes against Serbia, coming on the heels of the air war over Iraq, have put an added burden on U.S. armed forces at a time when some military and congressional leaders already worry that they are stretched too thin. ...But there still are signs of strain. Missing from the air and sea armada in the Adriatic, for instance, is a U.S. aircraft carrier. The USS Enterprise is on duty in the region but is cruising the Persian Gulf, where it was more urgently needed. Its replacement, the Theodore Roosevelt, has just left Norfolk, Va., and may only pass through the Mediterranean on its way to the Gulf. ...The barrage of cruise missiles that opened the campaign against Serbia further depletes the U.S. armory at a time when cruise missiles are out of production and new versions of the ship-borne Tomahawk and air-launched JASSM will not be available for another two years…."
Softwar 3/28/99 Charles Smith "…USAF warplanners are worried that they will soon run out of Air Launched Cruise Missiles (ALCM). The remaining inventory of the Boeing air launched missile is reported to be under 200 after the firing of 40 to 50 ALCMs during NATO strikes inside Serbia. Boeing no longer manufactures the ALCM. The low ALCM inventory is one reason being circulated for the the early combat deployment of the stealth bombers into heavily defended Serbian airspace. The downing of a F-117A Nighthawk by Serbian air defenses clearly shows that manned aircraft are vulnerable. Robot missiles such as the Boeing ALCM are used in areas where manned fighters would be exposed to dangerous air defenses. Boeing ALCMs are currently launched by the aging B-52 bombers, flying safely outside of enemy airspace….. The F-117A stealth bomber carries special 2,000 pound bombs, designed to knock out installations buried in deep rock tunnels such as the Serbian military command and control network. The F-117A was thought to be invisible to even the most advanced Serbian air defense systems such as the SA-10 "Grumble" surface to air missile (SAM) or the MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter. The other stealth bomber, the USAF B-2, has been plagued by extra-ordinary costs, a single base and by rain clouds that frequently shroud Yugoslavia. The limited number of the billion dollar planes, and the bad eastern european weather has forced planners to use no more than handful of big bombers per day. The long 14 hour flight time from the single U.S. airbase also forces B-2 planners to limit attacks to fixed targets on a scheduled basis. In contrast, NATO stealth forces in theatre provide direct fire on very short notice. F-117A jets from nearby NATO bases in Italy are minutes from their targets in Yugoslavia. The NATO reliance on the F-117A pits these tactical aircraft against the teeth of Serbian Army mobile air defenses such as the SA-6 "Gainful" and the SA-10 "Grumble."…. Clinton's policy of bombing with high-tech weapons is rapidly using up U.S. inventories. The shortages, according to DOD officials, can be laid directly to President Clinton's Defense budget shortfalls for the hard pressed U.S. military. According to Defense planners, the most critical shortfall is in air launched cruise missiles. In late 1998, Boeing was contracted by the USAF to convert the final remaining 130 nuclear tipped AGM-86B missiles into conventional "Bunker Buster" ALCMs with 2,000 pound warheads. After the last AGM-86 is converted no further missiles will be available. The USAF has no missile that can replace the long range ALCM. The original USAF replacement for the ALCM, the JASSM (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile), does not have the range nor the heavy one ton payload of the AGM-86B "Bunker Buster" missile. The stealthy JASSM is currently being manufactured by Lockheed/Martin and is reported to have only a 1,000 pound warhead and a range of 300 miles….. The Air Force has spent over $3.4 billion and a decade developing the JASSM stealth cruise missile. Not a single JASSM has been manufactured for operational production. The requirement for a new, long range, version could delay the JASSM project. USAF and Lockheed/Martin officials are anxious to complete the stealth missile before taking on any modifications or a new missile design……. The Clinton years in the Oval office have been spent weakening U.S. armed forces. Our weakness, in turn, has given rise to a more unstable world. Instead of maintaining or even building on the Reagan 1980s weapons budgets, so long derided by liberals, Clinton has expended our critical defense stockpiles in futile and useless attempts to sway dictators…."
AP 3/30/99 Freeper thewildthing "…The Pentagon is scrambling to avoid a shortage of cruise missiles, increasingly the weapon of choice in attacking heavily defended targets in places like Iraq and Yugoslavia. Before the latest NATO strikes over Kosovo and Serbia, the Air Force was down to 150 cruise missiles carrying conventional warheads. At least 30 have been launched since then. The Navy has more than 2,000 but is using them up at a faster rate. No cruise missile production line is in operation…."
WorldNetDaiy 3/29/99 Geoff Metcalf "…From 1946 to 1991 the United States of America deployed military troops to eight foreign campaigns. From 1992 to the present (The Clinton reign), the United States of America has deployed military troops to 33 foreign places. The Internet tends to recycle significant data as the network of telling 10 people to tell 10 people to tell 10 people expands. Recently I received a gaggle of messages listing data I had reported in a September 1998 WorldNetDaily column. *709,000 regular (active duty) service personnel *293,000 reserve troops *Eight standing army divisions *20 air force and navy air wings with *2,000 combat aircraft *232 strategic bombers *13 strategic ballistic missile submarines with *3,114 nuclear warheads on 232 missiles *500 ICBMs with 1,950 warheads *Four aircraft carriers *121 surface combat ships and submarines, plus all the support bases, shipyards and logistical assets needed to sustain such a naval force. All of the above are GONE ... history ... they have been attrited by the Bill Clinton "Reduction in Force" from the military of the United States of America. A foreign enemy did not destroy those significant assets. They were not combat losses. Those military assets have been eliminated by civilian political policy wonks. I am also attempting to determine how many Tomahawk Cruise Missiles (at about one million dollars a copy) have been expended. ... AND how much of that ordnance has been (or will be) replaced? Have the mainstream media mandarins alerted you to our military atrophy? Have you seen it on ABC, NBC, CBS or the Clinton News Network (CNN)? The Clinton department of propaganda has succeeded (kinda) in suppressing a significant protest, which has gone virtually unreported. Some of us have been complaining about the "perfumed princes" (Colonel Hackworth's phrase) in the Pentagon. The complaint has been "... why don't you military types DO or SAY something about the serial absurdities of the administration's foreign policy?" Well, in fairness, we know the military can't itch and moan about their civilian leaders. However, they can, and have done something. According to what I consider reliable sources, in 1997 24 -- count 'em, twenty-four -- generals retired early. I am still in the processing of confirming names, dates and replacements (if any). On July 7, 1997, in what is being called a mass protest over the conditions in the military (primarily because of administration policy) 24 generals quit. They reportedly had fought a losing battle to correct, modify, or mitigate the politically correct, operational tempo, and repeated "hey you" deployments. They tried to address the problems with readiness (or lack of) and pay. They tried, and they failed to compel the administration to fix what is wrong. Then, in a final act of courage and commitment (two concepts alien to this administration), they ALL went to see Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen, and RESIGNED. Twenty-four general officers representing 600 years of combined military experience tendered their resignations. THAT is a big deal. ... So why haven't we heard about it? …"
Aviation Week & Space Technology 3/29/99 Loren Thompson Freeper Stand Watch Listen "…EXCERPTS "But for those who know a little about aircraft, the Aerospace Power Demonstration is becoming a striking display of something less positive: the graying of American air power. The "procurement holiday" that followed the end of the Cold War has produced a hangover in the form of an increasingly aged and maintenance-intensive air fleet. Consider what the audience saw at last year's show. The first plane that flew over was a KC-135 tanker, basically a military version of Boeing's old 707 jetliner. The Air Force has more than 500 KC-135s in service, but their average age is 38 years. It has plans to keep some of them flying until they're twice that age."…"
Navy Times 3/29/99 Andrea Stone Freeper Rodger Schultz "...Defense Department statistics obtained by USA Today show that 43 percent of white women fail to finish their first enlistment because of physical problems, pregnancy, failure to adapt to the military or other reasons...."
Reuters 4/1/99 "...The U.S. Department of Defense said on Thursday it may need to buy more jet fuel if NATO bombing missions against Yugoslavian forces continue. Officials said that European fuel stocks have depleted over the past two years to cut costs, and no supplemental inventory has been purchased following the recent military build-ups in the Balkans and the Persian Gulf. Still, officials said, inventories are relatively healthy and immediate restocking isn't neccessary. ``Right now there's no need to purchase more fuel because we haven't run out of contract coverage,'' said a purchaser with the U.S. Defense Department's Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), who asked not to be named. ``But if the campaign continues on long enough, we may have to buy more.''
NATO officials expanded the bombing campaign in Yugoslavia Wednesday, targeting a broader range of sites in an attempt to undermine Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic's attacks on ethnic Albanians in the Serbian province of Kosovo. ..."
Air Force Times 4/3/99 John Pulley "..."At this junction, we don't have the facilities" to produce the new officers needed by the Air Force, said Lt. Col. Bill Wright, the commander of the training school. "The dorms we're living in now are Korean War vintage" replete with leaky pipes and a "constant locker room ambiance," he said. Other consequences and indicators of the production push are less obvious than the bustling construction sites: * The Officer Training School, formerly a 131/2-week course, was trimmed to 12 weeks earlier this year. "By shaving the course by one-and-a-half weeks, we've got production up to close to one thousand" officers in 1999, said Lt. Col. Robert Angwin, the commander of the 24th Basic Officer Training Squadron at Maxwell. * The 145 second lieutenants who graduated from Officer Training School in February were the largest class in almost four years. In 1998, the average class graduated 80 officers. * As the pressure to produce more officers increases, the percentage of officer trainees who wash out of the program has declined. The program's attrition rate, which has been as high as 13 percent, is now at about 9 percent. That's a 30 percent reduction in the wash-out rate....."
WorldMagazine 4/10/99 Mindy Belz Freeper Stand Watch Listen "...Air strike diplomacy tries to be surgical, but-with American soldiers captured, U.S.-Russia relations on ice, and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo on the run-the NATO war on Yugoslavia is anything but antiseptic. .....From discussions with Pentagon officials, Mr. Moore says there is "real concern" about a lengthy NATO operation. Top officers see a frayed military that is losing its edge because of multiple commitments to peacekeeping missions and on-again, off-again crises. Hardware, too, is at a premium. By last weekend, NATO officials were strategizing around a completely depleted U.S. inventory of cruise missiles...."
Chattanooga Free Press 4/06/99 Editorial Freeper newsman "… Many Americans are amazed to find that the United States has engaged in a very brief attack on limited targets in a relatively small engagement and yet is running short of cruise missiles. Few people had realized our military power was so limited. Official policy long has called for the United States to have sufficient forces to fight two Persian Gulf-size wars on opposite sides of the globe at the same time, and win quickly. Many realized we might have only half that capability. But to find some vital arms running short after just a few days of attacks on Yugoslavia is shocking…."
Aviation Week & Space Technology 4/5/99 William B. Scott/Colorado Springs and David A. Fulghum/Washington Freeper Stand Watch Listen "…The loss of an F-117 Nighthawk fighter-bomber in Kosovo has raised questions about the impact of first-generation stealth technology being compromised, and why the wreckage was not immediately destroyed by follow-on air strikes. It also has U.S. defense officials saying the Kosovo conflict has revealed tough problems that include a clumsy decision-making process within NATO. Moreover, the basic slowness in reaching agreements is exacerbated by poor or nonexistent communications, the result of insufficient or misdirected defense spending over the last decade, they say. …"
Washington Post 4/7/99 Bradley Graham "…Lt. Col. Jim Herring, who manages the Air Force's dwindling stockpile of air-launched cruise missiles, knew the Pentagon was cutting things close by capping the inventory at 250 last year. But even he hadn't figured on seeing the reserves fall below 100 as the $2 million missiles were fired off by the dozens in the current airstrikes against Yugoslavia and last December's pounding of Iraq. "We already knew we were in a tight spot," Herring said yesterday. "But I don't know if anyone had anticipated this number of contingencies." ….While senior military officers said the strains are not yet critical, they warned privately that enlarging the operation further could significantly disrupt U.S. military activities elsewhere. Among the main concerns is ensuring enough aircrews for transport and air refueling flights. The refueling operations, in particular, are heavily dependent on reservists, who are responsible for piloting about 55 percent of the KC-135 tanker fleet. Until now, the Pentagon has been relying on volunteers to meet the demand. But if the demand rises, military officials said yesterday that President Clinton may have to issue orders calling up some reserve units. "We're a little ways away from that point, but we're watching it closely," one general said…."
Christian Science Monitor 4/7/99 James Thurman Freeper Stand Watch Listen "…Plenty of ordnance, such as laser-guided bombs and "dumb" bombs, is in the arsenal. But the most-effective weapons - cruise missiles and smart-bomb kits - are on back order. Moreover, warplanes and naval ships have been diverted from other operations to join the war in Yugoslavia. "[The US military] is definitely being stretched thin. It's putting pressure on planners to determine where they are going to put their aircraft," says a Pentagon source. "[Kosovo] has created a mess the Pentagon is not prepared for in terms of aircraft availability." Half a dozen of the Navy's EA-6B Prowlers, for example, have been removed from Iraqi operations to fly missions in Serbia…."
WorldNetDaily 4/15/99 Jon Dougherty "...Sources have confirmed that because of a major shift in available military resources to bolster NATO's war effort in Yugoslavia, the Pentagon has pulled the last available aircraft carrier out of Asia and sent it to the Mediterranean.... Among other directives, Cohen ordered the Kitty Hawk Battle Group, based in Yokosuka, Japan -- to deploy to the Persian Gulf to relieve the USS Enterprise, ostensibly because the latter carrier is scheduled to return to the United States in May for regularly scheduled maintenance. A Defense Department spokesman who identified himself as LCDR Sutherland confirmed that the USS Kitty Hawk has been ordered to take up station in support of U.S. air operations over Iraq, but declined to say when the carrier battle group would arrive.....Gary Hoitsma, press spokesman for Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., told WorldNetDaily, "This is one of our huge concerns about this whole operation (Yugoslavia)," Hoitsma said. "It's not just this incident, but so many other things like it that are happening in this administration." ....Sue Hensley, an aide to Sen. Tim Hutchison, R-Ariz., echoed that sentiment. Hoitsma said Sen. Inhofe was most worried about overall dwindling of military resources and the country's ability to meet its obligations in all commitments -- those which are long standing and those recently made by President Clinton. Military force reduction, coupled with increased responsibilities, "has been an area of our concern for the past six years," he added. Hoitsma commented that should trouble arise between China or North Korea while Pacific theater forces are being reduced, "there would have to be some real quick shifting of resources" from other, less pressing, areas of the world where American forces reside. And neither he, nor a number of other congressmen and senators, is convinced the United States has the ability. "You've got aircraft being taken out of the no-fly zone in Iraq being moved from Turkey over to Italy, for example," Hoitsma said. "You've also got airlift stretched to capacity, the need to call up reserves, and you've got pilots leaving the Navy and the Air Force in droves -- regardless of the current situation in Yugoslavia -- because of other concerns about deployments, lack of mission, and all the rest." Hoitsma said the Clinton administration's prosecution of the war in Kosovo is exacerbating the preexisting military shortages...."
Inside the Pentagon 4/15/99 Elaine Grossman Freeper Stand Watch Listen "...The growing requests from NATO's top military commander, Gen. Wesley Clark, for additional firepower to use in the war against Yugoslavia have prompted increasing anxiety on the part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to officials familiar with their thinking. At an April 1 meeting in their secure Pentagon "tank," the services' top military leaders reportedly expressed concern that Clark's requirements for a large number of fighters, reconnaissance aircraft, missiles and other equipment could mean the military would run high risks in other hot spots around the world..."
Electronic Telegraph 4/8/99 Ben Fenton Freeper gil "…AMERICA's armed forces are showing the strain of defence spending cuts following the end of the Cold War, experts said yesterday. There have been signs that the United States Air Force is running out of cruise missiles and the US Navy will very soon have to start using second-rate ship-launched missiles. On Tuesday, commentators expressed alarm when the Pentagon suggested that it would have to finish flying in tents for refugees before it could airlift Apache helicopters into combat positions…."
Washington Times 4/9/99 Bill Gertz Rowan Scarborough Freeper Stand Watch Listen "...EXCERPTS "It was once a large, robust force -- 18 active divisions of well-equipped, well-trained soldiers with plenty of time to hone war-fighting skills and face down the Soviet Union. Ten years later, the Army has shrunk to 10 divisions, well below the "base force" that, generals warned in the early 1990s, should never be violated. President Clinton did violate the floor with his own strategy, known as the "bottom up review" in 1993. Now, the General Accounting Office is circulating a restricted briefing paper to some members of Congress that shows just bow stretched those 10 divisions are. This is perhaps one reason the Clinton administration is reluctant to put a large land force in Kosovo."..."
The Arizona Republic 4/9/99 Jennifer Barrett Freeper donna "...An inspection of jets at Luke Air Force Base has revealed cracks in at least 17 engines, a discovery that may point to the cause of a recent Arizona crash that led to the grounding of 400 F-16s nationwide...."
Chicago Tribune http://www.chicagotribune.com/ 4/9/99 Bob Kemper Freeper A Whitewater Researcher "…EXCERPTS: "With the bombing of Yugoslavia entering its third week and the Clinton administration pledging to sustain airstrikes, the Air Force is running so low on its best cruise missiles that it no longer has enough to fill five bombers....B-52 bombers capable of carrying 20 cruise missiles are now taking off for Yugoslavia with fewer than 10 each to help conserve an arsenal that includes fewer than 100 of the satellite-guided bombs. More than 50 of the missiles were used in just the first two weeks of the campaign.... Meanwhile, the Navy has begun to divert planes and ships from other flash points around the globe to the Adriatic Sea, where a dozen U.S. ships already are taking part in the airstrikes against the forces and facilities of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic....Six EA-6B Prowlers, radar-jamming planes considered critical to enforcement of a so-called no-fly zone in northern Iraq, have been moved to the Balkans...."
WorldNetDaily.com 4/10/99 Jon Dougherty "…An expert in foreign policy affairs said that the United States is at risk of being overpowered by other nations -- or coalition of nations -- "in five to ten years" if current military policies and strategies don't change. Al Santoli, a senior foreign policy analyst for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, author, and Vietnam combat veteran, told WorldNetDaily that unless Congress and the Clinton administration revamp military strategies and funding, the U.S. could be at risk of attack by weapons of mass destruction from countries who are building -- rather than cutting forces -- in less than half a decade. Unlike emerging powers, he said, the U.S. has adopted a policy of modest or no growth in military expenditures. But the Clinton administration continues to add to missions to U.S. forces, further diminishing scarce resources while neglecting to replace them. That not only reflects bad planning, he said, but it puts American forces at risk almost everywhere. In one startling revelation, Santoli said, "U.S. forces are already so depleted, the aircraft carrier USS Kittyhawk is being sent from the Pacific theater" to bolster U.S. operations elsewhere, leaving "no carrier presence in the Pacific at all." That can't be comforting for Japanese, South Korean and Taiwanese governments, who rely principally on the U.S. for security. The navy currently deploys only about 11 operational aircraft carriers, down from 14 just three years ago, but that is still the largest carrier force in the world….. "Right now, countries like Russia, Syria, China, Iran, and North Korea have been vastly increasing their military expenditures and capabilities solely to challenge American hegemony" in Asia and the Middle East. Santoli, who is also the editor of China Reform Monitor, a publication of the American Foreign Policy Council, said China, for example, "has increased their military budget in the double digits each of the past eleven years," while the Bush and Clinton administrations have steadily cut U.S. military spending. As it stands, he said, "U.S. forces are having to cannibalize airplanes to keep other airplanes flying, we're running out of high-tech weaponry (cruise missiles), and we're having manpower problems" in virtually all services. At the same time, he pointed out, "the administration continues to deploy forces in places like Bosnia and, eventually, Kosovo, for years on end, "which further depletes already dwindling resources. Meanwhile, Russia and China -- who have forged military and economic alliances over the past several months -- continue to upgrade their military capabilities. While it may be thought that these nations are incapable of "challenging the U.S. directly right now," Santoli sees a not-too-distant future when the tide will turn against what is now a distinct U.S. military advantage….Santoli sees threats to U.S. security in the following areas: Asia, from North Korea and China, which also threaten allies South Korea and Japan The Middle East, from a re-arming Syrian, Iran, and -- to a lesser extent -- Iraq "I don't see 'World War III' developing right now, but if these trends continue ... our forces will deteriorate further" in terms of resources, material, and funding. He said his biggest fear comes "ten, perhaps just five years down the road," when Russian and Chinese armies will be equipped with modern weapons of mass destruction, "and we will have no defense against them." …"
Businessweek 4/19/99 Stan Crock "… The Air Force may soon run out of its weapon of choice--air-launched cruise missiles. It will take a year, and some $1.5 million apiece, to convert its existing cruise missiles from nuclear to conventional warheads. If NATO sends ground forces to Kosovo while the refugee crisis continues, the U.S. may not have enough airlift capacity for both missions. And a spare-parts shortage keeps 25% of fighters on the ground…… "
New York Times 4/10/99 Steven Myers "…Four days after NATO approved the deployment of two dozen American Apache helicopter gunships to attack Yugoslav tanks, frustrated NATO and Pentagon officials now estimate that it could take a month before the helicopters are available to fly into Kosovo. U.S. C-17 cargo planes carrying the first loads of equipment and supplies to support the Apaches began arriving in Albania's capital, Tirana, over the last two days. But officials said the full deployment had moved sluggishly, and they cited bad weather, slow-moving bureaucracy and an air-traffic bottleneck over Albania because of the airlift of food and relief supplies…."
THE WASHINGTON TIMES 4/12/99 Bill Gertz "...A classified Pentagon intelligence report warns that U.S. and NATO pilots flying over Serbia face the threat of laser illumination from range-finders deployed with Serbian tanks, artillery or special forces. The main danger is that Serbian forces could import blinding laser weapons or sow fear among NATO pilots and aircrews through the use of lasers against aircraft, according to the report by the Army's National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) and obtained by The Washington Times.....The report, "Laser Threat to Air Operations in Serbia and Kosovo," was produced by the intelligence center for the U.S. Air Force, Europe, which is responsible for the scores of U.S. pilots who so far have flown thousands of missions over the Balkans since the bombing campaign began March 24. It concludes that the use of lasers by Serbian forces against NATO aircraft is a potential threat but one considered to be minimal. "The intent would be to distract a flight crew from its mission," the report said. "There is no evidence to suggest that any of the military factions have a dedicated laser weapon designed to target air platforms." According to the report, there has been an "influx of foreign military weapons into the Balkans" since the conflict began.....However, a Pentagon intelligence official said the movement of a Russian intelligence-gathering ship to the Adriatic Sea has increased the danger of intentional laser use against U.S. and NATO pilots flying from bases in Italy over the sea en route to daily bombing targets in the Balkans..."
Air Force Times 3/29/99 Bryant Jordan "…The two HH-60 Pave Hawks from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., were still burning when would-be rescuers arrived at the scene just after 2 a.m. Sept. 4, more than four hours after the helicopters had collided and crashed. The wreckage was scattered over a 1,200-square-foot swath of desert. The 12 crewmen were dead….. Now, a different kind of heat is being generated by an exhaustive five-volume report on the disaster that Air Force officials released March 15. Pilot error is the report's conclusion, but it also makes clear there is plenty of blame to go around -- and that the accident had been at least five years in the making. The overwhelming contributing factors leading up to the disaster, wrote lead investigator Col. Denver Pletcher, was "a high ops/pers tempo coupled with leadership problems, internal and external training deficiencies, broken squadron processes, low aircrew experience level, and midlevel supervisory breakdown." In Pletcher's opinion, "this squadron was on a path to disaster." Like so many other units throughout the Air Force, the 66th was working lean. As a combat search-and-rescue squadron it was a "low density/high demand" outfit, meaning its assets were limited and its capabilities specialized, but demand for its services was high…."
Air Force Times 3/29/99 Jennifer Palmer "…The problems at the 66th Rescue Squadron were among the most serious in the Air Force, but the unit was by no means the only one in Air Combat Command severely stressed by trying to do so much. Command officials have been tracking each of its squadrons to see which are most stressed, said Gen. Richard Hawley, who runs Air Combat Command. As of February, the command had one unit considered "red hot," or severely stressed, he said. That was the 38th and 343rd reconnaissance squadrons at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. The squadrons count as one unit in the command's comparison system because they both fly the RC-135 Rivet Joint. The primary reason for the "red hot" categorization is their deployment schedule, which exceeds the goal of no more than 120 days per airman per year…..Eleven units are considered "hot," stressed to the point where command officials are concerned. One is the 66th Rescue Squadron, which remains seriously stressed in spite of changes put into place before and after the September 1998 crash. The 71st and 41st rescue squadrons at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., also made the list…."
U.S. News & World Report 4/19/99 Richard Newman Freeper Stand Watch Listen "...Since the early 1990s, the Pentagon has figured it needs enough forces and firepower to be able to fight two wars simultaneously-such as one in Korea and another in Iraq. But Gen. Wesley Clark feels that the United States may need even more military might. Last month in Washington, Clark, who is running the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia, quietly suggested to members of Congress that someday the United States might find itself fighting not two regional wars but three. The third war that Clark foresaw? An eruption of violence in the Balkans...."
Armed Forces Journal International 4/99 Tracy Ralphs Freeper Stand Watch Listen "...EXCERPTS ""The Navy admits that it currently has no credible surface fire capabilities to support forced-entry from the sea and inland operations by Marine Corps and Army forces." This critical deficiency is exacerbated by the current focus of the Navy and Marine Corps on operations in littoral (coastal) regions and on the development of amphibious assault capabilities from over the horizon. During the past 10 years, US amphibious forces have been involved in 50 crises around the world. With about 70 percent of the world's population now living within 50 miles of a coastline, littoral warfare capabilities will remain critical in the 21st cent ury, and Navy and Marine forces will continue to play a major role in responding to overseas crises affecting US security interests. "..."
Center for Security Policy's Roundtable discussion ANA Hotel DC 7/15/97 "...Dr. Barker cited a study conducted by the Department of Energy during the Reagan Administration which found that in order to prepare for a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the United States would need to conduct 10 nuclear tests per year for 10 years. These tests would have provided scientists with a high-quality and comprehensive data base necessary to evaluate the accuracy of the predictions made with the new diagnostic equipment about the safety and reliability of the future stockpile. Regrettably, the fact that the SSMP will be conducted without the benefit of such data only adds to the uncertainty about the adequacy of this program to ensure the effectiveness and credibility of the American nuclear force down the road..... Anxiety about the U.S. nuclear arsenal's status in the near- to medium-term is further exacerbated by the hemorrhagic departure from the DoE weapons complex of many of the skilled scientists and engineers with first-hand experience of the execution, validation and, where necessary, correction of nuclear weapons designs. In the not-too-distant-future, the American nuclear weapons complex will lose the last of its employees who have designed and conducted an actual nuclear test, who were responsible for fabricating and proving nuclear weapons now in the inventory or who have been responsible for demonstrating that fixes in defective designs have been effected via an underground explosion. .... "
Center for Security Policy's Roundtable discussion ANA Hotel DC 7/15/97 "...Tritium is a radioactive gas critical to the functioning of U.S. nuclear weapons, in which it has been used to enhance the efficiency of a given design by permitting its yield to be maximized while reducing its size and weight. Since tritium decays at the rate of 5.5% a year, the gas in American weapons must be replenished periodically. As one participant observed, "If a weapon does not have the right amount of tritium in it, its yield is not megatons or hundreds of kilotons or tens of kilotons, it's effectively zero." Given that reality, it is astounding that the United States has not produced tritium for more than a decade -- and currently lacks the ability to manufacture it. In order to meet the tritium needs of its nuclear arsenal, the U.S. has been obliged to cannibalize the gas in existing weapons retired either unilaterally or pursuant to arms reduction agreements. Several participants warned, however, that the period in which such a work-around solution could be relied upon is coming to an end. Existing stocks of tritium are steadily degrading and must be replaced. The Department of Energy has identified two approaches to providing future supplies of tritium -- by using a linear accelerator, which has never before been attempted and relies on experimental technology; or by using a commercial reactor, an approach that would face opposition from those seeking to maintain the separation between military and civilian nuclear technology. Either way, the United States remains years away from providing a reliable domestic supply of tritium. Unless and until such a source of supply is achieved, the American nuclear force will face the prospect of steady, and ultimately catastrophic, degradation. The need for DoE quickly to demonstrate the feasibility of and select an approach to meeting the Nation's yawning tritium requirement was broadly supported by Roundtable participants...... "
Center for Security Policy's Roundtable discussion ANA Hotel DC 7/15/97 "...In the rapid reduction of the American nuclear industrial base following the end of the Cold War, the United States also allowed the elimination of its ability to produce new primaries for nuclear weapons -- the devices used to trigger thermonuclear explosions -- in quantity. Today, Los Alamos National Laboratory is the only facility capable of producing these critical components, and only in small quantities, at that. The U.S. also lacks the ability to produce secondaries, the part of nuclear weapons that, when triggered by primaries, produces the bulk of the nuclear yield. Such deficiencies pose not only immense obstacles to a rapid nuclear rearmament should it be necessary to do so. They also make problematic the task of remanufacturing existing weapons -- a task that many participants noted will be required in due course. Dr. Schlesinger put it starkly: "At this time, we have no production complex." .....The Roundtable also highlighted worries about the government's declining ability to safeguard the facilities and materials of the Department of Energy weapons complex. One participant suggested that this shortfall was a symptom of the larger problems afflicting the Department's infrastructure. The unfortunate reality is that there is more nuclear weapons-grade material in the system than at the height of the Cold War (a function of both sizeable returns of special nuclear material by the Department of Defense and the quantities of such material extracted from the former Soviet Union). The budgets for protecting such materials and the sites that house them, however, have been reduced by more than 40 percent. .... "The political environment is such that one is not allowed to talk about these problems, one is not allowed to talk about the...cumulative effects of the budget shortfalls; one is not allowed to talk about the safety problems because...the consequences would be politically problematic, to say nothing of fiscally difficult...." ...."
STRATFOR's Global Intelligence Update 1830 GMT, 990416 Freeper Brian Mosely "...There are 12 active carriers in the U.S. Navy. As of April 12, they were deployed as follows: USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Currently attached to U.S. 5th Fleet in the Persian Gulf enforcing Operation Southern Watch USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN 71) Currently attached to U.S. 6th Fleet in the Adriatic Sea involved in Operation Allied Force USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Currently attached to U.S. 7th Fleet in the southern Pacific heading back to homeport. USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) Currently in the Indian Ocean heading to the Persian Gulf. USS Constellation (CV 64) is listed as underway. Its homeport is San Diego, California USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) is listed as underway. Its homeport is San Diego, California USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) is listed as underway. Its homeport is Mayport, Florida. USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN69)- passing through Suez Canal and the Mediterranean. It is due back in Norfolk, Virgina on December 10. USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN72) Its last known location was near Everret, Washington providing deck trials for the new F/18 Super Hornet. USS Harry S. Truman (CVN75) It's last known location is listed off the Maryland coast. USS George Washington (CVN73)Currently still in port at Norfolk, Virginia after completing flight deck certification USS Nimitz (CVN68) Currently at Newport News Shipbuilding for a 33-month refueling and upgrade..."
The Orlando Sentinel Online 4/18/99 Charley Reese "... Americans, exposed to hours of color images of refugees, now feel great compassion for the Albanians who have fled or been driven out of Kosovo. Indeed you would have to have a lead sinker for a heart not to feel compassion and sadness. But we have to remember that our emotions are being manipulated. There are, at this moment, several millions of refugees around the world, many of whom have rotted in squalid camps for decades. Yet, they don't exist in our consciousness, because no corporation chooses to focus the cameras on them and regale us day after day with the stories of their horrors. So sleazy politicians are able to get away with the big lie: This war is necessary because of the humanitarian disaster; because, they say, the president of a small country of 10 million people is a fiend. Listen, China invaded Tibet and has destroyed virtually 80 percent of its population as well as its culture and historical artifacts. Why did not, why has not, the United States responded to that humanitarian catastrophe with an ultimatum and bombs on Beijing? Simple: China is a nation of more than a billion people, with nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them. The United States' leaders are both cynical and cowardly. They love to bully little countries. They are scared of crossing any country with the means to fight back. They have become that most disgusting of human beings -- the armchair warrior, the barstool blowhard ever eager for someone else to fight someone....."I support the troops," people now love to say. Oh, yeah? Did they support those troops when Congress reneged on its promises to them? Did they support those troops when the government began to degrade and demoralize them? Just what do they mean by support other than that they are willing to break wind with their mouths in the safety of their home or office. Bombing and attacking virtually de-fenseless, small countries (we've bombed four different sovereign states in the past 10 months) does nothing but earn Americans the enmity of most of the world's people. This reckless and illegal behavior by a group of corrupt and incompetent American politicians will come back and bite us one day...."
http://www.insidedefense.com/ 4/19/99 "…U.S. fighters flying over the Balkans may be putting American support forces on the ground at a greater risk of fratricide due to problems with the aircraft's radar warning displays, service sources told Inside the Army last week. The aircraft warning systems inaccurately display two U.S. military radar systems -- the TPQ-36 Firefinder and MPQ-64 Sentinel -- as either unknown or threat systems, Army sources said. The risk is that a U.S. pilot may see either a Firefinder or a Sentinel and mistakenly believe evasive action is required, prompting them to attempt to destroy the radars, which are being manned by U.S. military personnel, a service source said….A spokesman for Raytheon, the prime contractor for the two radar systems, said the company had not been informed about the potential problem…."
AP 4/20/99 LAURA MYERS Freeper Earl B. "...Because of dual defense needs in Kosovo and Iraq, no aircraft carrier is plying the Pacific. The gap in carrier coverage for the Pacific could last until the fall... A senior defense official, describing the search for resources, said the U.S. military's "elasticity" is reduced since the Cold War when the Navy had 600 ships, for example, compared with 324 today. Leaving the Pacific unguarded by a carrier for long could send the wrong signal to North Korea, China or Indonesia, now experiencing violence ahead of elections, a defense official acknowledged...."
AP 4/20/99 ANNE GEARAN Freeper Earl B. "...The wreckage of a U.S. stealth jet fighter that crashed on a NATO bombing mission over Yugoslavia won't help other countries build their own radar-evading planes, the Pentagon said Tuesday. ``We've put a lot of distance between (that plane) and the planes we're building now,'' Carlson said. ``That material, should it have gone to Russian hands ..., we think that loss is minimal.'' The American F-117A jet went down March 27, four days into the bombing campaign against Serb-led Yugoslavia. The pilot, who ejected, was rescued by U.S. forces...."
San Diego Union-Tribune 4/18/99 Robert Caldwell Freeper Stand Watch Listen "...EXCERPTS "How much safer the world looked just a few months ago. No war in Yugoslavia. No war in Iraq. The Clinton-era Pentagon trundling along on illusions and denial, just like its commander in chief. As defense spending fell year after year during the 1990s, the White House seemed oblivious to the national security implications. Even normally pro-defense Republicans in Congress were content to collect the post-Cold War peace dividend while watching the armed forces and defense spending shrink by 40 percent. .....Pentagon wags were driven to parody. A budget-time plea drafted last year in the form of an apocryphal personals ad made the Defense Department's e-mail rounds: ... "Lonely superpower seeks adversary. Tin horn dictator-type preferred. Rabidly anti-American rhetoric a plus. Discretion assured. Reply urgently to Pentagon, U.S.A." Nobody is laughing now. "...."
Pacific Stars And Stripes 4/22/99 AP Freeper Stand Watch Listen "...EXCERPTS 'The U.S. military, stretched thin following a post-Cold War downsizing, is feeling the pinch. Because of dual defense needs in Kosovo and Iraq, no aircraft carrier is plying the Pacific. Instead, Air Force planes there have gone on alert for any trouble. The gap in carrier coverage the Pacific could last until the fall, when the USS Constellation arrive, defense officials said. The USS Kitty Hawk, based out of Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, arrived in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday to free up the USS Theodore Roosevelt to join the NATO airstrikes on Yugoslavia. The Roosevelt, based out of Norfolk, Va., arrived in the Adriatic Sea on April 5." ..."
Kansas City Star 4/18/99 E. Thomas McClanahan Freeper Stand Watch Listen "...EXCERPTS "Today, America's military superiority is unparalleled. In technology and training, our forces are well ahead of any potential adversary - a position they are expected to hold for a decade or more. But after that, the concerns begin to multiply. The weapons deployed in the Gulf were based on research and testing that occurred many years before. Today, a growing number of military analysts are worried that the Clinton administration may be doing too little to ensure America's lead is maintained. The issue involves more than aggregate amounts of spending for research and development. " ..."
Newsday 4/21/99 AP Alan Fram "...Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said today that a Serbian widening of the Balkans conflict into pro-Western Montenegro would have serious consequences. ``On Montenegro, we are very concerned about what is going on there and have been in very close tough with President (Milo) Djukanovic, who seeks to maintain a degree of self-government there,'' Albright told the House International Relations Committee. There are increasing reports that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's forces are trying to evict from Montenegro many ethnic Albanians who had been forced to flee from Kosovo. Kosovo is a province of Serbia; Serbia and Montenegro comprise Yugoslav....As they prepared to draft legislation financing the U.S. share of the fighting over Kosovo and aid to refugees, House GOP leaders said they would include money for the Pentagon to buy weapons and ammunition and to try to remedy a personnel shortage. ``I see a national security crisis,'' said House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas. ``I see it as our first moral obligation.'' Armey refused to use a figure, but said Monday that a $10 billion measure would be insufficient. He blamed Clinton for the problem, saying Republicans must ``fill the void that's been left by this administration.'' ...Whatever the cost, Lott and Armey said they think the money will come from this year's projected $110 billion federal surplus, all of which is from the Social Security trust fund. That is a sensitive admission for Republicans because they have vowed to use Social Security surpluses only to overhaul the program or reduce the national debt. ``The president has asked for that money, and the American people need to understand that it's coming out of Social Security,'' Lott told reporters...."
4/20/99 U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe "… "According to the Pentagon’s most recent Quarterly Readiness Report, ‘there are currently 118 CINC (Commander-in-Chief)-identified readiness-related deficiencies of which 32 are designated Category 1 deficiencies (ones that entail significant warfighting risk to the execution of the National Military Strategy (NMS) and are key risk drivers for the MTW scenarios).’ "To meet these challenges and restore the military to where it needs to be, the Joint Chiefs testified that the Pentagon required budget increases of approximately $25 billion per year for the next six years. Responding to this, the President submitted a budget which he claimed amounted to a $12 billion increase (less than half what the chiefs requested on an annual basis). But on closer examination, we found it only amounted to about $2 billion in real new money, the rest coming from smoke and mirrors reprogrammings, and already calculated fuel cost savings and inflation adjustments. The fact is that the President has not yet seriously addressed the readiness crisis, except to make it worse…."
4/20/99 U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe "…U.S. Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) made the following statement today in response to remarks by presidential spokesman Joe Lockhart at Monday’s White House press briefing. Lockhart defended the President’s record concerning military readiness and said that the state of U.S. military readiness was "top-notch" and "first-rate." "As with so many other things, the White House is not leveling with the American people about the state of U.S. military readiness. The President has submitted status quo defense budgets, increased overseas deployments, and strongly opposed the fielding of a national missile defense system. He has decimated the Reagan-Bush legacy of military preparedness. While his spokesmen can try to claim that everything is fine, this White House has zero credibility on the issue of military readiness. "The fact is that today’s military is facing the most serious readiness crisis since the ‘hollow force’ of the late 1970s. In a series of high profile readiness hearings before Congress since last September, and before the outbreak of war in Kosovo, leaders from the Joint Chiefs on down have revealed that readiness today is lower than it was six years ago and that growing readiness problems loom in the very near future. "The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified that the risk associated with our ability to execute the National Military Strategy (winning two major theater wars (MTWs) almost simultaneously) was moderate to high. In laymen’s terms, this means we cannot meet the 2 MTW requirement without significant numbers of American lives being placed at risk. And this is before we consider any war in the Balkans, where there is no vital U.S. security interest at stake. The chairman specifically testified that readiness is lower today than it was six years ago, when this administration took office…."
4/20/99 U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe "… "The White House seeks to perpetuate the myth that our military today is the same as it was in 1991 when we won the Gulf War or that we already have some form of national missile defense capability. Millions of Americans believe these things. They are wrong. And the President does nothing to disabuse them of their erroneous beliefs. "In category after category, from Army and other force personnel, to Air Force fighter wings and airlift capacity, to Navy ships at sea, today’s military is almost down to half what it was before the Gulf War. Ammunition and spare parts supplies are seriously depleted. Engines and other vital equipment are being routinely cannibalized. Military housing and pay desperately need improvement. Thousands of personnel are on food stamps. Air Force and Navy pilots are leaving in droves. Recruiting is down. Morale is not near what it should be. "When it comes to the greatest emerging 21st century threat--proliferating weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles--we have no deployed capability to intercept even one single solitary long range missile aimed at America. These are facts the White House would like to conceal from the American people. "All of these deficiencies relate directly to policy decisions made by this President. Without the war in Kosovo, the next administration is being left with a readiness and modernization mountain to climb bigger than we had to address in the early 1980s. With this war, the problems are only that much greater…."
National Review 5/3/99 Kate O'Beirne "...There may be disagreement among Republicans over Kosovo, but there is a growing consensus that restoring our national defenses should be a priority for them. After news accounts of the dwindling supply of cruise missiles, the scarcity of spare parts, and the abandonment of other trouble spots to engage in Kosovo, Republicans believe that this little war is foreshadowing the problems U.S. forces would face in a big war. Missouri Republican Jim Talent, who serves on the House subcommittee on military readiness, says, "If there is a silver lining in this cloud, [it's that] there will be an opportunity for a debate on national defense." That debate is long overdue. President Clinton has spent six years ignoring the needs of the military he now calls upon. Rep. Tillie Fowler, a Florida Republican, cites a recent Washington Post report about emboldened North Koreans closely monitoring the sorties and setbacks in Yugoslavia: "Every missile fired, every plane in the air, every soldier, airman, and sailor engaged, takes from somewhere else like Iraq or North Korea." The angry and frustrated Republican response to Kosovo is caused, in part, by the president's refusal to pay the costs of his military commitments. For the past few years, members have been hearing about personnel and equipment shortages from mid-level officers and families of servicemen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, chairman of the Senate subcommittee on readiness, heard about the shortfalls over a year ago, when Slobodan Milosevic was still a valued partner in the Dayton peace accords rather than Adolf Hitler. Military planners in Germany told the senator that providing ground logistical support to troops in the Balkans put them at 110 percent of their capacity. When he learned that trucks ferrying supplies to Bosnia had over a million miles on them, he added money for new trucks to last year's defense budget. "It's just absurd to spend more money on maintenance than on what a new truck would cost," says Sen. Inhofe. Over the past three years, Congress has added some $21 billion to President Clinton's defense-budget requests. But these increases have not kept up with the faster tempo of operations, as Clinton has made commitments in Haiti, Somalia, Iraq, Bosnia, Macedonia, the Taiwan strait, and now Kosovo. ("There have been more deployments in the past six years than in the past 30," observes Inhofe.) Indeed, defense spending hasn't even kept up with inflation for the past 14 years. Each increase was passed over administration objections that the Pentagon hadn't asked for it...."
Washington Times 4/21/99 Bruce Bartlett Freeper Stand Watch Listen "...EXCERPTS "The war in Yugoslavia is already shaping up as one of the most poorly planned conflicts in American history. As a consequence, defense officials are scrambling to pull together the resources needed to sustain our operations there. In just fiscal 1998 alone the Defense Department lost the following assets. * Aircraft. The number of combat aircraft fell by 434 or 4.8 percent. Sixty-two airlift planes were also retired, and 857 other aircraft. In total, 1,353 planes were taken from service, reducing the number of aircraft available by 6.6 percent. * Ships. More than 10 percent of all submarines were decommissioned, reducing the total to 123 from 137 the year before. Ten support ships were lost and 684 small boats. Overall, U.S. ship strength was reduced by 16 percent. * Combat vehicles. The number of tanks were reduced by 827 or 7.6 percent. Other combat vehicles fell by 6,360 or 14.5 percent. Overall, available combat vehicles declined 13.1 percent. "..."
AP 4/21/99 Anne Gearan "...Any qualified veteran can be buried with military honors -- a flag ceremony and the playing of ``Taps'' -- under a Pentagon plan to address complaints that the military sometimes did not accommodate funeral requests. The guarantee, which must be approved by Congress, would apply to veterans who served with honor, said Gail McGinn, deputy assistant secretary of defense for personnel support...Until now, the individual services handled funeral requests ad hoc -- sending representatives when they could but also turning down about a quarter of the 37,000 annual valid requests for funeral honors, McGinn said. The main problem in meeting the existing demand is that deaths of veterans have increased while the size of the military has decreased, she said...."
Manchester Union Leader 4/23/99 Richard Lessner "...The Constellation is bound for the Pacific - eventually. But until the venerable old flat top arrives on station sometime this fall, the United States will have no carrier deployed in the entire Pacific Ocean, this despite our widespread defense commitments in that half of the world. The Associated Press reported this week that because of the war in Yugoslavia and our the open-ended operation against Iraq in the Persian Gulf, the Navy is having to scramble to meet the various missions to which the Clinton peace hawks have committed us. As a result, the Pacific now is without a carrier presence. Worse, with just 12 active carriers (down from 16 eight years ago), the Navy is having to keep the flat tops at sea longer than usual.... The Pentagon, toeing the White House line, insists our military forces are adequate for this two-war mission, but defense analysts increasingly are doubtful the downsized military is up to the task. We are stretched dangerously thin. Weakness always invites aggression, if not directed at us, then at our allies or interests. This is the result of letting former Yippies and peaceniks play at foreign policy...."
Washington Times 4/30/99 Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough "...Military planners and regional commanders in chief (Cincs) are beginning to worry there may not be enough forces to handle new conflicts with Iraq or North Korea because of the war in the Balkans. The Pentagon is sending forces from the Persian Gulf and the Pacific to NATO. The drawdown has stretched the U.S. presence thin, according to a senior U.S. government national security official. "We are eroding our ability to deter a North Korean missile attack or invasion of the South, and we are lessening the pressure against Saddam,'' the official said. ..."The problem is that we used to be able to fight and win two regional conflicts, but under Clinton we have gone to one and a half and now one." The pinch is not limited to military forces. Intelligence resources also are stretched thin due to drawdowns of intelligence resources under the Clinton administration. Satellites that focus on the Middle East and the Pacific have been shifted to the Balkans, leaving bare spots in coverage of those parts of the world. Analysts also are being taken off other regions and put to work on Serbia...."
American Forces Press Service 4/30/99 Jim Garamone "...Up to 33,102 reserve component members can be called to active duty for Operation Allied Force under a presidential selected reserve call-up signed April 27 by President Clinton..... The services are also authorized to invoke Stop-Loss programs that would suspend service members' normal separation dates from active duty. The Air Force will invoke the Stop-Loss program; personnel most affected are pilots, air crews, aircraft maintenance personnel and those in other critical specialties. Air Force Maj. Gen. Susan Pamerleau, director of personnel forces management on the Air Staff, said the service invoked Stop-Loss as a matter of fairness because of the large number of reservists being called up. She said, however, that Stop-Loss will specifically target those in critical specialties needed for the operation...."
LA Times 4/30/99 Peter Gosselin "...WASHINGTON--The U.S. military, strained by continuing operations against Iraq as well as NATO's bombing campaign in Yugoslavia, is running low on some of the very weapons it needs to fight the wars of its choice. The nation's stockpile of cruise missiles--the most versatile of the current generation of "smart" weapons--is being depleted by the unexpectedly large number of attacks--and at a time when there are no production lines in operation. .... More recently, Navy officials have said they are replenishing supplies of a sea-launched version of the cruise missile--called the Tomahawk--by, among other things, refurbishing some 200 older missiles now in storage. "We need more than we have in order to be comfortable," said John Douglass, assistant Navy secretary for research and acquisitions until he left in September to become president of the Aerospace Industries Assn. "It's gradually dawning on all of us that the mean time between crises where we might want to use them is much shorter than anybody thought a few years ago." ...The Clinton administration has asked for $6 billion to pay for the current campaign, almost 10% of it for missiles. "We're short across the board in munitions, and this is the time to do something about it," said Rep. Duncan Hunter, (R-El Cajon), chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on procurement...."If there is anything we have learned in the last decade, it is that we cannot bomb indiscriminately because of the public backlash," said Loren Thompson, a defense analyst with the Lexington Institute, a Washington think tank. Most analysts estimate that 90% of the weapons used so far in the Yugoslav conflict have been precision-guided. "All of a sudden, the Air Force has got a new role," said Frank Robbins, director of precision strike systems at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida...."
Washington Post 4/30/99 Bradley Graham Freeper starlu "...The general who oversees U.S. combat aircraft said yesterday the Air Force has been sorely strained by the Kosovo conflict and would be hard-pressed to handle a second war in the Middle East or Korea. Gen. Richard Hawley, who heads the Air Combat Command, told reporters that five weeks of bombing Yugoslavia have left U.S. munition stocks critically short, not just of air-launched cruise missiles as previously reported, but also of another precision weapon, the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) dropped by B-2 bombers. So low is the inventory of the new satellite-guided weapons, Hawley said, that as the bombing campaign accelerates, the Air Force risks exhausting its prewar supply of more than 900 JDAMs before the next scheduled delivery in May. "It's going to be really touch-and-go as to whether we'll go Winchester on JDAMs," the four-star general said, using a pilot's term for running out of bullets...."
StratFor Web Site 4/30/99 - 0200 GMT "...The simmering dispute between the Clinton Administration and the U.S. military leadership broke into the open again today after U.S. Air Force's head of the Air Combat Command, Richard Hawley, reported that the U.S. Air Force was running short of key munitions and that it might not have enough in reserve to fight a war on a second front. Hawley, clearly referring to the ongoing, low-grade air campaign in Iraq, was quickly countered by White House spokesman Joe Lockhart and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who both asserted that sufficient munitions were available for all necessary missions. The fact that a very senior Air Force officer would make such an assertion in public is a measure of the tension between the White House and the Air Force..... Air Force officers are now engaging in career-killing, public criticisms of the air campaign. The White House, rather than firing them, is arguing with them in public. Behind these strange goings on is the fact that the Air Force does not intend to be blamed for the failure of the campaign that is supposed to achieve Milosevic's capitulation. By focusing on the lack of munitions, the Air Force is trying to focus attention on the Clinton administration's history of budget cutting. The issue is not only munitions. Rather, it is the sense that the White House has forced the Air Force into a no-win situation. What is extraordinary is that the behind-the-scenes tension that has been present throughout the war, is now breaking into the open and that the White House does not feel itself on sure enough ground to simply order Hawley's dismissal...."
USA Today 4/28/99 Duncan Hunter "...The Clinton-Gore team has bled the military such that the Army is short $3.5 billion worth of basic ammunition alone. The Marines are short $193 million. Combined shortages for the Navy and Air Force exceed $6 billion. The services also face critical shortages of spare parts, equipment and training. This short funding has contributed to 56 military crashes in the past 14 months, resulting in 62 dead Americans. None were in combat, but were the result of the Clinton-Gore team stretching the military so thin it is now breaking. While Congress has added $29.5 billion over the past five years, the ammo pouches and spare-parts bins remain nearly empty. The formula for calculating the shortages is easy: Take the president's "Two Major Regional Conflict Plan" (that is, our military should be big and strong enough to fight and win two, nearly simultaneous wars) and match it against stocks of ammunition, parts and equipment. This brings enormous shortages to light. Last week, the services gave us their shortage list for near-term war-fighting capability, documented down to specific ammunition and spare parts: The Air Force alone reports shortages of $18 billion; the Navy, $3.8 billion; the Army, $3.7 billion; and Marines, $3.2 billion. Against this $28.7 billion need, the administration offers a mere $5.5 billion, one-fifth of what it will take to outfit our services properly. The Clinton-Gore treatment of our men and women in uniform is clear: They are inadequately paid (about 11,000 military personnel are now on food stamps); they are short on ammunition; and mission capability rates have fallen below 70% across the board. Many of our aircraft are considered dangerous to fly. All while the president continues to deploy our troops at a feverish pace. Congress should reverse the starvation diet the president has given our military personnel and fully fund the current $28.7 billion shortage...."
stratfor.com 4/29/99 Freeper henbane "2109 GMT, 990429 - Operation Allied Force has taken a toll on the U.S. Air Force's inventory of key precision munitions. Speaking at a reporter's breakfast, Air Force General Richard Hawley, head of the Air Combat Command, said that the munitions have been used up so fast that the air force is having trouble keeping them in stock. Hawley said that the air force has accelerated production of the satellite-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), carried by the B-2 stealth bomber, but it will be "touch and go" as to whether they run out before new ones are delivered next month. As well, he also noted that conventional air-launched cruise missiles (CALCM) also are in short supply and no new ones are scheduled to be delivered until September. Hawley, who is near retirement, also expressed the air force's uneasiness with the political constraints under which the air war is being fought, and concern that air power is being discredited by a strategy that has failed to use it to full advantage. "Clearly in our air force doctrine, air power works best when it's used decisively. Shock, mass are the way to achieve early results," he said. "Clearly because of the constraints in this operation we haven't seen that at this point. ..."
The Claremont Institute (via e-mail) 5/3/99 Larry P. Arnn, Pres "...As we fight in Kosovo, where dangers multiply and success recedes, steps are neglected that can secure our freedom from attack at home. Reports abound that America's stock of cruise missiles runs perilously low, and no assembly line is producing more. The president has committed to ballistic missile defense, and yet he takes no urgent steps to complete a practical system and get it into operation. Meanwhile, China and Iraq give assistance to North Korea, a primitive and brutal place, in its effort to develop the means of direct and devastating attack upon the United States. .... "
Washington Times 5/3/99 Rowan Scarborough ".... Navy commander has warned the service's fleet of radar reconnaissance planes, including those flying against Yugoslavia, that shortages of aircraft, spare parts and training hours created a safety threat in his unit. The squadron commander told Adm. Jay Johnson, the chief of naval operations, in a "hazard report" that "over the past year, we have not been given the tools necessary to do [our mission]. We've merely been fighting for survival. " The commander also said in an accompanying memo that the shortage "severely degrades a squadron's ability to maintain minimum aircrew proficiency levels. . . Lack of proficiency for a squadron is detrimental to the safety of the lives of everyone involved in launching, flying and recovering aircraft." The April memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, tells of crews passing parts from squadron to squadron to keep carrier units ready. It also tells of pilots not achieving minimum training hours while waiting to deploy...."
Aviation Week & Space Technology 5/3/99 DAVID A. FULGHUM "...Unless the U.S. begins severely rationing high-accuracy, all-weather bombs and air-launched cruise missiles, the Air Force could run out of its weapons of choice in NATO's air war against Yugoslavia before the end of May. "At the current expenditure rate, it's going to really be touch and go as to whether we will [run out of] JDAMs before we get the next delivery," said Gen. Richard Hawley, chief of Air Combat Command. "It's iffy. It's very close. There isn't any room for error if we're going to be able to sustain [the air campaign]." These looming shortages have senior service officials scrambling to find the money and means to massively increase production--perhaps by more than 10 times--of Boeing's Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guidance tail kit and to begin production of new conventional air-launched cruise missiles (Calcms) with longer range, more efficient engines and modern avionics. ...."
The Union Leader 5/10/99 Richard Lessner "...There was a time in the United States Army when surrendering without a fight would get a soldier court-martialed; today it earns him medals, including the highly regarded Army Commendation medal. This is not to fault the three GIs released last week after a month in captivity following their capture on the Macedonian-Yugoslav border. The hapless soldiers probably were operating under typically restrictive rules of engagement and, let's face it, training is not what it once was. As retired colonel and Pentagon critic David Hackworth puts it, the Army used to produce warriors; now it trains social workers.... The Army is now operating in 73 countries. The reason Mr. Clinton has ruled out the use of ground forces in Kosovo is simple: the Army's 10 active divisions (down from 18 in 1992) are tied down elsewhere. ....So at least one good thing will come of this misguided misadventure in the Balkans: It has revealed the appalling state of our military readiness after years of benign neglect and the need to rebuild a robust national defense...."
Associated Press 5/12/99 Tom Raum, "...Discouraged by a long Russian delay on an arms-reduction pact, the Senate Armed Services Committee was ready to support a plan for reducing the Navy's nuclear-missile sub fleet from 18 to 14, congressional officials said Wednesday. Four of the Trident submarines now armed with nuclear missiles would be refitted for other purposes under the plan expected to win the panel's backing as it works behind closed doors on a defense spending bill for fiscal 2000, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity...."
4/2/99 Aviation Week & Space Technology "....Every year, the U.S. Air Force puts on an Aerospace Power Demonstration in Florida to display publicly, its proficiency in wielding the weapons of modern warfare. Consider what the audience saw at last year's show. The first plane that flew over was a KC-135 tanker, basically a military version of Boeing's old 707 jetliner. The Air Force has more than 500 KC-135s in service, but their average age is 38 years. It has plans to keep some of them flying until they're twice that age. The KC-135 was refueling a B-52H bomber. B-52s are expected to make up more than one-third of the heavy bomber fleet for he next 30 years. Average age today: 37 years. The B-52 was designed in the early 1950s, and the Air Force plans to retire the last one in 2037. That's a design-to-demise life span of nearly 90 years-sort of like flying a World War I biplane today....."
Yahoo News - WASHINGTON (Reuters) 5/16/1999 Los Angeles Times Freeper sunshine "...The U.S. agency that provided the map used in the accidental attack on China's embassy in Belgrade was involved in three tragedies in the past 15 months in which 28 people died, including the shearing by a U.S. plane of a ski cable in Italy that killed 20 people, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. ``The current (Defense Department) system to generate and distribute imagery and mapping products for use in mission planning is broke,'' Lt. Col. Phil Meteer wrote on April 30 in an internal Air Force report obtained by the Times...."
Orlando Sentinel 5/16/99 Charley Reese Freeper Stand Watch Listen "...If Congress wants to reduce America's military forces, then do so, but, by God, keep the remaining forces fully equipped, fully maintained and fully trained. ...It is, so far as I'm concerned, malfeasance to chisel the military on maintenance, spare parts and training time so some buffoon can posture that he has balanced the budget while spending even more on politically profitable social programs. But that's exactly what Congress has done. And the responsibility does fall squarely on Congress. Though most Americans don't seem to know it, Congress, not the president, has exclusive right to determine the budget. ...Congress has the right to ask aviators to die. It doesn't have the right to kill them with budget cuts...."
Pacific Stars And Stripes 5/19/99 Richard Roesler Freeper Stand Watch Listen "...Budget cuts, frequent deployments, aging weapons systems and the loss of experienced mid-career airmen are all threatening to turn the Air Force into a "hollow force," the president of the Air Force Association said Monday. ...Budget cuts since, he said, have left an Air Force "showing signs of a hollow force, much like we had in the 1970s. ...Although the force has shrunk dramatically, airmen are deploying four times as much as they did during the Cold War...."
Washington Times 5/12/99 Rowan Scarborough "Defense Secretary William S. Cohen warned yesterday that a prolonged bombing of Yugoslavia eventually will grind down U.S. pilots' morale and declared that his stretched-out military worldwide either needs more troops or fewer missions. "We have a situation where we have a smaller force and we have more missions, and so . . . we are wearing out systems, we're wearing out people," Mr. Cohen told a Senate panel. "That's the real danger that we face: That we've got to find a way to either increase the size of our forces or decrease the number of our missions." ...."
Aviation Week 5/17/99 "... Pentagon officials say the air campaign waged by heavy bombers in Yugoslavia has validated the need for more of the large-payload aircraft. Currently the force stands at 180 B-2s, B-1s and B-52s, but only 130 are currently available for operations. Proponents of the big bombers say a minimum of 184 mission-ready aircraft are needed to fight two conflicts. No one thinks B-2 production could be restarted, but some Air Force officials are eyeing upgrades for the existing fleet. In addition, officials say the U.S. should begin planning for the B-X, a heavy bomber with the capabilities of the B-2 at about half the price...."
Marine Corps Times 5/31/99 SENATOR WATNE ALLARD Freeper Stand Watch Listen "...The Clinton-Gore administration has used the military more than Presidents Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford and Nixon combined. Not only has the military been asked to do more with less funding and fewer people, it has been staying engaged longer, as seen in Bosnia, Haiti and soon -- I can almost guarantee -- Kosovo. ....The Army has lost eight divisions, a 45 percent decrease in combat strength and a 36 percent reduction in total personnel. The Navy has seen a 38 percent decrease in its number of ships. The Air Force's fighter wings are down 45 percent. And the Marine Corps has been downsized by 12 percent. Overall, the defense budget has been reduced from $292.2 billion in 1993 to $277.5 billion in 1999. While this downsizing occurred, the pace of operations for our military increased by more than 300 percent...."
Armed Force Information ServicesJim Garamone 5/26/99 "....When President Clinton mobilized 33,102 reservists April 27, he also quietly gave the services the little-used right to keep members in uniform past their normal separation or retirement dates. The presidential authority, called the Stop Loss program, suspends laws related to military retirements, separations and promotions. The president delegates it downward to the service secretaries through Defense Secretary William S. Cohen. Stop Loss can only be initiated after a declaration of war, during a national emergency or when members of any reserve component are involuntarily called to active duty. Further, the authority lasts only as long as the period for which reserve component members have been involuntarily activated...."
SECDEFNSE 5/26/99 "...Acting Secretary of the Air Force F. Whitten Peters and Chief of Staff Gen. Michael E. Ryan announced their decision today to implement Stop Loss, suspending normal separations and retirements for people in critical career fields effective June 15.... Stop Loss will affect 40 percent or approximately 120,000 of those now on active duty. Slightly more than 6,000 individuals who have requested and received permission to separate or retire from the Air Force between June 15 and Dec. 31, 1999, will be required to remain in uniform as a result of Stop Loss...."
Center for Security Policy 5/25/99 "....Today's release of the declassified version of the 900-page report, unanimously adopted last December by a select House committee chaired by Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA), should be a wake-up call for America. It lays bare -- in the most comprehensive manner performed by any agency of the government to date -- the magnitude of the menace posed by China's efforts to buy, divert or steal the fruits of U.S. military and civilian inventiveness..... It would be a mistake to focus exclusively on the damaging details of the Cox report while overlooking the larger question of China's intentions. Likewise, it would be an error of the first order to ignore policies that threaten greatly to exacerbate the damage done by Chinese espionage and other harmful initiatives. These include: The Clinton Administration's decision to base America's deterrent in the future on nuclear weapons that have been remanufactured to extend their service life, but never tested to ensure that the updated devices work properly. As the Center for Security Policy's President, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., notes in a column that appears in today's Washington Times (see the attached): Modern thermonuclear weapons are among the most complex and temperamental of machines. Our decades of experience with these devices tells us that replacing aging parts -- to say nothing of more substantial updating of components in a weapon like the MX missile's W-87 warhead -- introduces changes whose effect on performance cannot be reliably predicted by even the most sophisticated of computer simulations. We have tried to do without testing in the past and routinely discovered problems, even catastrophic ones, only after the weapons were subjected to underground tests...... The danger of Russian nuclear mishaps and a growing menace from China -- to say nothing of the increasingly worrisome missile/weapon of mass destruction capabilities of such rogue states as Iran, North Korea, Iraq, Libya and Syria -- obviously argues not only for maintaining a credible, reliable and effective U.S. deterrent, but also demands that the United States at last field a defense against ballistic missile attack..... "
Washington Post 5/29/99 Eric Pianin "...For the first time since the Reagan era, a bipartisan consensus has emerged for a major defense buildup, as Congress and the administration rapidly move toward agreement on a substantial increase in military spending. With U.S. forces stretched thin throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East and troubling reports from the Kosovo war of shortages of missiles and jet fighter parts, the White House and GOP leaders agree that it's no longer a question of whether to beef up the military but by how much.... "
Defense Daily 5/21/99 David Atkinson Freeper Stand Watch Listen "...Unless the Air Force implements stop-loss measures, which prevent airmen from leaving the military at the end of their commitments while at war, the service cannot support the current level of operations into the fall, according to a former commander of the Air National Guard.....The need for stop-loss measures comes from the fact that the Air Force, unlike the other services, is at a major theater war-level effort, Sheppard said...."
House of Representatives 5/24/99 Rep. Kurt Weldon (R-PA) "...For 7 years, Mr. Speaker, we have heard the rhetoric coming from the White House that the world is safe, there are no problems, our security is intact, and therefore, we can dramatically cut the size of our defense forces and we can, in fact, shift that money over to other purposes. During the 7 years that that has occurred, Democrats and Republicans alike in this body and the other body have joined together to constantly remind the administration that things were not quite as good as they were being portrayed to the American people. Unfortunately, we were not as successful as we would have liked. In fact, Mr. Speaker, State of the Union speech after State of the Union speech the President would stand before the American people and would talk about the economy, would talk about jobs, would talk about crimes domestically, but no mention of national security concerns....In fact, Mr. Speaker, what has been occurring over the past 7 years with strong concerns expressed by both Democrats and Republicans alike in this body is that we have committed our troops to too many places in a short period of time to be effective in modernizing for the future and in protecting America's vital interests around the world. ....In the time period from the end of World War II until 1991, during the administration of all those Presidents in between, from Harry Truman through Democrat and Republican administrations ending with George Bush, all of those commanders in chief, as they have the ability to under our Constitution, deployed our troops a total of 10 times, 10 times at home and around the world. Some of those deployments were very serious, like Korea and Vietnam and Desert Storm. Since 1991, Mr. Speaker, our current commander in chief has deployed our troops 33 times, 33 times in 8 years versus 10 times in 40 years. Mr. Speaker, none of these deployments were paid for, none of them were budgeted for, none of these deployments had the administration asking the Congress to vote in support of the deployment before our troops were committed. .....there were documents internally within the intelligence community, submitted to the administration, outlining the CIA's concern that if the bombing took place it would cause a humanitarian catastrophe, and that is exactly what has happened. It is far worse than just the humanitarian catastrophe. In fact, many of those analysts said that we actually contributed to the refugee crisis because when we bombed, it obviously caused the observers who were in the former Yugoslavia to leave that country, which then gave Milosevic a free hand to continue at a much higher level the ethnic cleansing and the significant attacks on innocent people. So in effect, Mr. Speaker, what the intelligence community was saying to us as a Nation, prior to a decision to conduct the aerial campaign, was that if we went ahead, we would cause the situation to become much worse. That is exactly what has occurred. ....We have done something else, Mr. Speaker. We have managed to do what one colleague of mine from the Russian Duma told me the Soviet communist party could not accomplish in 70 years, after expending billions of dollars, to convince the Russian people that America was evil, that we really were designed as a nation to hurt innocent people. He said Russians are now convinced, after some 55 days of bombing, which it was when he was here, that this country really is evil. So we have managed to do in 55 days what the Soviet communist party could not accomplish in Russia in 70 years......Every Member of Congress should read this book. In fact, it has hit the bestseller list in just the first week it was on the stands. Why is this book so important, Mr. Speaker? Because it details, in depth, an analysis of this spin on defense concerns in this country over the past 7 years...."
6/11/99 Linda A. Prussen-Razzano RightMagazine "...The Navy's primary concern is Fleet readiness. Fleet readiness is typically measured in the amount of fully equipped, fully trained Battle Groups (BG) available in a specific part of the world, in direct proportion to a perceived threat.....In 1993, the Navy's BA (Basic Allowance) for manning a BG was 95%; it was subsequently reduced to 93%. By 1997, it was reduced again to 90%. Despite the forced decline in mandated Status of Readiness and Training System (SORTS) standards, the actual manpower afloat "among junior enlisted (E-1 to E-3) general detail (GENDET) personnel" averages 86%. "Navy wide we are short approximately 6,000 GENDETS." (Statement of Vice Admiral Herbert A. Browne, Jr, II Commander, Third Fleet, Before the Readiness, Personnel, and Milcon Subcommittee of the House National Security Committee on Fleet Readiness, September 25, 1998)....."Onboard USS SHILOH (CG-67) (a LINCOLN BG Cruiser) during the 1995 deployment, there were ten Aegis fire control technicians with job specialty designators 1119, now there are six. E-3 and below manning on the SHILOH is at 61%." (Vice Admiral Herbert A. Browne, Jr., II Commander, September 25, 1998).....Let us remember, in 1996 the President gave COSCO a $137 million "nonrecourse" loan to build 5 new ships, but our Navy has to maintain aging or obsolesced equipment because it's "better than nothing." ....."
6/11/99 Linda A. Prussen-Razzano RightMagazine "...Weapons stations funding constraints are impacting the operational forces. Our limited Receipt, Segregation, Storage and Issue (RSS&I) funds require us to crossdeck ammunition from ship to ship. The USS TARAWA had to get underway to onload ammunition from USS PELELIU as she returned from deployment. USS CARL VINSON had to have additional underway days added to her schedule in order to receive ammunition from USS MOUNT HOOD, who had to get underway to offload USS JOHN C STENNIS enroute to San Diego from deployment. "Another aircraft funding issue is the loss of the S-3B's Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capability. The pipeline for the enlisted aircrew needed in the S-3B Viking to conduct this essential mission has already shut down... meaning the Viking will be unable to conduct this primary mission. ASW is critical in providing a zone of protection around sea lines of communication against enemy submarines" (Vice Admiral Herbert A. Browne, Jr., II Commander, September 25, 1998)...."
6/11/99 Linda A. Prussen-Razzano RightMagazine "...Ready for the clincher? On November 26, 1997, President Clinton signed HR2159 (Public Law 105-188), Foreign Operations Appropriation Act for Fiscal Year 1998." In it, we gave away the following: $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF). We lent foreign countries the money to buy American military equipment. $2.4 billion for the Economic Support Fund (ESF). These funds went to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey. $230 million for the international drug control programs run by the State Department. The administration requested and received $50 million for the training of nearly 7,400 members of 120 foreign militaries, a significant increase from FY 1997 levels......In total, this Administration, along with a complacent Congress, shelled out over $6 billion in foreign military aid; meanwhile, our brave military personnel are overworked and our Fleet is understaffed...."
Washington Times 6/3/99 Tina Silverman "...During the Reagan-era defense build up, the Defense Department focused on redressing a severely underfunded and hollow military force structure - the legacy of the Carter administration in the aftermath of the Vietnam War...Sadly, our military is again becoming a hollow force, brought on by post Cold War reductions in defense spending and the demands being placed on the military in the Balkans and Iraq. Combine current shortfalls with the stunning revelations outlined in the recently released Cox Report with the unfolding story of espionage at the nation's nuclear laboratories and the implications for national security are deeply disturbing. The Chinese have stolen information critical to the design, test and evaluation of nuclear weapons, enabling them to shave years off their weapons development program. The kind of technology that provided the United States with the comfortable ability to maintain the technological edge over our adversaries during the Cold War is now in the hands of the Chinese government. According to the Cox Report, The stolen U.S. nuclear secrets give the PRC design information on thermonuclear weapons on a par with our own....This is a serious national security problem requiring an immediate reassessment of our current nuclear deterrence posture and even greater investment in defensive countermeasures. Indeed, the peace dividend we thought possible from the end of the Cold War appears to have been squandered....."
WASHINGTON TIMES 6/4/99 BILL GERTZ "... Word inside the Pentagon from the Army operations center is that Gen. Wesley Clark, the NATO commander, would like to launch a ground offensive in Kosovo on Sept. 1, if yesterday's promising peace developments fall through. The Army, however, doesn't see any way that the troops and equipment needed for such an offensive could be prepared in time. "No one has told Clark that the emperor has no clothes," said one Pentagon official...."
AP 6/6/99 "...The Defense Department faces a backlog of up to 600,000 background security investigations that need to be done on Pentagon and contractor employees, USA Today reported today. The paper said security inquiries are made each year on tens of thousands of people who need access to sensitive classified material, a task handled for the past 27 years by the Defense Security Service....... The paper said the workforce of the Pentagon security service has been cut by about 1,600 over the past decade to 2,466 now, even though the caseload has remained steady....."
USA Today 6/14/99 James M. Inhofe "...Stopping a war we should never have started is good policy. Placing U.S. troops in an indefinite peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, where there is no vital American national security interest, is not. The European powers can and should take the prime responsibility for this mission. Our underfunded and overextended U.S. military has a more important job to do. It must get itself ready to meet America's minimum expectations for national defense: to be fully capable to defend our vital security interests on two regional fronts almost simultaneously. Anyone who thinks we can adequately meet this challenge today - and take on a costly open-ended operation in Kosovo, on top of those we already have in places such as Bosnia, Iraq and Haiti - is kidding himself. Our military is in the midst of the most serious readiness crisis since the "hollow force" days of the late 1970s. The past six years of inadequate budgets coupled with unprecedented numbers of nonvital contingency deployments have put us at almost half the force strength we had during the Persian Gulf War....."
European Stars And Stripes 6/14/99 "...U.S. forces are heading into an area marked by death, destruction and repression - and a fragile hope for peace. Their destination: East Timor, where 33 Americans are joining a U.N. mission to ensure calm before a summer vote on independence. From Western Sahara to Panama, Korea to Haiti, and now Kosovo, more than 200,000 Americans, both military and civilian, are helping to keep the peace or protect U.S. interests. The Balkans mission - in which 7,000 Americans are expected to participate in a NATO-led security force of 50,000 - has received all the attention of late. That mission is but a small part of a much larger U.S. effort worldwide. The biggest and longest-standing U.S. military commitments are in Western Europe and East Asia, with roughly 100,000 each. About 70,000 U.S. troops are in Germany, 40,000 in Japan and 37,000 in South Korea. Up to 25,000 U.S. troops are in Saudi Arabia or on ships nearby. They help protect the kingdom from neighboring adversaries and enforce a no-fly zone over southern Iraq. A separate Turkish-based, U.S.-led operation enforces a no-fly zone over northern Iraq...."
Air Force Times at www.airforcetimes.com 6/14/99 Mike Glenn Jennifer Palmer "...The Air Force insist there ;is no connection between shortages and recent moves to block thousands of airmen from leaving active service. But many airmen aren't buying it. "We've mismanaged the drawdown," said Master Sgt. John Krause. "If we can't support [Operation Allied Force] without implementing [stop loss], we've got a problem." Reservist, too, are wondering: Why are they being activated now, during the Kosovo conflict, only to be sent to Southwest Aisa to take part in the on-going patrols over northern and southern Iraq? Hundreds of activated reservist are being sent to Southwest Asia because the Air Force no longer has enough volunteers to support operations there, a senior Pentagon official said. Of the 700 or so sent there, about 500 were activated under a Feb. 24, 1998, executive order not used by the Air Force until May 15 of this year...."
The National Center for Public Policy Research 6/99 Jason Morrow "...In a classic case of trying to have his cake and eat it too, President Clinton has consistently pushed for base closings and reductions in military personnel while simultaneously deploying more troops abroad to regional conflicts, including the current conflict in Kosovo. The combination of these actions is eroding the ability of our military to fulfill its mission. Since the 1992 presidential election, the number of people serving in the U.S. military has been cut by over 700,000.1 The brunt of this cutback has fallen on the Army and Air Force, both of which have experienced personnel cuts of 45% since 1989. The Navy, through the elimination of vessels and undermanned ships, has been reduced by 36%. Over the same period, however, operational commitments (such as deployments to Kosovo, Bosnia and Iraq) have increased by 300%. What's wrong with this equation? We now expect our servicemen to do more with less, deploying tanks designed for a crew of four with only three men and guided-missile cruisers with only 86% of their assigned crew. 3 Not only are units undermanned, but there are fewer of them to deploy to whatever global hot spot the White House feels threatened by. As a result, our military personnel now spend more time overseas on operations, and then must work longer hours stateside to make up for other, deployed, troops. The net result is devastating to the morale of our country's men and women in uniform. For example, sailors such as those on the U.S.S. Anzio spend 77% of their nights away from their families.4 While it is not a soldier's place to complain, many of them choose to vote with their feet when it becomes time to reenlist....."
The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram/A.P 6/20/99 George Gedda "...-American forces are heading into an area marked by death, destruction and repression--and a fragile hope for peace. Their destination: East Timor, where 33 Americans are joining a U.N. mission to ensure calm before a summer vote on independence. From Western Sahara to Panama, Korea to Haiti and now Kosovo, more than 200,000 Americans, both military and civilian, are helping to keep the peace or protect U.S. interests. The Balkans mission--in which at least 7,000 Americans are expected to participate in a NATO-led secutiry force of 50,000--has received all the attention of late. That mission is but a small part of a much larger U.S. effort worldwide. The biggest and longest-standing U.S. military commitments in Western Europe and East Asia, with about 100,000 troops each. About 70,000 U.S. troops are in Germany, 40,000 in Japan and 37,000 in South Korea. Up to 25,000 U.S. troops are in Saudi Arabia or on ships nearby. They help protect the kingdom from neighboring adversaries and enforce a no-fly zone over southern Iraq. A separate Turkish-based, U.S.-led operation enforces a no-fly zone over northern Iraq. Richard Haas of the Brookings Institution worries that the recent emphasis on humanitarian missions overseas could detract from security priorities, including South Korea and the Persian Gulf. .... "
AF News 6/23/99 Staff Sgt Chris Steffen "...Two days after NATO Secretary General Javier Solana's proclamation June 20 that Operation Allied Force was officially over, the Air Force started a phased termination of its Stop-Loss program that had kept airmen in fields critical to the allied effort from leaving the service during the air campaign over Yugoslavia. In its announcement June 22, the Air Force did not completely eliminate Stop-Loss, stating that both the service and people affected by the halt in separations need flexibility to transition to prewar operations. Stop-Loss took effect June 15...."
Defending America 6/22/99 David H. Hackworth "....North Korea, our most irrational, unpredictable and dangerous enemy -- with whom we've been in an on-again, off-again shootout for 54 years -- is back on the warpath. If the million-man North Korean army attacks, our 37,000 soldiers in South Korea will be little more than a speed bump without immediate U.S. air, naval and ground reinforcements. They'll be squashed like a beer can flattened by an Abrams tank -- just as our troops were in the summer of 1950, the last time this Red horde roared south. Meanwhile, Saddam Hussein continues his war games in the Gulf, designed to destabilize that region. Last week, not far from our vital Saudi and Kuwaiti gas stations, U.S. fighter aircraft continued to pound Iraqi targets in the North and South No-Fly zones. Containing both South Korea and Iraq is critical to our national security. But because of the "Crisis in Kosovo," the required combat power was unwisely pulled from these two hot spots. The Pentagon claims it has got the right stuff to fight on two fronts at the same time. But don't buy into that con game. The fumbling air-and-naval campaign against a fourth-rate Serbian army proved our forces no longer have that capability. To prevail against the Serbs, the Pentagon had to strip combat assets -- war toys and fighting boys -- from other theaters around the globe, call up the reserves and dangerously deplete our arsenal of smart munitions....."
Air Force Magazine 7/99 Otto Kreishner "...NATO's Balkan War had been under way just a month, but Gen. Richard E. Hawley, head of Air Combat Command, already had conducted a damage assessment-on his own forces. "We are going to be in desperate need in my command for a significant retrenchment in commitments, for a significant period of time" after the war, he told reporters April 29. This stand-down would be needed "to restore the health of the units, allow them to get back to basic training, get their basic skills upgraded, [and] upgrade all the new people who have come out of the training pipeline during the course of this operation." He said, "We have a real problem facing us three, four, five months down the road in the readiness of the stateside units." ...The cannibalization rate for fighters had gone from about 13 events per 100 sorties in Fiscal 1996 to 16.9 in Fiscal 1998 and from 48 to 68.6 for every 100 flights in the bomber force, the graphs showed. "Spare parts shortages translate to increased work, more frustration, and reduced sortie generation," he said in his testimony. Although Hawley said he expected that some of the Air Force's readiness problems would be relieved as Fiscal 1998 and Fiscal 1999 funding produced more spare parts, he noted that readiness was affected by other factors that were harder to resolve. One of these factors was the experience level of personnel within the Air Force generally and his command specifically. ...Hawley noted that, as airplanes get old, they tend to do surprising things. "We had one this past year in the F-15 fleet where, all of a sudden, we discovered that we had fuel that was being trapped in the underbelly of the airplane and corroding the main spine of the airplane," Hawley recalled...."
Columbia (SC) State 6/27/99 Dave Moniz "... In recent years, such physical and mental problems have been one hazard of recruiting tens of thousands of new soldiers. But a number of Army commanders say they have never seen such an increasing flow of people who clearly have no place in uniform. From boot camps to operational bases across the United States, the military is suffering from a progressive, systemic disease. Far too few people want to join America's all-volunteer military, and far too many of those who join want to leave it. Short of a remarkable, and as yet unforeseen, turnaround, the United States either will have a smaller military, a dumber military or perhaps both, many career officers quietly have concluded. Barring a recession that could create an instant recruiting pool, the current force is unlikely to withstand a manic pace of life defined by never-ending overseas missions...."
Columbia (SC) State 6/27/99 Dave Moniz "...In the past year, every service except the Marines has faced an emerging shortage of recruits and regular troops. The Army expects to miss its year-end goal of 74,500 recruits by about 7,000 to 8,000 -- nearly the equivalent of a "light" division such as the 10th Mountain based at Fort Drum, N.Y. Next year could be worse, Army commanders privately admit. The losses, some speculate, could force the service to shut down one, or perhaps two, of its 10 active divisions. The large combat units are the foundation for fighting major wars. The Navy, which missed its goal of 55,000 recruits last year by nearly 7,000 sailors, is experiencing a frightful exodus of enlisted people. Retention statistics show that among new, mid-career and experienced sailors, the Navy is far short of retaining enough people for a fleet already some 18,000 people short. While it needs 38 percent of all new sailors to stay for a second enlistment, only 27.8 percent are doing so, down from 31 percent a year ago. Among mid-career sailors, the Navy needs 54 percent to stay in uniform, but only 42.8 percent are choosing to remain. And perhaps most telling, only 47.4 percent of third-term sailors are choosing the Navy as a career, far below the 62 percent that are needed. ..."
Columbia (SC) State 6/27/99 Dave Moniz "... The Air Force has its own woes. The service is so short of air-traffic controllers it has curtailed flight hours at a number of stateside bases. Like the Navy, the Air Force has seen a rapid and escalating exodus of skilled workers. For the first time, the Air Force has been forced to air paid TV commercials seeking recruits. Despite a decision to spend more than $50 million on TV recruiting ads this year and next, the Air Force is in danger of not meeting its enlistment goals for the first time in two decades. Historically, no service has had an easier time recruiting than the Air Force. Yet in a country of 270 million, it may not be able to find 33,000 enlistees this year...."
Columbia (SC) State 7/1/99 "...Our Military Declines; Do We Even Care? An in-depth series of articles in The State this week about the woes of the all-volunteer military should concern every American. The articles, by staff writer Dave Moniz, spell out how our armed forces are hemorrhaging personnel and morale at a time when we need a strong military as much as ever. A gruesome statistic: U.S. Army recruiters, beset with impossible pressures of trying to get good new soldiers, are committing suicide at three times the rate this year that they did last year. One career Navy man was quoted as saying: "I'm willing to die for my country. But I would not recommend the military to my son." As Mr. Moniz shows, our armed forces are under attack -- not by an outside enemy, which we could defeat, but from a host of governmental and societal pressures. As the military becomes a less attractive way of life, its trained people are retiring in droves at the peaks of their careers. Navy retention rates are 15 percent below what's needed to maintain the fleet. The Air Force has only 69 percent of the air traffic controllers it needs. Air Force pilots, who can double and triple their salaries at civilian airlines, are bailing out en masse. The Army has only 61 percent of qualified captains it needs for its downsized force of 480,000. Only the Marines -- because they are such a small, elite force -- seem to be holding their own....."
MSNBC 7/1/99 Jim Miklaszewski "...Apaches are the deadliest attack helicopters in the U.S. military and were supposed to ride to the rescue and help win the war in Kosovo, but they never even saw combat. In a scathing attack on the Apache mission, an Army general told lawmakers Thursday that when the highly publicized helicopters arrived in Albania, their crews were not prepared to fight. AT A CONGRESSIONAL hearing, Brig. Gen. Dick Cody said the flight crews were under-trained and ill-equipped for the risky mission in Kosovo. "Every time we have a crisis, when we have to go out in the real world, we end up scrambling and quickly have to train soldiers up," he said..... Cody, in a brutally blunt memo, called the Apaches' first few weeks in Albania "painful and high risk." Six out of 10 pilots, the general said, had little flight experience. And two Apaches crashed during training in Albania, killing two crew members....The Pentagon said the shortfalls with the Apaches are only a symptom of a much larger problem - the overall decline in military readiness. "There are problems with the hardware, the technology, the training system," said NATO's Supreme Cmdr. Gen. Wesley Clark. Such problems aren't confined to the Army....."
United States Air Force Online News 6/30/99 Tech Sgt. John Hancock; Air Force Recruiting Service "...With the end of the fiscal year less than three months away, officials at Air Force Recruiting Service project that, for the first time since 1979, recruiters will fall short of their target. For fiscal year 1999, recruiters were challenged to sign up 33,800 men and women to join the 350,000-plus people already wearing the Air Force uniform. Early estimates, according to recruiting officials, show they'll be about 2,500 shy of that number. Reasons for missing the goal vary among the Air Force's leaders, but low retention rates are contributing factors. ....."
Sea Power 7/99 James D. Hessman and Senior Editor Gordon "...Editor in Chief James D. Hessman and Senior Editor Gordon I. Peterson interviewed Rear Adm. Malcolm I. Fages for this issue of Sea Power. FAGES: We basically became asset-limited when our force structure fell below 72 [attack] submarines. Innumerable studies have assessed how many submarines we need to perform assigned missions. The fleet commanders in chief [CINCs] have validated a requirement for 72 SSNs. Today, we are at 58. And, in fact, there are some things we are not doing. We have had to pull submarines out of major joint [multiple U.S. forces] NATO exercises. In order to respond to contingencies, we have had to say "no" to some intelligence-collection missions. We are having to back off significantly from our commitment to Arctic operations and to counterdrug operations. The intelligence community must now reprioritize submarine mission requests. In general, the only intelligence-collection missions that come to the submarine force are those for which there is not another national-collection capability to achieve the desired end. Our inability to satisfy these demands due to insufficient available assets has national implications. The thing that we have decided not to do--absolutely--is to make up for the reduction in submarine numbers by piling an increase on to our crews in deployment length or by reducing the time between deployments to unacceptable levels.
Just as with the rest of the Navy, regardless of how heavily tasked we are in peacetime, we abide by the CNO's [chief of naval operations'] requirement to have a suitable time between deployments and time in homeport. We have had to reprioritize and say "no" in a number of areas where we really wish we could say "yes." Is it fair to say that the Navy's attack-submarine force level should be higher than what the QDR [quadrennial defense review] recommended? FAGES: Yes. A Joint Chiefs of Staff [JCS] study is underway now evaluating attack-submarine requirements in the 2015 and 2025 time frames. This study was mandated by the QDR. The Quadrennial Defense Review force level of 50 attack submarines was not cast in stone and was, essentially, budget-based--not requirements-driven. I can't tell you what the final outcome is going to be because the study is a work in progress, but I can tell you with a high degree of optimism that the number is going to come in significantly higher than 50. The study will be completed this summer. An element of that study is affordability and, of course, affordability is the wild card...."
Air Force Times 6/30/99 Jennifer Palmer "...Fewer pilots will fill staff positions this fall as the Air Force continues moving pilots from desk jobs into cockpits. By October, only 53 percent of the staff jobs earmarked for pilots actually will be filled by pilots. By 2002, pilot staff manning could fall to 43 percent when the pilot shortfall is projected to reach 1,700. The Air Force's pilot staffing levels are tied directly to the service's pilot inventory. As the inventory dips, the staffing levels fall as well. "It's a frustrating situation for all parties involved. Although everyone is doing their best to streamline and re-engineer their workload, it's increasingly more difficult with a constantly decreasing inventory," said Col. Mike Hudson, chief of the operations assignment division at the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. Today there are 14,000 pilot slots on the books, but only 12,500 pilots to fill them...."
Seattletimes George C. Wilson 6/19/99 "…Pilots sent to fly Apache helicopters against Serb forces were undertrained and underequipped to fight the war they never fought in Kosovo, the Army itself acknowledged in an internal memo. "We are placing them and their unit at risk when we have to ramp up for a real world crisis" because of the shortcomings in aviation training, Army Brig. Gen. Dick Cody recently told Gen. Eric Shinseki, incoming Army chief of staff, in the internal memo. "We are not growing our young aviation leaders well enough in the first three years after flight school," Cody wrote, listing lessons learned from deploying Apache helicopters to Albania. "The results are young captains emerging from the Advanced Course of helicopter training with little experience and little aviation savvy on what right looks like." …"
Etherzone 6/14/99 Linda Prussen-Razzano "…According to information compiled by The Brookings Institute, our national defense, on paper, appears quite sound. In 1997, America had a total of 12,500 nuclear warheads stockpiled (8,750 active, 2,500 hedge/contingency, and another 1,250 awaiting disassembly). We currently have 80 SSNs (attack submarine, designed to seek and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships) and 18 SSBNs (nuclear-powered submarines armed with long-range strategic missiles). Our army stands 1.2 million strong. And, as par for the course, we still have pockets of extreme financial waste; between October 1992 and October 1995, the Department of Energy reportedly spent a whopping $1.2 billion on "nuclear testing"; however, according to Brookings, a total number of "0" tests were performed during this time frame…."
4/99 Rep Duncan Hunter "...While our national defense has been cut almost in half since Operation Desert Storm, there have been 26 military deployments during the past seven years compared to only ten deployments over the preceding 40 years. Right now, there are 265,000 American troops in 135 countries. The Clinton-Gore Administration is putting our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in danger by continually asking the military to "do more with less." Inadequate training time, a lack of spare parts and aging equipment have led to an increase in accidents and a severe drop in overall military readiness..... Colonel John D. Rosenberger, Commander of the Army's 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment: "We have a great Army filled with terrific soldiers who are suffering from an inability to train at every level with the battle focus and frequency necessary to develop and sustain its full combat potential. It is a hard thing to watch my Army, the Army that delivered the outcome of Desert Storm, the Army I and many others sacrificed to create from the ashes of the Vietnam War, slowly deteriorate from the conditions we've been compelled to endure the past seven years.".... The Clinton-Gore Administration is building down the Navy, giving our soldiers empty ammo pouches, and asking them to make do with equipment that is older than they are: Shipbuilding: Navy ships are being decommissioned faster than they are replaced. Ammunition: If called into fight, the Marines and Army would run out of bullets and other ammunition--while the Administration has requested $5.5 billion for military operations in Kosovo, the Army alone is short $3.5 billion worth of ammunition--our all-volunteer force deserves better. Aging Equipment: Besides the AAV and CH-46, much of our military equipment is becoming outdated and obsolete--the Clinton-Gore Administration plans to fly B-52 bombers until they are 80 years old! Many planes, tanks, helicopters and other equipment are often stripped or cannibalized for their parts to keep other equipment working.... while the Army has some 740 Apache helicopters (some are now deployed in Kosovo) they are currently short 140 Apache pilots..... Because of cuts by the Clinton-Gore Administration, we could not fight and win against Iraq today the way we did in 1991. The armed forces have been cut nearly in half and the half that remains is underequipped, undertrained -- and underpaid. We have gone from 18 Army divisions down to 10 -- we sent 8 divisions to fight Iraq during Desert Storm! ....During recent hearings, the most pressing concern expressed by our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines was the declining quality of life in the services. For example, there is currently a 13.5% pay gap between similar jobs in the civilian sector and the military..."
The Hindustan Times 6/14/99 Robert Fisk "...A Yugoslav military official in Belgrade claimed that his troops had discovered how to avoid attack. "They fired their missiles and then replaced the batteries with mock-ups," the source said. "The time it took Nato´s photo-reconnaissance people to identify the point of fire and the vehicle location and return to bomb the mock-up was a minimum of 12 hours. So we knew when we had to move our equipment - every 12 hours." The same source also said that army missile technicians had taken apart an unexploded US Tomahawk missile and concluded that its targeting partly depended on a chip that guided the rocket by heat sources rather than imagery. As a result, Yugoslav reservists were set to work burning tyres beside major road and rail bridges that would emit greater heat than the surface of the bridges themselves, and also painting the road on Kosovo bridges in many different colours - because the colours emit different degrees of heat....."
Washington Post 6/24/99 Bradley Graham "..." The Army's new military leader signaled the likelihood yesterday that he would seek to increase overall troop strength, following a decade of cuts that have reduced the Army by about one-third to 480,000 soldiers. Gen. Eric Shinseki said a decision on whether to push for more troops depends on findings later this summer of an Army study of future requirements. Army officials have complained for some time that proliferating peacekeeping missions have put undue strain on the service's reduced ranks, although some defense experts have suggested the problem has more to do with poor management and outdated force structure ..."
USA Today Andrea Stone 6/24/99 "...When asked why the Army faces its biggest recruiting shortfall in 20 years or why the Air Force may miss its goal for the first time since 1979, the Pentagon has a standard reply: "It's the economy." Unemployment was at a 29-year low of 4.2% in May. Usually, what's good for the economy is bad for the military. The Army expects to miss its annual recruiting goal by 8% - the biggest shortfall since 1979. The Air Force also will have its worst recruiting year in 20 years, ending 10% shy of its goal. Only the Marine Corps - whose elite, gung-ho image has always attracted more than enough recruits - and the Navy will fill all slots. Last year, the Navy missed its goal by 12%, but it has rebounded because of an aggressive recruiting drive that includes slick new TV ads directed by filmmaker Spike Lee. Pentagon surveys and interviews with recruiters and young people here reveal a fundamental attitude shift about joining the military. It's a change that a 4.8% military pay raise or even a recession might not alter. Something has seeped into the fabric of small Southern towns like this one, where neighbors in uniform were once as ubiquitous as barbecue and boiled peanuts. Careers, not country, are what count most to the generation that came of age after the Cold War. Even the NATO campaign against Yugoslavia hasn't sparked a rally to join..... Raised on TV and video games, young people also are more out of shape. Few clamor for the rigors of boot camp or a job where starting pay for a private is $887.70 a month. They'd rather go to college or jump into the hot job market. In a Pentagon survey of 10,000 16- to 21-year-olds, 26% of young men said they'd consider a military career, down from 34% in 1991 after the Gulf War. Only 13% of young men and 9% of women said duty to country was a reason to enlist. More than half cited money for college and job training. At a time when companies such as UPS and McDonald's offer tuition, the Army's "Be all that you can be" slogan doesn't resonate with youth who want all that they can get. Two-thirds go directly to college after high school, an all-time high..... "People are afraid that by joining the Army all they're going to be doing is deploying here and deploying there," says Capt. Nestor Colls-Senaha, who oversees six recruiting stations in Georgia and South Carolina...."
Bloomberg 6/24/99 Tony Capaciio "...The U.S. AH-64 Apache helicopter crews dispatched with great fanfare to Albania in mid- April for attacks on Serb armor and artillery units in Kosovo were under-trained and poorly equipped for their mission, according to a unit commander. The crews of Task Force Hawk were minimally qualified to use night vision goggles, had shortages of specialized radios necessary for low-level night attacks and lacked effective electronic warfare gear to defeat Serb air defenses, according to Army Brig. Gen. Richard Cody, a unit commander, in a June 16 memo to Army headquarters. The aviators and helicopters never saw combat in Kosovo in spite of tremendous political and public pressure to do so. Instead, they spent the first three weeks of the deployment intensely training to make up for readiness shortfalls, Cody wrote in a mid-June memo to Army leaders in Washington, including new Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki. Two choppers crashed during night training exercises, killing two aviators. ``After 16 full-up mission rehearsal exercises, I would put Task Force Hawk pilots and commanders up against anyone, but it was painful and high-risk during the first three weeks in Albania,'' wrote Cody, who is assistant division commander at the 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.... ``We are placing them and their unit at risk when we have to ramp up for a real world crisis,'' Cody wrote of inadequately prepared aviators, of which ``Task Force Hawk is not an anomaly.'' About 65 percent of the crews had less than 500 hours of flying time in the Apache and none was qualified to fly typical night combat missions, wrote Cody...."
The Christian Science Monitor 6/24/99 Tom Regan "...Yet there may be no choice but to move forward, as information technology becomes more and more important to the way the US, and the world, does business, relaxes, and defends itself. Normally, forewarned is forearmed. In cyberspace, that isn't always the case. Take the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade several weeks ago. Rage spread across China and hackers from the mainland attacked the Web sites of the US Departments of Energy and the Interior, and the National Park Service. A subsequent attack brought down the White House Web site for three days. The attacks generated headlines across the country. What the news media didn't report was that the US government had known for a long time that someone had been in its computer systems - they just didn't know who. Then, in a fit of anger, the Chinese hackers caused some real damage - and gave away the hidden "location" of several "backdoors" they had built in US government networks....It's the foreign hackers who didn't lose their cool, say computer security experts, that everyone needs to worry about. These are the people who, at a time of conflict, will use still-undetected backdoors to gain entrance to government and military computers and corrupt or falsify strategic information...."
The Christian Science Monitor 6/24/99 Tom Regan "...The US Government Accounting Office estimates 120 groups or countries have or are developing information-warfare systems. According to a report issued by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, 23 nations have cyber-targeted the US. The National Computer Security Center reported last year that of "520 large US corporations, government agencies, and universities that responded [to their survey], 64 percent reported intrusions, up 16 percent in a year. The Internet was the main point of attack."..."
The Christian Science Monitor 6/24/99 Tom Regan "..."There are at least six nations right now who have active groups, paid by their governments, trying to formulate tools and procedures to cause computer terrorism in US corporations," says Jay Valentine, head of Infoglide, a database analysis company that works extensively with the US government. "Those countries are Syria, Iran, China, India, Pakistan and Israel. [Other experts add France and Russia to this group.] Not all of them are bad guys, "Mr. Valentine says. "Some are doing it for defensive reasons, but they all have backdoors into American government computers. We have detected several 'software tools' which are used to erase 'computer fingerprints.'..."
Baltimore Sun 7/8/99 Mark Matthews "…The United States is ill-prepared to combat a growing and "grave" threat from proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons around the world, a high-level government commission concludes. Nightmare scenarios include a disgruntled Russian scientist selling nuclear-weapons fuel to Iran, or anthrax being released in a subway at rush hour, sending 6,000 people to emergency rooms. "These events have not taken place. But they could," warns the panel, chaired by former director of Central Intelligence John M. Deutch. The commission will officially release its report next week, but a draft was obtained by The Sun. Particularly alarming is what the panel calls the continuing economic meltdown in Russia…..But the federal government's ability to respond to this threat is hamstrung by a series of policy and bureaucratic obstacles, the panel says. "The commission finds that the U.S. Government is not effectively organized to combat proliferation," it says in a summary of the 140-plus page report…. "We still can detect on a handful of the thousands of possible chemical and biological threats, and those few that can be detected require the use of many sensors that have limited range," the report says. Efforts to prevent leakage of technology and talent from the former Soviet Union have been hampered by overlapping and confused assistance programs, the report says…. The intelligence community and law enforcement came in for some of the most detailed criticism. Discussing intelligence, it said, "There is no better reminder of the need for improvement than the unexpected Indian nuclear test in May 1998." Further on, the report hints at the danger of injecting political bias into the intelligence process, saying "biased intelligence courts policy failure, and said "good intelligence and the rough and tumble of the open political process do not mix." …."
Washington Times 7/12/99 James Hackett "…An Army-led joint program to develop a ground-based kinetic energy anti-satellite interceptor began in 1990 during the Bush administration. Over the past 10 years this KE ASAT has been designed, developed, ground-tested, and hover-tested with complete success. Yet for seven years, the administration has requested no funds for a U.S. ASAT. Congress added funds for that purpose in 1996, 1997 and 1998. At present, three new test models are being produced and will be ground-tested extensively next year. They will be available, if needed, on a standby basis. But once again, despite the Russian and Chinese ASAT tests, the administration asked for no ASAT funds in the defense budget for next year…."
AP wire 7/11/99 "….A comparison of the numbers of active-duty members of the U.S. military in 1989, when the Cold War ended, and today: 1989 Army: 760,000 Navy: 580,000 Air Force: 575,000 Marine Corps: 195,000 … 1999 Army 468,000 Navy 366,000 Air Force: 360,000 Marine Corps: 170,000…"
ABCNEWS.com 7/10/99 John McWethy "…In the 78-day air campaign against Yugoslavia, NATO flew 35,000 sorties using 1,000 planes and dropped 23,000 bombs and missiles. The brunt of the attack was born by some 18,000 pilots and crew in the U.S. Air Force. Not a single pilot was lost to enemy fire, but the war did take a major toll… Some Air Force personnel felt even before Kosovo that they were stretched to the breaking point, constantly patrolling the skies over Iraq and always on alert against North Korea. To handle Kosovo meant digging deeply into reserves of people and equipment. Many bases in the United States were gutted. "Fifty percent of our equipment is gone and 50 percent of our people," says Staff Sgt. Merrill Stoddard….. So many specialty aircraft — like U-2 spy planes, airborne command posts, the Joint Stars and AWACs radar planes — were rushed to Kosovo that few were left for training and backup elsewhere in the world….. So if a relatively small conflict like Kosovo could cause such strain, the Air Force is worried that it may not be able to handle two bigger wars simultaneously, which is what the Pentagon says in theory the U.S. military should be able to do…"
The New Australian 7/5/99 James Henry "…Something like 2,000 combat aircraft plus more than 232 bombers which comprised 20 air force and navy air wings have been abolished. Also gone are 207 ships including more than 121 combat ships plus of submarines and 4 carrier groups . The loss of these ships also meant that their shipyard facilities and the trained personnel needed to maintain them have been disbanded. The damage (or is it sabotage?) to the army and the nation's nuclear inventory has been equally devastating. … The US is making the same mistake today, but for different reasons. These men of the '20s and '30s were misguided idealists who literally did not grasp the nature of the totalitarian threat that was gradually taking shape in Europe and Japan. They really thought their actions were contributing to world peace and avoid another "Great War". They did not loathe their countries or despise their military. Clinton and his crew, however, are the exact opposite. They do not care a fig about their country and they loath the military. Their basic concern is their own selfish ends. If that puts at risk the security of the United States, so be it. Living in clover is all that the likes of Clinton care about. To this crowd, better to be a pampered Quisling than a patriotic sap….. But what brought them to this anti-patriotic state? Nearly forty years of 'progressive'1 ideology that left in its wake the insidious belief that America is an unjust society that does not deserve to survive. A belief that pervades the media and the three main networks in particular. Remember: 89 per cent of Washington journalists voted for Clinton and everything he stands for, including the destruction of our military….."
Reuters 7/8/99 "…NATO's 78-day air war on Serbia took a heavy toll on the U.S. Air Force, and some units could take eight months to resume full training and combat readiness, a top Air Force official said on Thursday. ``It's going to take us some time to recover out of that and come back up'' to normal training and deployment, the official told reporters in discussing the campaign, for which the United States provided most of a NATO force of 1,000 warplanes….. ``We expended the flying hours on some of these airframes at three times the rate that we normally fly them. That builds up a backlog of engine changes and depot maintenance,'' the official added. ``So it's going to take some time to get back on the razor-sharp edge. And you never want them to go unless they're on a razor-sharp edge. And that's going to take, depending on the unit, up to 240 days.'' Calling it ``a terrible way to wage war,'' the official sharply attacked the alliance's gradual escalation of the bombing and said it could have been over much sooner if heavy raids had hit Belgrade and other strategic targets from the beginning…."
AP 7/12/99 "…A House subcommittee moved on Monday to freeze the Air Force's program for developing the sophisticated F-22 stealth fighter jet, agreeing to spend the money instead on upgrading today's fleet of F-15s and F-16s. The Appropriations defense subcommittee recommended taking the full $1.8 billion that was to be spent to buy F-22s in fiscal 2000 and using it elsewhere…..In addition to the F-22, the Pentagon is developing another fighter plane for the future, the so-called Joint Strike Fighter…."
Aerospace Daily 7/15/99 "… "There is a greater demand during peacetime for some military assets than the services can meet without degrading the readiness of these assets and causing lost training opportunities and reduced quality of life for personnel in these units," the report stated. The report - "Military Operations: Impact of Operations Other Than War on the Services Varies" (NSIAD-99-69) - was prepared for the Senate Armed Services' readiness subcommittee before NATO's Operation Allied Force against Yugoslavia, and was recently released to the public. The Pentagon concurred with most of GAO's findings and added that the Joint Staff has instituted monthly reviews of force readiness and has begun prioritizing demands on key assets…."
Baltimore Sun 7/16/99 Editorial "…But when the Apaches were called upon for the Kosovo conflict, it took nearly a month to get the helicopters in place. And they never saw combat, though two pilots were killed in training accidents. Then the Army's most respected helicopter officer unleashed a stinging salvo, telling his superiors that the Apache pilots were not properly trained and the aircraft carried outdated equipment. That blunt assessment by Brig Gen. Richard Cody, a legendary Apache pilot who led the opening strikes deep into Iraq during the Persian Gulf war in 1991, spurred a congressional panel this week to provide an additional $94 million for the $814 million Apache program, while criticizing Army leadership for allowing it to falter….. Army officers and officials say readiness troubles such as those with the Apaches are becoming endemic in a military that has seen its personnel cut by a third since the end of the Cold War while the number of operations, including peacekeeping operations that stretch from Haiti to the Sinai desert to Bosnia, has tripled…."http://www.senate.gov 7/14/99 U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe "…"This report identifies serious deficiencies in our nation's military readiness that the Clinton Administration has chosen to hide from the American public," Inhofe said. "President Clinton's misguided foreign policy is jeopardizing our ability to protect our country's vital interests. Our forces are too small, too thin and insufficiently funded to perform all that has been asked of them." The General Accounting Office (GAO) report, requested by Inhofe, concludes that the combat capability of each of the military services has been adversely affected to varying degrees by the increasing number of military operations other than war. The study finds that the wartime skills of both deployed units in Bosnia and Southwest Asia and units that remain stateside have declined because of these missions…."
Newsweek 7/18/99 Bradley Graham "...Pentagon officials warn that a three- or four-fold increase in peacekeeping and humanitarian relief operations since the end of the Cold War is straining the current level of 1.37 million active-duty service members..... The Army -- feeling most burdened as a result of "pop-up" crises that have turned into extended policing operations in places such as Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo -- is talking about adding 20,000 to 50,000 soldiers, on top of the current authorized level of 480,000. The Marines have floated a possible increase of 5,000, which would bring their strength to 177,000. The Air Force, now at 360,000, has said it could use at least 3,000 additional troops to help create 10 "air expeditionary forces" and permit a more orderly rotation of forces for overseas missions, with less disruption to family lives and training routines. And the Navy has signaled that it will resist planned reductions below its current 372,000 sailors and is thinking of seeking more ships and personnel...."
The Center For Security Policy "….To be sure, critics of the F-22 cast this fight in narrower terms. They claim that an aircraft with its characteristics -- low-observability ("stealth"), supersonic cruise capability (that is, the ability to fly at supersonic speeds without having to utilize afterburners that consume huge quantities of fuel) and sophisticated avionics and weapon systems -- is no longer needed to dominate the skies. They contend that, with the decline in the technical skills and productivity of the former Soviet military-industrial complex, the United States can safely make do with far less sophisticated and expensive warplanes. Unfortunately, as the war in Kosovo reminds us, threats to U.S. pilots can come from the ground as well as the air. We owe it to those asked to fight the Nation's future wars to ensure that they are given platforms for doing so that are as immune as possible to the continuing improvements being made by potential adversaries in both air-to-air and terrestrial anti-aircraft weapons. As one retired Air Force general recently put it, "We don't want a fair fight. We want to win decisively." ….The good news is that the procurement "gap" -- and similar, although less acute, shortfalls in the research and development, operations and maintenance and personnel pay accounts -- would essentially disappear if the United States were willing for the foreseeable future to allocate 4% of its Gross Domestic Product to defense, rather than today's less than 3%…. The bad news is that, despite the surging U.S. economy and the attendant increase in tax revenues, Republicans in Congress find themselves opposing the sorts of defense spending increases that are clearly required if the American military is to be able to preserve its decisive qualitative edge via modernization of its inventory, without further reducing an already overstretched force structure and/or the global commitments it is being asked to fulfill….."
Defense Daily 7/21/99 Frank Wolfe "...The White House appears ready to veto the FY '00 Defense Appropriations Bill if the House Appropriations Committee's recommendation to cut $1.8 billion for production of the F-22 fighter stands the scrutiny of the full House and the Senate. Defense Secretary William Cohen, White House Chief of Staff John Podesta and National Security adviser Samuel Berger were to meet yesterday to formulate a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) on the F-22 and several other disagreements the Pentagon has with House appropriators. "F-22 is the big one," a Pentagon source said yesterday. The SAP was to be issued last night or today...."
CNSNews.com 7/22/99 Lawrence Morahan "...Two members of the House Armed Services Committee are fighting to keep open a cruise missile production line, despite misgivings by the Navy that it may be a waste of money. Reps. James V. Hansen (R-UT) and Duncan Hunter (R-CA) say it would be foolhardy to close production of the Block III Tomahawk cruise missile, the weapon of choice of U.S. presidents and the missile that is credited with bringing Serb dictator Slobodan Milosevic to his knees without the loss of a single American life. Hansen, a 20-year veteran of the House Armed Services Committee, told CNSNews.com he has never seen the American military in the deplorable state it's in with regard to combat readiness, and cruise missiles are symptomatic of the decline. The U.S. currently has less than 2,000 cruise missiles in inventory, and the Navy budget has no provision to replace them if they have to be deployed. The Joint Chiefs have certified they need 4,000 Tomahawks to fulfill their mission worldwide..... "
ARMED FORCES NEWSWIRE SERVICE 7/26/99 "...The Joint Staff and the Navy are investigating the possibility of re-manufacturing more older Tomahawk missiles than planned and converting additional, obsolete Tomahawk Anti-Ship Missiles (TASM) into land attack Tomahawks, Pentagon sources told Defense Daily last week. The idea submitted recently by the Joint Staff to the Navy would rebuild about 250 of Raytheon's older Block II Tomahawk cruise missiles into more capable, Block IIIC unitary warhead versions and IIID submunition variants, both having Global Positioning System guidance. The proposal also would convert 350 extra Tomahawk Anti-Ship Missiles (TASM) into Block IIICs. Congress recently approved an FY 1999 emergency supplemental that contained $421 million to remanufacture 424 Block IIs into Block IIIs and convert 200 TASMs to Block IIICs, the version preferred by the commanders-in-chief, and used extensively in Operations Desert Fox and Allied Force. The Navy fired 330 Tomahawks against Iraq in Desert Fox and more than 200 against Serbia in Allied Force...."
Atlanta Journal and Constitution 7/26/99 "...The Pentagon and the White House have been desperately pleading for money to start real production of the F-22 Raptor at Lockheed Martin's plant in Marietta, but the House voted to slash funds to make that happen. Meanwhile, those same representatives put into the defense spending bill authorization to build eight more C-130J cargo planes, also built at the Marietta plant --- even though neither the Pentagon nor the White House had asked for those planes...."
Los Angeles Times 7/28/99 Paul Richter "...With enlistments slumping and overseas deployments edging upward, key members of Congress' military committees are thinking the unthinkable: revival of the draft. While no one expects such a move any time soon, some lawmakers and defense analysts say that the services could be forced to turn to selective conscription if the military cannot fill its ranks by increasing pay and easing the strains of military life. Because of a torrid economy and the stress of foreign missions, the Pentagon is facing one of its greatest personnel challenges since it turned to the all-volunteer force 26 years ago...."
Inside The Air Force 7/30/99 Adam J Hebert "...The Air Force agrees its air-superiority capabilities are currently the best in the world, but the F-22 Raptor fighter is not being designed for today, it is intended for 2010 and beyond, according to Lt. Gen. Gregory Martin, the Air Force's top uniformed acquisition official. Other experts, however, were highly critical yesterday of the plans to procure an expensive fighter with no current threat. The air-to-air mission within the Air Force is already in the best shape within the best air force in the world, according to Michael O'Hanlon, Brookings Institute scholar. "Other countries do not want to challenge us in the air," he said, adding that no potential enemies can afford to buy more than a handful of the "advanced fighters" the Air Force keeps saying in the pipeline and are better than the F-15....At the conclusion of the forum, Maj. Anthony Murphy of the F-22 Program Element Office gave implicit approval to the proceedings. Commenting on his experience as an F-15 pilot during Operation Desert Storm, he said once two F-15 Eagles encountered 14 enemy aircraft headed to Iran. "I'm very thankful the F-15 made it through healthy debates such as this."..."
National Review 8/9/99 Stephen E. Ambrose "...The U.S. armed services are falling short of their recruiting goals, despite the highest pay scales ever, plus the most generous post-service benefits ever. A booming economy plays a part in this. Today, nearly all teenagers and people in their early twenties can find better jobs in civilian society than in the military, jobs with a brighter future and the opportunity to live where one wants and to work shorter, more dependable hours. As a result, many of today's recruits come from the poorer end of our society. They stay in the services longer. This tends toward a situation that Americans have long feared: a standing army that consists of enlisted men (and women) who have little stake in the society. ..."
Defense Week 8/2/99 David Abel "...If you could see it slipping silently through the sea, you might glimpse something at first that looked like a barreling barge. As it came closer, and you watched the sloping hull slice through the surf, noticed the beveled bow and the silvery slits peeking through the black, you might think you were seeing the vaunted F-117A stealth fighter skating on the sea. That's if you could see it. But unless you eyeballed it, it's unlikely you would ever see what the Naval Sea Systems Command calls "the world's most advanced surface ship." That's because the stealthy Sea Shadow-built secretly in the early 1980s by the Navy, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space Co.-is said to evade sonar, radar and infrared sensors. The program came out of the black in 1993, but was in mothballs until February. The Navy now says the ship will be used to test various technologies for the next-generation DD-21 destroyer. But program officials are guarded about what else the ship might do...."
Washington Times 8/1/99 Zachary Jacobs "...Available data from recent surveys suggest that members of the armed forces are most concerned with income. Military pay is 14 percent lower than civilian pay, retirement benefits have been reduced, and there are at least 25,000 military families on food stamps. With the lowest unemployment rate in decades, the American economy is booming and is arguably the strongest since the military draft was ended in 1973. With many civilian jobs offering better pay and benefits, a military career is far less attractive. Renovations of military housing are long overdue, and there are insufficient funds for repair and maintenance of barracks' heating, air-conditioning, roofing, and sewer and utility systems. This is the result, at least in part, of a massive reduction in the defense budget over more than a decade......Intrusions into military family life come with the job and are unavoidable, but today a significant majority of service-members are married, and they find themselves unable to balance work with their personal lives. Our people in uniform are now called upon to fulfill a widened scope of responsibilities to make up for manpower shortages; the Department of Defense lists 37 military deployments in the post-Cold War era. As a result of this increased operations tempo, soldiers are telling anyone who will listen that people in their units are "stressed out" and that their units frequently are surprised by additional, unexpected missions, particularly to arenas where threats to U.S. national security are questionable. Our units are overstretched and morale is down. In an effort to fill shorthanded units and undermanned ships, we seem to have relaxed standards throughout the armed forces. In 1997, the Army doubled to 10 percent the proportion of recruits without a high school diploma, and the Navy has started accepting enlistees with scores as low as the 10th percentile on their aptitude tests. Physicalist standards also are slipping, as young soldiers are failing Army physical fitness tests at alarming rates. In the words of Rep. Floyd Spence, South Carolina Republican and chairman of the House Committee on National Security, junior personnel are "less prepared, less physically fit, and less motivated" than ever before...."
U.S. News & World Report 8/9/99 Paul Bedard "...Get worried. To hear Rep. Floyd Spence, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, tell it, the nation is being lulled into a false sense of security akin to the period right before Pearl Harbor. "It's not a matter of if we're going to have a war. It's where and when," he says. Speaking candidly to the Circle of Friends for American Veterans, a group that helps homeless vets, the South Carolina Republican disclosed that one scary threat comes from Iran, which is on the verge of building an intercontinental missile "that could reach us." He is also worried that budgets have been cut so deeply that the military can't make good on its promise to fight a two-front war...."
Army Magazine 8/99 Maj. Mark L. Kimmey, U.S. Army Reserve "... Shortly after I joined the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, I heard a brigade commander say, "If it's a question between force protection and doing the mission, we don't do the mission." For someone who had spent his active duty time in armor, this was a shock. As my division was preparing to head home, I saw the unit's training schedule for the next year. Not only were units expected immediately to resume the high operations tempo that they had before the deployment, but the schedule did not consider the impact on returning soldiers' families. The appalling rationalization given was that because only one brigade had deployed, the rest of the division should be fine. Although only one maneuver brigade was in the box at a time, this attitude dismisses the impact on elements deployed to support them, many of which were there the year that the division had held the reins. In many cases, personnel from other units filled empty slots in the deploying battalions This scenario illustrates the overextension of U.S. Army troops...."
National Defense 7/8- 1999 Sandra Erwin "...As the Army's top civilian leader sees it, the service's most daunting challenges are not in the Balkans or other overseas trouble spots, but here at home. Not only is the Army having a tough time recruiting enough soldiers to meet its quotas, but it also is lagging in its efforts to modernize vehicles and weapons in order to live up to its advertised vision of an information-age, 21st century force....We have now deferred and restructured so many programs, reduced quantities, pushed back delivery dates. We have done so many things to make the program fit the budget ... that we now have a serious backlog of equipment needs that cannot all be satisfied all at once, without a substantial increase in modernization dollars." ..."
Omaha World-Herald 8/5/99 Patrick Strawbridge "...Army Gen. Henry H. Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Wednesday warned of growing risks in U.S. military operations as America's armed forces are deployed to numerous hot spots at the same time. The dispersion of U.S. forces to distant locales such as South Korea, the Persian Gulf and the Balkans - combined with recent personnel and budget cutbacks - increases the potential of American deaths and drawn-out conflicts. "We can respond. We can fight. We can win," Shelton said in Omaha. "But I also can tell you that the risks are going up."...."Today our forces and our budgets are down 40 percent from what they were in 1989," Shelton said. Despite those cutbacks, he said, the United States is faced with threats from rogue states, terrorists and ethnic confrontations that threaten to consume strategic areas in bloody civil wars...."
Defense Information And Electronics Report 8/6/99 Richard Lardner "...Severe funding shortfalls in the Pentagon's critical infrastructure protection program have left the department "extremely susceptible" to debilitating electronic and physical attacks, a situation that could "have significant and disastrous operational consequences" for U.S. warfighters, according to internal DOD documents. As a result, a senior-level DOD panel is debating whether to substantially increase the amount of long-term spending for defense critical infrastructure assurance efforts. One option is to pump as much as $149 million in additional funding into the future years defense plan for infrastructure assurance, the documents indicate....."
Associated Press 8/9/99 "...The Army announced Tuesday it was temporarily grounding its entire fleet of Boeing Chinook helicopters after a crack was found in a transmission gear in one being used by the British Royal Air Force. ``The fleet is grounded. It's a precautionary measure,'' said an Army spokeswoman, Nancy Ray. She said that 466 helicopters in the Army fleet were involved in the temporary grounding...."
http://www.newsday.com/ap/rnmpwh0w.htm 8/10/99 Tom Raum "...Twenty-six years after the last young American was drafted, legislation to abolish the Selective Service System is quietly advancing in Congress. But a showdown seems certain with lawmakers heading the other way by floating the idea of a return to military conscription to help the currently all-volunteer military meet its recruiting goals. A provision to shut down the 59-year-old agency, which continues to register 18-year-old males for a potential military call-up, is tucked in a spending bill to be taken up when the House returns after Labor Day...."
San Diego Union-Tribune 8/8/99 Otto Kreisher "...Strained by a seemingly endless run of unanticipated overseas missions and a decade of force cuts, several of the armed services are asking for more troops. But their requests collide with the reality of their own difficulties recruiting and retaining enough people to maintain current force levels. So even if Congress and the Clinton administration approve an increase, many analysts doubt the services could add personnel without reducing their recruiting standards. Rep. Herb Bateman, R-Va., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee's readiness panel, said last week that after years of pushing for higher hiring limits, "We find ourselves in the horrible position that we can't even maintain the inadequate levels of (personnel) strength."..."
San Antonio Express-News 8/10/99 Sig Christenson "..."Service offers to pay for GEDs starting in fall Army Secretary Louis Caldera said that starting this fall, his service will pay for high school dropouts to earn their GEDs. The pilot project is to be unveiled in such places as Texas, California and the Northeast, and is a departure for the recruit-starved Army - which until now has focused on signing up high-school graduates not planning to enter college. It aims to reach out to tens of thousands of dropouts, many of them Hispanic, by funneling qualified candidates into General Educational Development programs paid for by the service. ..."
The Sun newspaper of Bremerton, Wash. 8/10/99 Richard Horn "...Just as it prepares to mark a submarine centennial, America is cutting its number of attack subs to dangerous levels, the director of naval nuclear propulsion warned Monday. And national leaders are beginning to feel the pinch, Adm. Frank "Skip" Bowman said. "Those misty-eyed wanderers who began barking about the peace dividend and the new world order back when the Berlin Wall fell haven't been exactly right," he said in a speech at Naval Submarine Base Bangor...."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch 8/8/99 Harry Levins "...Each year, the Marine Corps needs about 40,000 recruits. And each year, the Marine Corps gets about 40,000 recruits. Alone among the armed forces, the Marines make their recruiting quota without straining. Like all the armed forces, the Marines offer job training and college money. But the Marines prefer to advertise values -- honor, courage, commitment. Apparently, it works. Over a mess-hall lunch this month at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot here, 19-year-old Christopher Slusser of Richmond Heights said he had barely considered the Army, Navy or Air Force. "The only ones that caught my eye were the Marines," said Slusser, who has been in uniform since mid-April. "They're the best."..."
European Stars and Stripes 8/9/99 Ed Offley "...Cmdr. Greg Billy stepped around a gang of sailors working on a piece of machinery and climbed up the narrow steel ladder to the open hatch of the Florida, a Trident missile submarine based at Bangor on Hood Canal near Seattle. "These ships are national treasures," said Billy, who has commanded one of two rotating Florida crews since August 1997. The eight Trident missile submarines at Bangor are designed for a single mission - to wage global nuclear war if the United States is attacked, or by their very presence to deter such a conflict. But the Florida and three other submarines at Bangor may soon by trading in their nuclear-warhead missiles and taking on a new mission. Instead of being retired from lurking deep in the Pacific for the contingency of nuclear war, the oldest four Bangor submarines could be converted into cruise-missile ships that would be sent to crisis areas such as the Persian Gulf, Korea or the Balkans. Rather than carrying 24 Trident missiles with six nuclear warheads each, the subs would be armed with up to 154 conventionally armed Tomahawk cruise missiles, under plans being considered by the Pentagon and Congress. They also would serve as the "mother ship" for up to 66 Seal commandos using minisubs carried by the larger vessel for surveillance missions and raids....."
Baltimore Sun 8/11/99 AP "...Twenty-six years after the last young American was drafted, legislation to abolish the Selective Service System is quietly advancing in Congress. But a showdown seems certain with some lawmakers who suggest a return to military conscription. A provision to shut down the 59-year-old agency, which continues to register 18-year-old males for a potential military call-up, is tucked in a spending bill to be taken up when the House returns after Labor Day. The House Appropriations Committee approved the agency termination before the August recess with little debate, which surprised many military-minded lawmakers -- and the agency...."
Aviation Week & Space Technology 8/9/99 John Morrocco "...The air war in Yugoslavia underscored the effectiveness of a new generation of advanced systems and weapons, including precision munitions, but also raised serious concerns about interoperability and the growing technological mismatch between the U.S. and its European allies. At a symposium on interoperability held here last month in conjunction with the Royal International Air Tattoo, a gathering of senior international military commanders agreed that the Kosovo campaign reinforced the notion that all future wars will be coalition wars. But military leaders face the difficult task of trying to figure out how their air forces will fit into future coalitions, and their ability to operate with other members will be a major determining factor. ''It is clear that interoperability means being able to operate with the U.S.,'' which sets the pace of technological development, a senior Royal Air Force commander said. He said there needed to be minimum entry standards or else the need for additional force protection could undermine the balance of the force's effectiveness. ''The more we rely on high-tech systems, the more we are willing to rely on nations willing to buy them and the means to deliver them,'' said another NATO air commander. As a result, burden-sharing will become no more than a hollow shell. In the macro-sense, interoperability was a key to NATO's success during Operation Allied Force. Aircraft from 14 nations, operating from 47 bases, conducted a successful air campaign for 78 days over Yugoslavia, losing only two aircraft to enemy fire. But military officials said the Kosovo experience highlighted problem areas, as well. A senior U.S. Air Force commander cited several basic shortcomings: -- Incompatible secure radio links often forced the allies to call out targets and aircraft positions over open links, which the Yugoslavs were able to intercept. -- A lack of robust, high-fidelity Identification Friend/Foe systems vastly complicated the job of AWACS controllers in sorting out airborne targets. -- Aircraft were unable to detect which SAM systems were targeting them and whether they were threatening or not because of a lack of reliable threat warning systems. -- Few NATO air forces were able to designate targets for laser-guided bombs from the air. The problem was overcome through using a ''buddy system,'' but this made mission planning more complex...."
Air Force Times 8/23/99 Bruce Rolfsen "… Most of the Air Force's effort to reorganize itself into aerospace expeditionary forces will meet the service's Oct. 1 start date, but some duties involving support troops could take more time to set up, the major general overseeing the transition told Air Force Times. As of Oct. 1, the lead wings and flying squadrons that make up the first three expeditionary forces and a backup wing will be ready for deployments, Maj. Gen. William S. Hinton Jr. said during an Aug. 10 interview at the Pentagon. But the Air Force still is working out how jobs in aerospace expeditionary force support units will be filled, Hinton said. It could be as late as March before the Air Force begins deploying all the AEF support troops as teams instead of as individuals, Hinton said. …"
Aviation Week and Space Technology 8/16/99 Robert Wall "…Once a predominantly technology-developing organization, BMDO's advanced technology budget has shrunk to 7% of its total funding. BMDO leaders for years have been trying to increase those funds to double digits, but competing demands within the organization have stifled those efforts. The Pentagon's top priority in recent years has been to try and field a near-term missile defense system to protect troops. That has allowed the siphoning off of advanced technology funding. The last several BMDO directors had expressed concern the organization is eating its "seed corn," the money needed to ensure future technical innovation. Annual funding to keep the technology base alive is only about $70-75 million, which BMDO executives fear is not enough. Rather than spread the scarce money over many programs, BMDO has decided to focus spending on interceptor, surveillance and battle management technologies that could upgrade on-going missile defense efforts, such as the Patriot PAC-3, Theater High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad), and Navy missile defense programs. …. Science and technology funding also is being used to try to mitigate cost growth on missile defense programs. As missile defense programs move ahead "they cost more than we would like," Pierce said. Therefore, BMDO has established a new budget line to fund manufacturing technologies that could reduce the cost of operational missile defense systems. Which projects will be pursued is still being decided, but Pierce would like to focus BMDO's activity on high-risk, high-payoff items, letting contractors work on lower risk production enhancements…."
Inside The Pentagon 8/19/99 "…As the Pentagon gears up to perform some major strategic and force planning reviews, a number of current assumptions about the role of the U.S. military are being thrown into doubt, ranging from the worst-case scenario for planning -- two major theater wars that begin at nearly the same time -- to the frequency and duration of operations at the lowest rung on the conflict spectrum -- humanitarian and peacekeeping operations. Civilian and military officials at the Pentagon are debating how much the Clinton administration's "engagement" operations around the globe should figure into planning for the future national security strategy and the forces to carry it out, defense officials tell Inside the Pentagon. The question is under scrutiny in the preparation of a number of defense reviews, including the "Mobility Requirements Study '05," the upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review in 2001, and evolving plans for "Dynamic Commitment," a series of desktop warfighting games slated to begin next year…."
Aerospace Daily 8/20/99 "…Three main factors - perceived threat, budget surpluses and the need to replace aging equipment - are driving the uptick in U.S. defense spending, the first in 13 years, according to industry analysts. The increase "is a major secular change that sweeps throughout the entire industry," said Pierre Chao, managing director and senior aerospace/defense analyst for Credit Suisse First Boston. "Furthermore," he said, "the impact is widespread since the defense industry touches on so many different sectors of the economy, from the buying of food and clothing all the way up to sophisticated military equipment." Chao and three other analysts, Byron Callan of Merrill Lynch and Todd Ernst of Prudential Securities and Dale Winner of Templeton, outlined their views for The Wall Street Transcript publication.Callan said future U.S. defense plans show about 4.5%-5% growth in modernization outlays. "It's a reversal of the decline that began in outlays, which peaked in 1989. There's been a lot that's changed internationally. There have been a number of events - wars, heightened military tensions, the disintegration of states - which have, over the past several years, reminded people of the necessity of maintaining modern, capable military forces." State-of-the-art equipment, he said, can also help to avoid casualties - a point that was validated by Desert Storm and Yugoslavia…."
Inside The Air Force 8/27/99 "…The Air Force is stepping up efforts both to retain existing pilots and produce new ones in order to address the nagging pilot shortage and an upcoming bulge in the number of pilots eligible for separation, service officials say. Assuming there are no unanticipated service commitments, more than 4,600 Air Force pilots will be eligible for separation in the next two fiscal years, before the number settles down to just over 1,000 in FY-02. With the Air Force already anticipating a shortage of nearly 1,500 pilots at the end of the year, and with the shortage not expected to peak until 2007, the next two years may represent a "make or break" period for the service. Brig. Gen. Michael McMahan, Air Force director of manpower and organization, said earlier this month that although pilot retention has shown recent improvements, it cannot be assumed the pattern will hold (Inside the Air Force, Aug. 13, p1). "We need more time to see if it sticks," he said…."
Air Force Times 8/30/99 Bryant Jordan "…Anything, anytime, anywhere has long been the slogan of Air Mobility Command, the major command charged with airlifting U.S. troops and equipment to the battle. But if push came to shove and the United States suddenly became embroiled in two major theater wars -- a scenario that the military has planned for since 1994 -- the command would be hard-pressed to get everything where it needed to go. And if the wars erupted at the same time, officials acknowledge there is no chance the airlift fleet could deliver the troops and equipment needed to halt the enemies' advance. It's a bleak picture. But it could get worse. Changing strategies for fighting major theater wars may place an even greater airlift burden on the Air Force's mobility fleet. The major reason, according to a senior Air Force official, is that the Army needs too much airlift in the early days of a war. To meet current airlift demands for near simultaneous wars, the U.S. military says it needs: A C-5 Galaxy fleet with at least a 75 percent mission-capable rate. The current rate is about 61 percent. * One hundred twenty C-17 Globemaster IIIs. The Air Force now has 52 of the cargo carriers. * Nineteen large, medium-speed roll-on/roll-off ships. The Navy has 10 of the cargo-ferrying ships sailing now. All 19 will be in the fleet sometime in 2002. * A beefed-up series of bases able to service aircraft along the flight routes. In fact, according to David Merrill, the U.S. Transportation Command's top airlift specialist, the airlift assets needed to respond to the two-theater war scenario will not be in place until 2006…."
Inside The Army 8/30/99 "…A first draft of the Clinton administration's National Security Strategy for 1999 that softens language about the military's commitment to fight two major theater wars at nearly the same time has left some Army officials concerned the document signals a shift away from the long-standing dual-MTW strategy, service sources told Inside the Army. But Defense Department and administration officials told ITA there is no policy change in the works, and indicated the language will be altered to better reflect the two-war commitment when the final document is released in the coming months. An administration official said the document "does not and will not back away from the previous position."…."http://www.worldnetdaily.com/bluesky_hackworth/19990831_xcdha_dumbing_do.shtml 8/31/99 Col David Hackworth "…The Army wants our youth. But unfortunately for the "Green Machine," not enough of our youth want the Army! …. These factors are part of the problem: A booming economy, which makes tooling down Mainstreet USA in a new set of wheels more attractive than playing RoboCop in one of Clinton's global villages. College fun and games over close order drill and war games in the rain. Too many harebrained missions such as Kosovo that are stretching our forces to the breaking point and causing the troops to ask, "Why go to the Balkans to be shot at for nothing?" Relatives and friends who because of a recent bad military trip or broken promises, such as reduced medical, hospital and other retirement benefits, are telling young people, "Don't join up. You'll just get used and abused like I did." Generation Y-ers without the same patriotic fever or motivation that their fathers and grandfathers mustered when they faced the Imperial Japanese, Nazi Germany or Cold War communists who, in their time, were all major threats to our security. And senior brass -- both politicians and military leaders -- who talk a good game of caring for the troops, but rarely put their efforts or money where their mouths are. Few, for example, have challenged the poor pay and near-ghetto housing, the silly missions or the kinder, gentler Clinton administration policies which have wreaked havoc on the vital warrior ethic. …."
Associated Press 9/8/99 David Briscoe "…It's a plane. It's a helicopter. And judging by the cheers from Pentagon brass and members of Congress, it could be something of a Superman of military aircraft. Looking oddly old-fashioned as a fixed-wing plane, with two oversized propellers, the Marines' MV-22 Osprey transforms itself into the helicopter of the future. After a swift pass up the Potomac River past the Washington Monument on Wednesday, the rotors on the first production model smoothly tilted up, setting it down easily on a patch of grass at the Pentagon. Basically, the Osprey converts from a helicopter into a speedy fixed-wing plane in 20 seconds, offering new capabilities for troop deployment, drug interdiction and search and rescue, including hostage rescue. …."
Military Professional Resources, Inc. 9/9/99 Freeper gaijin reports "...MPRI stands for Military Professional Resources, Incorporated; they're an 11-year-old, closely-held corporation headquartered in Alexandria Virginia that was founded by patriotic ex-military types who have track records that show reliability, professionalism, and discretion. They do military-related contracting of all kind, and undeniably perform an essential service..... They're MERCENARIES. OK, look, as distasteful as "Professional Soldiering" strikes some people, I don't actually have a big problem with it; been around a long time, ain't going away...... Get a load of this. I was digging around on the MPRI site for info. about the company's role in the Balkans, and here's what I ran across: EXPANDED REQUIREMENTS & JUST OVER THE HORIZON ARMY RECRUITING
New York Post 9/11/99 ".... Some of the U.S. Marines who deployed to the Adriatic during the Kosovo air war are on the move again - this time to the Mediterranean. But they're being sent out less than fully prepared for service in a notoriously volatile part of the world. To be sure, the odds are remote that the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit will find it necessary to cross a contested beachhead, or otherwise go into action under cover of naval gunfire or carrier-based airstrikes. But stranger things have happened in the Mideast. And it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the 26th MEU could presently find its way en route to East Timor. And should the 26th find itself in harm's way, it will do so without the benefit of the live-fire training that has been a staple of Marine Corps preparedness for decades. Meanwhile, many of the U.S. Navy warships that will accompany the Marines overseas won't have had the gunnery training that is critical to the prevention of friendly-fire casualities. Just as many of the carrier-based pilots meant to provide close-air cover to landing troops haven't practiced live bombing, strafing or combat rocketry for months. Why not? Because the Clinton administration, bowing to political pressure, has barred live-fire training at the only practice range available for such exercises on the East Coast - the Atlantic Fleet Weapons Training Facility on the island of Vieques, near Puerto Rico...."
Washington Post 9/12/99 John Mintz "....It was a painful moment for the chief executive of the world's biggest defense company. One day after a House subcommittee rammed through a bill that threatened to kill Lockheed Martin's $70 billion F-22 fighter jet program, company head Vance Coffman visited one of the congressmen who orchestrated the action to find out why he did it. "Maybe you should leave," replied Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), pointing to the door. The legendarily blunt legislator then proceeded to dress down Coffman for perceived slights to the subcommittee chairman who led the assault on the F-22, Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.). The confrontation underscores the high stakes - and intense emotions - in the debate over the F-22. Never in recent years has Congress threatened a major military program on the verge of production......"
Washington Times 9/12/99 Paul Craig Roberts "....President Clinton has ruined the U.S. military. Neither the Army nor Navy can meet recruitment goals or retain fighter pilots. The services have lowered their standards to the point where they are getting the dregs of society. Listen to the drill sergeants in a training survey that was leaked to The Washington Times: Today's recruits are "lazy, selfish, out of shape, undisciplined, lacking in morals, challenging every order or decision or rule, having no respect for authority and unwilling to shift from an individual mentality to a team orientation." Drill sergeants (now known as "trainers") complain they are not allowed to fail or expel recruits who do not meet standards. They are not permitted to raise their voices, shame recruits, or to motivate recruits with the traditional curses and punishments. They have no recourse when recruits talk back or refuse to perform as ordered. "As a drill sergeant I feel like a baby-sitter. The only people that don't make it through basic training are the ones who will go to any means in order to get out of the service. I can say that about 60 percent of the ones I watch graduate should go home." Three-quarters of the drill sergeants (male and female) report that military discipline has declined since Clinton gender-integrated basic training in 1994. The morale of the sergeants is at an all time low, because no one - neither the brass nor the Armed Services Committees of Congress nor the public - cares what Mr. Clinton's instituting the feminist ideology has done to the military......"
The Globe & Mail (Toronto) 9/13/99 Jeff Sallot "....The proliferation of cheap laser pointers is posing a threat to Canadian Forces helicopter crews and other NATO countries flying in the Balkans, military intelligence officers say. The small battery-powered devices -- produced by the millions in recent years and often marketed as toys -- can temporarily blind and disorient helicopter pilots, creating a safety risk for crews, especially during night patrols. "These devices became very cheap and available to children or teenagers with limited budgets and they are pretty much a global scourge now, creating problems for military-service personnel and peacekeepers," said Timothy Bowden, a science adviser with the intelligence staff at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. .....But the issue is being forced into the open because of continuing controversy surrounding a suspected laser incident involving a Canadian Forces helicopter pilot and a U.S. navy intelligence officer. They believe they were hit by a laser beam fired from a Russian spy ship off the British Columbia coast two years ago....... The U.S. officer, Lieutenant Jack Daly, photographed the Russian ship from his perch aboard a Canadian Forces Sea King helicopter flown by Captain Pat Barnes. Lt. Daly suffered damage to the retinas of his eyes consistent with being hit by a visible or near infra-red laser. Capt. Barnes has reported regular eye pain, but Canadian military doctors have been unable to identify specific eye injury...."
Defense Week 9/13/99 Vince Crawley "....The Air Force is scrambling to reverse a pilot exodus that annually costs the service billions of dollars. In the fiscal year that ends this month, 1,136 experienced pilots are hanging up their military uniforms and signing up for airline jobs that offer not only significantly better pay but also far less stress on personal lives. The Air Force calculates it has spent $5.9 million to train a pilot who has nine years of cockpit experience. So those 1,136 pilots-nearly half of the 2,294 pilots eligible to separate from the service this year-are the equivalent of $6.6 billion worth of flying savvy walking out the door. Already, 430 more fliers have said they plan to leave in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. Another 1,945 are eligible to walk "We use the word 'crisis,' " said one member of a team of Air Force experts who briefed Defense Week, on the condition that the experts not be named. "Almost 50 percent [of those] who can get out are getting out."...
Inside The Navy 9/13/99 "....Trying to knock out the menacing threat of mobile Iraqi Scud missile launchers was a frustrating challenge for U.S. forces during the Gulf war. Multimillion dollar projects such as satellite-based sensors and hypersonic missiles designed to track and destroy "time critical" targets have sprung up as a result and are garnering a good deal of Pentagon funding and attention; however, in contrast to these large, costly programs, the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab thinks it has a less expensive means of trumping the ace still tucked strategically up the sleeve of Saddam Hussein. The system, called Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Target Acquisition Cloud, or RSTA Cloud, will be used for the first time this Saturday (Sept. 18) in Northern Virginia as part of the lab's Capable Warrior experimentation series. The Marines are hoping the system will prove useful to friendly troops and hostile toward the enemy. "We think the RSTA Cloud is potentially a poor man's solution to this vexing Scud hunt problem," said the lab's chief of staff, Col. Gary Anderson. ...."
Charleston Post and Courier 9/13/99 Margaret Thatcher "....Defense spending is an investment in peace because it is not armaments of themselves which cause wars: wars arise because potential aggressors believe they have sufficient military superiority to succeed in their aggression. Such investment has to go on year after year, even when threats seem vague or remote, because high technology defense programs only yield results over a lengthy period. And the only "peace dividend" we have a right to expect from victory in the Cold War is peace itself - rather than the opportunity to spend more on welfare benefits and the dependency culture. Conservative critics of President Clinton, in some respects justly, blame him for a disastrous decline in military readiness and morale, a decline that many Republicans and Democrats alike say must be reversed. The United States, riding an incredible economic boom, spends a smaller share of the national income on defense than it did in the depths of the Great Depression. This is shortsighted, and it is wrong. It invites defeat or impotency the next time a serious threat to American interests occurs - in the Middle East, in Asia, or even in Europe....."
MPRI is conductiing a pilot USAR recruiting program to provide 70 qualified contract recruiters for approximately 55 CONUS locations [freeper note-CONUS means Continental US]. The need for qualified applicants to fill these positions will be immediate and all the available positions will be filled on a first-come basis...."
Aerospace Daily 9/10/99 "....The Pentagon must aggressively regenerate stocks of precision guided weapons and acquire new versions like the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) that were used against Yugoslavia, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Henry H. Shelton told the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday. The Dept. of Defense in the next few weeks is slated to provide lawmakers with a more detailed assessment of assets used in Operation Allied Force. "I will be able to assess the results of our Kosovo 'Quicklook' After Action Review very soon and use those lessons to guide our future decisions in many areas," Shelton told SASC. Shelton mostly provided general overviews at a hearing of the committee to confirm his nomination to the JCS chairman post for a second term. The Senate is expected to okay the confirmation. Responding to questions about Kosovo and the equipment used there, Shelton reported it will take several months to ensure that deployed aircraft are given required maintenance and that aircrews receive training that was skipped while they were deployed. "Several of our low density/high demand assets like the EA-6B [electronic warfare aircraft] will require a lengthy period of reconstitution to reinstate training programs and provide TEMPO relief for deployment personnel," Shelton said.DOD is taking a "hard look" at the force structure of some specific assets that have been sorely overworked in recent years like the AWACS and EA-6B, he said....."
Inside The Air Force 9/10/99 Amy Butler "....Based on remarks made during a Sept. 9 symposium entitled "Air Superiority and Emerging Threats to U.S. Air Dominance," it appears the Air Force views the potential shutdown of the F-22 Raptor program as the service's foremost threat. During the conference, sponsored by the Washington, DC-based Lexington Institute, Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre, retired Gen. Richard Hawley and Lt. Gen. Gregory Martin, principal deputy assistant secretary for acquisition, presented a barrage of arguments for restoring the F-22 schedule to the Air Force's suggested pace and funding. Just a few weeks ago, the House cut all fiscal year 2000 procurement funding for the F-22, a reduction that threatens the program's existence. Hamre said the F-22 is critical to maintaining U.S. dominance of the skies, while acknowledging that air power alone could not always enact political change. Kosovo, he noted, is a prime example. "We won this war with air power alone but it took ground troops to achieve the political objectives," Hamre said. But, Hamre said, the country's access to that sort of grand entrance for ground forces is threatened by the House's budget cut to the F-22, which would forge a detrimental gap in the Air Force's future capability. Although the debate is vital to the future planning methods of DOD, Hamre said such discussion regarding budgets is not unusual....."
Atlanta Constitution 9/19/99 Bill Adair "....Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young (R-Fla.) said Saturday that Republican leaders have agreed to buy next year an unspecified number of F-22s, which are assembled at Lockheed Martin's Marietta plant. Young, who heads the House Appropriations Committee, said House and Senate leaders decided Thursday that the next-generation Stealth fighter was crucial to the nation's defense. "There's no question we need the capability the F-22 gives us," Young said. "It would be crazy to start with a new airplane, because we've gotten so far with the F-22." The GOP agreement reverses a decision by the House of Representatives, which voted July 22 to cut $1.8 billion from the $3 billion F-22 program and use the savings for other planes. Representatives had complained about cost overruns and said the Air Force needed to pause the program for a year to get it in order. The remaining $1.2 billion would have been used to continue research and development on the F-22, but no planes would have been purchased. ...."
http://www.newsday.com/ap/rnmpwh17.htm AP 9/22/99 H Josef Hebert "...Responding to months of uproar over allegations of Chinese espionage, Congress today overwhelmingly agreed to create a new nuclear weapons agency in the most dramatic reorganization of the Energy Department in 22 years. The reorganization was included in a widely popular $288.9 billion defense bill that includes a military pay raise and a 4.4 percent across-the-board increase in Pentagon spending, including more money for military housing and hardware. The Senate approved the defense measure 93-5, following House approval of the bill last week by a likewise veto-proof 375-45 vote. The administration has indicated a possible veto because of concerns about the nuclear weapons agency, but lawmakers said a veto would be politically difficult given the defense bill's overwhelming bipartisan support. While some Democrats voiced concern about the new weapons agency within the Energy Department, they said the defense measure was too important to have it sidetracked on the reorganization issue. Although the new agency will not be totally independent, the legislation insulates the department's nuclear weapons programs and consolidate authority over the government's three nuclear weapons labs. The reorganization marks the most far reaching fallout yet to months of controversy about lax security at the Energy Department and the alleged theft by China of nuclear warhead secrets from U.S. weapons labs, dating back 20 years. Supporters of the measure say the new National Nuclear Security Administration within the department would streamline control over nuclear weapons programs and provide increased accountability for security and counterintelligence efforts....."
Navy News & Undersea Technology 9/20/99 Lisa Troshinsky "...In about five years, large U.S. surface ships and submarines may have the advantage of using an energy-saving and environmentally benign electrochemical fuel source that doesn't require combustion. It is known as Direct FuelCell (DFC) technology. DFC's marine-based application initially will not have enough power density (amount of electricity generated per pound of power plant) to be suitable for propulsion, but be suitable to supply, or at least, supplement, the ship's energy for everything but propulsion. Once power density is improved, it will then be applicable to supply energy for potential electric drive systems being considered by the Navy for future ships, an industry expert told Navy News. ...."
Army Times 9/27/99 William Matthews ".... Rising fuel costs, higher pay for troops and less financial savings than hoped for are forcing the services to revise their long-range budgets. Higher expenses are driving budget planners to consider cuts, including canceling some expensive weapons and possibly reducing certain types of training, say officials in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill. So far, the Navy has developed the most detailed plan for long-term budget revisions. It calls for sacrificing a $2 billion Virginia-class attack submarine in 2003, a $1 billion Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in 2005 and a $700 million cargo ship to pay $4 billion or more in unanticipated costs...."
Navy Times 9/24/99 Rick Maze "….The quality of people entering military service has fallen over the past five years, according to a survey of officers, noncommissioned officers and petty officers involved in recruit training. Although most believe recruits today are smarter - or at least as smart - as recruits five years ago, they tend to be less disciplined, less physically fit, more rebellious and less able to adjust to military life and teamwork than recruits five years ago, the leaders said. The Congressional Commission on Recruit Training and Gender-Related Issues, which issued its report Aug. 16, surveyed more than 12,000 front-line instructors, unit commanders, senior enlisted leaders and commanders at recruit training stations between November 1998 and January 1999. The previously undisclosed survey results are contained in the supporting documents provided to the House and Senate Armed Services committees. …."
Navy Times 9/20/99 Andrea Stone "….Despite intensifying political pressure, recruiting shortfalls and the successful track record of women on warships and in combat jets, the Navy told a Pentagon advisory panel that submarines should remain closed to women. Submarines are the last major combat vessels still off-limits to women. The Navy says cramped living quarters and long deployments provide little privacy, and retrofitting submarines with separate bathrooms and berthing would be difficult and expensive. "It's an arduous life," Capt. Bob Holland told the Defense Advisory Council on Women in the Military, which had asked the Navy to report on sex integration in submarines. "Adding a mixed-gender crew makes it that much more." …."
Columbia (SC) State 9/26/99 Dave Moniz "… At a time when the military is desperate to fill its thinning ranks, the services are dismissing thousands of young troops each year because of pre-existing psychiatric conditions, statistics show. The military last year officially discharged more than 3,100 recruits with psychiatric histories, either in boot camp or within the first six months of enlistment. Military leaders suspect the number actually is much higher because recruits with mental health problems often are discharged under a variety of other categories used to track unsuccessful trainees. Defense Department commanders say they are concerned by the losses and searching for explanations…."
UPI WIRE 9/26/99 "….The need to train more pilots to fly the F- 16 fighter jet may be putting a strain on the capabilities of an Air Force training base. The Arizona Republic said today that the basic pilot training class at Luke Air Force Base has been increased in size by one-third, and, at the same time, Luke's aging fleet of more than 200 planes has been suffering its highest accident rate in more than two decades. "We're working at capacity now," Capt. Richard Douglas, a classroom instructor and pilot at Luke told the Republic. "We have cockpits we need to fill." The newspaper said the Air Force has increased the size of the classes for fledgling F-16 pilots by nearly a third over the past four years, from 113 to 168, in order to cover the increasing loss of pilots leaving the military. The higher number of students may be putting a strain on the base's F-16s, some of which are 20 years old. Top officers at Luke said they could keep up with the demanding pace as long as they have the necessary spare parts. "We're not going to send folks up in airplanes that aren't safe," said Lt. Col. Bill Gonzalez, commander of the 56th Training Squadron at Luke. There have been seven F-16 crashes at Luke since last fall, including the latest one last week, and the Republic said the base's fleet has been plagued with engine problems. …."
Air Force Magazine 10/99 John Correll "....A draft revision to the National Security Strategy would eliminate the standard by which US armed forces are sized--in theory, anyway--to fight two Major Theater Wars at the same time. The draft, written by the National Security Council staff in the White House, discounts the possibility that two conflicts might occur simultaneously, or nearly so. It says that "a second foe would need time to decide to take advantage of heavy US military engagement in the first theater and then to mobilize and deploy its forces for an attack" and that "our strategy is to seek to halt the second aggressor's advance, while concluding operations in the first theater. Our focus would then shift to the second theater, including, if necessary, a counteroffensive." That idea, then called "Win-Hold-Win," was floated as a trial balloon in June 1993 by Secretary of Defense Les Aspin. It ran into withering criticism and was ridiculed as "Win-Lose-Lose" and "Win-Hold-Oops." After 26 days, Aspin decided that the notion was untenable and withdrew it....... "
Defense Week 10/4/99 David Abel "....The Navy is unable to fight a second major war in the time required, a top admiral said here last week. If the Navy was asked to help fight a second "major theater war," or MTW, shortly after the first one, it would be late and challenged to win the second one, said Adm. Vernon Clark, the commander of the Atlantic Fleet. "Because of some of the shortfalls we have, we cannot make the timelines that are specified by command," Clark said during a speech closing last week's annual U.S. Naval Institute conference. "... The second MTW is going to be real high risk. What does real high risk mean? It means there's going to be a real cost to taking on that second MTW." Those costs would entail a higher number of casualties, an inability to move ships and deliver sufficient precision weapons at the proper times, and greater difficulty in dislodging a potential aggressor who has had time to dig in, Clark said......In May, Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre told the Senate Appropriations Committee's defense panel the military would not be able to wage two such wars at the same time, which many senators and other officials believed was the national strategy. Instead, the Pentagon would have to wait until sufficient airlift and sealift became available......"
Jane's Defence Weekly 10/6/99 Bryan Bender "....Washington DC -- An after-action report on US logistical support for the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia earlier this year indicates that weapons shortages were greater than previously revealed and posed a significant threat to the overall success of the operation. In order for the US European Command (EUCOM) to successfully prosecute the air war, it was forced to raid the munitions stockpiles of warfighting commands in other regions of the world, according to a recent briefing prepared by EUCOM's top logistician. Department of Defense (DoD) officials acknowledged during the conflict that the armed forces were running low of some critical munitions, particularly the AGM-86 Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile and the new GBU-30 and GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) built by Boeing. Stocks of these were reduced to as little as 100 or less. However, according to a report by Maj Gen Larry Lust, weapons shortages were more widespread. Without the reliance on the precision-guided munition (PGM) stocks of other regional warfighting commanders-in-chief (CINCs), EUCOM would not have had a number of other munitions for the war effort. "Movement of critical munition assets from other CINCs [was] essential to [the] successful campaign," his after-action briefing states......"
Fox News Wire 10/5/99 Robert Burns AP "....The Pentagon is counting on pay raises and other incentives in the fiscal 2000 defense budget to help attract more recruits and keep today's troops in uniform longer. President Clinton was signing the $289 billion spending bill Tuesday at an outdoor ceremony overlooking the Pentagon's military parade ground. The budget includes a 4.8 percent pay raise for the 1.4 million men and women on active duty, plus a host of other financial incentives aimed at filling the military's ranks....."
Eagle Forum 10/6/99 Phyllis Schlafly ".... The Pentagon is complaining that it's now in a near-crisis because recruitment numbers have taken a nose dive. The Army and Air Force are falling far short of their targeted goals, while the Navy is squeaking by only by lowering its standards and recruiting quotas. The Army is trying to entice young men to enlist by offering "signing bonuses." Recruits can get an extra $6,000 for signing up this week on top of other bonuses including as much as $50,000 for college tuition. The Pentagon is blaming our affluent society, low unemployment, civilian career opportunities, the fact that the pool of young men age 18 to 22 has declined, and particularly the drop in the number who have high school diploma....... When a New York Times reporter asked one of these new privates what his sales pitch is, he said he tells his old buddies that "it ain't so bad.".... The Pentagon's new PR consultants are supposed to research "the attitudes and habits of the young" in order to design new advertising. But the consultants are wasting their time if they start from the mindset that our goal must be a gender-neutral military and that recruitment strategy must appeal equally to men and women...."
Associated Press 10/11/99 David Briscoe "....The Army of the 21st century will have to change, with every unit ready to help in rescue, humanitarian and combat operations, the service's civilian chief said Monday. Faced with lagging recruitment and increased emphasis on airpower in both U.S. defenses and recent operations abroad, Army Secretary Louis Caldera defended the continued need for a strong ground force. But he acknowledged the demand for much faster response to a variety of post-Cold War challenges. ``We recognize that the Army must change and must continually evolve to meet the changing needs of the nation,'' Caldera said at the annual convention of the Association of the U.S. Army. Setting the tone for the meetings, the organization's president, retired Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, declared the Army ``over-committed, under-resourced and underpaid.'' AUSA, organized to promote Army goals, includes active and retired military members as well as defense industry officials. ..."
Aerospace Daily [McGraw Hill] 10/12/99 ".....The U.S. Navy within the next three weeks expects to award Boeing the first of a series of contracts to convert supersonic sea skimming Russian air-to-surface missiles into target drones. Each of the annual contracts, for modification of 20 AS-17 missiles to a drone the Navy calls MA-31, will be worth about $10 million. The work will be done at Boeing's St. Louis facility. The program will allow the Navy to stretch its dwindling inventory of MQM-8 Vandal supersonic targets by supplementing them with MA-31s until a more capable supersonic sea skimming target, or SSST, can be brought into the inventory. Both the MQM-8 and the MA-31 will be used for ship missile attack training and to test new electronic and weapons systems. Capt. Michael Mentas, program manager for Aerial Targets and Decoy Systems in the Cruise Missiles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Program Office, described the program at the National Defense Industrial Association's Air Targets, UAVs and Ranges Symposium here on Oct. 7. ....."
Army Times 10/18/99 Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) ".....President Clinton's world travel is fit for a king. Results from a newly released General Accounting Office report prove flagrant abuse of foreign-travel privileges by the Oval Office. These trips amount to a pillaging of tax dollars from the defense budget. About a year ago, news reports began to surface about excessive spending for executive junkets. Curiosity prompted me to request the GAO to tally the tab passed to American taxpayers. Sens. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., co-signed the original request for GAO information in July 1998. The GAO told us the project would take years to finish because of the number of trips and complexity of financial reporting procedures. Instead, it added up the price tags for trips to Chile, China and Africa. The total came to $72 million, and $60.5 million of that -- 84 percent -- was siphoned at the expense of American military readiness. The money came out of the U.S. defense budget -- specifically, the operations and maintenance account, which pays for the day-to-day operations of our military forces, including equipment maintenance and support, purchase of spare parts and training -- and from the Transportation Working Capital Fund....."
Columbus (OH) Dispatch 10/12/99 Joe Testa "....The nation's role in the world has changed dramatically in recent years. U.S. military power is being called upon frequently. We civilians may question some of the deployments, but our men and women in uniform go where the president orders them to go. In the celebrations the followed the end of the Cold War, there was a belief that military spending could be cut drastically. Some of our fellow Americans have been slow to recognize that military preparedness comes at a high price. The defense budget just signed by President Clinton addresses some of the military shortfalls, but a critical problem, erosion of the naval fleet, remains. Navy ships are being built at half the rate needed to maintain an adequate force. In spite of the efforts of some members of Congress, awareness of the Navy's needs is lacking. The fleet has shrunk to 325 ships from 600 just 10 years ago, and will fall to 200 if future budgets continue to ignore the problem. In fact, deployments of the Navy and Marines are three times higher than before the fall of the Soviet Union....."
Bangor (ME) Daily News 10/14/99 Jill Carroll ".... Naval leaders warned a Senate panel chaired by Sen. Olympia Snowe on Wednesday that the Navy is stretched too thin. If the number of personnel and ships continues to decline, the Navy won't be able to address conflicts effectively, said naval Vice Admiral William Fallon. "We're certainly at risk, certainly being challenged,'' said Fallon, commander of the U.S. Second Fleet. "The evidence is very telling. Year after year we're digging deeper and deeper into the hole.''...."
WorldNetDaily/Human Events 10/18/99 Scott Park ".... A special report prepared by the General Accounting Office at the request of Republican Sens. Larry Craig, Idaho, Jeff Sessions, Ala., and Craig Thomas, Wyo., indicates that Bill Clinton will go down in history not only as the most traveled U.S. president, but also as the president who spent the most tax dollars per trip. Critics say that, while it is necessary for the leader of the world's last superpower to travel overseas, it is not necessary for him to drag along the massive entourages of bureaucrats, aides and businessmen that Clinton did -- the net result being a wasteful depletion of resources from an already diminished U.S. defense budget. Clinton's jaunts were so frequent and so large that the GAO could audit only three 1998 trips for its review: trips to Africa, Chile and China. These three alone cost a staggering $72 million..... After seeing the report, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., chairman of the Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Readiness, announced he would hold hearings to examine how Clinton's frequent junkets and swollen travel rosters have drawn down funds appropriated for military readiness. ....."
UPI Wire 10/18/99 "....The Kosovo war is turning out to be quite a teacher for the military, and the Army has gotten at least one message, loud and clear: you've got to show up to play. It's not something the service hadn't figured out already. Indeed, Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki last week unveiled his vision for a lighter, more lethal fighting force that can send a streamlined division anywhere in the world within five days. The message is being hammered home again and again, this time in a new Army Science Board study on strategic maneuver forces that states bluntly, "the Army currently takes too long to deploy significant lethality." It suggests a radical change in how the Army sends its forces overseas, and envisions "modular" tanks that can be packed into standard cargo containers and sent out on commercial carriers with the mail or the latest shipment of produce....."
Inside the Air Force 10/22/99 Amy Butler ".... Although fiscal year 1999 supplemental funding helped the service get back on its feet, a continuing shortage of pilots and spare parts, a decline in recruiting numbers and decreased fleet-wide mission capable rates all indicate that the Air Force's readiness levels remain a "critical concern," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Ryan told the House Armed Services Committee yesterday. "The overall combat readiness is down an additional five percent since my last testimony in March 1999 for a total of 23 percent readiness decline since 1996," Ryan told the committee in his opening statement. "Stateside units lead the decline."...."
Inside the Pentagon 10/21/99 Elaine Grossman ".... A quarterly readiness report the Pentagon recently sent to Congress reveals that if a major theater war had broken out elsewhere while U.S. forces were engaged in Kosovo, American service members might have faced higher casualties and more prolonged combat in a bid to prevail in the MTW. The April-to-June readiness report, which roughly coincided with the 78 days during which U.S. forces led the NATO air attacks on Yugoslavia, was delayed in coordination inside the Pentagon through late September and was only recently transmitted to Congress, according to defense officials. Although the assessment judged overall force readiness as "satisfactory," the review found that during the Kosovo conflict, "risk factors" for fighting a first major theater war were "moderate" and risks for fighting a second MTW were "high."....."
Washington Times 10/22/99 Bill Gertz Rowan Scarborough "..... The Pentagon's long-range thinker, Andrew Marshall, made a rare public appearance yesterday to discuss the future of warfare. Mr. Marshall, director of the nondescript but powerful Office of Net Assessment, said the nation's ability to project power over long distances will remain "the fundamental task." The drawback of America's long military reach is that it is driving more nations to seek nuclear weapons and long-range missiles capable of reaching U.S. soil. And Mr. Marshall believes they will succeed.....Information Warfare -- the capability of attacking computer networks from afar -- will be part of it, he said. So will space warfare. Attacks against communications satellites and other space assets are "inevitable," Mr. Marshall said. Mr. Marshall, an iconoclast with a reputation for challenging conventional wisdom, said it has been very hard to get military and political leaders to talk about the changing nature of warfare. Most seem willing to look at future combat but are reluctant to talk about what future wars will be like, he said. One prediction: exotic biological weapons that will be used to change the behavior of troops on the battlefield are "five years away, not 30,"..."
Dayton Daily News 10/25/99 Russell Carollo "….. Department of Defense investigators planted the hidden microphone underneath Roby's clothes after he raised questions about the safety of American soldiers flying on the CH-47D Chinook, the U.S. Army's chief transport helicopter. Roby, an inspector at the Springfield factory, had warned that the metal used to make gears for the helicopter contained a common but potentially dangerous flaw. "I was raising a lot of hell about the possibility that we had a material that was unstable," said Roby, a former Dayton resident now living in Arkansas. A team of federal investigators in Washington, D.C., and Dayton and Roby's private attorneys in Cincinnati now suspect four accidents that killed seven people may be linked to gears made with the metal. Records, released after being kept under seal for years by a federal court, show investigators also have tried to link at least three other crashes that killed 13 people to the gears….."
Defense Week 10/25/99 David Abel John Donnelly "…..American attack submarines will become more important in the 21st century, not less, and the United States may need to increase the size of the sub fleet, the Navy secretary told Defense Week. In a 45-minute interview in his Pentagon office, Richard Danzig spoke candidly about the Navy's future underwater force, as well as other issues. "I'm trying to encourage focus on the idea of increasing the size and capability of the submarine force," he said. Danzig said he does not know how many subs that future fleet will require. The Joint Chiefs of Staff are studying the issue, he said. But if the United States chooses to have a larger sub force, it can be increased by converting some older Ohio-class SSBN submarines, the nuclear-missile Tridents, to so-called SSGNs- underwater arsenal subs packed with Tomahawk missiles and Navy SEALs. The Navy says each such sub could cost about $420 million….."
Dayton Daily News 10/24/99 Russell Carollo "….Mechanical mistakes, faulty equipment often the cause of crashes The U.S. Army knew it had a potentially deadly problem when an OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter lost power and crashed into an Alabama pine forest, destroying the aircraft and injuring both pilots. A secret Army report on the Nov. 8, 1993, crash concluded that a fuel filter used on OH-58 helicopters was prone to trap air and "may cause engine malfunction." Five months later, an OH-58 Kiowa Warrior carrying Lt. Michael A. Aguilar and Capt. Kenneth A. Sexton crashed into a Nevada hillside. Army investigators again suspected the same type of fuel filter trapped air and choked off power to the helicopter's only engine. Both Army officers died. "If they knew something was wrong with it, why did they let it go on?" said Ernest Aguilar, an Army veteran of two wars and the father of the pilot. "Something should have been done."…."
Dayton Daily News 10/24/99 Russell Carollo "….Beginning today and continuing through Friday in this space, the Daily News will tell the story of a single military jet crash: the April 5, 1994, accident involving Lt. Cmdr. Randall E. McNally II. ….. As McNally taxied his jet on Runway 31 at Alameda Naval Air Station Alameda, he was unaware that he'd achieved yet another goal: a letter notifying him that he had passed a state bar exam was on its way to him in the mail. At three minutes before noon, on April 5, 1994, as the sun struggled to break through the clouds, dozens of ironworkers and office workers stopped for lunch alongside the bay, watching two Navy jets zooming overhead. Suddenly, McNally's two-seater jet seemed to fly out of control, and then, it became obscured in huge walls of water as it crashed into the bay……McNally's jet, like the rest of the A-6Es in his squadron, was weeks away from being junked at an aircraft boneyard. The shop maintaining the plane, Navy records show, was shorthanded at a time when the workload was heavy, and the plane was awaiting a number of repairs….."
WorldNetDaily 11/2/99 Jon E Dougherty "....The Washington Times reported yesterday that more troop cuts are coming for the Army National Guard and Reserve, thanks to a politically correct Pentagon command structure that already lacks the combat experience to fight its way out of a wet paper bag. According to the report, the Pentagon has proposed another 25,000-member troop reduction, paring the Guard by 2.5 percent and the Reserve by 3.5 percent. Overall the Guard and Reserve "have been slashed 23 percent and 36 percent, respectively, since 1989," said the Times, even though the rudderless Clinton Ship of State has engaged more American forces in global disputes since any president in recent memory. Not bad for a draft dodger. ...."
PROCEEDINGS Magazine 11/99 Vice Admiral A. K. Cebrowski, U.S. Navy, and Captain Wayne P. Hughes "......Today, the United States is master of the seas. Unless we adapt our Navy for future war fighting in contested, close-in waters, however, we risk our ability to influence events. The good news is that we see the change coming, there is some undetermined time to respond, and there is a growing consensus on what action is needed to ensure our continued military potency along the world's littorals. For a force to be relevant it must have utility to the nation. Because we want our wars to be fought forward, this utility rests on two equally important pillars: the ability to gain and sustain access to the battlespace, and the capability to exploit that access. As the tools available for access denial become available to potential enemies, we will need a force balanced for both pillars.....The new rule set for the new environment is driven by the primacy of precision munitions, principally those delivered by missiles; the ever expanding breadth of the contested littoral; and the need to consider alternative measures of effectiveness to determine the value specific systems bring to the Navy after Next. .....If a force's combat power grows out of proportion to its survivability, however, it becomes tactically unstable. And a tactically unstable force has diminished utility to the nation because it becomes risk averse. This already is happening in some areas. In Kosovo, for example, the most needed use of air power was proscribed in both time and space. As a result, allied aircraft remained at high altitudes. ...... The Economy B force is a family of capabilities--often referred to as the "Streetfighter Concept"--that, in conjunction with power-projection forces, will enable the U.S. Navy to operate anytime, anywhere, 10, 20, even 50 years from today. It exploits new sensor capabilities and such platforms as unmanned or autonomous air, surface, and subsurface vehicles; a family of numerically larger but physically different surface ships; and submarines capable of contributing substantively to both access and power projection. Streetfighter is intended to gain and sustain access in the face of an adversary's sophisticated (or not so sophisticated) area-denial strategy..."
Washington Times 11/1/99 Rowan Scarborough "….The Pentagon is planning a new round of troop cuts for the Army National Guard and Reserve in the face of stiff resistance from Capitol Hill, part-time soldiers and within the Pentagon. The proposed move is politically risky for the Pentagon. A number of lawmakers have warned the military against further shrinking of the 550,000-member Guard and Reserve force, a powerful voting bloc back home. Internal documents show the Army is weighing cuts of 12,500 troops from the Guard and 5,000 from the Reserves, shifting the $908 million in savings to modernizing aging equipment. A final decision is due in December for inclusion in President Clinton's fiscal 2001 budget. A congressional aide said there is a chance the Defense Department could minimize the cuts and find savings elsewhere….."
Defense Week 11/1/99 John Donnelly "….The computer system used by the White House and top commanders to plan and execute major military missions has not proven ready for 2000, the Pentagon's inspector general said in a report released Friday. With two months until the new year, the audit raises important questions about the military's preparedness to deal with the prospect that crucial computers could malfunction when their internal calendars roll over to 2000. At issue is the Joint Operational Planning and Execution System (JOPES), used in peacetime and war to manage personnel and equipment- including theater-level nuclear-war plans, the new report said. JOPES is an "essential mission application" in the Global Command and Control System-the military's single, worldwide battle-management network….."
Defense Daily 11/1/99 Sheila Foote "…..Shelton had testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that a GOP proposal for a 1.4 percent across-the-board cut to federal discretionary spending would hurt the improvements made in military readiness that have been made as a result of recent additions to the defense budget (Defense Daily, Oct. 27). The cut agreed to by the House last week is a .97 percent cut to all the federal agencies in FY '00. "The fact of the matter is that the national security budgets submitted year after year by this administration, and which you have testified in support of before our Committee the past two years, would have been 'devastating' to our nation's military," said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Young (R-Fla.) in an Oct. 27 letter to Shelton….."In fact, the 'gains' you referred to in your testimony yesterday 'to start readiness moving back in the right direction,' were initiatives of our Committee, not this administration, throughout the past five years, including the four years that we have had the privilege to jointly chair the Defense Subcommittee and this year in partnership with Chairman Jerry Lewis," Stevens and Young said….."
Inside The Army 11/1/99 Kim Burger "….Defense Secretary William Cohen has not yet made a final decision on whether the Army will have to follow through with a mandate to cut 25,000 slots from the reserve component, but in recent correspondence he tells the directors of three military associations that the service already has made plans to spend the $1 billion those cuts would make available. To the heads of these organizations, that means the Pentagon intends to make at least some of the reductions in fiscal year 2001. Accordingly, the National Guard Association of the United States, the Reserve Officers Association and the Association of the U.S. Army have intensified their efforts to prevent the downsizing……"
INSIGHT Magazine 11/22/99 Sean Paige "….We focus this week instead on less polished con artists, running the mundane kinds of scams that keep the Defense Department's Defense Criminal Investigative Service, or DCIS, jumping. DCIS criminal investigations, according to a Website search by waste & abuse, just since July have resulted in more than 100 prosecutorial actions, more than 45 sentences and at least 12 civil settlements -- for everything from passing bad food and aircraft parts off on the Pentagon, to soliciting and paying kickbacks on government contracts, to defrauding the Defense Department's health-care program, called Tricare. …… * Charges were brought against a Pennsylvania company for exporting sophisticated military equipment and software to China -- leading to the improvement of its surface-to-air missile systems -- in violation of the Arms Export Control Act; * A Torrance, Calif., company was ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution and placed on five years' probation for falsifying quality-control tests on integrated circuits and other electronic components used in the Air Force Titan rockets, the B-1 bombers and the C-130 cargo planes, as well as NASA's space station; and * Civil settlements resulting from alleged fraud against Tricare, the military's health-care system, include: $4.7 million paid by the medical center at the University of California at San Diego for improperly billing Tricare for coronary surgical procedures not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA; $3.6 million paid by the University of Washington Medical Center also for allegedly billing Tricare for surgical procedures not approved by the FDA; and $7.6 million paid by the Walgreen's drugstore chain for allegedly shorting Tricare beneficiaries on prescription drugs, then reselling the balance of the unfilled prescriptions for ill-gotten profit….."
electronic telegraph 10/31/99 David Wastell "…. THOUSANDS of American soldiers serving in the world's most powerful armed forces are so poorly paid that they are having to depend on charity to provide their families with basic household necessities. The spectacle of America's defenders standing in line at social service offices, or raking through discarded furniture to find beds for themselves and toys for their children, has horrified the nation and is emerging as a potent issue in the forthcoming presidential election. Although military authorities insist that the problem is small, and only affecting young men with unusually large families, soldiers' wives and welfare organisations say that many more service personnel are struggling to make ends meet - but are too proud to seek the help which they need…."
Inside the Air Force 10/29/99 Adam Hebert "…. The Air Force remains committed to making the Joint Strike Fighter an affordable aircraft, despite announcements it would have to "reevaluate" its participation in the program if the F-22 were canceled or drastically scaled back, senior defense officials told Congress this week. "I have not changed my position that the key to success for our [tactical aircraft] modernization program is to build an affordable JSF," Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Ralston told the Senate Armed Services Committee Oct. 25 at his confirmation hearing. Ralston has been nominated to become commander-in-chief of the U.S. European Command….. JSF remains for the Air Force primarily a ground attack aircraft, dependent upon the F-22 to clear the battlefield of the most dangerous threats….."
Inside the Air Force 10/29/99 Amy Butler "…. Robertson said the Office of the Secretary of Defense is currently updating the airlift requirements for TRANSCOM but that he fears that the solutions they form may not come soon enough or cover all of his customers' needs. "I wonder when we get to the end of the road whether it will be enough?" Robertson asked during the Oct. 26 hearing. Robertson was referring to the shortfall in service's strategic airlifters, which are the C-5, C-17 and C-141. The service has planned to purchase 134 C-17s to replace its 270 aging C-141s. But, Robertson said, the swap may not provide enough aircraft for the demands facing the command….."
CNSNews.com 10/29/99 Patrick Goodenough "….A palm-sized spy plane is to be test-launched in the United States in December, one of the first in a range of models in advanced stages of development that could revolutionize the field of military surveillance. The concept is straight out of science fiction - an autonomously powered plane the size of a small bird or large insect, hard for the enemy to detect visually or by radar, and fitted with a camera or sensor that can read images miles away. ..."
Defense Daily 10/27/99 Frank Wolfe "….Military leaders from the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps yesterday laid out for the House Armed Services Committee's (HASC) readiness panel some critical modernization and spare parts shortfalls that the Kosovo operation highlighted. The aircraft under United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) for Operation Allied Force were mission capable 80 percent of the time, according to testimony by USAFE commander Air Force Gen. John Jumper. But that readiness rate was achieved through robbing stateside aircraft of parts. "The rest of the fleet suffered mightily back home," Jumper said. ..."
Dayton Daily News 10/26/99 Russell Carollo "….The tail rotor sat on sawhorses for more than a year before mechanics installed it on the helicopter Lt. Col. Allen E. Oliver and Capt. Robert E. Edwards flew on March 1, 1996. Thirty-six minutes after takeoff, the tail rotor fell off, and the AH-1W Super Cobra fell 1,000 feet into a Gerogia pine forest, killing the two Marines. "I just can't understand coming out of the factory like that and having a major mishap," said Oliver's father, Edward, who served in the Pacific as a Marine during World War II. "Whenever you're in combat, you know the risk. Accidents happen, but this one here I felt should never happened. "Two lives were lost." …."
Jane's Defence Weekly 10/27/99 Ed Blanche "… Amid widening complaints by the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) states about the cost of the US military presence in the region, Gen Anthony Zinni, Commander-in-Chief of US Central Command (CENTCOM), said plans are being formulated to pre-position heavy equipment aboard barges in the region for another brigade. That would put enough armoured fighting vehicles, artillery and other systems in place to equip a 50,000-strong reinforced division of four heavy brigades at short notice in the event of a new crisis with Iraq or Iran...."
Christian Science Monitor 11/4/99 Justin Brown "….It was six years ago when Benjamin Lambeth realized the US military had lost its unquestioned air superiority. Mr. Lambeth, an American researcher for the Rand Corp., took the throttle of Russia's top-of-the-line fighter jet, the Su-27 Flanker, and felt the roar of what was, for the moment, king of the skies. "It had tremendous power and agility," he recalls. "In the hands of a professional pilot, and with proper maintenance, it could match America's best." Mr. Lambeth's unique experience, at the invitation of the Russian Army, helped stoke a debate that lies at the core of one of the most important national security issues the US faces going into a new millennium……"
Janes Defense 11/3/99 Bill Sweetman "….Some time next year, the rocket-powered Lockheed Martin X-33 lifting-body demonstrator is due to make its first flight from Edwards Air Force Base (AFB). A few miles away, Boeing engineers will be working on the Future-X prototype at Palmdale. Both these programs, at the cutting edge of high-speed aerodynamic and material technology, are sponsored by the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and are ostensibly intended to foster the development of civil and scientific spaceflight. Few people realize that they are also prototypes for a military spaceplane which the US Air Force's (USAF's) scientific advisors believe could be under full-scale development within three years. It would provide the USAF with the means to perform reconnaissance, space control and strike missions from orbit….."
NEWSMAX 11/10/99 "…."Peacekeeping" in the Balkans has drained the Army's readiness to wage a major war to the lowest level in seven years, the Pentagon reported Tuesday. Two of the Army's total of 10 divisions received the lowest possible readiness rating, a C-4. All the other eight divisions did no better than C-2. No division qualified for C-1 status, the highest possible rating….."
Charleston Post and Courier 11/8/99 "....Congress and the president should react vigorously to a new report that says the effectiveness of the nation's elite Foreign Service is seriously compromised by run-down, insecure, outdated and mismanaged facilities and equipment at the nation's foreign embassies. At a time when American business has become the envy of the world for its use of the most modern technology and ruthless attention to efficiency and productivity, the Foreign Service is starved for funds and hampered by obsolete equipment and work rules. Some embassies are grossly overstaffed, with more than 1,000 employees; others cry out for trained personnel. All embassies are years behind in the use of the Internet and other computer-based communications......"
Defense Week 11/8/99 John Donnelly "....The Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS), which disposes of excess military equipment, is running a $400 million budget surplus, the Pentagon's inspector general says in a previously unpublicized report. However, the Pentagon's comptroller says there's no such surplus, that the money has been spent elsewhere in the military. But there is no evidence to support that claim, the inspector general counters, and plenty of evidence to rebut it......The mystery of the $400 million seems to be the latest-and one of the largest-examples of what independent experts have reiterated for years: The Pentagon is spending $300 billion a year, but its financial records are too disorganized to be audited. ....."
Pacific Stars and Stripes 11/9/99 Robert Burns "....The most recognizable change in the U.S. military in the decade since the Berlin Wall fell is its size - fewer troops, fewer weapons, fewer bases. Less well known is that the military now is more far-flung - showing the flag in such unlikely lands as Albania, South Africa and even Russia. As a result, an American military in transition is often doing more, in more places, with less ..."
Inside The Navy 11/8/99 Christopher Castelli "....Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner (R-VA), among others on Capitol Hill, is still hopeful the Pentagon will restore to the Navy's fiscal year 2001 budget plan a new Virginia-class submarine in FY-03 and he is willing to support the retirement of older platforms as a means of accomplishing that goal. But senior Navy officials are still maintaining that the deletion of the submarine from the budget plan and other shipbuilding cuts are necessary given limited funding and..."
Defense Daily 11/5/99 Vago Muradian "…. One day after Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre criticized Wall Street for pounding defense industry stock values, analysts and executives lashed back by blaming the Pentagon for a series of actions that have contributed to the financial ill-health of firms vital to national security. …… "While there are significant management problems at some of these companies, the market's verdict is as much about the industry's only customer as it is about the industry's management," Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute told Defense Daily. "The market pays for predictability and stability, but military services and the Pentagon are doing a wonderful job of destroying their industrial base by ignoring the business logic of much of what they do. Look at the F-22. First, the Pentagon wanted 750, then 648, then they wanted 438. Now they want 339...What kind of screwy business environment is that?" ….."
Defense Daily 11/5/99 Vago Muradian "…. The Pentagon and Congress, Thompson and other analysts said, habitually hurt the industry by fiddling with production quantities, redirecting funding, delaying contracts or blocking mergers and acquisitions, all of which have a direct bearing on the financial well being of the industry. And as stocks lose value, it becomes harder for companies to attract and retain top talent while at the same time forcing them to increasingly dip into precious research and development funding to remain in the black…… "
UPI 11/3/99 Lisa Burgess "…. A top Pentagon official Wednesday blamed Wall Street for undercutting the U.S. defense industry by preferring fast-moving start-up companies over well-established manufacturers. Undersecretary of Defense John Hamre said the phenomenon could eventually hamper the U.S. military's ability to modernize its forces. Departing from a prepared speech at an Army-sponsored conference on strategic responsiveness, Hamre said venture capitalists can't resist the lure of newly public companies whose products contribute nothing to national security….."
The Washington Times 11/18/99 Bill Gertz "….The Pentagon's top intelligence official said yesterday that China's announced plans to conduct "Internet warfare" poses a future threat to U.S. military dominance on the battlefield. "We are clearly interested and concerned about this whole idea of information attack," Vice Adm. Thomas Wilson, the new director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), said in an interview. The three-star admiral was commenting on a report in China's official military newspaper, first disclosed in yesterday's editions of The Washington Times, that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is gearing up for wartime computer attacks on networks and the Internet that facilitate everything from finance to military activities. "It's a big part of this asymmetric threat, and it's probably bigger than all of outdoors in terms of trying to get your arms around it," the admiral said in his first interview with reporters since taking over DIA last summer….."
Defense Daily 11/17/99 Marc Strass "…More than half of the Army's fleet of Boeing [BA] AH-64A Apache and AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters will be grounded for a minimum of three months, pending the arrival of much needed spare parts. "Four hundred aircraft will be grounded as a result of last week's inspection order. It will take three to four months for deliveries of replacement sprag clutches [which are part of the transmission accessory gearbox] to begin, and at least three more months for the entire fleet to have the parts replaced. Preliminary indications show that it will take 10 months to have the first deliveries of replacement hangar bearing assemblies, but we are hoping to bring that down quite a bit." said an Army spokesman…."
Federal Computer Week 11/15/99 Bob Brewin "…The Defense Department's exploding use of the Internet has put such a squeeze on network bandwidth that it threatens new strategies to use information technology systems to manage the Pentagon's business and fight wars. Although the Defense Information Systems Agency has more than doubled capacity on its Non-Classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNET) during the past year, adding almost 20 terabytes of capacity, DISA still cannot keep up with demand, said Pete Paulson, chief of networks at the agency, which serves as the Pentagon's Internet service provider and phone company. Although NIPRNET does not handle classified traffic -- a secret and secure intranet sends highly classified messages as well as military images -- the network carries traffic vital to what top commanders call "network-centric warfare," which relies on IT systems to fight battles and supply U.S. forces around the world….."
Inside The Pentagon 11/11/99 Elaine Grossman "…. In a meeting last week with leaders of key military organizations, Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre said no decision has yet been made to implement proposed reductions of 17,500 troops in the Army Reserve and National Guard, according to officials familiar with the session. He also assured the military advocates they would be consulted again before any such cuts are made, sources said. Those attending the Nov. 5 meeting at the Pentagon included leaders from the Association of the U.S. Army, the National Guard Association of the United States, and the Adjutants General Association of the United States. Other Pentagon leaders in attendance included Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Rudy de Leon and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs Charles Cragin….."
New York Post 11/13/99 "…..Bill Clinton's Pentagon says it's prepared to fight two Gulf War-like conflicts on opposite sides of the globe simultaneously, but you know those Clintonites - they lie. The truth is that the Pentagon can't even police Bosnia and Kosovo at the same time without - get this - calling up the reserves. Not to mention that two of the Army's 10 active-duty divisions have been rated officially unfit for combat. With a budget of $270-plus billion, you'd think the Pentagon could do better than that……"
aeroworldnet.com 11/8/99 "….The world's first hypersonic air-breathing free-flight vehicle is no longer just a paper airplane. The first of three experimental vehicles, designated X-43A, recently arrived at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, to prepare for flight in May 2000. Flight of the X-43 vehicles will be the culmination of over 20 years of scramjet (supersonic combustible ramjet) research and the first time a non-rocket engine has powered vehicles at hypersonic speeds. Built by Micro Craft, Inc., Tullahoma, TN, for NASA's Hyper-X program, the 12-foot-long, unpiloted X-43 vehicles will significantly expand the boundaries of air-breathing aircraft. Three flights are planned - two at Mach 7 and one at Mach 10….."
Signal 11/99 Maryann Lawlor "…..Using modeling and simulation technologies, military, government and industry representatives are gazing as much as 15 years into the future to determine how joint forces will function cohesively while fighting a battle or keeping the peace. The thrust for interoperable technologies is being taken one step further by focusing on joint concepts of operations that intertwine both the U.S. military services as well as coalition force strengths. ..."
Providence Journal 11/9/99 Robert Smith "…..Peering over the horizon of a new century, Navy strategists see a smaller, more diverse world fast approaching. To best wield their might and keep free the high seas, they say, tomorrow's warriors must know and understand different cultures. Then, very quickly, they must be ready to fight alongside them. Toward a more diverse armada, naval leaders from around the world sat down in Newport yesterday and began planning a new formation -- one in which they ideally sail together against a pitiable foe. The 15th annual International Seapower Symposium drew more than 160 delegates from 72 countries, many of them admirals of their fleets and coast guards back home. They heard Adm. Jay L. Johnson, the highest-ranking officer in the U.S. Navy, describe an era of cooperation and Persian Gulf war-like ``coalition warfare'' against forces of darkness, be it evil dictators, terrorists or drug traffickers….."
Chattanooga Times / Chattanooga Free Press 11/12/99 Lee Anderson "….. Our national leaders have told us that the goal of U.S. military readiness is to have the ability to fight -- and win quickly -- two Persian Gulf War-size conflicts on opposite sides of the globe at the same time. That recognizes the possibility that things could blow up in and around Iraq, for example, at the same time North Korean Communist aggressors might invade South Korea. The two-war capability is certainly needed. But despite military pretensions, we have never had it. And now we find that what we do have is dangerously weakened. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki has confirmed a report that two of the Army's 10 divisions are so weakened by commitment of their troops and equipment to assignments in Bosnia and Kosovo that they are in "C-4" condition -- the lowest state of readiness. That rating has resulted from the fact that about half of the troops in those two divisions are tied down in "peacekeeping" duties. …."
Philadelphia Inquirer 11/26/99 Dave Moniz "….. Pentagon commanders are concerned. They ask: Is there a problem with recruitment? Or a broader problem? At a time when the military is desperate to fill its thinning ranks, the services are dismissing thousands of young troops each year because of preexisting psychiatric conditions, statistics show. The military last year officially discharged more than 3,100 recruits with psychiatric histories, either in boot camp or within the first six months of enlistment. Military leaders suspect the real number is much higher because recruits with mental-health problems often are discharged under a variety of other categories used to track unsuccessful trainees….."
HONOLULU ADVERTISER 11/21/99 Mike Gordon "….The submarine, torpedo smooth and black as midnight, sliced across the surface of the ocean like a giant steel shark. Its engines hummed with nuclear power, and its belly carried enough weapons to level Honolulu, whose skyline sat a few miles off the bow. The ocean surface is not where submarines like the USS Pasadena normally dwell. Their posture is more clandestine, their missions classified. But these are troubled times for the Navy's "silent service." Now even a routine trip off Oahu underscores a greater mission - a public posture of self-preservation. The reason: Attack submarines - among the finest in the world - are being scrapped years ahead of schedule. Turned into razor blades, as submariners say. So, submarine admirals are speaking out as never before, publicly challenging a fleet reduction program that will cut by nearly 50 percent the number of submarines that operated during the Cold War….."
Defense Week 11/22/99 Vince Crawley "…. Although they remain ready for combat, Air Force crews will not be fully recovered from the Kosovo air war until March 1, 2000, nearly nine months after the end of the 78-day conflict, senior officials say. The Air Force is two months into a radical shift in how it deploys its people worldwide. But Kosovo created enough manning turmoil that the Expeditionary Aerospace Force concept will not be fully in place until March 1, Maj. Gen. William Hinton told Defense Week in an interview. Hinton directs implementation of the new EAF concept at the Pentagon….."
Christian Science Monitor 12/2/99 Justin Brown "…..In one of the biggest US arms exports since the end of the cold war, a small sheikdom in the Persian Gulf is expected to receive 80 fighter jets with more-advanced technology than in those flown by American pilots. The deal between Lockheed Martin Corp. and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is expected to be final soon, comes as the US government has been loosening export controls to boost a defense industry hurt by a drop in military orders, analysts say. The result of the new US attitude is that, in some cases, purchasing countries have greater leverage over American sellers - and they can now get advanced weapons that once were reserved for the closest US allies. The concern is that friends can become foes, and secrets can be stolen. In this latest deal, the UAE, an oil-rich ally from the Gulf War with a population of 2.3 million, would get F-16s that have a range, radar ability, targeting accuracy, and avionics capability that are superior to the US F-16s….."We're losing control of technology, and we're giving foreign countries better stuff than our own kids have," says Lawrence Korb, a former assistant secretary of Defense who advocates reduced military spending……"
Washington Times 12/3/99 Bill Gertz "….Politically correct environmentalism is a hallmark of the Clinton administration, which created an entire Pentagon bureaucracy devoted to questionable "environmental security." Now the Army has jumped on the bandwagon. The service has ordered all new bullets, notably the 5.56 mm round used in standard-issue M-16 rifles, to be produced with tungsten filler instead of environmentally polluting lead. The decision was made before the designation of an Army firing range on Cape Cod, Mass., to be an environmental disaster area requiring federal cleanup funds --even though lead rounds there will not pose any threat for 300 years. The problem for U.S. national security, we are told, is that the United States has no domestic tungsten resources. It must be purchased abroad and is only available from the Czech Republic, Canada, Mexico, Cuba and China. Guess where the Pentagon currently gets its tungsten? "We're getting all of ours from China," an upset official told us. "The Army could have opposed this and didn't."…."
Government Executive 12/99 Katherine McIntire Peters "….Unless the Pentagon breaks today's spending patterns, tomorrow's troops won't have the weapons they need. The military's top procurement priorities read like a Cold War wish list. Despite uncontested control of the seas and shipping lanes, the Navy is investing heavily in aircraft carriers, carrier-based tactical jets and submarines. The Air Force, undisputed ruler of the skies worldwide, will spend billions of dollars on two new tactical fighters that have no apparent opponents. The Army, untouchable in land warfare, but with such heavy weapons it has difficulty deploying them, plans to buy an even heavier artillery system. Do military leaders believe they will face another Soviet-like nemesis? Not really. According to the services' "vision statements," they recognize a vastly changed national security environment a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The proliferation of missile technology, nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and the explosion in comparatively low-cost commercial technologies with military applications all have greatly altered the battlefield upon which the military services will fight….."
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER 11/20/99 Ed Offley "….Senior Army commanders meeting here this week agreed to convert an armored brigade at Fort Lewis to a lighter and more mobile unit by October, with the unit to be certified as combat-ready several months after that. The unit will be designed to deploy worldwide within 96 hours. "We have worked as a team to develop a plan to transform the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division into the initial prototype brigade," said Lt. Gen. James Hill, commander of I Corps. Led by Gen. John Abrams, commander of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command, more than 20 generals from all branches of the Army spent two days at the Pierce County base working out the plans. The brigade conversion was announced last month by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki as an initiative to increase the Army's mobility and speed without losing its combat punch. …."
Aviation Week & Space Technology 11/15/99 Bruce Nordwall "….Lessons the U.S. learned from the Kosovo conflict emphasize the need for airborne electronic warfare aircraft, but point to problems with the number of assets. The experience affirmed that the upgrade priorities are valid, and ''we're not in the process of buying anything that would not have been used,'' said Capt. John Scheffler, the Naval Air Systems Command's EA-6B program manager. Still, with the EA-6B as the only tactical jammer for the Air Force and Navy, there were some force structure problems. Surprisingly, the crunch was not with aircraft, but a shortage of flight crews. Even with pilots flying a major mission each day from Italy, six days a week, and logging 90 hr. a month, there were still not enough flight crews to fly the required sorties. So the Navy had to pull instructors out of the training squadron in Whidbey Island, Wash., to beef up the deployed forces. …."
US Newswire 12/6/99 "….The plan I am adopting today provides for the end of training on Vieques within five years, unless the people of Vieques choose to continue the relationship; restricts training activities during the transition period to those required by the Services; sets forth an ambitious economic development plan for Vieques that would be implemented during this transition; and gives the people of Puerto Rico and the Navy an opportunity to discuss this plan in order for it to be understood fully before training resumes this spring for this transitional period……"
Inside The Army 12/13/99 Kim Burger "…. Senate support for maintaining the current end strength of the Army National Guard is so strong that if the Office of the Secretary of Defense presses ahead with a planned Guard personnel reduction, lawmakers would likely block the move, the co-chairman of the Senate National Guard Caucus said last week. Sen. Richard Bryan (D-NV) told Inside the Army Dec. 9 that DOD would be "very ill-advised" to implement the personnel cuts, which were directed by the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review but later deferred until 2001….."
Jane's Defence Weekly 12/8/99 Tom Donnelly ".... In theory, the US armed forces can fight two nearly simultaneous major theatre wars The US Department of Defense (DoD) is beginning to prepare for the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). Recent reviews have been based on the idea that the US armed forces are capable of fighting two nearly simultaneous major theatre wars (MTWs). This paradigm is still embraced by the White House and Secretary of Defense William Cohen. In October Cohen told the Senate Armed Services Committee: "If a theatre war had broken out during the Kosovo operation, Gen Hugh Shelton [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] and I are confident we would have been able to meet the challenge, albeit at higher levels of risk." Most US service chiefs tell the opposite story. Testifying in front of the House Armed Service Committee, also in October, three of the four service chiefs spoke of the two-MTW policy. Chief of Naval Operations Adm Jay Johnson said: "From a navy perspective, we never were sized for two MTWs. We are sized to do the daily business that we are asked to do as a forward-presence rotational force." The new US Marine Corps Commandant Gen James Jones said: "The Marine Corps is not, by its size, a two-MTW force." Air Force Chief of Staff Gen Michael Ryan said: "The air force, again, is not a two-MTW force either. Our lift force, many of our special assets bombers, tankers and airlift assets are not [enough for] two MTWs." ....."
senate.gov 12/3/99 Senator James Inhofe "…..U.S. Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, today denounced the decision to prevent the military from resuming vital live-fire training exercises on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. "This is an unacceptable compromise that places the lives of American troops at increased risk," Inhofe said. "The success or failure of our military forces depends on the training and preparation they receive. The halt of live-fire training at the Vieques range will greatly hurt our military readiness and will jeopardize our ability to succeed in critical combat situations. "Without the benefit of training on Vieques, the sailors, pilots and Marines of the Eisenhower battle group will be unprepared for the hostile situations they will undoubtedly encounter in the Persian Gulf. No patchwork of training exercises is appropriate. Training should have long since resumed at Vieques." Inhofe's comments came in response to the announcement that the military will not resume training exercises at the Vieques training range. …."
Long Island Newsday 12/7/99 Patrick Sloyan "….The world's most expensive and best-equipped Army performed so poorly during Operation Allied Force that the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee struggled for the right word. "Snafu-that's it," said Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), repeating the World War II acronym for "Situation Normal, All Fouled Up" or something close to it. "Snafu," Warner said again, pointing his finger at the assembled top brass during a hearing last month on the state of the Army. In military terms, the 78-day campaign against Serb President Slobodan Milosevic was recorded as a lopsided triumph for the U.S. Air Force, the American Navy and NATO allies. But for the Army, which spends $67 billion a year on 488,000 active-duty soldiers, 231,000 in the National Guard and Reserves, and a civilian work force of 287,000, the Kosovo conflict was something of an embarrassment. Army ground forces proved too muscle-bound to respond, even in the peripheral role they played, in the fast-paced NATO punitive expedition. Still, they managed to produce the only American casualties of the conflict during ill-fated helicopter maneuvers outside Kosovo……"
National Defense 12/99 John Dingell "…..For reasons largely out of its control, the U.S. military is struggling to retain seasoned personnel. Even more serious, however, is the increasingly difficult time the services have had in recruiting men and women. America will be unable to protect its interests, prevent the slaughter of innocent civilians, and work around the globe to promote democracy if the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps fail to attract the quality and quantity of individuals needed to meet today's challenges. News from the recruiting front paints an ominous picture. Last September, in an effort to fill 7,000 empty slots, Army recruiters offered $6,000 to anyone who would enlist within seven days. For the first time in 20 years, the Air Force recently reported that it would fail to reach its recruitment goals. This spring, the USS Theodore Roosevelt deployed to the Balkans 800 sailors short. Overall, the Navy believed it would be 22,000 sailors short this year. It has since resolved many of its immediate problems, but only after admitting more recruits without high-school diplomas. …."
Sea Power 1/2000 Tom Philpott "…. The final year of the 20th century saw five U.S. Navy aircraft carrier battle groups and two amphibious readiness groups involved in combat operations--a level of naval engagement not seen since the 1990 Persian Gulf War. At the same time, the size of the fleet continued its inexorable decline to the smallest U.S. fleet since 1931--when the Depression-era Navy numbered 308 active ships. If the average American failed to realize this, blame it not on apathy but on warfare's changing nature--and a changing world. Modern warfare at the end of the 20th century involved smart bombs and cruise missiles--most of them dropped or launched by the world's only remaining superpower, the United States, leading an alliance, NATO, that also has no peer….. Adm. Frank L. Bowman, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, believes that the Navy is "understructured across the board, but particularly in attack submarines." A new Joint Staff report on submarine requirements, due out a month ago, was said to recommend raising the ceiling on attack submarines (SSNs) from 50 to a figure between 62 and 68. Meanwhile, the inventory of attack submarines fell by another eight in 1999. That means, at any given time, only 12 to 13 attack submarines are on patrol around the globe versus a requirement for 15 to 16, said Rear Adm. Malcolm I. Fages, director of submarine warfare for OPNAV. "There is a plethora of things we are unable to do across all mission areas, including even the highest priorities, National Command Authority tasks, and special operations. We just don't have enough assets." …."
Washington Times 1/7/00 Bill Gertz Rowan Scarborough "…..A new Air Force report describes the results of an investigation into how a $45 million unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crashed in the California desert. The new Global Hawk reconnaissance drone was being flight tested over the China Lake Naval Weapons Center. The drones are the military's latest high-technology reconnaissance aircraft that are piloted from the ground electronically……Across the state line at nearby Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., military technicians were testing out their control transmitters for Global Hawk. One of them pressed the "termination" command . . . and whoops, the signal was picked up by the China Lake Hawk….."
Reuters 1/6/00 Charles Aldinger "….The Navy Thursday announced plans to use revolutionary "electric drive" in its new class of 32 DD-21 destroyers, which could begin joining the fleet in a decade at an estimated overall cost of $25 billion. The stealthy new warships would still use a diesel or turbine engine. But it would both propel the DD-21 and generate electric power, unlike current warships which have bulky separate engines for movement and electricity. Navy Secretary Richard Danzig told reporters that the single power source in the DD-21 and perhaps other warships will scrap long drive shafts and noisy gears, opening major opportunities for redesigning ships and improving shipboard life. …..The new DD-21 is designed as a land-attack warship and is expected to include two heavy guns and a range of missiles and other weapons…."
Inside The Pentagon 1/6/00 Elaine Grossman "…..Even after U.S. military forces led the air war over Kosovo last spring, they still faced "medium-to-high risk factors" of higher casualties if they were called upon to fight a major theater war in Southwest Asia, according to a quarterly readiness report the Defense Department recently submitted to Congress. The finding, stunning in itself, is that much more so because the scenario analyzed by the Pentagon stopped well short of the requirements of the National Military Strategy, which still expects the services to be capable of winning two major wars in overlapping time frames located in distant locations around the globe. …."
Sacramento Bee 1/6/00 Nando/AP "….The Pentagon should investigate more fully how an adversary could disrupt U.S. military operations with low-power attacks on U.S. satellites, the commander of U.S. Space Command said Wednesday. "We should understand our vulnerabilities," Air Force Gen. Richard Myers told reporters. One means of doing that, Myers said, is by using U.S. lasers in test firings on orbiting U.S. satellites. The Pentagon conducted such a "laser dazzler" test against one of its satellites in October 1997 using an Army laser. ….."
Associated Press 1/5/00 "….The Pentagon needs to conduct more test-firings of a laser at orbiting Air Force satellites in order to better understand how an enemy might disrupt American satellites in time of war, the commander-in-chief of U.S. Space Command said today. ``We should understand our vulnerabilities,'' Air Force Gen. Richard Myers told reporters. ``This is a program that needs to be developed and fleshed out,'' he added later. Myers, who will leave his post at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., next month to become vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on March 1, said other countries are developing ``laser dazzlers'' that could interfere with U.S. satellites. He would not identify these countries, but China is known to be developing such a weapon. The U.S. military is increasingly dependent on satellites in both peacetime and in war. The Pentagon conducted such a ``laser dazzler'' test against one of its satellites in October 1997 using the Army's MIRACL laser, an acronym for the 1980s-vintage Mid-Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser, which is based at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. …."
National Defense 1/2000 Lawrence Skibbie "….At the risk of repeating myself, I want to mention a series of seemingly disparate issues and trends affecting the defense community. My purpose in being somewhat repetitious is to show that, when taken together, these issues indicate we have a serious national security problem. However, my goal is not simply to heighten your concern, but rather to incite you to demand that our political leaders address these issues.
ITEM: Declining Budgets - The Pentagon's budget has dropped by 37 percent during the 10 years that have passed since the end of the Cold War. During that period, defense expenditures as a share of the gross national product (GDP) have dropped from 6 to 3 percent-the lowest GDP percentage spent on defense since 1950, the first year of the Korean War.
ITEM: Aging Defense Equipment - The decline in budgets has resulted in the rapid aging of defense equipment. Many of today's aircraft and ground vehicles are older than the airmen and soldiers using them-and that will get much worse before it gets better….
ITEM: Higher Maintenance Costs for Aging Equipment - We now are spending billions to maintain an aging fleet of aircraft and other equipment. By next year, the average age of the aircraft will be over 20 years. Flying hour costs for the aging fleet have risen almost 70 percent during the past four years, as maintenance costs continue to skyrocket. Worse still, the age and deteriorating state of these systems are having an effect on readiness...
ITEM: Higher Maintenance Costs Delay Modernization - The military services continue to defer spending on modernization to pay for day-to-day readiness, operations and support costs. These costs currently eat up one-third of the entire defense budget. As a result, modernization dollars have plummeted by 70 percent since the 1985 build-up of the Reagan administration.
ITEM: Loss of Skilled Industrial Workforce - More than 20,000 companies have left the defense supplier community... Once the workforce is lost, it cannot be recovered quickly, and it takes years to train employees in specialized defense-related skills.
ITEM: Loss of Military Troops - The armed forces have shed some 700,000 active-duty troops since the fall of the Berlin Wall. This is a nearly 40 percent decline. What is more alarming, however, is the growing problem the services are experiencing in recruitment and retention...
ITEM: Gap Between Military and Civilian Society - As reported recently by the Wall Street Journal and other news media, there seems to be a growing separation of the military forces from the civilian society they are sworn to defend. Reports indicate troubling philosophical gaps that make it more difficult for the two sectors to understand each other's needs and concerns. One example is a survey that shows that military officers have significantly more conservative viewpoints on political and social issues than the average U.S. citizen.
ITEM: Lack of Citizen Concern - Finally, a recent opinion poll by the Washington Post asked 1,000 randomly selected people to rank their "top 10 worries," as well as "the least of their worries." As you might expect in a time of relative peace, defense did not make the top 10. Furthermore, as you may have guessed, the issue of whether the United States spends either too much or too little on its armed forces was among the least of the people's worries.. ."
Washington Post 1/10/00 Robert Suro "….More than two decades after the introduction of an all-volunteer force, the military continues to fall "significantly short" of meeting service members' expectations that they and their families will enjoy a reasonable lifestyle. Men and women in the military feel overworked and underpaid, complain that they lack the resources to carry out their missions and say they lack confidence in their leaders, according to an extensive private study of attitudes within the armed forces to be released today. But the study said that men and women in uniform continue to hold a strong sense of duty and sacrifice....
The Associated Press 1/13/2000 "….The Pentagon is establishing an additional 17 National Guard teams to help states respond quickly in the event of attacks involving nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. An initial 10 teams were created last year. Each team of 22 full-time members of the Army or Air National Guard will receive 15 months of training before being certified to respond to such emergencies, officials said Thursday. They are to provide medical and technical advice to local emergency officials under state, rather than federal, control. The teams will be available to the governors of 17 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia. The 10 teams established last year are for Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, California, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. California is the only state to be assigned two teams. These 10 teams are expected to receive their certification by March…. The Defense Department will consult with the states to decide the specific communities in which the teams will be based….."
St. Louis Post Dispatch 1/22/2000 Harry Levins "Military Matters" "…. Imagine that nature pits you against a grizzly bear. The bear comes equipped with big teeth and sharp claws. You come equipped with small teeth and dull fingernails. So you reach for a rifle. That's asymmetric warfare. Instead of fighting on the enemy's terms, you fight on your own. The Chechen rebels insist on waging asymmetric warfare against the Russian army. The Russian army seems to be stunned, just as it was stunned in Chechnya in 1994-96 - and just as its predecessor, the Soviet army, was stunned in the 1980s when the Afghans insisted on waging asymmetric warfare. You'd think that by now, somebody would have learned a lesson. And maybe somebody has. The U.S. Army is finally getting around to putting a dose of asymmetry in its own combat training……"
AP 1/18/2000 Robert Burns "….The Clinton administration's 2001 budget proposal will ask Congress for authority to close more military bases, starting in 2003, Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre said Tuesday Lawmakers are seen as unlikely to go along in an election year. ``We're going to ask for permission to do base closures again,'' Hamre said in an interview. ``We still have excess infrastructure, ... and right now the best process, the most fair process is the base closure process.'' In each of the past three years Defense Secretary William Cohen pressed for more base closings and each time Congress said no. Last year Cohen proposed separate rounds of base closings in 2001 and 2005. The administration will submit its 2001 budget proposal in early February……"
The Daily Republican Online 1/10/00 Jim Randle ".... The study follows major cuts in the size of military forces, and a 300 percent increase in foreign deployments. Frustrations are blamed for an exodus of the military's best-trained and most talented people - at a time when the services face ever more complex and difficult missions. A group of scholars and retired generals from the Center for Strategic and International Studies surveyed 12,000 active duty and reserve service members and interviewed 125 small groups of officers and sergeants. In the 18-month study, service members creported they could make more money in civilian jobs that don't require the risk, family separation, and hardship of military life. They also complain that medical care offered to service members and their families is inadequate, and mired in foolish bureaucratic tangles. The soldiers, sailors, and marines also complain that constant deployments in peacekeeping, humanitarian, and drug fighting operations, make them worry they won't be ready to do their main job - fight and win the nation's wars. They also say they need more money for equipment, spare parts, and training. ...."
WORLD TRIBUNE.COM 1/25/2000 "…. The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff has warned against long-term deployment of U.S. troops abroad as White House officials continue to review plans to send peacekeeping forces to the Golan Heights as part of any Israeli-Syrian treaty. Army Gen. Henry H. Shelton, the chairman of the joint chiefs, did not mention the Golan Heights during his speech last week at Harvard University. But it was his clearest warning against the prospect of renewed U.S. military commitments that could endanger American troops abroad or reduce the Pentagon's concept to be able to fight a two-front war. "The military makes a great hammer in America's foreign policy toolbox, but not every problem that we face is a nail," Shelton said on Wednesday…..Shelton stressed the importance of the support by the American people to send troops abroad. He said each decision must withstand what he called the "Dover test," a reference to the Delaware air force base that receives the bodies of service members killed in action. "We have to ask the question, 'Is the American public prepared for the sight of our most precious resources coming home in flag-draped caskets into Dover Air Force Base?'" Shelton said….."
European Stars and Stripes 1/24/2000 Ward Sanderson "….American troops will likely remain here as long as Bosnians need them. And despite isolated crimes or ethnic haggling, the Dayton Peace Accords work, the commander of the U.S.-run sector of the country said in a recent interview. "The goal is a self-sustaining and lasting peace," said Maj. Gen. James L. Campbell. "Let's see how long the people of Bosnia want us to be here." Currently, there are 4,430 U.S. troops in the country. Some skeptics of the peacekeeping mission demand a fixed time for an American pullout, and for European countries to completely shoulder the police burden here. Campbell, however, said there is no such magic date for heading home. Gen. Wesley K. Clark, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, has said troops will leave Bosnia when the mission is a success….."
WorldNetDaily 2/1/00 Col David Hackworth "....On every U.S. military post, base and ship -- active duty and reserve -- America's defenders are short critical gear from toilet paper to spare parts to training ammo, and many live in GI ghettos. Too often, our warriors' lives are put at risk because they don't have the stuff to make sure that the aircraft stays in the sky or that the soldier is trained to a razor's edge to survive the ultimate Super Bowl game of combat. The word from the brass is to "suck it up." They claim -- falsely -- that President Clinton has cut military funds despite the almost $300 billion annual defense budget -- about what the rest of the world combined spends on defense. But for those on top, it's pig-out time. The old saw, "Rank has its privileges" is still rampant in our all-volunteer force. And few people have the guts to sound off about different perks for high-ranking jerks because they don't want a ration of harassment followed by job termination........ Secretary of Defense William Cohen, hardly the type to suck it up, recently set the example for his hard-pressed troops on a trip to Hollywood. His vital mission was to sign up some mega-stars to help pump the Pentagon's flagging recruiting program. Cohen didn't bring his pup tent or stay at one of the nearby military bases. He and his foxy ex-TV anchor wife checked into the exclusive Beverly Hills Four Seasons Hotel and slapped the tab for the $10,000, four-day room charge right smack on the taxpayers' account. ...... Not sure what Army Gen. Hugh Shelton had in mind either when -- at taxpayers' expense -- he allowed his enlisted aide to make a 6-foot-5-inch chocolate replica of Shelton in full combat gear for a plush holiday bash........ While many Army combat units are short men and are without seasoned sergeants, why is a highly qualified combat NCO tasked with concocting costly chocolate ego trips to please a four-star general? Hollywood won't solve the Pentagon's recruiting problems. But if the taxpayers' money was spent as the citizens intended and the top brass put the troops first, there wouldn't be one to begin with. Just look at the Marines, who still believe in the old-fashioned notion that a leader's primary responsibility is the welfare of the troops. They don't need movie stars to inspire young folks to join up. They operate under the premise, THE STERNER THE CHALLENGE, THE FINER THE RESPONSE, and our best and brightest are beating down the hatch to become United States Marines....."
Miami Herald 1/31/2000 Bill Kaczor "....The general responsible for protecting the continental United States from air attack says he fears it is not matter of if, but when terrorists or a rogue nation try something. It may be a small plane or even a cruise missile carrying a biological or, perhaps, chemical weapon, said Maj. Gen. Larry Arnold, commander of the 1st Air Force. ``I lie awake worrying,'' Arnold said. ``It is one thing to put a truck inside the twin trade towers and blow it up. It is quite another to be able to fly a weapon across our borders. That is an attack, a direct attack, an unambiguous attack from outside our country.'' Striking from the sky may be more difficult, but Arnold said the political impact could make it worth the effort in the mind of a terrorist. So far, nothing of the kind has happened, but Arnold's nationwide Air National Guard command scrambles jets about 200 times a year at seven alert sites from Portland, Ore., to South Florida........ Air Guard F-16 Fighting Falcons and F-15 Eagles can be airborne in minutes, but they are stretched thin. Arnold, a Texas Guard member, used the example of terrorists taking off from Mexico in a small plane and giving an hour's notice before spraying sarin gas or anthrax over El Paso, Texas. The nearest alert jets are about 600 miles away near Houston and in California. ``If we scrambled them immediately, they would not yet be there that one hour later,'' Arnold said. ``I don't want to be an alarmist, but that is a thing you have to think about.'' Cruise missiles could exploit another chink in the air-defense armor......"
The Weekly standard 2/7/2000 William Kristol "….It is curious indeed when a president can review the state of our nation for nearly 90 minutes, propose dozens of new ways for the government to spend billions of dollars, yet fail to utter a single word about the need for an increase in defense spending. Thursday night, the president again revealed himself the master of the minutiae of domestic policy, doling out small sums to develop the Delta in Mississippi and to discourage deadbeat dads in Minnesota. Americans in uniform-just another interest group in the White House's reckoning-got no more than a pat on the back for helping the administration conduct the air war over Kosovo. ….."
Inside The Army 1/31/2000 Erin Winograd "….. The Joint Forces Command is exploring a new concept of operations targeted largely at winning small-scale contingencies through application of joint combat power, say sources and documents, and the command will launch a series of war games this spring to further examine the possibilities of the fledgling concept. Though the new experimental concept focuses on the joint fight, its general tenets appear to dovetail with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki's new vision for the service. Rapid Decisive Operations aims to "strike at the heart of the adversary's operational forces to achieve rapid strategic success," says a preliminary white paper (version 0.5) completed late last year. "The concept seeks to employ the full range of joint capabilities to rapidly control, deny, degrade, or destroy strategic and operational centers of gravity using methods and capabilities that enable a rapid operational strike without having to conduct an extensive buildup of forces and support in the theater of operation," states the document, which accompanies this article. ….. "
Army Times 1/31/2000 Rick Maze "….Keeping the peace can be draining. A new report from the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office said, as military officials have been warning, that the increased use of U.S. military forces in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions makes it more difficult to be prepared for war. The report, which concentrates on ground forces, says the Marine Corps has had a better time than the Army adjusting to overseas deployments but both services have had problems. The Marines' chief difficulty is in sustaining peacekeeping forces once deployed, since Marine Expeditionary Units carry only a 15- to 20-day supply of spare parts and equipment, the report says. Marine officials are working on proposals to improve supply shipments….."
Navy News; Undersea Technology 1/24/2000 Lisa Troshinsky "….Though interoperability is a huge preoccupation within the U.S. Navy, according to allied naval attaches, nations in general have a long way to go before their forces can communicate and work efficiently together-especially non-NATO countries. Less than 10 percent of U.S. ships are IT21 compatible, and the obstacle is bigger for compatibility to other navies, said RAdm. Kenneth F. Heimgartner, Director, Political Military Affairs, at the Surface Navy Association conference Jan. 13. Yet, the Kosovo War was much more of a success story than Desert Storm regarding connectivity, he said……. "According to the CNO, there are three major areas of concern: technical, operational and political. Within these areas we need commonality of language, rules of engagement and C4I compatibility," Heimgartner said. The two biggest obstacles to this are releasability of sensitive information--it can take up to six to nine months--and prioritization of resources, he said. The latter brings up questions like: What legacy systems need to be retained and for what price? And what C4I systems are necessary for interoperability? …..The four capabilities for interoperability are secure voice communications, digital data exchange, a common operational picture, and a command and control link, he said. The United States uses high-frequency radio for voice communications; a family of equipment from which to select digital data exchange; Global Command and Control System (GCCS), the NATO Command and Control, and the Joint Maritime Command System for a common operational picture; and hopes to have a joint command and control link through the Joint Tactical Distribution System (JTDS) by 2015, he said….."
Congressional Quarterly Weekly 1/22/2000 Pat Towell "….Although congressional Republicans have never blocked President Clinton's use of troops for peacekeeping and humanitarian missions overseas, they bitterly complain that he is wasting the combat effectiveness of U.S. forces and wearing down manpower on ill-defined missions peripheral to vital security interests. In the seven years since Clinton took office, congressional debates over military deployments to Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo have highlighted the breadth of disagreement over what kinds of conflict, crisis or suffering warrant direct U.S. intervention and how far Washington should go in tailoring such operations to the limits demanded by other governments. The differences often have been magnified by Republican animosity toward Clinton and deep mistrust of his stewardship of the military. When intervention is debated, many Republicans contend that Clinton's views are rooted in his youthful opposition to the Vietnam War, reflecting his focus on broad humanitarian goals rather than national interests, and a belief that U.S. military actions are more legitimate if sanctioned by other countries than if exercised unilaterally……"
Defense Week 1/24/2000 John Donnelly "….The Air Force does not have the number of spare fighter engines required to carry out the national military strategy of waging and winning two nearly simultaneous wars, according to officials and documents. The Air Force is falling short on the ready-to-go spare engines it's supposed to have for F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon jets, because some of their engines are less reliable than expected and because others were not ordered in sufficient numbers. There are enough engines to meet day-to-day operations, Air Force officials said last week, but not enough spares for the worst-case scenarios. In the case of one critical engine, the Air Force has only 18 percent of the required number. An Air Force officer said the service can still do what's required of it to fight and win two wars, but the engine problems may cause difficulty "sustaining" the second one. A new Pentagon report to Congress credits the Air Force with addressing the issue-but says the engine shortfalls are hurting the readiness of F-15 and F-16 squadrons……"
Colorado Springs Gazette 2/11/00 "…..The Air Force, Navy and Army may have broken the law by spending money intended for military readiness on generals' and admirals' houses - including the one used by the Air Force Academy superintendent - according to a new report from the Pentagon. The 33-page report from the Department of Defense Inspector General's Office marks the first time military investigators have suggested laws may have been broken. The Air Force and Army already have agreed to investigate. ..."
Tribune-Review 2/7/00 "….. We've been telling you for years that the armed forces of the United States would have a difficult time defending this nation on two fronts simultaneously. In fact, a few months ago the experts came to the sobering conclusion that we simply couldn't do it. Now it looks as if America would have difficulty defending itself on even one front. And it's all thanks to, you guessed it, the Clinton administration. The fundamental purpose of military forces, of course, is to fight (and win) wars. Clinton & Co., though, haven't seen it that way for the past seven years. Trained fighters have become "peacekeepers." More than 120,000 American troops now are involved in such missions everywhere from Iraq and Kuwait to Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and East Timor. There and elsewhere they serve, in many cases, as no better than traffic cops, food bank overseers and election supervisors. So depleted are our forces that the Congressional Budget Office reported last month that the Pentagon may need 20,000 more soldiers to maintain any sense of real readiness. Peace missions not only are taking a toll of the military's ability to underwrite "routine operations'' but also have dulled the "combat skills necessary to fight a conventional war," the CBO reported. …."
National Journal 2/5/00 George Wilson "…..Congressional Republicans and Democrats this election year will try to outdo each other in heaping money on the Pentagon. But their game of "Can You Top This?" avoids asking the hard and troubling questions about our national defense, including these:
*Why are we sacrificing the seed corn of future weaponry-research and development dollars-to feed today's demanding and already-fattened hogs-Cold War-era weapons and commitments?
*Why is the Pentagon ignoring its own outside board of wise men in preparing for the next war?
*What happens if foreign firms, which now make an increasingly large share of vital parts for American weapons, decide not to deliver them in the middle of a war?
*How much is too much to pay to recruit and keep one volunteer soldier just to avoid the political pain of going back to the draft?
Not since the late Rep. Les Aspin, D-Wis., chaired the House Armed Services Committee in the late 1980s has any congressional body seriously questioned where national defense policy is going and why. Although Congress commissioned the Pentagon to evaluate itself in 1997, the resulting Quadrennial Defense Review endorsed existing policies. Surprise, surprise……"
National Journal 2/5/00 George Wilson "…..The Defense Science Board did not name the weapons that it believes are taking the armed services to the poorhouse in Cadillacs. Pentagon figures, however, show that legacy systems that are eating up scarce dollars include the Army's M-1 tank (of which the service bought 8,100 at $5.6 million each, even though its active forces could use only 2,530 of them); the Navy's 30 new nuclear-powered attack submarines (Virginia class-projected to cost $65 billion, or more than $2 billion each); and the Air Force's F-22 fighter (estimated to cost $62.7 billion for 341 planes, or $184 million each). Another side effect of the globalization of technology is that the Pentagon is buying an increasing portion of its weapons parts from foreign firms, or firms whose nationalities are increasingly hard to determine--such as Daimler Chrysler. This raises another question that lawmakers are unlikely to address as they throw money unquestioningly at the Pentagon this year: What happens if a foreign government bans weapons sales to the United States to protest an intervention or peacekeeping operation it doesn't like?…."
Fort Worth Star-Telegram 2/6/00 Chris Vaughn "….Tony Plant was scarcely out of the U.S. Army when he heard that he was about to be deployed again. The 49th Armored Division of the Texas Army National Guard, which Plant joined in January of last year after an eight-year Army career, wanted him to go to Bosnia-Herzegovina. He could have said no, but in the end he agreed, partly out of a sense of duty, partly because of the pay. It's a decision that gnawed at the 29-year-old recently as he spent time with his three children and wrapped up his job in north Fort Worth. His children are the main reason he left the regular Army. "There's a lot of stress in leaving your wife and children behind for nine months. My children are young and impressionable, and the fact is, I can't get that time back," Plant said from his home in Springtown……"
Washington Times 2/5/00 David Hackworth "….On every U.S. military post, base and ship - active duty and reserve - America's defenders are short critical gear from toilet paper to spare parts to training ammo, and many live in GI ghettos. Too often, our warriors' lives are put at risk because they don't have the stuff to make sure the aircraft stays in the sky or that the soldier is trained to a razor's edge to survive the ultimate Super Bowl game of combat. The word from the brass is to "suck it up." They claim - falsely - that President Clinton has cut military funds despite the almost $300 billion annual defense budget, about what the rest of the world combined spends on defense. But for those on top, it's pig-out time. The old saw that "rank has its privileges" is still rampant in our all-volunteer force. And few people have the guts to sound off about different perks for high-ranking jerks because they don't want a ration of harassment followed by job termination……"
World Net Daily 2/00 David Bresnahan "…..Although the U.S. Army's recently introduced program of "indefinite re-enlistment" is touted as a means of improving the service's highly-publicized lagging retention rates, at least one soldier says the new policy has turned him into a virtual slave. In 1999, the Army re-instituted slavery. Oh, they don't call it slavery, that would be too obvious. No, they needed a new age kind of label for their scheme. They called it indefinite re-enlistment," Sgt. First Class David Gloer told WorldNetDaily in a phone interview from Korea, where he is currently serving with the 751st Military Intelligence Battalion……. Sgt. David Gloer says he is a slave of the U.S. Army. According to Garrett and Army documents, Army soldiers with 10 years of more of active service must re-enlist for an indefinite term, rather than for a specified number of years. "The program will be mandatory and apply to all regular Army soldiers in the rank of staff sergeant to command sergeant major who are eligible for re-enlistment and have at least 10 or more years of active federal service on the date of re-enlistment. Soldiers pending a personnel action, such as a MOS medical retention board or reclassification action will be permitted to extend their enlistment for short periods," explained Garrett. Gloer claims the Army has taken the drastic step of forcing soldiers to re-enlist under the new program because "the Army has found itself unable to meet recruiting or retention goals." Garrett disagreed in his statement and claims the Army is not having a problem retaining good soldiers. As recently as last summer, Garrett said the Army has been exceeding its re-enlistment goals for initial and mid-term soldiers. ….."
WASHINGTON TIMES 2/21/00 Rowan Scarborough "…..The Air Force and Navy are producing combat pilots of "degraded skill and quality" due to aging aircraft and a shortage of flying hours, a congressional report charges. "At our premier air combat training facilities we have too few instructor pilots, too few aircraft for them to fly; old, sometimes structurally failing aircraft . . .," said the report compiled by a senior Senate defense staffer. "These aging aircraft are inadequately supplied with spare parts and they routinely lack basic weapon system components that student pilots will be required to use in combat." The report, now being circulated to key lawmakers as they write the fiscal 2001 defense budget, was based on the Senate defense staffer's inspection of the Air Force's and Navy's key air combat training centers in Nevada: Nellus Air Force Base and Fallon Naval Air Station, home to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center. These two desert bases provided pre-deployment pilots vast airspace to practice demanding aerial combat and air-to-ground warfare……"
The Washington Times 2/22/00 Sebestyen L v Gorka "…..It has taken 10 years, but the most ponderous and most deadly branch of the federal government has finally noticed that the Cold War has ended and that things need to change. In a series of press releases and interviews which recently culminated in a very polished and high-level conference held in the Washington Marriott, the United States Army - through its chief of staff, General Eric K. Shinseki - has unveiled its radical vision for the future of American land forces. If cutting-edge science can be harnessed as envisioned and the existing plans implemented, then we will all be witness to the most radical change in war-fighting thought and practice since the WWI battle of Messines bore witness to the introduction of the first heavy tank. If we are to believe the hype, within the foreseeable future, the United States Army will go from being a heavy and slow moving force, with a disproportionately large logistics "footprint," and an overextended system of overseas bases, to being made up of units that are self-sufficient, fast to respond, super-deadly and light in weight. This sea-change will be brought predominantly by the development and introduction of a 20 ton tank (the M1A2 weighs 70 tons) which will be wheeled as opposed to tracked. If such a beast can be brought into the world then the aim is to have the United States able to deploy five new divisions in 30 days, in contrast to the six-month warm-up to Operation Desert Storm. ......"
The Virginian-Pilot 2/16/00 Dale Eisman "…..The Navy has cut critical corners in the at-sea testing of its new attack submarines, the Seawolf class, ``at the peril of the ship and its crew,'' according to a new Pentagon study. An apparent Navy decision to forgo an initially planned shock test, in which the ship would be subjected to the stress of underwater explosions, ``places Seawolf's design combat survivability in question,'' the Defense Department's Operational Test and Evaluation office concluded. And ``no alternative approach'' to testing ``has been formally proposed by the Navy,'' the study stated. The unusually harsh five-page review of the $3 billion submarine's test program was buried deep in an annual report released Monday by the testing office, the Pentagon's internal watchdog on the development of weapons systems. Officials in the Navy's undersea warfare office did not immediately respond to questions about the agency's concerns. ….."
Jane's Defence Weekly 2/16/00 Bryan Bender "…..The US Department of Defense (DoD) first budget request of the new century includes a substantial increase for the procurement of weapon systems designed in the 1980s and early 1990s. At the same time, it seeks significant resources for programmes designed to prepare what effectively remains a Cold War force for the uncertain and non-traditional national security threats of the future. In its $277.5 billion Fiscal Year 2001 (FY01) budget proposal, the DoD has been able to reach its $60 billion goal for weapons procurement. The procurement budget, up from $54 billion in FY2000, will pay for the first production-model Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor air superiority fighters; the last Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier; the first Virginia-class New Attack Submarine; and various other big and small weapons platforms, munitions and other mature systems. Meanwhile, billions of dollars in new spending is being applied to information security; anti-missile systems, including the National Missile Defense (NMD) system; chemical and biological defence; and other non-traditional missions that are expected to increase in the years ahead……."
Christian Science Monitor 2/16/00 Justin Brown "….. For much of the past decade, American national security has been driven by one overriding doctrine: The US must be able to win two major wars waged at the same time. That strategy, outlined in 1993, has been a guide for defense spending, troop deployment, and in some cases international diplomacy. But, analysts say, it is an approach whose time may have run out. With the emergence of new threats - and forecasts for mushrooming defense budgets - most military experts say that the Pentagon needs to develop a new strategy for the 21st century. "If we don't think through the future problems that our adversaries can throw at us, then we'll have the worst of both worlds," says Andrew Krepinevic, the director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington. "We'll pay for expensive weapons systems, and our security will be jeopardized."……"
World Net Daily 2/14/00 Paul Ciotti "…..it came as a big shock to some when late last year in a training exercise in the Negev desert between Israeli Air Force F-16 pilots and U.S. Navy pilots from the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, Israeli Air Force pilots, according to the Jerusalem Post, "shot down" 220 Navy F-14s and F-18s while only "losing" 20 F-16s. In one exercise, the paper said, the reported kill ratio was 40:1 in the Israelis' favor, an outcome so stunning, according to an Israeli officer quoted by the Post, the results weren't made public to "save the reputations of U.S. Navy pilots." To some U.S. military observers, the shocking results seemed to confirm a long-standing fear -- that military cutbacks, over-commitments, fallout from Tailhook, and Clinton administration political interference were not just hurting the morale of U.S. Navy pilots, but were cutting into their proficiency too. …….. According to an October 1999 story in Navy News & Undersea Technology, it appeared that the Israelis didn't count stand-off missile hits, a standard wartime U.S. tactic, in calculating the final results. At least in some cases the Israelis kept fighting after being "killed" -- and then counted any subsequent kills. Because the exercise took place in the Negev, the Israelis had half a dozen airfields within 20 minutes' flying time and thus could operate with extremely light fuel loads. U.S. planes, in contrast, had to fly in from the Roosevelt with heavy external fuel tanks, which limited their speed and maneuverability. In real combat, such tanks would be dropped as soon as the enemy was engaged. The real test of combat readiness isn't a training exercise, but actual combat, said Honda, and by that standard naval aviators are doing just fine……"
NandoTimes 2/27/00 John Donnelly "…..Earlier this month, the Pentagon alerted U.S. facilities around the world that hundreds of thousands of protective suits meant to shield GIs from gas and germ attack may have holes and other critical defects, according to military officials and documents. On Feb. 9, the Pentagon cautioned commanders not to use any of the 778,000 suits except in training. The suits, not all of which are defective, cost the government almost $49 million. The Pentagon learned about the flaws five years ago but did not consider the problems crucial and needed the gear for U.S. peacekeeping troops in Bosnia……"
3/1/00 Letter "…..Congressional Policy Advisory Board TO: Speaker J. Dennis Hastert Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott …… RE: The Defense Budget ……At our quarterly meeting, the Advisory Board noted that the President's fiscal year 2001 defense budget request proposes what would be the first real growth in the defense budget in more than a decade. Unfortunately, the President's request neglects to recognize that the gap between our nation's stated military requirements and resources has widened.
Last month, the military service chiefs provided new estimates that their unfunded requirements over just the next five years (fiscal years 2001 - 2005) will be more than $84 billion, and that such unfunded requirements will total $15.5 billion in FY 2001 alone.
Past shortfalls have left a legacy of debilitating quality of life, readiness and modernization problems that the services now confront on a daily basis and that must be addressed by Congressional action to appropriate funds significantly beyond the President's request.
The Advisory Board also called for additional budgetary funding in the intelligence collection and analysis accounts to help our nation meet our national security and global responsibilities.
These conclusions represent the unanimous view of the Board members in attendance at the meeting in Washington (and by teleconference at Stanford University)……"
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot 3/9/00 dale Eisman "…..Congress and the next president will have to spend up to $19 billion annually, roughly triple this year's budget for shipbuilding, to construct a fleet large enough to support American interests around the world, according to a new Navy estimate circulating on Capitol Hill. The draft report on ``Naval Vessel Force Structure Requirements,'' which has been endorsed by service leaders but is still being reviewed by Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, calls for a fleet of 360-plus ships, 44 more than in today's Navy. It would include 15 aircraft carriers, three more than now in service, and 68 attack submarines, a dozen more than in today's force. Ordered by lawmakers last year at the urging of Sen. Charles S. Robb, D-Va., the report is the boldest statement yet from the Navy's leadership on the future needs of the fleet. It projects service needs 30 years into the future and comes as shipbuilding interests are increasing their lobbying for construction of 10 to 12 ships annually….."
Charleston (SC) Post and Courier 3/5/00 Terry Joyce "…… "The Armed Forces are underresourced, over-extended and underpaid," Sullivan said last month in a speech to the Washington Light Infantry. "We have declining manpower, declining dollars and increasing missions. In other words, there's more to do with fewer people and fewer dollars. No matter how you look at it, it's gonna hurt." Sullivan was chief of staff when he retired from the U.S. Army in 1995. He spoke to more than 200 Charleston-area members of the Washington Light Infantry during the unit's annual tribute to George Washington. Since his retirement, Sullivan has used the "bully pulpit" that comes with being national president of the Association of the U.S. Army to spread the word about the need for a stronger military. "My message is this," he said. "The United States has the best defense establishment in the world, but it is not pre-ordained. You've got to work at it." …."
Kansas City Star 3/1/00 "….. The Pentagon has brought criminal charges against several executives of a bankrupt company that allegedly sold faulty protective suits to the Department of Defense. As the criminal case runs its course, we're left wondering why it took the government five years to determine the extent of the problem with the suits, which were supposed to protect troops against poison gas and biological weapons. Many of the suits were so defective that they wouldn't have adequately protected the men and women using them. Even so, 120,000 of the 778,000 suits were transported to Bosnia for use by troops in that country……At that point, officials knew the suits were flawed, but in the military's rating system the flaws were considered "major" but not "safety-of-life critical." Subsequent investigation, however, determined that the cuts, holes and stitching irregularities were indeed "critical." The Pentagon has ordered military commanders not to use any of the suits except during training….."
AP 3/4/00 "…..The Army has decided to limit overseas deployments of National Guard and Reserve units in peacekeeping and other military operations to a maximum of six months, The New York Times reported Sunday.The move comes as Pentagon officials are becoming increasingly concerned about a backlash to its growing reliance on such units, the newspaper said.The Army's decision will shorten the time these troops have to be away from home..."
LA Times 3/1/00 Paul Richter "……Tailed by controversy through much of its existence, the B-2 stealth bomber is flying into a new political cross-fire in California. With the state's presidential primary fast approaching, the campaign of Texas Gov. George W. Bush is dropping tantalizing hints that if he is elected, he may order more of the $2.2-billion-a-copy, radar-evading bombers, the most expensive warplane ever built. Reopening Northrop Grumman Corp.'s assembly line in Pico Rivera would bring billions in revenues and thousands of well-paying jobs to the state. The Bush campaign's declarations stand in stark contrast with his rival for the Republican nomination, Sen. John McCain--an outspoken critic of the B-2--and with both of the Democratic contenders, Vice President Al Gore and former Sen. Bill Bradley. ......"
AP 2/29/00 John Donnelly "…..The Navy wrote off as ``lost in transit'' $3 billion in missile launchers, night vision goggles and other military equipment between 1995 and 1998, but in nearly every case reviewed by congressional investigators the shipments had actually been delivered. The General Accounting Office, Congress' watchdog agency, said the Navy is exposing itself to ``waste, fraud and abuse'' because it is not accurately tracking shipments. The issue is important, the report says, because secret equipment could fall into the wrong hands if the military's system for tracking inventories doesn't work. Moreover, a broken supply system may lead the services to buy more than they need, it says. The GAO did not do the audit work to prove such double-ordering happened, but no one knows that it didn't, the report adds. ….``This lack of accountability could cause the inventory to become vulnerable to theft or loss and could cause managers to implement inefficient, ineffective decisions and practices regarding purchases that could lead to waste,'' the investigators said in a report issued in late February. Navy officials ``acknowledged that it is possible that purchases could have been made as a result of items being written off,'' the report says. ….."
Sea Power 3/2000 Loren Thompson "…..This year marks a bittersweet milestone for the Navy's EA-6B Prowler electronic-warfare aircraft. It was forty years ago, during the last days of the Eisenhower administration, that the service accepted the first prototype of the Grumman-built A-6 Intruder carrier-based attack aircraft, a version of which (with numerous and extensive modifications) would become the EA-6B. The Intruder served with distinction from Vietnam to Desert Storm, and then was gradually retired from the fleet. The Prowler just keeps on going ... and going ... and going. ..."
St. Louis Post Dispatch 3/4/00 Harry Levin "…..A recent column pointed out that the Army was trying to strike a happy medium in the way it builds a combat unit. Today's Army has two kinds of units: heavy and light. Trouble is, the heavy units are too fat to fly, while the light units are too light to fight. So at Fort Lewis, Wash., the Army is slimming down a heavy brigade and muscling up a light brigade. Both will be "medium" - slim enough to fly off to war, but hefty enough to handle themselves once they get there..."
National Journal 2/19/00 George Wilson "…..A President George W. Bush would boost military spending to a post-Cold War high of more than $300 billion annually, deploy national and battlefield missile defenses under a crash program, and prepare to fight in outer space. He would also develop new conventional weapons and consider sending U.S. forces into Iraq to establish a sanctuary for dissidents. A President John McCain? He would erect a thick "Star Wars" missile defense system over Russian objections and would stop building nuclear submarines and big bombers. But he would champion aircraft carriers and fighter planes, take a hard line on gays in the military, forbid abortions in military hospitals, try to close excess military bases, and reduce pork barrel spending. A President Al Gore, for his part, would seek to build a national missile defense without derailing existing arms control agreements, including those banning space-based weapons. He would also continue to finance Cold War bombers and nuclear attack submarines, liberalize Pentagon rules covering gays and abortions, further expand NATO, and push to ban nuclear testing. ….."
Washington Times 2/28/00 Rowan Scarborough "…… Army officials are recommending slashing procurement of the futuristic RAH-66 Comanche attack helicopter - its largest aviation program - to bankroll a transformation to peacekeeping and small-war forces, says a confidential memo. The congressional document, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, states that Army acquisition officials are recommending a 50 percent cut, from 1,292 helicopters to 625. The memo, which is based on a draft Army aviation modernization plan, also says the service intends to retire all 400-plus AH-1 Apache and 1,000-plus Huey helicopters in mid-decade. An Army spokesman at the Pentagon declined to comment on the draft. "It's a document in draft and will come out in April, and I really can't talk about things that are pre-decisional," said Maj. Bill Bigelow. "The Army is committed to the Comanche program. The current plan is to field approximately 1,200 Comanches."The cuts would represent the most significant scaling back of Army firepower to help generate the $70 billion needed to restructure the service's 10 active divisions by 2014. Buying 1,292 Boeing Sikorsky Comanches is projected to cost $48 billion, with the first aircraft operational in 2007. ….."
U.S. News & World Report 3/6/00 Paul Bedard "…. As the Army bids to build a lighter, mobile force, new concerns are being raised that it's trading away firepower-and safety. In a new study reviewed by Whispers, former Pentagon analyst Frank Finelli cites several examples where the Army has lowered its standards: New cannons would only be required to stop 1970s-era Russian T-62 tanks, not the modern T-72; potential lightweight replacements for the M-1 tank get stuck in mud and can be penetrated by simple machine gun bullets…."
San Diego Union-Tribune 3/20/00 Stephen Green "…….It's known among defense devotees as the "Last Supper" -- a gathering of the leaders of America's military-industrial complex for an invitation-only dinner at the Pentagon. On that spring evening in 1993, then-Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Perry had bad news for executives of the nation's largest military contractors. Their big money-making days during the Cold War were over. Today, the "Last Supper" prophesy has come true in the form of a shrinking military-industrial base -- a phenomenon defense officials say could have profound consequences for national security. Fewer firms serving the Pentagon means diminished competition and less incentive to develop the kind of cutting-edge combat technologies that have helped make the United States the world's dominant military power. "The industrial base is like a nonuniformed branch of the military. Without it, the uniformed branches can become impotent," said Lawrence F. Skibbie, president of the National Defense Industrial Association. The association represents some 900 military contractors -- from aerospace giants to widget makers...."War fighters need high quality, innovative and affordable products, so you need a robust and competitive industry," said Jeffrey P. Bialos, deputy undersecretary of defense for industrial affairs……"
Washington Post 3/26/00 Walter Pincus "……The Energy Department plans to renovate more than 6,000 aging nuclear warheads over the next 15 years, almost double the number that the United States is allowed to deploy under the START II arms reduction treaty, according to senior U.S. officials. The added warheads will make up what Energy officials refer to as the "inactive reserve," some 2,500 to 3,000 refurbished warheads that would give the United States the ability to match another country's sudden production of additional warheads. This plan, the legacy of a 6-year-old presidential decision, is coming under sharp criticism from arms control proponents. They contend that it is unnecessary and possibly counterproductive to maintain an arsenal of 6,000 warheads at a time when President Clinton and other U.S. officials are attempting to persuade India, Pakistan, North Korea, China and Russia to halt or restrain their nuclear weapons programs. ……"
Capitol Hill Blue 3/26/00 Jay Bookman "…..At military exercises this summer in Louisiana, troops will find themselves engaged in fake battle against a rifle platoon of "cyborgs" from the 82nd Airborne Division, headquartered at Fort Benning. Through eyepieces mounted on their helmets, the 'borgs will be able to view the battlefield through telescopic vision, infrared vision or nighttime vision. Eyepieces connected by cable to a video camera mounted on their M-16 rifles will allow them to accurately aim and fire their weapons around the corner of a building. If they spot a tank or other target out of their range, they'll be able to tag it with a laser beam that pinpoints the target's exact coordinates. The cyborg's "on-board computer" will then ship those coordinates back to headquarters, which will order up an artillery or air strike on the target. They'll also be able to view computerized maps of the battlefield through their eyepiece, with their own positions and the positions of their fellow cyborgs already plotted. ….."
MSNBC 3/22/00 Jim Miklaszewski and Tammy Kupperman "…..Hundreds of Patriot missiles that protect U.S. troops in South Korea and the Persian Gulf were found defective and rapidly replaced within the past two weeks. PENTAGON AND MILITARY officials tell NBC News that electronic components in the Patriot warheads and guidance systems were found to be failing in missiles that are "hot" - those missiles deployed on launchers and ready to fire at a moment's notice. Put simply, vital electronic components are wearing out faster than expected, they said. Despite vigorous testing, Army officials could not determine why the components were failing, so they eventually ordered all the older missiles that have been deployed the longest exchanged with fresher missiles in the arsenal…….."
Newsdaily 3/14/00 AP "……An internal audit of over 100 government military contracts for professional, administrative and management services worth $6.7 billion uncovered what it termed inadequate government oversight. In 81 of the 105 contracts reviewed, ''contracting officers either failed to prepare cost estimates or developed estimates that were inadequate or lacked detail,'' the Pentagon's inspector general said in a report Monday. ''Deficiencies in estimating clearly left the government vulnerable -- and sometimes at the mercy of the contractor to define the cost,'' the report said. The Pentagon spent $51.8 billion last year on all kinds of services contracts -- from trash collection to engineering studies -- up from $39.9 billion in 1992, but the amount of oversight hasn't gone up accordingly, the report said. The $6.7 billion is a representative sample of such deals from 1997 to 1998. ….."
Newsday 3/16/00 John Donnelly "…… The Pentagon paid nearly triple the fair and reasonable price for a part that keeps the propellers on C-130 Hercules transport planes from icing over, according to government officials familiar with an internal military audit. The audit has not been publicly released. But Robert Lieberman, the Pentagon's assistant inspector general for audits, described its basic findings -- that the military is paying too much for many aviation spares -- at a congressional hearing today. However, Stan Soloway, the Pentagon's deputy undersecretary for acquisition reform, told the panel the audit is ''questionable.'' ''I'm not at all convinced the prices are unreasonable and unfair,'' he said. A Defense Department agency last year bought 1,803 ''propeller blade heaters'' from United Technology's Hamilton Standard -- now Hamilton Sundstrand -- at a cost of roughly $555 apiece, when the fair price was closer to $200 each, according to two other government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The Defense Logistics Agency, which runs military stockpiles, managed the contract. As a result, the military paid just over $1 million for the parts, instead of about $365,000, said the officials. ......"
Pensacola News Journal 3/17/00 "…..Imagine this military recruiting slogan: Uncle Sam wants you - but bring your food stamps. It`s a sad fact that about 13,000 families of U.S. armed forces enlisted personnel received food stamps last year and 8,200 received state- supported child-care assistance. The military should be embarrassed that people who serve their country have to rely on welfare to survive in the armed forces. The evidence of enlisted personnel`s widespread reliance on welfare underlines the difficulties low-level enlisted personnel with large families have in making ends meet on military pay. The problems appear to be that enlistees simple don`t earn enough, unless some other things are not taken in account. Or maybe there`s a flaw in the food stamp program or the way that military benefits are figured. If that`s the problem, it should be ironed out and corrected. ….."
Aviation Week & Space Technology 3/13/00 David A. Fulghum/Washington, John D. Morrocco/London and Edward H. Phillips/Dallas "……. Block 60 defensive electronics system is the first designed to thwart Russian-made SA- 10 and SA- 12 missiles The first of a type of foreign aircraft sale that has worried U.S. military officials for years has finally been made. The U.S. is selling the United Arab Emirates a better aircraft, the Block 60 F-16, than any similar fighter flown by its own forces. The UAE contract, which is worth up to $6.4 billion and includes 55 single-seat and 25 two-seat versions of the Block 60 F-16, completes an agreement originally signed between Lockheed Martin and the UAE in May 1998. Lack of U.S. government approval, however, delayed the pact for the past 22 months because of technology concerns about software codes for the fighter's advanced electronic warfare (EW) suite, as the UAE wanted the ability to alter the system's threat library (AW&ST Nov. 22, 1999, p. 22)…….STILL PENDING is an associated $2-billion deal with Raytheon and other weapons makers for more than 2,000 AIM-120B Amraams, AIM-9M Sidewinders, Harms, Mavericks, GBU-12 Paveway 2 laser-guided bomb kits and Harpoons…….."
The Washington Times- print edition only, page A6 3/28/00 Rowan Scarborough "......The U.S. military was sent on an unprecedented 48 overseas missions in the 1990's, costing $30 billion in defense dollars and untold numbers in worn-out equipment and troops, according to new Defense Department estimates. Department figures circulating among congressional staffers show that U.S. forces have carried out 10 so-called 'contingencies' against Iraq. The tab: $8 billion. Another 15 operations, with code names like "Noble Anvil" and "Joint Guardian," were executed in the Balkans. Total cost:$17.7 billion. Haiti alone required five different deployments, according to department figures obtained by The Washington Times. Nearly every part of the world has hosted all-purpose American troops. They have conducted air wars over Iraq, Bosnia, and Kosovo, hurricane and earthquake-relief work in Guam and Central America, and peacekeeping in Haiti and East Timor. ........"
Defense News 4/3/00 David Mulholland "……The quality of U.S. Air Force and Navy air combat training is declining, states a report that is circulating quietly in Congress. Despite congressional increases to the military's budget for training during the past several years, the two services' premier air combat training centers are suffering from a lack of adequate aircraft, spare parts and instructors, said the report, "Navy and Air Force Air Combat Training," which Defense News acquired. The report, written by a congressional staff member, focuses on conditions at Fallon Naval Air Station and Nellis Air Force Base, both in Nevada. "The thing that struck me when I went on my trip to Fallon and Nellis," the staff member told Defense News, "was not that they didn't have the funds to train, but that they couldn't fly the hours they were funded for because they were crapped out on parts." The staff member said that monthly training for Air Force fighter pilots has dropped to 17.2 hours in 2000, and is projected to fall to 17.1 hours in 2001. Formerly, Air Force pilots trained about 20 hours a month. …."
Inside The Pentagon 4/13/00 Daniel Dupont "……The head of the Army's Air Defense Artillery Center wants the service leadership to fully man his thinly stretched Patriot missile forces and designate them "early deployers" to ensure they are adequately resourced. According to briefing charts obtained by Inside the Pentagon, the service's Patriot missile forces are insufficient in force structure and personnel to meet the requirements of the National Security Strategy, which calls for a force capable of fighting and winning two overlapping major theater wars. The service has "decided to accept" the force-structure risk until the Medium Extended Air Defense System is fielded, but "we must man the existing force structure," the charts state. ….."
Washington Post 4/4/00 Robert Burns "…..The Army said Tuesday that 40 percent of its helicopters cannot be relied on in wartime and disclosed a blueprint for improvement that includes buying 1,213 new-generation Comanche helicopters for $38 billion. The blueprint included stark admissions of problems in Army aviation, but senior officers who laid out the plan at a Pentagon news conference expressed confidence that affordable solutions are at hand……."
US Defense.com 3/30/00 "….. Air Force officials acknowledged on Wednesday that a problem with the F-22 Raptor, the service's newest fighter aircraft currently under development, has occurred in the plane's wings. Air Force Secretary F. Whitten Peters told Defense News that a problem with the aircraft's ailerons -- a wing-control surface -- had cropped up during testing, but that the problem was minor and would not delay the plane's testing schedule. The discovery comes on the heels of other problems found on the service's newest generation of attack aircraft. Defense News said that developers have also had problems with the F-22's tail assembly "and the flaperon, another wing-control surface." Though the other problems have been repaired, fixing them threw the plane's rigorous testing schedule off by several months, the report said. ….."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch 4/15/00 Harry Levins "……..A panel led by ex-Sens. Gary Hart, D-Colo., and Warren Rudman, R-N.H., thinks that the Pentagon must take a long look at its "two-war" strategy. That policy says the Pentagon must build and organize a military machine that can fight simultaneous wars in Korea and the Persian Gulf. Most experts (in and out of uniform) think that's asking too much of the current armed forces. But Hart and Rudman are questioning whether a two-war force ought to be even a goal, much less a reality. They think that low-level unrest in places like Kosovo is a lot more likely than a full-blown war in Korea or the Persian Gulf. They're suggesting that the Pentagon slice away half of its two-war force and make it a rapid-intervention force. And the cross-hemispheric connection? This new 911 team would probably look a lot more like Russia's Interior Ministry units than the Army's tank-heavy V Corps. Hart and Rudman have even used a word that makes American generals wince: "constabulary." Well, a constabulary might make sense in Kosovo. A constabulary is what we've had in effect, if not in name, for several years now in Bosnia. ….."
newsday.com 4/17/00 Pauline Jelinek AP "…….Two top-level panels will study why so many officers are leaving the Army and recommend what should be done to keep them in, officials announced Monday. The panels will begin in mid-May and report three months later on any problems with how the Army trains and develops leaders from within its ranks. Retaining officers has been getting more difficult during the last several years, and in recent years the retention problem has become more acute for junior officers, particularly captains. For example, Lt. Col. Russ Oaks, an Army spokesman, said 6.4 percent of the force's captains left in 1988, when the service was paying officers to get out as the Cold War neared an end and the Army was reducing its ranks. That number has grown to more than 10 percent in each of the last three years. ……."
Defense Week 4/17/00 John Donnelly "…..A federal judge Friday gave fines and jail time to executives of a New York City company that prosecutors say deliberately sold the Pentagon defective suits that were supposed to protect soldiers from gas and germ attacks. Abe Brin, former president of the now bankrupt Isratex, Inc., will serve four months in jail. His brother, Yehudah Yoav Brin, once the company vice president, will serve six months. Four other officials got lesser sentences from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the Pentagon inspector general's Defense Criminal Investigative Service said in a statement……."
Congressional Quarterly Weekly 4/15/00 Chuck McCutcheon "…….When Ronald Reagan was president, his military expansion built the Navy to nearly 600 ships. Today, as the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan takes shape in a Virginia shipyard, the fleet has shrunk to 315, and is likely to be even smaller by the time the Reagan enters service in 2003. It is the smallest U.S. Navy since 1933, in the depths of the Great Depression, and that has alarmed Navy officers and many members of Congress. Since the end of the Cold War, when defense spending began to decline, the Navy has been retiring its older ships faster than it is building new ones such as the Reagan, a 90,000-ton Nimitz-class carrier under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding Inc. During the Reagan administration, the Navy was ordering an average of 19 ships a year. Since President Clinton took office, annual orders have dwindled to an average of six ships……"
Albuquerque Tribune 4/17/00 Lawrence Spohn "……..Col. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, who earlier this month assumed command of the Air Force's top weapons project, says its success ultimately will change the face of war. The Airborne Laser Attack Aircraft (officially the ABL, but some call it ALAA) is designed to use a powerful laser to destroy enemy ballistic missiles in midair shortly after launch. It is aimed primarily at countering the threat posed by an increasing number of rogue nations acquiring the capability of launching theater ballistic missiles, like the Russian-made Scuds that caused havoc in the Gulf War. But the project, whose 75-person Systems Program Office Pawlikowski now directs at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, faces some survival issues of its own. Most immediately it is a target on the administration's budget-cutting radar screen. A big target….."
The Associated Press 4/5/00 "……The Army said Tuesday that 40 percent of its helicopters cannot be relied on in wartime and disclosed a blueprint for improvement that includes buying 1,213 new-generation Comanche helicopters for $38 billion. The blueprint included stark admissions of problems in Army aviation, but senior officers who spoke at a Pentagon news conference expressed confidence that affordable solutions are at hand. "I really don't agree with the fact that we're in crisis," said Col. Pat Garman. "A crisis is you don't have a clue what's going on, and you don't have a plan." The plan that Garman and other senior officers presented Tuesday said "just over 40 percent" of the helicopters in the Army's fleet are rated "red," meaning they could not be counted on to perform their wartime missions. ……. The plan also cited a "dramatic decline" in Army aviator experience and skill over the past decade. It said today's aviation battalion commander has an average of fewer than 1,000 hours of flying time, compared with an average of 2,000 hours 10 years ago. The drop-off has occurred among all ranks. ….."
U.S. Defense 4/11/00 "……..The U.S. Navy may have to dock ships soon because of a lack of funds needed to provide them with adequate maintenance, according to a report on Monday. Defense News said "because of the Senate's failure to address the defense portion of the $12.7 billion emergency supplemental bill," the Navy may run short of maintenance funds needed to keep the ships in repair and afloat safely. "It will be devastating to the Navy," said Rep. Randy Cunningham, R-Ca.,after appearing before a Senate earing yesterday. "This is an emergency," he said, adding, "A lot of these ships are tied to the docks unavailable for operations." A separate congressional source said the Navy has identified about 40 ships "in the Atlantic and Pacific fleets that need immediate maintenance to remain in operational condition," the online defense newsservice said……."
SEAPOWER Magazine 4/00 Gordon Peterson "….. Clinton's amended future-years defense plan, released publicly on 8 February, would--if fully implemented--procure a total of 45 new-construction Navy ships between FY 2000 and FY 2005. According to Ronald O'Rourke, a defense specialist with the Congressional Research Service, if the amended plan's average procurement rate of 7.5 ships per year were maintained over a 35-year period, a fleet of approximately 263 ships would result. During a 2 March hearing on ship-acquisition programs and policies, Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee's Seapower Subcommittee, voiced frustration with the disparity between shipbuilding-funding levels and the Navy's real-world requirement for more ships. "We're looking at these numbers, and we know what they should be," an exasperated Snowe lectured a panel of Navy witnesses, "so I don't know if the Navy is just dumping this in our lap or what."
Enter Stage Right - A Journal of Modern Conservatism 4/10/00 Charles Bloomer "……."Hollow" was the description used for the military in the late 1970s. After the Vietnam War, America cut its military forces with no apparent plan other than to cut. The result was a demoralized military without the means to carry out even minor missions. This hollowness became apparent after the failure of the attempt to rescue American hostages held in the US embassy in Iran. Today, with the end of the Cold War, we are once again cutting our forces without regard to the consequences. Currently, the national security strategy of the United States is to be able to fight two regional wars simultaneously. It is becoming increasingly obvious that that strategy is not achievable with today's level of military readiness. In fact, the United States does not currently have the capability to carry out an operation comparable to the Gulf War…….."
LewRockwell.com/WND 4/13/00 Lew Rockwell "……The much-heralded MV-22 Osprey, the tax-funded flying gadget costing hundreds of millions to develop, is the latest product of the military-industrial complex to go down in flames. The tragedy is that, when it happened, 19 innocent Marines were aboard. Surviving family members now report that the soldiers were terrified to fly this contraption, knowing full well that it was designed more for public-relations than military purposes. Indeed, the circumstances surrounding the crash suggest that the military takes as casual an attitude toward the lives of its own troops as it does of foreigners. "They killed him," is the way Christina Mercier of Grand Ronde, Ore., accurately described the death of her 24-year-old son in the Osprey. "They wanted him to be a guinea pig for these new airplanes." Think about her comments before you let your son or daughter enlist. …….. "
St. Louis Post-Dispatch 5/6/00 Harry Levins "….. The Army is bleeding young officers, especially captains, at a frightful rate. Among today's captains are the generals of 2020 or 2025 - and the Army frets that among those bailing out is a Capt. Eisenhower, a Capt. Patton or a Capt. Powell. To find out why so many are calling it quits, the Army polled some officers at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where majors learn how to become colonels and generals. ……… A perusal of the comments turned up some that might have been written in the '20s, or in the late '50s, or in any peacetime Army - bad housing, low pay, dull routines and so on. But again and again, the young officers griped about poor leadership - about senior commanders who micromanage, who lock themselves into zero-defects rigidity and who care more about their own careers than they care about their soldiers and their Army. ……"
San Diego Union-Tribune 5/7/00 Loren Thompson "….. One hundred years have passed since the moment on April 30, 1900 when the U.S. Navy took delivery of its first submarine. It is no coincidence that the intervening period came to be known as the "American Century."……. Throughout a century marked by great wars and political upheavals, submarines were inextricably interwoven with America's emergence as the main guarantor of global stability. But with the waning of the Cold War, some policy makers began to question whether the nation still needed a large force of undersea warships. After all, wasn't the future of conflict mostly about terrorism and cyber war? ……. The result of such thinking has been a continuous decline in the size of the submarine force, particularly among the attack subs that carry out all of the conventional undersea missions (nuclear deterrence is provided by 18 -- soon 14 -- Trident ballistic missile subs). Over the last decade the number of operational attack subs has declined from 92 to 56, a 40 percent reduction. During the same period the number of personnel in the sub force fell from 68,000 to 28,000. ….."
Proceedings 5/00 Captain Sam J. Tangredi, U.S. Navy "….. Naval forward presence--here, the Enterprise (CVN-65) in Souda Bay, Crete-- just may be the most cost-effective means of preserving America's security in the 21st century. The problem is, the Navy hasn't proved it. The U.S. Navy has a significant problem. By choice of policy, the number of ships in the U.S. fleet officially is tied to the forward-presence mission. In an effort to preserve force structure threatened by the downsizing potential of the 1993 Bottom-Up Review and the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), the Navy's leaders pushed forward presence to the top of the service's mission areas. In fact, recent briefings have referred to forward presence as the strategic concept of the Navy. In contrast, the force structures of both the Army and the Air Force are tied to the warfighting requirements of the current military posture of preparing for two near- simultaneous major theater wars. ….."
Inside The Air Force 5/5/00 Christopher J Castelli "….. Concerned the Navy and the Air Force might not fully support the Joint Strike Fighter program in their long-term budget plans, Deputy Defense Secretary Rudy de Leon issued a letter Tuesday to leaders of both departments, directing them to fully fund the tri-service fighter program. "It is clear to me that the maintenance of an aggressive, but well-hedged, JSF program is critical to the nation's future defenses," de Leon writes. Inside the Air Force obtained a copy of the letter, which is reprinted following this article. Additionally, de Leon had officials in the Pentagon's threat reduction, acquisition, readiness and program analysis and evaluation directorates articulate arguments discussing the urgent need for JSF and highlighting the potential implications of a delay or reduction in JSF procurement. Those arguments were also distributed to the services……"
Grand Rapids Press 5/3/00 "……. Regardless of who wins the White House in November, a sizable job will await at the Pentagon. A decade of budget cutting and force reductions has hollowed out the services, leaving the country in a weak position for the future. The point was underscored last month with publication of an Army report showing widespread low morale in field-grade officer ranks. The officers complained of senior officers' exaggerations of the Army's combat readiness and frustrations with frequent overseas rotations, family dissatisfactions, do-nothing peacekeeping missions and political-correctness policies. …… The survey matches up with a cold fact: a 58 percent increase since 1989 in captains leaving the Army voluntarily. Across the military, the picture is the same. According to a report by Newhouse News Service's David Wood, 51 percent of men and women in uniform have less than 72 months' of experience -- down from 90 months in 1994. Only 28 percent of Navy first-term sailors last year re-enlisted. Last year, 84 percent of enlisted Marines left at the end of their hitch. The Air Force's re-enlistment rate for first-term troops has dropped from 59 to 49 percent since 1991. ……"
UPI Wire 5/2/00 Pamela Hess "….. Weakened by years of being unable to afford spare parts, the continuous loss of pilots and a decade of nearly constant operations, one-third of the Air Force's combat units are not ready for war, according to a senior service official. This is the lowest level of readiness in 15 years, the official told reporters this morning on the condition his name not be used. …….. Such a revelation would normally be an embarrassment for the military to admit, but this is budget season on Capitol Hill, and the announcement is well timed to help the Air Force make its case for more money. Every year it asks Congress for about $5 billion more than what it has been allotted by the Pentagon from the Defense Department budget. It usually gets an extra $2.5 billion. ……"
Christian Science Monitor 5/1/00 Justin Brown "……Few weapons better illustrate the challenges now facing the US military than the Navy's attack submarines. Stealthy, heavily armed, and expensive, they once patrolled the seas searching for Soviet ballistic-missile launchers, ready to strike in the event of a nuclear showdown. Today, 100 years after the Navy purchased its first underwater craft, submarines face a reversal of fortune: They are the hunted. Indeed, arguments to shrink the size of the America's submarine force are intensifying, even as the Joint Chiefs of Staff advance a proposal to expand it. The disagreement is rooted in a larger debate about the role of the US military in the post-cold-war world. Supporters say the subs' intelligence-gathering capability is particularly well-suited to today's challenge of keeping tabs on so-called rogue states. Detractors, however, say that there are better - and less expensive - ways to accomplish that objective……."
Inside The Army 5/1/00 Erin Winograd "…… A recent transfer of funds from the Air Force and Navy to cover the Army's Kosovo operations will keep the service afloat for the next month, but drastic measures lie ahead if a supplemental funding bill is not approved soon, top Defense Department and Army officials stated last week. A delay in receiving those supplemental monies could cause turmoil that might take as long as a year to correct, according to Army Secretary Louis Caldera. Defense Secretary William Cohen last week announced his office had transferred more than $200 million from the Navy and Air Force to the Army under the authority granted him to manage the Overseas Contingency Operations Transfer Fund. Though "this shift will be disruptive for the Navy and the Air Force," its merits outweigh the disadvantages, he told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee. The money will enable the Army to fulfill its planned rotations at the National Training Center for the rest of the fiscal year and will help prevent damage to the service's readiness levels, he said April 26……."
Air Force Times 5/1/00 Robert Dorr "…… The Air Force faces tough decisions about the C-5 Galaxy transport plane and the shape of tomorrow's airlift fleet. The C-5 is an aerial giant with unequaled capabilities -- and exasperating reliability problems. This is a dilemma, in the view of many. To plan for the future, the service must make a choice, they say, between capability or reliability. To put it another way, the Air Force can improve the C-5 for capability, or buy more C-17 Globemaster IIIs for reliability. But, naysayers insist, no matter who sits in Congress or the White House, there won't be enough money to do both. In this year's rather wimpy budget request, the administration apparently forgot the men and women who toil in our nation's airlift fleet. Only a tiny amount was allocated for C-5 expenses, and the planned C-17 purchase was reduced. The reason is unclear, since Congress is in a spending mood just now. ….."
Washington Times 4/28/00 Bill Gertz Rowan Scarborough "….One of the biggest secrets in the Pentagon is the ongoing clandestine program to fix serious problems uncovered on the Patriot anti-missile system.... What remains secret - classified at the "top-secret-codeword"-level, we are told - is that additional problems were found during testing. One includes a flaw in the Patriot's actuator-fin controllers - the part of the missile interceptor that helps guide it to an incoming missile warhead. With short-range missile threats growing, the Israelis are particularly worried that a hostile neighbor could launch an attack. The Kuwaitis and Saudis are, too. And with reports of Chinese short-range missile exercises, Taiwan also is fearful that its PAC-2s are vulnerable……… Half of the 1,400 Patriots were found to have problems. The Pentagon is still deciding what to do about fixing it. The cost will be $56 million to $70 million. The bad Patriots were being replaced with reserve missiles. "This is a big problem," said one knowledgeable official. "Now we don't have any spares." Possible fixes include upgrade to the GEM or PAC-3 versions…….."
Washington Times (Book Review) 4/25/00 Rowan Scarborough "….. "The Kinder, Gentler Military": Can America's Gender-Neutral Fighting Force Still Win Wars? By Stephanie Gutman, Scribner, $25, 300 Pgs ……. The past two decades were the worst and best of times for the United States military. ……. The 1980s saw a demoralized, drug-infested, under-equipped force transformed into the most professional body of troops ever assembled. The armed forces got bigger, better and smarter. This helped win the Cold War and beat Saddam Hussein's army in the desert. …….. Things started deteriorating soon afterwards. Budgets and troop strengths were constricted. By 1998, the military languished in readiness problems. Pressured by Republicans, President Clinton offered up more money for defense. Something else happened too under Mr. Clinton's watch. The military became awash in questions of social propriety. Women in combat, homosexuals in the military, sexual harassment, adultery and fraternization all seemed to consume the nation's war machine. ……. A once supremely confident military leadership went before civilian commissions and congressional panels, begging for understanding on why a fighting force must not bend to every social whim. They got little sympathy from an agenda-driven media or various liberal pressure groups determined to make the 82nd Airborne just another federal government, equal opportunity employer. Now comes the first book to chronicle the politically correct capture of the American military. Stephanie Gutmann visited boot camps, ships and combat units to observe the new military. She's not impressed. "The Kinder, Gentler Military" charges that the Pentagon's lust for making itself entirely women-friendly has resulted in lowered standards and silly rules. ……."
Washington Post 4/22/00 Walter Pincus "….. More than 900,000 people are awaiting Pentagon security clearances while the unit responsible for conducting background investigations struggles with a huge backlog and computer problems, according to a report by the Defense Department's inspector general. The Defense Security Service has started, but not completed, background checks on about 400,000 of those people, who include military personnel, civilian Pentagon employees and workers at private firms with defense contracts requiring security clearances. In addition, the DSS has not even begun checking on 505,000 civilian and military personnel who were cleared for classified information years ago and are due for periodic reinvestigation, said the agency's director, retired Lt. Gen. Charles J. Cunningham Jr……"
Christian Science Monitor 5/31/00 James Thurman "…..The Navy wishes it had a few more Chris Larsons. Smart enough to get into pretty much any school in America, Mr. Larson knows that in today's hot job market he'd be wooed with signing bonuses and big bucks if he had an Ivy League diploma in his back pocket. Instead, the engineering major with a quick smile just graduated from the US Naval Academy, will spend at least five more years in uniform - and couldn't be happier with his choice. But in an era of general peace and private-sector prosperity, elite military academies like Annapolis and West Point are finding it increasingly difficult to attract the likes of Larson. Applications are down sharply since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and officials are struggling to reverse a decade of decline. ….."
THE WASHINGTON TIMES 5/29/00 Rowan Scarborough "…..The San Francisco Unified School District bans military recruiters on campus as a protest against arms spending in general and the Pentagon's homosexual ban in particular. Up the coast, the Portland, Ore., school board takes the same stance. In fact, over 1,000 high schools nationwide bar Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps recruiters from visiting students in school. The off-limits comes at a bad time for the 1.4 million armed forces. It is having a historically tough time attracting the number, and the quality, of recruits it needs. Barring recruiters from its No. 1 hunting ground only makes matters worse……."
Defense Daily 5/24/00 Frank Wolfe "…… The Air Force has faced difficulties in transforming itself for the post Cold War world because of declining defense budgets, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Ryan said yesterday. Ryan told a Capitol Hill breakfast sponsored by DFI International that aerospace power "is the asymmetrical advantage of this country" that can bring capabilities like global surveillance, mobility and devastating firepower to deter conflicts or win them. The service's new Expeditionary Aerospace Force concept is to lessen the operational tempo on Air Force units, and the service is aiming to improve its reaction time to conflicts, its flexibility, its reachback of deployed forces to U.S. capabilities and the stealth of its platforms. But such transformation has been hard, Ryan said. "I have to tell you it's been difficult because I think we've underfunded the defense side of this nation's capability for some years," he said. "To be able to realize this asymmetrical advantage which we have, we need to invest in it. Right now the average age of a United States Air Force aircraft is 20 years old, and in 15 years it will be 30 years old if we execute every one of the modernization programs on the books today. We see no dip over in that unless we recapitalize the fleet, and there certainly won't be a decrease in demand for those kinds of capabilities. So recapitalization of this aerospace force is vitally important. And it's not just aircraft. It's in our space borne capabilities also."……"
Toledoblade.com 5/21/00 Jack Torry "……With President Clinton's support, Congress is poised to approve a defense budget that will clear the way for the most ambitious modernization of the military since President Ronald Reagan's Cold War build-up in 1981. Despite protests that many of the Pentagon's proposed new weapons are needlessly expensive and no longer necessary, the defense budget allows the United States to continue production and development of a technologically impressive array of jet fighters, nuclear submarines, and attack helicopters. Each weapon would be the most expensive of its type in history. During the next 10 to 15 years, the Pentagon plans to spend $350 billion to produce three new jet fighters, $65 billion to construct 30 Virginia class fast-attack submarines, and $48 billion for the Army's RAH-66 Comanche helicopter. ……."
Newark (NJ) Star Ledger 5/19/00 Lawrence Hall "…….Tomorrow's 50th anniversary of Armed Forces Day comes at a time when few young people want to soldier for Uncle Sam. Recruitment officers have a difficult time selling young people on the military service. In fact, at least 2,000 school districts across the country have policies barring recruiters from schools or from access to lists of potential candidates for recruitment. Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark) sponsored legislation, attached to a $320 billion defense bill, that would have allowed military recruiters the same access to public schools that private-sector representatives and college recruiters enjoy. ……"
Navy Times 5/22/00 William H. McMichael "…….In 1995, shipyard workers were to sandblast the anchors and chains of the Norfolk-based destroyer Briscoe. The refurbished gear was supposed to last 12 years. Within three years, however, deep rust was bleeding through. Master Chief Boatswain's Mate (SW) Richard Looke mustered crew members to redo the job that wasn't done right in the yard. But this time, the task would be far tougher. ……. Without money for a crane that Looke requested, the chains had to be lowered to the pier, one link at a time, then wrestled by sailors onto a barge alongside the 22-year-old ship. Sailors then began the tedious job of scuffing away the rust on each link -- a total of 1,530 feet of chain -- with vibrating wire needle guns. ……"
Navy Times 5/22/00 William H. McMichael "……Forward-deployed Navy aircraft get the spare parts and funding those in the rear can only wish for. Since the aircraft are out on the firing line, they're supposed to be in top-flight condition. Still, on any given day, one or two of a deployed F-14 Tomcat squadron's 10 jets can't fly. They're in what maintainers call a "donor status." They're down for spare parts. Maintaining the Navy's mostly aging fleet of airplanes and helicopters is a monumental challenge -- especially given the spare-parts shortages that were commonplace for years. ……. So those on the front lines pooch a few items here and there. The donor jets, however, can't stay down for long, or systems will start to atrophy. So if a needed part is a major component that would keep a deployed jet grounded for any length of time, the air wing sends an SOS back home to get a cannibalized replacement from a non-deployed jet. ......"
Navy Times 5/22/00 William H. McMichael "……But these days, the Navy's wrench turners are working harder than ever to keep the fleet shipshape. They're paying the price for a severe lack of funding and experienced personnel for big-time ship maintenance. At the Norfolk Naval Station waterfront, much of the depot-level work that doesn't get done falls to the Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity. As at other SIMAs, it's where the Navy's top repair experts toil on their shore tours. But at the Norfolk SIMA, where the undermanned organization racked up 35,773 man-hours above and beyond 100 percent capacity in March -- a growing trend this fiscal year -- sea duty is looking mighty inviting. "At times it can be frustrating, because of the increased working hours," said Chief Machinery Repairman (SW) William Whalen, one of a group of leaders in the SIMA's mechanical repair division. ….."
Aerospace Daily 5/15/00 Linda de France "……challenged the U.S. Air Force's commitment to programs that create space power, and said he is prepared to call for an entirely separate service that will achieve space dominance if the Air Force doesn't become an air and space force. Smith chastened the Air Force and Defense Dept., saying their primary focus in space has been the transmittal of information. The Air Force space budget is almost entirely dedicated to improving information systems to increase effectiveness of existing forces, he said. "But as important as early warning, intelligence, navigation, weather and communication systems may be -- and they are important -- they are basically dedicated to supporting non-space power projection," Smith said at an Arlington, Va., conference Friday. "This is not space warfare," Smith said with fervor. "It is using space to support air, land and sea warfare."……"
AP 5/12/00 Tom Raum "…. Alarmed by declining recruitments, the Senate is moving toward requiring public schools to give military recruiters the same access to high schools that colleges and the private sector now enjoy. The Pentagon estimates that approximately 2,000 public high schools have policies that bar military recruiters from one or more of the services. Included in a $310 billion defense bill expected to be debated in the full Senate later this month is a provision designed to help the Pentagon turn around declining enlistments by giving service recruiters more access to high school students. ….."
UPI 6/15/00 Lou Marano "……In a carefully worded address, America's most senior uniformed officer said that military intervention is not sustainable unless linked to a discernable national interest……. Interventions without such linkage should be of limited duration, have a clearly defined ending and must not jeopardize U.S. ability to respond to direct threats to America's national security in other regions of the world, Gen. Henry H. Shelton said Thursday at a State Department open forum titled Preparing for the Crisis After Next. The administration of President Bill Clinton is known to favor overseas military intervention. After the air war against Serbia last year, Clinton said, "If somebody comes after innocent civilians and tries to kill them because of their race, their ethnic background or their religion, and it's within our power to stop it, we will stop it."……"
Boston Herald 6/14/00 Don Feder "…..Tom Cruise, move over. The military has its own mission impossible - recruiting and keeping key personnel. After falling 7,000 short of its recruitment goal last year (despite dangling lavish sign-up bonuses), the Army is now offering to help enlistees find civilian jobs when their tour of duty ends. The New Action Employment Service? ……For the last two years, 35 percent of those it did recruit failed to complete their initial enlistment - an historic high. ……Young officers are stampeding for the exit door. In 1988, 6.4 percent of Army captains did not re-enlist. In each of the past three years, 10 percent left. Last year, only 35 percent of junior officers said they intend to make the Army a career, compared to 52 percent in 1990. ……"
Lawton (Okla.) Constitution 6/11/00 Richard Hart Sinnreich "……"Seeking A National Strategy" is the second report of the Commission on National Security/21st Century, better known as the Hart-Rudman Commission after its co-chairmen, former senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman. Comprising military and civilian defense experts, the commission has been hard at work for nearly two years. The panel's first report, released last September, was widely praised for its comprehensive description of emerging national security threats. But the new report concludes that existing U.S. military forces are ill-designed to meet those threats. That is not the sort of message Washington enjoys hearing……..Even less welcome is a related panel conclusion that future humanitarian and peace-keeping operations will require military forces that can cope with them without penalty to warfighting readiness. On Capitol Hill, where many loathe U.S. intervention in internal conflicts like Haiti and the Balkans, improving the ability to conduct such operations is about as popular as cancer. In the Pentagon, meanwhile, the very thought of configuring any of the Army's downsized combat forces specifically for constabulary missions makes Army generals wince. ……"
Defense News 6/12/00 Daniel Goure "….. The term floating around Washington to describe the current state of the U.S. armed forces is overstretched. This means the military is attempting to respond to too many demands with too few forces. Clear evidence of this overstretch was provided by the war in Kosovo. In order to meet the demands posed by that conflict, the United States had to curtail air operations in the skies over Iraq and leave the eastern Pacific without an aircraft carrier. The number of missions the U.S. military has been asked to perform has increased dramatically in the last decade - by some measures almost eight-fold - while the force posture has shrunk by more than a third. In testimony this year before Congress, senior Defense Department officials and the heads of the military services revealed the startling fact that by their own estimates the existing force posture is inadequate to meet the stated national security requirement of being able to fight and win two major theater wars……. Nowhere is the problem worse than for the Navy. This is due, in large measure, to the Navy's unique set of roles and missions. Unlike the other services which now are poised to conduct expeditionary warfare based on power projection from the continental United States, the Navy is required to maintain continuous forward presence in all critical regions……"
Associated Press 6/7/00 Rom Raum "…..The Republican-led Senate voted Wednesday to prohibit President Clinton from making deep unilateral cuts in the nation's nuclear arsenal, but agreed to ease that prohibition for the next president. With Senate Democrats crying foul, the Senate voted 51-47 - largely along party lines - to reject an effort to lift the five-year old prohibition completely. Instead, the Senate went along with a proposal by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., to allow the president to make such warhead cuts only after a Pentagon review every four years. That review is not set to be done until December 2001, after Clinton has left office. ......"
Inside The Pentagon 6/1/00 P J Skibitski "……. The Navy will likely be forced to prematurely retire the first block of its Aegis cruisers if a modernization plan for the rest of the class is not extended to the early ships, according to a top Navy official who notes that ongoing budget pressures would leave the cruisers vulnerable to budget cuts. "In the environment in which we exist right now, where there are huge budget pressures because of declining resources, it puts a lot of pressure on leadership . . . to start to look for solutions to solve the budget problems, and if you don't have a relevant platform, if it isn't modernized to handle the threat, you start to put yourself in a position to ask the question, 'How long are those ships going to be around?" said Rear Adm. Michael Mullen, the Navy's top surface warfare requirements official. "I think that's a very real question for the entire cruiser program and it's a much more relevant question for the first five," Mullen told Inside the Pentagon. ……."
Inside The Pentagon 7/6/00 Catherine MacRae "……A high-level military requirements board has given the Army the go-ahead for concept exploration of a new air defense system that may feature the service's first battlefield laser, according to service officials and documents. The Joint Requirements Oversight Council has approved the Enhanced Area Air Defense concept as an "Army potential major defense acquisition program with joint interest" and recommended moving forward with a milestone 0 concept exploration phase, these sources say. …….. The EAAD effort was formerly known as the Enhanced Counter-Air Capability (ECAC). The service defines it as "a suite of capabilities using advanced [directed energy] and/or [kinetic energy] technologies mounted on Army common platforms providing cost-effective kill mechanisms for protecting tactical and operational forces from rockets, mortars, artillery projectiles, [unmanned aerial vehicles], and other air and missile threats." ……"
Aerospace Daily 7/10/00 "……The U.S. Air Force's Satellite Assessment Center (SAC) at Kirtland AFB, N.M., has picked up a new area of evaluation in its continuing study of orbiting satellites: their vulnerability to lasers. SAC, part of the AF Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate, has taken on the new task in response to a new Dept. of Defense directive. The work is a result of the increasing number of satellites, some of which are particularly vulnerable to laser radiation, according to a spokesman for the center's Optical Analysis Group. When this vulnerability is coupled with DOD high-energy laser testing, it became necessary to take action to prevent inadvertent laser damage to these satellites. ……"
AP 7/11/00 "……Most Navy ships do not have adequate protection against deadly cruise missiles, the General Accounting Office warns in a report released Tuesday. Several ship classes, like frigates and fast combat support ships, which distribute supplies, are still not well-protected, according to a GAO assessment. ….. The report also cited inadequate funding and maintenance. It said the SLQ-32 electronic self-defense system, for example, is 30 years old and the Navy expects to have versions of it on its ships for another 10-20 years. While some newer systems exist, the Navy lacks the funds to replace the older units. …."
Defense Information and Electronics Report 7/7/00 Chris Strohm "…… The two most common threats to Army automated systems are computer intrusions and distributed denial-of-service attacks that turn those systems into "slaves" for viruses, special agents with the Army's Computer Crime Investigative Unit (CCIU) said last week. Opening their facility at Ft. Belvoir, VA, to reporters for the first time, agents said they have about 30 ongoing investigations into cases where Army computer systems were invaded or hit with a virus. With a staff of six agents, all of whom are active-duty personnel, one legal adviser and a modest budget of about $125,000 per year, CCIU was officially established in March as part of the Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) and directed to specialize in criminal investigations of intrusions into Army computer systems. …….."
Washington Post 7/8/00 Walter Pincus "….. A $100 million computer system installed two years ago by the Defense Security Service (DSS) has been shut down for more than a week, the latest example of disarray at the agency that conducts background checks for Defense Department security clearances. Persistent computer problems at the Alexandria-based DSS have contributed to a backlog of almost a million investigations into military and civilian employees of the Pentagon, the armed forces and private defense contractors……."
National Defense 7/00 Sandra Erwin "….. Aeronautical Systems Center chief says budget-planning process must change The realization that today's U.S. Air Force fleet will be around three to four decades from now has prompted top service officials to rethink how programs and budgets should be planned. Today's leaders, in other words, must prepare to keep the Air Force ready to fight, even if many of the aircraft happen to be 30 to 40 years old, officials explained. To many officers in senior leadership positions, the realities of "aging aircraft" mean that the traditional ways of doing business no longer are applicable, said Lt. Gen. Robert F. Raggio, commander of the Air Force Aeronautical Systems Center, at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. ….."
Newport News Daily Press 6/30/00Tom Philpott "……. The services have added thousands of recruiters, pumped up advertising budgets and are testing a wide array of new incentives to lure young men and women into uniform. The Army and Air Force, however, still will need a ``summer surge'' to meet fiscal 2000 recruiting targets. They missed their goals last year by a combined 8100 recruits. But a problem perhaps greater than the recruiting challenge, because it impacts all services, is the military's dismal record keeping these volunteers through their enlistment contracts. First-term attrition rates have hit an all-time high, said the General Accounting Office, auditing arm of Congress, in a new report. Of every 100 recruits signed, 36 fail to complete their service obligation. Fourteen of every 100 recruits leave within six months. Within two years, 25 percent are gone, after taxpayers have spent an average of $38,000 on each to recruit and train them. ……"
Pensacola News Journal 6/30/00"……. There is serious concern that the U.S. Defense Department is failing to fund an adequate Navy fleet as a result of more than a decade of cutbacks. A 30-year forecast delivered to Congress this week points out an ideal fleet of 360 ships, up from 315 today, to better response to a growing number of regional threats and surveillance missions around the globe. The Editorial Board supports a bigger, stronger Navy, and adding more carriers is clearly needed. Navy leaders insist they must soon build 10 ships per year compared to recent annual build rates of six or seven ships to avoid falling below 300 vessels……"
Joint Force Quarterly Autumn/Winter 1999-2000 Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr. "……. Just ten years ago the Armed Forces won the Cold War, emerged victorious in a lopsided campaign in the Persian Gulf, and became the preeminent military in the world. This dominance, together with a defense budget that dwarfs those of all other nations, has led some to conclude that only the United States is fiscally and technically able to effect a large-scale leap in military affairs. Thus, while paying routine lip service to transformation, the defense establishment has adopted the Wells Fargo approach to the problem: move in slow stages. …..This gradualist approach worked during the Cold War when the threat was well known and technology progressed at a leisurely pace. But this condition no longer obtains. As leaders peer into the coming century, they confront dramatic challenges: electronic strikes against a blossoming information economy, precision attacks with smart weapons, large-scale use of ballistic and cruise missiles, and war in space. Such developments will transform warfare-and require a transformed U.S. military. ……"
Washington Post 6/25/00 Vernon Loeb "….. The Pentagon is lobbying hard to save a demonstration project designed to show how constellations of lightweight satellites using a variety of new technologies could give the military and the intelligence community continuous battlefield imagery in real time from space. The House has eliminated the project, called Discoverer II, from its fiscal 2001 defense appropriations bill, citing cost estimates suggesting that "a fully functional Discoverer II constellation could reach $25 billion." But Air Force and intelligence officials are hoping that $130 million needed to complete Discoverer II's design phase will be restored in conference committee next month, given strong support from Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) and other members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence………. David A. Whelan, a physicist at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) who developed the Discoverer II concept, said last week that new chip technology coupled with microelectronics and digital processing of radar signals will vastly reduce the weight of the Discoverer II satellites and ultimately cut their cost by two-thirds or more……."
The Times (UK) 6/21/00 Ian Brodie "….. THE United States Air Force is to experiment with dropping bombs from unmanned aircraft, a move that, if successful, would remove the threat of pilots being sent home in "bodybags". That reason alone could be sufficient impetus for the tests, since the risk of pilots being killed or captured has become increasingly unacceptable to American Presidents. The Air Force insists that there are other advantages, however. Without all the equipment needed to keep a pilot alive, a plane can be far more compact and "stealthy" ..."
YAHOO! News 6/20/00 Reuters "……Most U.S. military gas masks have ''critical'' defects that might curb their effectiveness against gas or germ attacks, a Pentagon study to be made public on Wednesday found. In testing completed last year, such flaws were uncovered in 10,322 of 19,322 examined masks drawn from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, congressional sources quoted the study as showing. A ``critical'' defect was defined by the survey as one with the potential ``to result in mask leakage and may impact on protection of the wearer.'' ….."
Marine Corps Times 6/26/00 Deborah Funk "….. As available supplies of the anthrax vaccine grow scarce, its maker, BioPort Corp., needs more money to get its renovated plant operating. The Lansing, Mich., company is negotiating changes in one of its contracts with the Defense Department for an undisclosed amount. The goal is to put BioPort in a position to win Food and Drug Administration approval of the company's Biologic License Application. That would allow the company to produce the vaccine in its renovated plant. FDA approval is vital Winning FDA approval is vital to BioPort and the Pentagon's Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program. ……"
Defense Daily 6/22/00 Frank Wolfe "…… The Air Force's next bomber is to have technologies not yet developed to allow the service to surpass the current Northrop Grumman [NOC] B-2 stealth bomber in capabilities, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Ryan said yesterday……. The service is delivering a classified next generation bomber study to Congress. The Air Force has been examining the comparative costs of a new bomber versus a modified program using the Air Force's experience on the B-2. The Air Force's strategy in the near term is to buy advanced weapons and sensors for its existing B-2 and Boeing [BA] B-52 and B-1 bombers, rather than to undertake a new bomber program (Defense Daily, June 21).......Congress asked for the study, which Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee's defense panel, earlier this week called "skewed" (Defense Daily, June 21). ......But the Air Force believes technologies for the next bomber, like advanced propulsion, hypersonics and unmanned capabilities, need more development before the service can undertake a new bomber program……."
Aerospace Daily 6/22/00 Linda de France "….. U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael E. Ryan said the service will never have enough lift to support the conduct of two simultaneous major theater wars (MTWs), despite efforts by the service to modernize and replace its aging fleet of airlifters. "The demand for lift is an issue that will always be there," Ryan told a group of defense writers at a breakfast in Washington yesterday. "We will never have enough lift, ever to do two simultaneous major theater wars. We can't afford to go there."..."
newsmax.com 6/23/00 UPI "…..The Pentagon tried to classify portions of a report critical of the Clinton administration's plans for the $60 billion national missile defense system because of security concerns, a Defense Department official said Thursday. Three agents from the Defense Security Service on Wednesday visited Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Ted Postol unannounced and tried to deliver a classified letter from the Pentagon about a recent report Postol wrote that alleges fraud in Pentagon tests of the national missile defense system, or NMD, which is under development by the Clinton administration. …… "They did arrive to speak with him," a senior DSS official said. "They generally don't make appointments." The letter, the official said, asked Postol to remove unspecified sensitive information from his report, which he sent to the White House in a May 11 letter that was later classified by the Pentagon. But Postol has continued to make the information available to the media, despite the classification of his White House letter. ……. But Postol refused to read the letter because in doing so he would have obligated himself to maintain the confidentiality of its contents, which overlapped with information he made public in his report. "If I read that letter I would be abridging my First Amendment rights," Postol said in a telephone interview with United Press International. ……"
Hackworth's News Letter 8/9/00 David H. Hackworth Colonel, U.S. Army Ret'd. "……Retired Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf says U.S. military readiness sucks. Louis Caldera, U.S. Army headman, says this ain't so -- Stormin' Norman's "flat-out wrong." Both men are alumni of West Point, an institution whose graduates I've always held in the highest regard, at least until their actions proved otherwise. And sadly there were a fair few of those. ……… It's rare when West Point graduates get into public squabbles. Luis -- that's how he spelled it when he graduated from West Point in 1978 -- Caldera says our military can go anywhere at anytime and do a number on the bad guys. Schwarzkopf strongly disagrees. So who's right? Is Luis singing the party line for his pal Bill? Or is Norman bashing the Pentagon to smooch up to Dubya and old boss Dick Cheney? ……… Let's look at their credentials:
Schwarzkopf, Class of '56, was a platoon leader in the 101st Airborne; a company commander in Berlin in those hot days when The Wall went up; a battalion CO in Vietnam; a brigade CO at Fort Lewis, Wash.; an assistant division commander in Germany; and a division and corps CG in the States. He commanded the Army force during the invasion of Grenada and then, of course, there was Desert Storm. He retired in '91 with 35 years' service and four combat tours under his pistol belt.
Caldera, Class of '78, was a stateside military-police officer for two years, an admin officer at West Point for one year and an MP officer at Fort Dix, N.J., for one year. He quit the Army as soon as he could, in 1983, to go to Harvard Law School, and the half-million-dollar, taxpayer-funded education designed to train him to defend America served him well -- first in law and then playing politics. Combat experience: zero.
My take is that Stormin' Norman is talking to many of the same folks I hear from daily who tell me our Army, Navy and Air Force -- not the Marine Corps -- can't fight their way into a retirement home. Remember, many of today's commanders were his subordinates somewhere down the line, and Norman, like most old soldiers, would keep an ear to the combat-readiness ground. Five will get you 10 that Norman's getting his skinny on the q.t. from skippers and old NCOs. Guys who wouldn't dare pull one on "The Bear," whose vast experience would help him sniff out the truth faster than he used to bark "Gimme 25."
I suspect that Caldera's getting his readiness info from the reports that slide across his Pentagon desk and talks with soldiers when in the field. But today's generals rarely say they're not ready to go, not if they want a career. The plethora of Perfumed Princes that manage -- not lead -- today's forces can't afford to and wouldn't let a truth-teller within rifle range of a visiting fireman from Washington such as Caldera. But if Caldera, who probably is talking primarily to yes men and women, really thinks our forces are good to go, he should see an eye doc for specs -- because the man from Los Angeles must be blinder than a rock.
Caldera reminds me of another high Pentagon know-nothing, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, who just before the Korean War exploded, assured President Harry Truman that our forces were second to none. He was fired, but not before thousands of untrained soldiers were shot down by a superior North Korean army. …… Hopefully in November -- no matter who's the new commander in chief -- Caldera and the rest of Clinton's Pentagon political appointments will be given their walking papers and our country's defense will be placed in more competent hands. ….."
NewsMax – UPI 8/10/00 "……Just weeks after reports of thousands of military families reduced to food stamps helped persuade lawmakers to approve more than $11 billion in emergency Pentagon spending, a handful of powerful California lawmakers diverted millions of dollars from the Pentagon for alcoholism research. Under next year's Pentagon spending plan, the 77,000-square-foot alcoholism research center, founded in 1980 with a $6.5 million contribution from Ernest Gallo, will get $8.5 million to "study the effects of alcohol on the brain." "The Department of Defense has set a high priority on alcoholism research, and the California delegation felt that the money should go to the Gallo Center because we have a major research facility," said center Director Ivan Diamond. Diamond said the center, attached to the University of California at San Francisco, has two main goals: to understand the biology and genetics that predispose a person to alcoholism and to develop new therapies to prevent and treat alcoholism. "We already have very promising results, and we have created a Manhattan-like project to attack this problem," said Diamond. ….."
Washington Times 8/10/00 "……. Last week, Gen. Shelton interjected himself into a political battle that has claimed the soldiers he is supposed to lead as its principal victims. In his acceptance speech in Philadelphia last week, Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush (drawing upon an undisputed report last November in which two active Army divisions classified themselves as unprepared to carry out their wartime missions) asserted, "Our military is low on parts, pay and morale. If called to duty by the commander in chief, two entire divisions of the Army would have to report, 'Not ready for duty, sir.' "…….. Within hours, the Army issued a statement declaring "all 10 of its divisions are combat ready and able to answer the nation's call." More than 3,000 miles away in Los Angeles, Gen. Shelton acknowledged that spending and resources had been cut 40 percent while worldwide commitments — mostly peacekeeping operations — during the past decade have increased 300 percent. Nevertheless, he insisted the Army "jumped right on top of [the readiness crisis]" and brought the divisions back into combat shape. ……….. Sen. John McCain, a member of the Armed Services Committee who knows something about the state of the military's readiness and who has butted heads with Gen. Shelton over this very issue, offered an insight different from the Army's politically convenient declarations. "In all due respect to General Shelton," who has been the most politicized Joint Chiefs chairman in decades, "I talked to captains, I talked to first lieutenants, I talked to chief petty officers," Mr. McCain told NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday. "They say they're overextended. They say that they're having difficulty keeping qualified men and women in the military. And recently we saw a study where the captains in the Army are leaving in the largest numbers."….."
Washington Times 8/10/00 "…….The Army claims it has solved its readiness problems by deploying National Guard units for Balkan peacekeeping duties and returning the Army divisions to their normal duties. In fact, the Army plans to radically change how U.S. military forces are deemed to be ready for combat. Indeed, in a front-page story on the very day Gen. Shelton interjected himself into the political dispute over national defense, the New York Times reported that the Army plans to drastically increase its reliance on the National Guard to fulfill its most important mission — maintaining the capability of fighting two major regional conflicts simultaneously. The Pentagon expects to assign four of the National Guard's eight divisions to participate in the Persian Gulf and Korea, the two "major theater wars" that are at the heart of U.S. military doctrine. Inside the Pentagon, the Times reported, "There remains lingering doubt about the ability of the Guard divisions to be ready for combat, especially in a major regional war" — to say nothing of two major regional wars being fought simultaneously……."
Newsmax 7/19/00 Christopher Holton "……The General Accounting Office has released a report concluding that our Navy is growing more vulnerable every day to anti-ship cruise missile attacks. The July 11 report, "Comprehensive Strategy Needed to Improve Ship Cruise Missile Defenses," surely comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with defense and maritime issues. ……. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand this vulnerability, and the GAO's 58-page report could probably have been written in five pages or less by anyone who has served in the U.S. Navy over the past decade. ………During the years of the Clinton administration, the U.S. fleet's ability to defend itself against anti-ship cruise missiles has been frozen in time in some aspects and degraded in other aspects. During this seven-year period, not one new weapon system has been added to the inventory to defend against cruise missile attack. ….."
Washington Times 8/13/00 Alan G Lance Sr "……."A nation with a projected $1.9 trillion budget surplus can afford consistently to allocate a minimum 4 percent of its gross domestic product to ensure its security," Frank Gaffney Jr. writes. He is right on target with his "4 percent solution" to the deterioration of our nation's military readiness ("The 4% solution," Commentary, Aug, 8). "We the People" must elect a president and a Congress that will live up to the constitutional imperative to "provide for the common defense." We must vote for those candidates who espouse solutions: …….Frank Gaffney Jr. accurately claims both Gen. Hugh Shelton and Under Secretary of Defense Jacques Gansler have concerns about the state of readiness of our nation's troops. In fact, leadership from all sides of the Pentagon has been warning Congress for several years that the armed services are facing severe shortfalls. ……."
Reuters 8/11/00 ".......U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni, former commander-in-chief of Central Command, entered a growing debate, saying the U.S. military had grown too small to meet its commitments....... Zinni, who retires from the Marine Corps on Friday, told CNN it would be much more difficult now for the United States to launch Operation Desert Storm, the successful 1991 military campaign to expel Iraqi occupying forces from Kuwait. Zinni ended his command of U.S. forces in the Gulf in July.......... ``I believe the military is too small for the current kinds of commitments that we have,'' Zinni told CNN. ``And you either need to change the structure of the military and the size and the manning, or you need to change the strategy.''......"
Enter Stage Right - A Journal of Modern Conservatism 8/14/00 Mike Wasylik "…….A recent Salon article (http://www.salon.com/politics/feature/2000/08/07/lie_week/index.html) has put GOP nominee George W. Bush under fire for his claim that two entire divisions of our Army are not ready for duty. As it turns out, these two divisions -- the Fourth Infantry and the Tenth Mountain Division -- are unready to fight two simultaneous conflicts because they're currently being frittered away as "peacekeeping" forces in Bosnia and Kosovo -- exactly what Bush meant when he said, "We have seen a steady erosion of American power and an unsteady exercise of American influence." But the sad fact is that Bush was dead wrong. NONE of our military is ready for duty at the levels they were eight years ago, and the fault lies solely with the Clinton-Gore administration.........."
SMH.com / AP 8/15/00 "……Fort Bragg, North Carolina: It is designed to make the 21st century US soldier a more effective instrument of war, a veritable cyborg able to communicate with more speed and efficiency. Since early June, 44 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division have been experimenting with a prototype system the Army calls the Land Warrior. Its video cameras allow soldiers to scan terrain ahead without being exposed, even call for medical help with the aid of a message system. "This system will allow us to move leaps and bounds ahead of the current infantrymen on the battlefield," said Sgt John Petree, who has been using the Land Warrior system since June 5. ........."
New York Times 8/28/00 Steven Lee Myers "…..The nation's military Reserves are increasingly struggling to fill their ranks with new recruits, even as the Pentagon relies on them more heavily than ever to conduct operations around the world, according to military officials and Pentagon documents. In each of the last three years, the Army, Naval and Air Force Reserves have each fallen short of their recruiting goals; last year, the Air Force Reserve missed its objective by nearly 40 percent, signing up only 7,518 of the 11,791 recruits it needed. Only the Marine Corps Reserve has steadily recruited enough new troops in recent years. The recruiting problems have continued -- with the three Reserve forces unlikely to make their targets by the time the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30 -- even though the active-duty services have turned around their own dismal recruiting record after an infusion of recruiters, increased advertising and enlistment bonuses, according to Pentagon records. ……."
RNC Email to Radio Hosts 8/23/00 Jim Nicholson "……From Haiti to Bosnia to Iraq to Kosovo, the number of American military deployments has increased two and a half times It's also been stretched thinner than ever because when Clinton/Gore think about trimming government spending it's our men and women in uniform - risking their lives - who get shortchanged first. The gap between what Clinton/Gore assigns the military to do and what resources they receive to accomplish those assignments "could well be measured in American lives," according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Last year alone, the gap between military and civilian pay increased to 13.5 percent. And two-thirds of military family housing is characterized as substandard by the Defense Science Board. Meanwhile 13,000 military men and women subsist on food stamps. And if Joe Lieberman has any influence over Gore, further deterioration in America's military might and morale will be the result. Last year, Lieberman voted against giving our troops a much deserved 4.8 percent increase in military pay. Americans don't want Gore to continue impoverishing and endangering America's men and women in uniform! …….. Back in April, the Clinton/Gore Pentagon came under fire for keeping 13,000 military men and women on food stamps. Its solution? Count housing and benefits as "pay," which then makes many soldiers "too rich" to be eligible for food stamps. Then Kenneth Bacon, Al Gore's Pentagon spokesman, said that military pay was just fine because young men and women enlisting in the military earn more than they would were they working at McDonalds or a gas station. Military pay "is actually . . . better than . . . working in McDonald's or gas stations - other entry-level jobs," Bacon said. ……"
WorldNetDaily.com 8/23/00 "……WorldNetDaily has learned the Clinton administration is currently trying to buy advanced missiles from Russia, while documents recently released by the U.S. Navy show that Russia offered to sell the same missiles to the Clinton administration back in 1995. Earlier this month, the Navy released documents showing the Clinton administration declined a 1995 offer from Russia to purchase the advanced SS-N-22 (NATO code-named Sunburn) supersonic cruise missile and studied offers as early as 1993. The documents were obtained from the Clinton administration using the Freedom of Information Act. 1993 Wireframe sketch of Russian SS-N-22 "Sunburn" supersonic cruise missile from a Navy proposal to test the weapon. Illustration obtained from the U.S. Navy via the Freedom of Information Act. The newly released documents are already causing a firestorm on Capitol Hill, threatening to start an investigation on a scale similar to the one that resulted in the Cox Committee Report. "Outrageous," responded Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., in an exclusive WorldNetDaily interview. "This is outrageous. I am going to demand a full official inquiry into the way this was handled." Weldon is a ranking member of the House National Security Committee and Chairman of the Military Research and Development Subcommittee. He was provided with a copy of the U.S. Navy documents for the interview. "This is simply unbelievable," Weldon reiterated. "The Sunburn is the greatest threat today against the U.S. Navy." Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., ranking member of the House National Security Committee. Weldon, who currently oversees key U.S. military weapons programs, is outraged because the Clinton administration failed to take advantage of the 1995 offer by Russia to sell as many as 100 Sunburn missiles to the U.S. Navy. ……"
SEAPOWER 9/00 Gordon Peterson "…… Senior Editor Gordon I. Peterson interviewed Deputy ASN (Ship Programs) Michael C. Hammes for this issue of Sea Power. Sea Power: Mr. Hammes, perhaps you could briefly outline your responsibilities for the modernization of today's fleet as well as the design and construction of tomorrow's?…….. HAMMES: I think that perhaps the most important trend is how the acquisition process has evolved to a point where the Navy goes to industry much earlier than in the past. The ships in the fleet today are well-designed and very capable. On the other side of the coin, we haven't opened up all the opportunities for industry to reduce life-cycle costs nor have we always bought the best and smartest technology from the commercial sector……….. In the past, the Navy designed its ships. Industry made some input, but shipbuilders had no real financial incentive to design a better ship. Their incentive was to propose labor man-hours and material costs on a competitive construction contract. Those costs are important to us, but they do not bring new technology into a ship's design. As a matter of fact, industry's incentive was to avoid adding new technology-or to charge us a lot for it-because they had bid a very competitive construction contract. Shipbuilders wanted to minimize changes to maximize their profit, and if they were going to make a change, they wanted it to be a rather high-profit change……"
WorldNetDaily 6/16/98 Joseph Farah "…… When critics charge President Clinton with expanding the power and scope of the federal government, he likes to counter with the argument that he has actually cut U.S. spending. The fact of the matter is he has "paid for" much of his new social spending programs with dramatic and dangerous cuts in U.S. military capability and preparedness. Worst of all, Clinton's ax has been wielded more recklessly than his predecessors, who were also responsible for downsizing the military. ……… Consider a few facts: The defense budget has been cut, in real terms, for the last 14 consecutive years. During the Eisenhower administration, the U.S. spent 16 percent of its gross domestic product on defense. Today, we spend 3 percent. Back then, the defense budget accounted for 62 percent of federal spending. Today, it's down to 15 percent. ……… Since 1990, active Army ranks have been reduced from 770,000 to 495,000. The Army currently has 10 active combat divisions compared to the 18 it had at the start of Operation Desert Storm in 1991. What's been cut? 293,000 reservists two reserve divisions 20 Air Force and Navy air wings with approximately 2,000 combat aircraft 232 strategic bombers 13 ballistic missile submarines with 3,114 nuclear warheads on 232 missiles 500 ICBMs four aircraft carriers 121 surface combatants and attack submarines, plus all the support basing, transport and logistic access, tanks, armored fighting vehicles, helicopters, etc. ………"
CNSNews.com 8/27/00 Justin Torres "…..Republican vice presidential nominee Dick Cheney was on the airwaves Sunday morning, defending GOP claims that the administration has allowed military readiness to decline to all-time lows. "Military readiness has reached its lowest level in modern times, and the Clinton-Gore administration has done very little to reverse that decline," said Cheney, former defense secretary under Bush's father, citing reports that recruitment, retention, and the development of new military technologies have reached all-time lows. ……. On both NBC's Meet the Press and ABC's This Week, Cheney pointed to a recent General Accounting Office study that found that many junior officers were planning on leaving the service as soon as their term was up……. "They just can't keep people in the service, because officers are frustrated by the lack of training, pay and equipment," said Cheney……."
New York Times 8/28/00 Michael Cooper "….. Dick Cheney acknowledged yesterday that the military cutbacks he and Gov. George W. Bush have campaigned against began when he was defense secretary for Mr. Bush's father, but he blamed the Clinton administration for making "far deeper" cuts that he said had left the military "in decline." …….. "With respect to this question of when the cuts started, we obviously began reductions as the cold war ended in 1990 and '91, in the aftermath of Desert Storm," Mr. Cheney said yesterday on the ABC program "This Week With Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts," one of three Sunday morning talk programs he appeared on to discuss military preparedness. ……. "But we started with a reduction of 25 percent in force structure," Mr. Cheney continued. "They've gone far beyond that. The number of divisions in the U.S. Army has gone from 18 to 10. The number of wings in the Air Force has gone from 24 to 13. The number of ships in the Navy has gone from almost 600, now headed to less than 300. So they've cut far deeper, Sam, than anything anticipated during my watch in the Pentagon." ……"
AP 8/27/00 William C Mann "…..In recruiting, retention, morale and combat readiness, the U.S. military has serious problems that Vice President Al Gore (news - web sites) either doesn't understand or has ``chosen not to tell the truth about,'' Republican vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney said Sunday. He admitted, however, that major cutbacks in the military began on his watch as the first post-Cold War defense secretary. And, in response to an irate letter from a Democratic senator, Cheney refused to back down from a campaign statement depicting the Army veteran Gore as being ''`AWOL' on Veterans' Issues.'' …… Cheney said he had not seen the statement and, until he does, cannot say whether it was appropriate to use the acronym that means ``absent without leave,'' a heinous military offense, to describe the Democratic presidential candidate. But, he said told ``Meet the Press'' host Tim Russert: ``I have not used that word. I don't think it's appropriate of you to attribute it to me.'' …….."
The Reagan Information Interchange 8/23/00 Col David Hackworth (Ret) "….. Democrat Joe Lieberman says we have "the best-trained, best-equipped, most-powerful fighting force in the history of the world." Republican Dick Cheney says this isn't true. …… Which party's vice-presidential candidate is right? ……. In every election in my memory, we've had some kind of military gap. In 1952, it was the "bomber" gap. In 1960, the "missile" gap. In 1980, the "our-forces-have-collapsed" gap. Now, two decades later, we have the "are-we-ready-or-not" gap. ...... Has Lieberman, a man touted for his character and integrity, been conned by the Pentagon or his speechwriters? I hope for the security of our country and his reputation that this isn't the case. …….. But from my periscope, I see that more than 20 percent of our fleet can't get under way unless they cannibalize parts and people from combat-ready ships that will then become wharf queens. I see Air Force squadrons without the parts or the right training to be fit to fight. I see Army maneuver units that can't win against a play enemy at training centers and who'd lose against a class enemy on a killing field. ...... Then, too, thousands of noncoms and officers from all the services give me new intell daily. These are the idealistic leaders who haven't been co-opted by a sick system. They're the heroes of our nation, the fine folks who man our ships and planes and serve on point duty in dangerous places all over the globe. These members of the Thin Red Line know the truth because, when you are the first to die, you are the truth. ......"
Washington Times 9/11/00 Edward T. Timperlake / William C. Triplett II "….. Vice President Al Gore has moved the political calendar into the "silly season" with his schoolyard taunt of Gov. George W. Bush to "put up or shut up." One expects Mr. Gore to follow up with the next schoolyard debating point - "and your mother wears combat boots." But no that would only serve to bring attention to the biggest political vulnerability of the Clinton-Gore administration, their stewardship of national security......., Currently the debate rages on the decline of the U.S. military even below the famous "hollow" years of the Carter administration. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the Clinton-Gore administration is spinning like a gyroscope to deflect this most serious charge. What is disappointing is the administration using uniformed military to dissemble……… Time will reveal the truth about the serious decline in our military, the troops always know and the soldiers, sailors, airman, and marines will simply tell of their personal experience, regardless of Pentagon apple polishing……."
Associated Press via Newsday.com 9/10/00 James Hannah "……The B-52 was born in a Dayton hotel room in 1948 when Boeing engineers put together a balsa-wood model of the proposed bomber for officials at nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Seventy B-52s remain active in the Air Force's aging fleet. And with relatively few warplanes in production, the Air Force is scrambling to extend the lives of its fighters, bombers and tankers. ''The B-52 Stratofortress traces its origins to the late 1940s, yet it's going to be flying until the early 2040s,'' said Loren Thompson, a defense analyst with the conservative Lexington Institute based in Arlington, Va. ''That's nearly a century, and it tells you how unrealistic our current plans are for maintaining air power. We're basically flying into the 21st century with some very old technology.'' ……"
FOX NEWS 8/31/00 Robert Burns "……Most U.S. combat forces are ready to perform wartime missions, but if the country had to fight two major conflicts at the same time it would run a high risk of increased casualties because of shortfalls in the ability to move, supply and protect troops, the Pentagon said Thursday. In an assessment required by Congress every three months, the Pentagon said the military services are facing training problems, personnel shortages and aging equipment. Even so, it concluded that "America's armed forces remain capable of executing'' the military strategy of the Clinton administration. ….."
AOL News Update (AP) 9/1/00 Robert Burns "……When George W. Bush and running mate Dick Cheney say the Clinton administration has squandered the strong military it inherited from Bush's father, they point to a problem that independent observers agree is real: a mismatch between defense resources and demands placed on U.S. forces On the other hand, few could challenge - and Bush and Cheney do not - Al Gore's assertion that today's American military is the strongest in the world. It's also true that measures of military capability are really political judgments: Under what circumstances should military force be used? What are the odds that U.S. security interests will be challenged, and by whom? To what extent does the peacetime presence of U.S. troops abroad deter conflict? How willing are U.S. allies to fight alongside American forces, and to share burdens like peacekeeping? …….. "
Rowan Scarborough 9/1/00 THE WASHINGTON TIMES "……The midyear write-up on the operational health of the 1.4 million active force said readiness problems and a force stressed by fast-pace peacekeeping operations would encounter greater difficulty fighting a second regional war. "Potentially longer timelines required to complete the halt and buildup phases and initiate the counteroffensive increase the potential for higher casualties in the interim and during the fight," the report states. The national military strategy calls for the funding of armed forces capable of fighting and winning two conflicts nearly simultaneously - most likely wars to defend South Korea and centrist Persian Gulf countries. Because of shortages of weapons and personnel, U.S. forces would be slower in responding to the second crisis, giving an enemy more time to consolidate gains……."
The Sunday Oklahoman 9/3/00 "….. TEXAS Gov. George W. Bush says America's armed forces aren't what they were when his father, President Bush, turned over control to Bill Clinton and Al Gore in 1993. Gore says the U.S. military is just fine and says Bush is running down the armed forces for political reasons. Who's right? Oklahomans need look no further than last week's departure of the 45th Infantry Brigade for Bosnia for clues as to which candidate is accurately gauging the military's health. The 45th's call to active duty is its first in 50 years. In 1950 it was summoned to beat back an enemy tide in Korea. Now it is being dispatched to the Balkans as "stabilization force." Translation: peacekeeping. The brigade is part of a growing trend that is mustering National Guard and reserve units into the Clinton administration's global police force…….. Officials tell the Dallas Morning News that by 2003 the majority of U.S. forces in Bosnia will come from the guard and reserves. "The reason that we're turning to the guard is because our active-duty troops have mission fatigue, and it's showing in the retention and recruitment problem," Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, told the paper. ……"
The New York Times 9/5/00 Jane Perlez "…At 32, Mona Sutphen, smart, driven and possessed of that quality so elusive in Washington, an easy personality, was known as one of the best and the brightest in the West Wing of the White House. ...... As executive assistant to the national security adviser, Samuel R. Berger, she was trusted to work on the most sensitive foreign policy matters. She sat through the tough crises, including whether to bomb Iraq and how to rescue an American pilot downed in enemy Yugoslav territory. Had she wanted, Ms. Sutphen, who was on loan from the State Department, could have gone to the heights of the United States Foreign Service: political counselor at an embassy, assistant secretary of state or an ambassador. Perhaps even the top job one day. …. But those peaks did not look so great to Ms. Sutphen. Instead of returning to the State Department and a future of writing cables that she felt nobody important read, she took her passion for foreign affairs to an Internet company. She is a prime example of what policy experts say is a crippling problem at the State Department: talented diplomats are leaving for careers that they believe have more power and prestige in the new global economy. And college graduates who used to rush to take the Foreign Service exam no longer bother. ……."
Army Times 9/4/00 Sean Naylor "…… Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki ordered his personnel gurus to fix a shortfall in rocket artillery troops that has reduced some battalions to little more than 60 percent strength and become the Army's "most significant" personnel problem. Ironically, the crisis was caused -- at least in part -- by a reduction in the number of Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) personnel spaces that the Army needed to fill, according to Sgt. Maj. Wayne Hashimoto. The Army is taking steps to relieve the crisis, but it could be a year or more before MLRS units are back to full strength, he said. Hashimoto is the top NCO in the Field Artillery Proponency Office at the Field Artillery Center, Fort Sill, Okla. The MLRS is the Army's principal counter-battery system -- the weapon used to put enemy artillery out of action. ….."
Insight Magazine 9/4/00 Paul Rodriguez "…….The issue of U.S. military readiness has become a hot political topic since Republican presidential contender George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the GOP vice presidential running mate, began battling about it in recent speeches. Vice President Al Gore and outgoing commander-in-chief Bill Clinton have denied readiness is at all time lows or that under their watch the overall military readiness has declined. ……. Joe Liberman, Gore's running mate, has suggested it's unpatriotic of Bush and Cheney to raise the issue of military readiness notwithstanding the fact that even those within the military openly talk about the issue with growing frustration. Consider a set of documents obtained by Insight that show Air Force readiness is shockingly down in two major categories: overall combat and combat commands stateside. ……… According to the documents, used recently at the Pentagon in closed-door briefings that include rank-and-file airmen, overall readiness for the Air Force is down 24 percent from 91 percent in January 1996 to 67 percent in June 2000. ……Equally discouraging for top brass is that, for air combat command stateside, active readiness is down a whopping 42 percent, from 86 percent in January 1996 to a disturbing 44 percent in June 2000. ……."
Washington Times 8/28/00 Rowan Scarborough, Joyce Howard "……. U.S. military combat readiness, a hot debate in the presidential elections, continues to suffer two years after the Pentagon acknowledged shortfalls. The Navy is short on sailors and ships at sea. The Air Force lacks 1,200 pilots and continues a downward trend in readiness. Army soldiers complain of reduced training time and morale. But the services have plugged holes in recruiting and retention of some critically needed personnel after Congress and the White House increased pay and benefits. The root of the problem, analysts and soldiers say, stems from President Clinton's decision in 1993 to double five-year Pentagon cuts, to $128 billion, that had been put in place by President Bush and his defense secretary, Richard B. Cheney. The post-Cold War reductions were followed by Mr. Clinton sending troops on a record number of peacetime deployments in the 1990s, including major conflicts against Iraq and Serbia. …… Equipment wore out. Spare parts dried up. And personnel, weary of months overseas, quit. ……."You cut the force by more than a third, you cut the budget by 40 percent and then you raise the number of deployments by 300 percent and that's a situation that is going to make trouble inside the military," said retired Army Col. Joseph Collins. Col. Collins spearheaded an expansive study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies that concluded in January that morale and readiness were down across the military. …….."
David Hackworth Newsletter 9/5/00 "….. Justin P.D. Wilcox resigned last week over the plague that's destroying our Army. He was a future George Marshall or Dwight Eisenhower. This nation's armed forces cannot continue to lose such dedicated patriots. Here, in his own words, is why he quit in disgust: "Listening to the secretary of defense and top brass dispute the Bush/Cheney readiness claims has reaffirmed my decision to leave the Army as a captain this month. I served for the past five years in a declining institution which needs urgent help from its top leadership. My decision to leave the Army stems from my refusal to live the 'readiness lie' portrayed by the nation's top leaders. ……. "In the age of 'do more with less,' the most frequent topic of discussion for today's Army junior officer is the decision to leave the military. Accordingly, the top brass express their concern with the large numbers of captains departing the Army between four and six years of service. Their concern is so great that they surveyed majors with at least 10 years of service to discover why captains were leaving. It is hard to find out what is wrong when you really do not want to know. …….. "I was excited to begin my Army career after graduating from West Point in June of 1995, but over the next five years my zeal diminished. I realized that the brass and political leaders expected 110 percent capability but resourced for 50 percent. I received soldiers from Basic Training who could not pass fitness tests, qualify with their weapons, or uphold basic discipline standards. ……. "At Fort Bragg (N.C.), as a combat engineer in the XVIII Airborne Corps, my unit shot its weapons with live rounds only once a year for qualification and once a year for a live-fire exercise, due to ammunition constraints. Vehicles and equipment were rarely used during the months of August and September due to budgetary constraints at the end of the fiscal year. Newly fielded equipment did not meet the specifications of the equipment it replaced and only became reliable after at least two years of retrofits and recalls. (It is probably not known that from December 1998 until this summer, every new 2.5- and 5-ton vehicle on Fort Bragg, as well as the Army, could not be driven over 35 mph until retrofitted to prevent the drive shaft from dropping during movement and causing the vehicle to flip.) On a weekly basis, I saw more attention placed on landscaping and details in the unit area than on training soldiers in the field. ……."
Freeper SLB 9/8/00 "…… All, Thought you might enjoy a recent change of command speech by ADM Nathman. He's the incoming 3-star Commander Naval Air Forces Pacific. Short, sweet and to the point...printed in its entirety below. No hello's, no thank you's. Stood up, gave the speech, sat back down, then released it via naval message to all PacFleet. The speech was given the day after VP Al Gore said all was well in the military, and was printed the next day in the San Diego paper. …….. ADMINISTRATIVE MESSAGE ROUTINE R 241430Z AUG 00 ZYB PSN 684360E27 FM COMNAVAIRPAC SAN DIEGO CA//N00// TO AIG 308 UNCLAS file://N05000// MSGID/GENADMIN/COMNAVAIRPAC// SUBJ/CNAP CHANGE OF COMMAND SPEECH// RMKS/
1. MY INTENT WITH THIS MESSAGE IS TO FORWARD THE CNAP CHANGE OF COMMAND SPEECH BY VADM NATHMAN SO THAT ALL THE LEADERSHIP HAS A COPY. I'VE EDITED OUT THE PERSONAL WELCOMES TO PROVIDE YOU THE CORE THEME. W/R HAEFNER
2. QUOTE: MY SPEECH SHOULD BE AND WILL BE SHORT. THERE ARE TWO FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES WE SHOULD UNDERSTAND - DEMAND AND VALUE. LET ME EXPLAIN...THIS NATION, ITS PRESIDENT AND ITS CITIZENS, DEMAND GLOBAL STABILITY-DEMAND A WORLD INCLINED TO DEMOCRATIC IDEALS AND COUNTRIES THAT WILL PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF THEIR CITIZENS. THERE IS A VALID NEED FOR A GLOBAL ECONOMY, ONE THAT THE UNITED STATES INTENDS TO LEAD. THERE'S A NEED FOR CONSTRAINED OIL PRICING. THERE'S A NEED FOR A COMMUNITY OF NATIONS THAT CAN DEAL EFFECTIVELY WITH ROGUE STATES AND BULLIES - THIS IS WHAT THE U.S. NAVY DOES. THE VALUE OF THE NAVAL SERVICE IS ITS WILLINGNESS TO DO ITS DUTY TO MEET THE NATION'S DEMANDS. WE WILL BE ASKED, NO ORDERED, TO TRAIN, DEPLOY AND ENGAGE. WE ENGAGE DIPLOMATICALLY WITH OUR FORWARD PRESENCE AND, IF NECESSARY, IN COMBAT TO SUSTAIN THOSE DEMANDS. IS IT NOT RIGHT THEN THAT OUR MEN AND WOMEN HAVE DEMANDS TOO? ISN'T IT RIGHT THAT THE PILOTS AND AIRCREW WE SEND DAILY INTO HARM'S WAY HAVE MODERN AND CAPABLE AIRCRAFT. ISN'T IT RIGHT THAT OUR YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN EXPECT TO WORK IN EFFICIENT, CLEAN, CONNECTED AND EVEN NEW HANGERS AND WORK SPACES. ISN'T IT RIGHT THAT MY NAVAL AIR FORCE BE SUSTAINED AT LEVELS WHICH SUPPORT OUR OPERATIONS AND TEMPO. ISN'T IT RIGHT THAT OUR SAILORS AND THEIR FAMILIES ARE PAID ENOUGH TO LIVE IN DIGNITY. TO ME, THE FACT IS THAT WE HAVE REACHED SUCH A LOW LEVEL OF FUNDING IT WILL SOON BE IMPOSSIBLE TO MEET THE EXPECTATIONS OF THIS NATION IN EXECUTING OUR OPERATIONAL TASKS AND COMPLETING THE MISSION. THERE IS A FUNDAMENTAL DISCONNECT BETWEEN THE VALUE WE PROVIDE AND THE WILLINGNESS OF THE RICHEST NATION ON EARTH TO PAY FOR ITS DEMANDS.IT IS OBVIOUS-THE NAVAL SERVICE IS UNDERVALUED. THIS IS THE CHALLENGE-IT MUST BE RESOLVED. UNQUOTE.// ......"
Washington Times 9/8/00 Dave Boyer "…..Retired Gens. Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf, war heroes from the presidency of George W. Bush's father, campaigned with the Republican nominee yesterday and criticized the Clinton-Gore administration for a decline in military readiness. ….. "Readiness is not just equipment," Gen. Schwarzkopf told an audience at Wright State University. "Readiness is people. And we have somebody [Mr. Bush] who is going to step up and has clearly recognized the problem." Gen. Powell told a group of veterans at a VFW post in Westland, Mich., earlier yesterday that Mr. Bush is more committed than Vice President Al Gore to rebuilding the U.S. armed forces. "It's time to face the reality that we have given our wonderful military force too many missions that we are not prepared to fund them for," Gen. Powell said……… Mr. Bush has made increased military spending a cornerstone of his campaign. In recent weeks, Mr. Bush and his running mate, former Defense Secretary Richard B. Cheney, have emphasized the military's lack of preparedness, raising accusations from the White House that the Republican ticket was disparaging U.S. troops……."
Washington Times 9/15/00 Rowan Scarborough "……A new inspector general's report reveals that budget cuts and fast-paced deployments that used up spare parts have left crews overworked and pilots insufficiently trained. The shortfalls had real-life impact on pilots' ability to hit targets during last year's bombing campaign against Serbia. More than half of Navy-dropped laser bombs missed their target, said the report by Vice Adm. Lee F. Gunn, the Navy inspector general, who retired this month. "The fleet needs to hear from the boss that, yes, we have a big problem in naval aviation, that you, our people, are the reason we have been able to accomplish what we have; that the Navy leadership is working hard to put things right," said his report to the chief of naval operations. "From captains to airmen, we heard grave concern that Navy leadership is either out of touch or uniformed, or just does not care enough to address the plight of our people in meaningful ways," the report states…….."
Reuters 9/15/00 "……For the first time in more than a decade, every ship and submarine in the United States Navy was ordered Friday to stand down and review safety and navigation procedures. The order required all 300 ships in the fleet to take one full day to review safety and navigation procedures. Ship commanders were to conduct the safety review as soon as possible but not at a time that interferes with mission requirements. The order, issued Thursday by Adm. Vernon Clark, the newly installed chief of Naval operations, requires crews of all ships-including submarines-to "thoroughly assess the critical areas of seamanship and navigation" before resuming normal operations, Navy spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Cate Mueller said. It is the first fleet-wide safety standdown since 1989, when all Navy aircraft as well as ships were ordered to take a two-day safety pause, she said. ……"
Oklahoman 9/16/00 J C Watts "…..A couple of weeks ago, a Washington Times article revealed the deplorable condition of over half of the U.S. Army's combat and support training centers, including our own Fort Sill. Twelve out of 20 military installations reported in internal documents that their operations are at the "C-4" level or "unable to handle missions without additional resources" and experiencing "training deficiencies [that] will have a significant impact on Army readiness." Even the hands-on commanders at our military training schools nationwide seem to agree. …… And they're right. A look at the current size of our armed forces provides startling proof that Bill Clinton's military is far less capable than our armed forces under Presidents Reagan and Bush. Yet that did not stop Defense Secretary Cohen and Gen. Shelton of the Joints Chiefs from coming out and wholeheartedly defending their bosses and the Clinton-Gore record during this crucial presidential election year. …….. The fact is, since Clinton-Gore took office, the size of our armed forces has shrunk by some 40 percent, while their pace of peacekeeping operations has increased by 300 percent. Defense spending has also plummeted to a lower percentage of Gross National Product than at any time since 1940 -- the year before the attack on Pearl Harbor. And, while we all sought to benefit from the Reagan-Bush "peace dividend" at the end of the Cold War with some responsible reduction in military spending, this administration has taken it a step too far. ……… Not only has Clinton-Gore sought to slash military spending in favor of more big-government social programs, their mission has been to "re-engineer" our military and its funding to fit more into their mold of an international peacekeeping force than the war-winning, supreme fighting force it should be. Coupled with the lack of priority that Clinton-Gore has placed on our armed forces, this is why our military readiness is reaching pre-Pearl Harbor lows. …….In Congress, we have proposed increases in defense spending greater than the president's budget each year, but that has only been able to fill a fraction of the Clinton-Gore defense deficit they created through numerous peacekeeping missions, some of which still have no clear end. It did, however, force them to recognize that readiness shortfalls were serious and growing, and a real increase in defense spending was required. But just like so many other problems, more money will simply not solve all of our problems. Our military still needs the leadership and vision from the very top to return our armed forces to its pre- Clinton-Gore days. ……"
AP 9/13/00 Robert Burns "…….The Army for the first time will align National Guard divisions with active-duty Army corps, making it more likely that part-time soldiers will ship out if war erupts in Korea or the Persian Gulf, Army officials said Wednesday. The change reflects Army leaders' search for ways to make better use of the National Guard at a time when the active-duty force is stretched thin by a variety of peacetime missions across the globe. Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, is to announce the plan Thursday at a National Guard convention in New Jersey. Aligning a Guard division with an Army corps, such as the 18th Airborne Corps based at Fort Bragg, N.C., is designed to allow the guardsmen to focus their training on specific potential combat situations. The 18th Airborne Corps, for example, is focused on the Persian Gulf and other rapid reaction assignments. The new arrangement means members of the eight National Guard divisions are more likely to be called on not only for major wars but also as rotation units for peacekeeping operations in places like Bosnia and Kosovo, according to Army officials who discussed the matter on condition they not be identified. ……."
Inside The Army 9/4/00 Chris Strohm "…… With the Army caught in the middle of a contentious political debate over the readiness levels of the U.S. military, a service official said last week the Army has experienced a general decline in readiness in recent years due to personnel shortages and poor availability of resources. That decline, however, should be reversed this fiscal year once the Army's core warfighting units are fully manned and "combat ready." "Across the board, there has been a general, slight decline in readiness," the official told Inside the Army. "And a lot of that has to do with we have a lot fewer people and a lot more missions." The issue of military readiness is shaping up as a hotly debated in the 2000 presidential campaign………. "
San Diego Union Tribune 9/24/00 Robert Caldwell "…… Exhibit A in the presidential candidates' next clash over defense issues ought to be the Navy's own alarming report recently on the strained state of naval aviation. In 89 pages of dismaying, sometimes shocking, revelations, the Navy documents the prospective decline of its elite air arm. Coupled with a new study by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office concluding that America's current armed forces are underfunded by $50 billion a year, the Navy report underscores the urgent need for further presidential debate on defense. To date, that debate has dealt mainly in generalities. The Navy report, dated last April and compiled over a four-month period by a team from the Naval Inspector General's office, is crammed with eye-opening specifics. Consider just a few: "The Navy is wearing out its aviation fleet ... Our airplane inventory is older now than at any other time in the history of naval aviation." ……." "Aviation safety is on the ragged edge." "We are still short more than 8,000 people at sea." ……. "Thresholds of acceptable risk have been exceeded, as evidenced by naval aviation's declining readiness posture ... Non-deployed (unit) readiness has plummeted." ……."
The Dallas Morning News 9/21/00 AP "……With Buzz Aldrin and other veterans of America's space program looking on, Dick Cheney contrasted the era that produced aviators who had "the right stuff" with a military that he said was weakened by Clinton administration budget cuts. In a speech delivered about 30 miles from Edwards Air Force Base, where Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier, Mr. Cheney said, "These individuals had the right stuff, but they also had the right support, the best equipment, the best training." ….."
Air Force Times 9/18/00 Bruce Rolfsen "……While the Air Force begins preliminary work on the next generation of heavy bombers, the service continues a struggle to keep its existing B-1B Lancer bombers ready for combat. But funding for upgrades expected to make the B-1B more reliable isn't likely to make the 2002 spending plan, officials say. The B-1B has one of the lowest mission capable rates of the Air Force's bombers and fighters. In July, the most recent month for which figures are available, the B-1B's mission-capable rate was 51.9 percent while the B-52H Stratofortress was at 75.8 percent. ..."
Wall Street Journal 10/10/00 Mark Helprin "...... So many fatuous toadies have been put in place in the military that they will undoubtedly pop up like toast to defend Vice President Gore's statement that "if our servicemen and -women should be called on to risk their lives for the sake of our freedoms and ideals, they will do so with the best training and technology the world's richest country can put at their service." This is an abject lie. .......... To throw light on the vice president's assertion that all is well, consider that in Kosovo 37,000 aerial sorties were required to destroy what Gen. Wesley Clark claimed were 93 tanks, 53 armored fighting vehicles, and 389 artillery pieces; that these comprised, respectively, 8%, 7%, and 4% of such targets, leaving the Yugoslav army virtually intact; and that impeccable sources in the Pentagon state that Yugoslav use of decoys put the actual number of destroyed tanks, for example, in the single digits. .........To achieve with several hundred sorties of $50-million airplanes the singular splendor of destroying a Yugo, the United States went without carriers in the Western Pacific during a crisis in Korea, and the Air Force tasked 40% of its intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets, and 95% of its regular and 65% of its airborne tanker force, in what the chief of staff called a heavier strain than either the Gulf War or Vietnam. ......... One reason for the "inefficiency" of Operation Allied Force is that this very kind of farce is funded by cannibalizing operations and maintenance accounts. Such a thing would not by itself be enough to depress the services as they are now depressed. That has taken eight years of magnificent neglect. Case in point: The U.S. Navy now focuses on action in the littorals, and must deal with a burgeoning inventory of increasingly capable Third World coastal submarines that find refuge in marine layers and take comfort from the Navy's near century of inapplicable blue-water antisubmarine warfare. But our budget for surface-ship torpedo defense will shortly dip from not even $5 million, to nothing in 2001. ........"
AP 10/6/00 "…… The Navy led the military into a new era of the Information Age on Friday by awarding a contract potentially worth $9 billion to link hundreds of separate Navy and Marine Corps computer networks into a single, seamless system designed to be less vulnerable to cyberattacks ashore and at sea. The contract was awarded to Electronic Data Systems Corp. of Plano, Texas. Navy Secretary Richard Danzig called it the largest such contract ever awarded by the government. This marks the first time in the computer age that a branch of the military has turned over to a private company the responsibility and risk of operating and maintaining its entire network of computer systems. ……"
Bush-Cheney 2000! 10/5/00 "....... LIEBERMAN ATTACK: The Clinton/Gore administration has made sure our military is prepared. ........THE FACTS:
* Clinton-Gore have left the Army unprepared: In a statement before a Senate subcommittee, Army Chief of Staff Eric K. Shinseki said, "...[T]wo demands - on-call warfighting readiness and day-to-day engagement and leadership abroad - are in tension with each other; doing one well detracts from the other. To do both well requires a fully ready, C-1 kind of Army - in our readiness parlance. And we have traditionally been a C-1 Army, but we are not fully C-1 today."
(Statement before the Senate Subcommittee on Defense Appropriations, 4/25/00)
* Clinton-Gore have left Air Force readiness :" Just this month, CBS Evening News reported, "There are many ways to measure what has happened to the military during the Clinton years, but here's one. At the start of the Clinton administration, 85 percent of all combat units in the Air Force were rated ready to go to war. By the start of this year, that number had declined to just 65 percent."
(David Martin, CBS Evening News, 8/1/00)
* The Navy has had to cutback on training and delay maintenance because of Clinton-Gore's budget shortfalls: Last May, U.S. Navy officials confirmed that the USS Decatur - a guided-missile destroyer - would have to cut short its deployment by one month due to a shortfall in money for operating expenses. Overall, the Pacific Fleet has cut back on training exercises and port visits for its warships between now and Oct. 1, the start of the next fiscal year. Admirals are considering whether to reduce training flights for Navy jets and helicopters to save money.
(The San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/25/00)
* Gore's VP choice voted against military pay raise: Last year, Joe Lieberman was one of only eight senators to vote against a 4.8 percent military pay raise. (Senate Vote #26 on S. 4, 2/24/99) ......"
Washington Times 10/2/00 Rowan Scarborough "...... The Army's 10th Mountain Division, which came under scrutiny when George W. Bush said it was not ready for war and the Army contradicted him, is persistently short on personnel in some critically important positions, a new study says. ......Most platoons lack a leading sergeant, less-experienced lieutenants fill captains' jobs and there is not enough training ammunition, according to a report by a Senate staffer who visited the10th in August......"
The Washington Times 10/2/00 Rowan Scarborough "…… The Army's 10th Mountain Division, which came under scrutiny when George W. Bush said it was not ready for war and the Army contradicted him, is persistently short on personnel in some critically important positions, a new study says. Most platoons lack a leading sergeant, less-experienced lieutenants fill captains' jobs and there is not enough training ammunition, according to a report by a Senate staffer who visited the 10th in August. Army officials challenged the aide's findings, calling them inaccurate and "unbalanced." …….. Says the staffer's report, "The 10th Mountain is today experiencing multiple, serious shortages of people and material resources, training deficiencies and other impediments to readiness. "The division is short of critical basics, such as road marching gear and lightweight machine gun tripods," the defense analyst's 29-page report says. One commander describes manning shortages as "very bad and not getting better." …….. The report adds, however, "The character, enthusiasm and professionalism of the officers, noncommissioned officers and enlisted men and women in the 10th Mountain Division is impressive." The division also boasts an excellent retention rate, a trend attributed to good leadership and morale. ……."
Washington Times 10/2/00 Phillip Thompson "…… At last, Gen. Henry H. Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has told Congress what the rest of us have known for some time: The military is stretched too thin - in manpower, equipment and funding ("Shelton warns military is underprepared to fight two wars," Sept. 27). ……… While every service has its specific needs and wants, the laundry list of deficiencies and shortfalls offers an illuminating view of the Navy's plight and just one example of the challenges facing all the services. War-fighting commands reported, among other things, deficiencies in intelligence and reconnaissance and in information operations. Both of these high-priority missions are accomplished by attack submarines. But in the past 10 years, the number of attack subs has been cut from 92 in 1990 to 56 today. During the same period, intelligence-gathering and surveillance tasks for attack subs have doubled……… A recent study by Gen. Shelton's office indicated that the nation will require 68 attack subs by 2015 and 76 by 2025. With a current shipbuilding rate of about one sub a year, those numbers are virtually unattainable unless Congress takes action now……"
San Diego Union-Tribune 9/30/00 Ned Hogan "…… Robert Caldwell presents a stark summary of the degraded material readiness of Naval aviation in the post-Tailhook, Clinton era. In quoting the Navy Inspector General's conclusion that "a material-driven crisis" could turn into "an even worse people-driven crisis," Caldwell neglects to note that the latter is already in place and that today's feminized Navy is already concentrating on removing urinals from the carriers rather than getting parts for its F-18s. …… While the politicians can be blamed in part for the destruction of Naval aviation's "warrior culture," they had plenty of help from the uniformed leadership that former Navy Secretary Jim Webb so ably chronicled in his January 1999 Naval Institute article, "The Silence of the Admirals." Webb wrote, "When leadership fails, sometimes a fundamental shift overtakes a unit, or a military service, or a nation, that is so profound that it can change an entire ethos. ……"
Seapower 10/00 Brig. Gen. Bruce B. Byrum, USMC (Ret.) "……. There are currently three major tactical aviation acquisition programs underway within the Department of Defense (DOD): the Navy's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighter, the Air Force's F-22 Raptor air-dominance fighter, and the multiservice Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). All three programs are designed to replace aging aircraft and older technology with modern multirole strike fighters that can dominate future threats……… However, similarities in aircraft mission capability have prompted some to ask the question, "Why do the services need three different aircraft?" A fair question, considering the fact that the rising costs of maintaining military readiness have squeezed service budgets to the point where the funding available for needed modernization and recapitalization barely meets current service requirements. This sad state of affairs is expected to only grow worse as the services attempt to sustain older equipment for longer periods while waiting for military defense spending to increase. If the defense budget remains at its current level, DOD will be required to make some serious choices regarding future defense procurements. No one knows for sure whether, or how, DOD can afford to support three major tactical aviation programs……."
Seapower 10/00 Gordon I Peterson "….. Voicing alarm over the continued falloff in Navy shipbuilding and a steady increase in unfilled naval missions, Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) has called for an increase in defense spending and the rebuilding of the U.S. fleet. "I'm not much given to dramatic statements, but let me say this clearly: America should rebuild its Navy. And we should begin now," Skelton said……. The ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC)-a respected voice on defense matters on Capitol Hill-issued his call to action in a speech to the Business Executives for National Security (BENS) on 5 September. Skelton told Sea Power that his overseas visits in the Pacific region had moved him to speak out. "It appears to me that one of the most important aspects of ... national security is our forward presence, particularly by the Navy," Skelton said. "It is apparent that with the size of our fleet getting smaller ... our presence is dwindling."……. In his speech, Skelton noted that the demands for naval forces have increased since the end of the Cold War. "Woody Allen said it," Skelton related, "90 percent of life is just showing up."……."
Defense News 10/16/00 Robert Holzer "…..The devastating terrorist attack Oct. 12 on the destroyer USS Cole underscores how the U.S. Navy's most powerful warships are virtually defenseless against such low-technology threats, service officials and naval experts said. Yet more startling is that the U.S. Navy has a system that can thwart threats by small-boat attacks, but conflicting budgetary priorities have stalled its production for several years, service and defense industry sources said. ……In fact, only 13 of the systems - the 1B version of the Phalanx Close-In Weapon System - are in production today. Moreover, the Navy is providing no money to buy any more in its 2001 budget, Pentagon sources said….."
NewsMax.com 10/14/00 Carl Limbacher "…… Cutbacks in U.S. Naval forces during the Clinton-Gore administration are responsible for forcing the destroyer USS Cole to refuel in the port of Aden, Yemen, despite the city's reputation as a known terrorist hotbed, defense expert Col. David Hackworth said on Saturday. ……. Hackworth based his assessment on a recent statement of the Navy's Chief of Operations. …….. The decorated combat veteran made his comments to WABC radio's Mike Gallagher, who asked about persistent rumors that budget constraints during the Clinton-Gore years have forced the Navy to mothball ships that could have refueled the USS Cole at sea. ……"
San Antonio Express-News 10/14/00 Sig Christenson "….. Long before the USS Cole made port in Aden, its fate may have been sealed by two seemingly unrelated events - a thaw in relations between the United States and tiny Yemen, and a big chill in the Navy's budget. The thaw is rooted in the end of a civil war in Yemen in 1990. After the war, the United States established an embassy and consulate in Yemen, which has drawn the interest of great powers over the decades because of its proximity to the Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and Suez Canal. …….. Half a world away, the chill is found in the shrinking Navy, which has fallen from 585 ships in 1986 to 314 today, among them the retirement of at least 17 refueling vessels, or oilers, in the past decade - some only a third or so into their lifetime of 40 years when decommissioned. ……"
Stars and Stripes 10/17/00 AP "……A blast more powerful "than just TNT" buckled the USS Cole's deck and turned the attack boat into "confetti size" pieces that rained down on the crippled destroyer, officials said Sunday in accounts that shed light on the enormous devastation of the bombing. The details, provided by senior U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, also raised questions about the level of security in a port selected last year as a key refueling point for U.S. warships traveling between the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. ……Defense Secretary William Cohen said there was no doubt that the explosion was an intentional bombing. "We don't know who did it but ... we're satisfied this was clearly an act of terrorism," he said on CBS. "We will be relentless in tracking down the individuals or groups who are responsible for this and we will see to it that they are held accountable." …… President Clinton's national security adviser defended the Navy's decision to dock ships in Yemen. Sandy Berger said LIMITED FUELING OPTIONS in the Persian Gulf REQUIRE such stops despite the high risk of terrorism. "This entire area is a high threat area. The military has taken substantial steps in this area," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press." ……"
US Navy 10/15/00 Freeper JoeNavyEveryman "…… The present conventional wisdom is that the reason the USS Cole came to be in the Harbour at Aden (Yemen) was that the Captain chose to break away from the battle group in order to accomplish a planned refuelling. This, apparently, is a common occurrence if there is no Oiler in the battlegroup. ……. Hypothetically, let's say that those facts ring true. I had one question...why wasn't there an Oiler in the battlegroup....Maybe this is why:
AOR Designated Replenishment Oiler
All seven (7) were disposed, stricken or sold under Clinton/ Gore.
AO Designated Fleet Oiler
Under Clinton/ Gore, the number of AO Designated Hull Fleet Oilers were reduced from 36 to 12.
Auxillary AOG Designated Gasoline Tankers
Reduced by Clinton/ Gore from five (5) to three (3).
AOT Designated Transport Oilers
Clinton/ Gore reduced the number of active Trans. Oilers from 22 to nine (9).
Support Craft YO Designated Oil Barges
Reduced from nine (9) to zero (0) by the Clinton/ Gore Administration.
YOG Designated Hull Gasoline Barge
Clinton/ Gore reduced the five (5) active Gasoline Barges down to zero (0).
YOGN Designated Gasoline Barge
Reduced from twelve (12) to nine (9) active vessels by Clinton/ Gore Administration.
YON Designated Hull Oil Barge
Reduced from 61 active vessels down to 39 active vessels by Clinton/ Gore Administration.
YOS Designated Hull Oil Storage Barge
Reduced by Clinton/ Gore Administration ten (10) down to one (1).
HERE ARE YOUR TOTALS
Vessels (AOR,AO,AOG,AOT,YO,YOG,YOGN,YON,YOS) prior to Clinton/ Gore Administration = 167
Active vessels today = 73….."
CBSNEWS 10/16/00 Susan Walsh "……Republican vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney ramped up the rhetoric on Monday in Missouri, signaling the intent of the Bush-Cheney ticket to continue to campaign on the military issue, despite the tense situation in the Middle East, and the deaths of American sailors in an apparent terrorist bombing in the region. Throughout the campaign, GOP presidential candidate George W. Bush has maintained that the armed services are stretched too thin around the world, and that there is a morale crisis in the ranks. ……. At Evangel University in Missouri on Monday, Cheney justified the Republican ticket's use of the issue. "[W]hen I raise issues about the status of the U.S. military, (Al Gore and Joe Lieberman) have argued you shouldn't talk about it. You shouldn't bring it up. Somehow it's unpatriotic to have this conversation. I think they're dead wrong. I can't think of a more important time to have this conversation than when we're making this decision," Cheney said……."
newsday.com 10/16/00 Robert Burns "…..The Army is looking for new ways to stem an escalating loss of captains and other junior officers -- an attrition problem that could reach crisis proportions with a few years, officials said Monday. Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, planned to unveil new initiatives during a speech Tuesday at the annual convention of the Association of the United States Army. Some of the initiatives would be aimed at improving the quality of life for young officers, including more days off around national holidays, the officials said. ..."
Washington Times 11/4/00 Rowan Scarborough "….. The Navy has sent a message to Atlantic Fleet air units that states budget shortfalls and inadequate spare parts are reducing combat readiness. The memo states a data cockpit display on the F-14, the Navy's front-line air-to-air fighter, breaks so often it is one of the "highest readiness degraders throughout the F-14 community." …… The mission-capable rates for E-2 radar planes fell 12 percent in the last three months alone because the units lacked money to buy parts to keep all planes flying. ….. The October message also states that air bases at Oceana in Virginia Beach, and Norfolk began the new fiscal year Oct. 1 short $16 million to buy crucial spare parts and instituted "drastic cutbacks in spending." "Present aviation spare parts funding is not adequate to support the level of planned aviation operations," reads the message, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times. ….."
Washington Times 11/1/00 Rowan Scarborough "……The number of senior Army officers declining to assume commands has skyrocketed in the past five years, internal documents show. Only six colonels turned down commands in the 1992-95 period. But since 1996, 171 lieutenant colonels and full colonels have refused commands, according to Army briefing documents obtained by The Washington Times. The surge in "command declinations," as the Army terms them, comes as the service is struggling to bring in a sufficient number of recruits each year. It is also trying to slow an exodus of young captains that threatens to leave billets vacant and shrink the pool of future senior leaders…… The numbers are contained in briefing papers prepared for Army Lt. Gen. Timothy Maude, deputy chief of staff for personnel, who delivered the news at an Oct. 19 commanders' conference of two-star generals. Gen. Maude also has briefed Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff. "Officer attrition is continuing at a rate that will not allow full manning of the force structure if loss rates continue at [fiscal year 2000] rate," the documents warn……"
Seapower 11/2/00 GORDON I. PETERSON "….. Testifying at separate Senate and House Armed Services Committee (SASC/HASC) readiness hearings on 27 September, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) told Congress that higher defense spending is necessary to remedy a host of readiness shortfalls. While "first-to-fight... forces remain ready, the nation's top uniformed advisors voiced concern over signs that some forward-deployed units had experienced readiness deficiencies previously limited to follow-on and nondeploying forces...."
Reuters 10/26/00 Charles Aldinger "……The U.S. military needs up to $100 billion a year over current budget levels to replace aging weapons and sharpen fighting readiness for the 21st century, Air Force Secretary Whitten Peters said on Thursday. But he said it was unlikely that such a boost over current Pentagon spending of $310 billion would soon be proposed or approved with polls showing Americans rank defense below education, healthcare, social security and other concerns. The huge annual increase suggested by Peters in an interview with reporters was far above the sums promised by the presidential candidates -- a total of $100 billion over 10 years by Democrat Al Gore and $50 billion over the same period by Republican George W. Bush. ``Probably we need Defense Department-wide somewhere on the order of $80 billion to $100 billion a year,'' Peters said. ……."
New York Daily News 10/10/00 Lawrence Skibbie "....... Regardless of whether you are aware of the condition of the U.S. military, there's no doubt that it's a lot different from that which faced the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. Our forces are almost 40% smaller than a decade ago - shrunk from 18 Army divisions to 10, from 22 Air Force wings to 12 and from 528 Navy ships to 315. The defense budget is 25% smaller than of the peak Reagan years and represents 2.8% of gross domestic product - the lowest percentage since before Pearl Harbor. Problems in recruitment, difficulties in retaining skilled personnel, increased overseas interventions - all are taking their toll. ........ Another cause for increasing concern is the age and reliability of our military equipment. Most of the major systems now in use were designed in the 1960s and '70s and procured during the '80s buildup. Thus, the average age of the U.S. air fleet will be 20 years by 2001, while ground equipment is approaching an aggregate of 30 years. ...... Older equipment needs more maintenance; more maintenance means less money to buy new weapons systems. This, in turn, means that the older systems must be maintained for longer in what Undersecretary of Defense Jacques Gansler has called a "death spiral." ........The annual U.S. investment in new military equipment has decreased 70% from the 1980s. As a result, U.S. defense industries are in the doldrums, with their workload at subsistence levels and their talent being drawn away by the civilian high-tech sector's big salaries and stock options. ....."
UPI WIRE 10/24/00 Hil Anderson "……Lockheed Martin's version of the Joint Strike Fighter flew some impressive figure-eight maneuvers at 10,000 feet above the California high desert Tuesday in the first flight of the aircraft that is in competition with Boeing for the honor of being selected as the United States' next front-line fighter jet. Test pilot Tom Morgenfeld took the X-35A to 10,000 feet and flew at 250 knots from Palmdale to Edwards Air Force Base, around 50 miles to the north, in a flight to check the plane's handling and data-receiving capabilities. ….."An awesome aircraft," concluded Morgenfeld, enthusiastically. "This aircraft looks like a fighter and flies like a fighter." ……..The X-35A is the Air Force's version of Lockheed Martin's design for the JSF program. The Pentagon will decide between this one and a rival JSF plane that is being developed by Boeing as the future mainstay of the fighter forces of the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps; Great Britain's navy is also involved in the JSF program. ……"
Washington Post 10/24/00 Walter Pincus "…… A leading U.S. expert on nuclear weapons is challenging decades of military thinking by suggesting that precision-guided conventional explosives could replace nuclear warheads on most of America's strategic missiles. Stephen M. Younger, the associate director of Los Alamos National Laboratory and head of its nuclear weapons work, also says the United States should consider developing a new generation of small nuclear bombs to handle the few military tasks for which nuclear weapons are still theoretically required. ….."
Wisconsin State Journal 10/21/00 Richard Pearson "……. The FBI says the ''crime scene'' is in Yemen. Wrong! The chief of Naval Operations says the USS Cole, a $1 billion warship, was refueling in that dangerous port because it was less risky than the two other Red Sea ports, but the primary reason was to ''improve relations with Yemen.'' Wrong again! ……. In my naval officer training, an important test question was: ''What gives a naval task force mobility?'' The correct answer was not ''Refueling in Yemen.'' It was logistic support at sea. Translation: Oilers and other support ships. ……. The fighting ships in the U.S. Navy in which I served could stay at sea as long as necessary -- for weeks, even months, because we had such support. …….."
Stars and Stripes, Washington Bureau 10/20/00 Sandra Jontz "…….Despite precarious situations in Yemen and reports of the country's links to terrorism, the Navy has little choice but to use the Middle Eastern country's ports for ship refueling, a former senior U.S. military commander said Thursday. ….. Marine Corps Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, who retired in August as chief of the U.S. Central Command, told lawmakers he takes full responsibility for the decision to use the Yemeni port city of Aden, the site of the deadly terrorist attack a week ago that claimed the lives of 17 U.S. soldiers and wounded 39 others serving on the Navy destroyer USS Cole. ……… Speaking before the Senate committee, Zinni said he led the search for suitable refueling ports in the Middle Eastern region and found Aden to be the port that presented the lowest terrorist threat. After four visits to Yemen, he supported the contract to use the country's facilities, despite threats of terrorist unrest, he said. ……. Since the contract was awarded in December 1998, 25 U.S. Navy ships had refueled there without incident before the attack on the Cole, Zinni said. Two others refueled in Aden before the contract was awarded. ……. "Why Yemen? It is a strategically important location," Zinni told the senators. ……. Using large naval oiler vessels to refuel ships at sea is a problem because the Navy does not have enough of them, Zinni said. The oilers travel with battle groups or large clusters of ships. …..The Cole had been traveling on its own from the Mediterranean and was on its way to meet up with the 5th Fleet in the Persian Gulf. The Navy has reduced the number of refueling oilers from 32, during the peak of the Cold War, to 21. ……"
CNN.com 10/19/00 Wayne Drash "……Retired Air Force Gen. Chuck Horner knows all about military readiness: He commanded the United States and Allied air coalition in the 1991 Persian Gulf War against Iraq and served his country for more than four decades…….. Horner is not happy about the current state of military readiness, and blames the current administration for not devising a cohesive national security policy. Not having such a policy has affected the combat readiness of U.S. forces, he said…….. Other factors have impeded military readiness, he said. Among them: budgetary constraints, slipping morale among officers and enlistees, and an aging inventory of fighting machinery. "It (military readiness) is quite low. I've seen it this way in the late '50s and the late '70s," he said. "So this is not a new phenomenon." What is new, he said, is a growing leadership vacuum. "(W)e've been in decline in retention. ... What it does is leave gaps in needed leadership -- you know, captains, experienced people that are out there leading flights."......"
Army Times 10/23/00 "……..A warship loaded with the most powerful radar and most lethal weapons on the high seas was rendered dead in the water by what amounted to a small, manned torpedo in what was supposed to be a friendly port. Now, with at least 17 dead, or presumed dead, and dozens more missing or wounded, the Navy and the rest of the U.S. military must pick up the pieces and figure out what went wrong. The focus of this effort will be on security precautions, the accuracy of intelligence reports and other related concerns. But it's essential, too, that the inquiry incorporate a larger issue that might not be apparent immediately in a case like this. That issue is the state and size of the post-drawdown U.S. Navy. Today's 318-ship fleet cannot keep carrier battle groups everywhere the regional commanders in chief demand them. Instead, ships shuttle among regions, and destroyers and cruisers increasingly operate independently of their battle groups. This helps maximize U.S. naval presence in hot spots around the globe, such as the Persian Gulf, where the Cole was headed to help enforce economic sanctions against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. ………But one long camera angle of the helpless, listing Cole after the blast tells the other side of that strategy: The Cole and its crew were all alone out there, with no one and nothing to protect them. The adage that there is strength in numbers applies. Had the Cole been traveling with a battle group, it would have refueled under way, rather than in a port of call that, until 18 months ago, was off-limits. ……"
Newsmax.com 10/17/00 Carl Limbacher "……"Complicity starts at the top of the chain of command, with the president," Hackworth told FNC's "Hannity & Colmes," "and works down through the secretary of defense, to all the admirals and generals to the very skipper of that ship." "Everyone knew that port was a hotbed - it was Club Med for terrorists," said Hackworth, who is also the most-decorated combat veteran of the post-World War II era. …….. His debating partner, House Armed Service's Committee member Robert Andrews, D-N.J., tried to defend the administration - saying that Hackworth was "second-guessing our men in the field." But the old soldier would have none of it. "It's not a matter of second-guessing, it's a matter of fact," Hackworth responded. "Osama bin Laden and his gang, a month before, announced that 'We're gonna spill some American blood in the Middle East.' It's a fact that the intelligence community has known for several months that an American ship was going to go down. Why did we send a ship there?" …….. Hackworth answered his own question: "We sent a ship there, according to [Naval Operations Chief Admiral Vern] Clark, simply because, he said, we had no oilers to refuel that ship at sea." Hackworth said the Navy's inability to refuel at sea was a direct result of declining military readiness during the Clinton-Gore years. ……….. "We go to the point of readiness. Admiral Clark, the chief of naval operations, said, 'Look, we had to go there because we couldn't refuel at sea cause we don't have any tankers, any oilers.' So as a result of that, why don't we have any oilers? Why didn't the chiefs of the United States Navy sound off?" "We've got this argument going on between Bush and Gore," said Hackworth. "Bush says readiness sucks. Gore says everything's peachy keen. All of the brass are sitting there with their mouths shut. But now we don't have enough oilers to refuel that ship and we lose those people because our readiness is not squared away?" ……… Hackworth confirmed that 22 of the Navy's refueling tankers have been placed in mothballs since 1993, and that the overall fleet had declined from 435 ships to 311 during the Clinton-Gore years. ……..Rep. Andrews had no explanation for why the administration had mothballed the oilers, complaining only that "partisanship should stop at the water's edge." ……"That ship that was taken out of the Middle East was part of a battle fleet," Hackworth responded. "They stripped it from the battle fleet, they said go all by yourself, stop at Aden, get some refueling, and then go up in the Gulf. And that shows you how stretched our United States Navy and our total military really is."….."It's a national disgrace and somebody should hang," said Hackworth, who then looked at Andrews and added, "and it should start right with you congressfolks." ……"
Associated Press 10/18/00 "……Raytheon Co. is reportedly struggling to find a buyer for its aircraft unit. Raytheon has been circulating financial and marketing information about Raytheon Aircraft Co. and has retained Credit Suisse First Boston to sell the division, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the situation. Several potential buyers, including General Dynamics Corp., France's Dassault Aviation SA, and Carlyle Group, have reportedly decided not to bid on the Wichita, Kan.-based aviation unit, the Journal reported. ..."
NY Times 12/15/00 Steven Myers ".....Gen. Henry H. Shelton, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned today that the military faced "an unsustainable burden" caused by aging equipment, shrinking forces and the pace of military operations........ General Shelton's warnings, which echoed those he and other senior commanders had made in recent weeks, underscored the increasingly public campaign under way at the Pentagon to increase military spending as a new administration takes office........."
Aerospace Daily 12/14/00 Marc Selinger "......Spending on all defense programs except military personnel will be cut across the board by 0.22% or roughly $500 million as part of a deal negotiated between Congress and the White House on the remaining fiscal 2001 spending bills, sources told The DAILY yesterday. The $287.5 billion fiscal 2001 defense appropriations bill was signed into law earlier this year, but defense and non-defense programs are being cut now to keep a lid on total spending, sources said. ....."
Newsmax 12/12/00 ".... An Australian inventor has come up with a gun that can fire 180 rounds in one hundredth of a second, or an impossible 1 million rounds a minute - so fast that a bullet enters the barrel before the preceding one has even left the muzzle. Incredibly, storekeeper James Michael O'Dwyer's gun has no moving parts and operates entirely on electrical impulses. ..... Despite the fact that O'Dwyer's invention has vast and even dizzying implications as an awesome military weapon, when he approached Australian defense officials in 1994 with his idea they turned a deaf ear. And when he showed his gun to former U.S. Special Forces chief Gen. Wayne Downing, the general said O'Dwyer was "certifiably" crazy....... That's no longer true. The general is now a member of the board of directors of Metal Storm Ltd., O'Dwyer's new company, along with retired U.S. Adm. William A. Owens. ....... As described in the Nov. 13 issue of Forbes magazine, in the barrel of the gun "bullets are stacked like Life Savers with explosive charges sandwiched in between." The charges are set off when electrical contacts spark them in "precisely timed electronic sequence," much the same way an ink jet printer sprays ink. .....O'Dwyer's company now has a $10 million contract to design a .50 caliber sniper's rifle that could fire three rounds before the rifle even recoiled, spoiling the sniper's aim. ..."
Air Force Magazine 12/00 John T Correll "…… In early September, with Congressional hearings coming up on military readiness, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen admonished the Joint Chiefs of Staff not to "beat the drum with a tin cup in hand to try to generate more pressure for defense spending."……Neither Cohen nor anyone else imagined then how strong a case for defense spending would be presented to Congress and the public before the month was out, only part of it the doing of the service chiefs…… The first shot came Sept. 14 from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, which said the services would need another $51 billion a year, just to stay even with where they are today…….The armed forces did not get into this hole overnight. Through the 1990s, they took one budget cut after another, even as operations and deployments abroad multiplied. They had to divert money from investment accounts to pay for everyday expenses, and thus did not replace equipment as it aged and wore out. Now the bill has come due……"
The Washington Post 11/16/00 Thomas E. Ricks and Roberto Suro "……After decades of reliance on tanks, the Army plans to equip its newest armored units with lighter vehicles that move on wheels, a radical departure that reflects the Army's changing missions and has generated intense controversy inside the service, senior military and civilian officials said yesterday. ……. The decision may be announced as early as Friday, following notification of congressional leaders and final clearance by top Defense Department officials. The "Medium Armored Vehicles" will go to a model brigade formed earlier this year as the centerpiece of the Army's effort to leave the Cold War behind and transform itself into a force than can rush to trouble spots within days rather than weeks or months. ….. The embrace of wheeled vehicles comes after more than a year of contentious deliberations on the Army's future and involves much more than just a new piece of equipment. It will require changes in the way the Army trains, deploys and fights. Rather than preparing primarily for an all-out land war, as it did during the Cold War, the Army is reshaping itself for engagements in numerous smaller conflicts, peacekeeping missions and humanitarian relief assignments……"
The Associated Press 11/16/00 Robert Burns "…..To advance America's global interests, the next president will have to ``rebalance our commitments'' of military power, a senior aide to Texas Gov. George W. Bush said Thursday. Condoleezza Rice, Bush's chief adviser on national security matters, told an Army-sponsored conference that a Bush administration would ensure that the U.S. armed forces are ready to defend U.S. vital interests while being careful not to involve the military in crises that other nations can manage. While saying the Clinton administration was right to have intervened militarily in Kosovo last year, Rice said that avoiding overuse of the military will ``require that we are more focused in what we do.'' ….."
AP 11/14/00 "…..Sailors guarding the USS Cole when terrorists bombed it last month in Yemen did not have ammunition in their weapons and were instructed not to shoot unless fired upon, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. Crew members told the newspaper that their ''rules of engagement'' prevent them from firing without obtaining permission from the ship's captain or another officer……"
CNN 10/12/00 Freeper truthandlife "…. Around 3:20p.m. on CNN TV during Pentagon press briefing,I heard Admiral Vern Clark, Chief of Naval Operations, tell the press: "The US Navy had to pull into port to refuel because of a lack of oil tankers" because American military resources are overstretched around the world." ….."
Russiatoday 1/4/01 ".... (Agence France Presse) Russia has developed new technology which will allow military planes to completely escape radar and other tracking systems, researchers were quoted by Itar-Tass Wednesday as saying. The technology consists of a plasma field capable of absorbing the electromagnetic waves emitted by enemy tracking systems, sending back false signals on the plane's speed and position, the Keldysh research center sources said. The nascent Russian system would eclipse the finest of US stealth technology, according to the report. ....."
UPI 1/4/01 ".....President-elect George W. Bush will meet with a bipartisan group of legislators with military oversight in Austin on Jan. 8, spokesman Ari Fleischer said Thursday. "The President-elect's goals for the meeting are to listen to the members of Congress who are assembling with him -- these are the key players on Capitol Hill who will be vital to securing passage of his defense agenda," Fleischer said. .....That agenda includes a pay raise "to treat our members of the military with the respect they need and deserve" and "to have an American foreign policy with military might that is ready to back it up," said Fleischer. ....."
Progressive Review 1/4/01 Sam Smith "….. THE REAL BIPARTISANSHIP ABOUT this election is this: the defense industry won. As we have pointed out, there has been a covert bipartisan agreement to dramatically increase the defense budget. That's a big reason Cheney and Lieberman were put on their respective tickets. Bush is not letting the industry down. Not only is Cheney a former member of the TRW board, his wife is on a "leave of absence" from Lockheed Martin, another major Star Wars contractor. Also, the new national security deputy, Stephen Hadley, works for a law firm that represents Lockheed Martin. ….."
Wall Street Journal 1/7/00 Andrew Bacevich "….. The defense establishment over which Donald Rumsfeld will preside is unquestionably the world's most formidable--the only existing military force capable of projecting power globally. It is also a military that verges on a nervous breakdown, partly self-induced, partly the result of the neglect and abuse to which it has been subjected during the eight years of the Clinton presidency. Today's U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps remain--as Clinton acolytes intone with monotonous frequency--the best-trained, best-equipped forces in the world, bar none. That's the good news. …… The bad news is that throughout the U.S. armed services, worrisome signs of deterioration and decay are increasingly evident. In the decade since the Persian Gulf War, the combat readiness of American forces--as measured by equipment availability rates, crew manning, and training standards--has slid gently but steadily downward. Exacerbating the erosion in readiness, major weapons systems forming the backbone of the U.S. arsenal, more than a few of them tracing their origins to Mr. Rumsfeld's previous term as defense secretary a quarter century ago, are becoming increasingly long in the tooth……"
Reuters 12/21/00 Charles Aldinger ".....The U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 tilt-rotor helicopter that crashed 10 days ago in North Carolina, killing all four crew, suffered a hydraulic malfunction, the corps said on Thursday. But the Marine Corps statement said it was not yet known if the problem was linked to the Dec. 11 crash during a night training flight. Hydraulic pressure is used by pilots to maintain control of aircraft in flight. ...... It was the second fatal crash this year of one of the revolutionary aircraft, which take off and land like helicopters but fly like other airplanes, and prompted Defense Secretary William Cohen to order an investigation into the troubled $40 billion MV-22 "Osprey" program. ....."
The Washington Times.com 12/26/00 Rowan Scarborough "..... The 1.4 million-member armed forces may turn out to be President-elect George W. Bush's most-demanding constituency. Mr. Bush directly sought the votes of service members, making their needs a pillar of his campaign. Now, sailors and soldiers tell The Washington Times they have a long "to do" list for the incoming commander in chief...... They say they plan to hold him to his vow to rebuild the force after eight grueling years of social turmoil, budget cuts and expanded missions throughout the world. Twelve officers and enlisted personnel, all speaking on the condition of anonymity because they are on active duty, said they want better pay and health care, new equipment and a full inventory of spare parts. ......"
Stars and Stripes Omnimedia 12/18/00 Ed Offley ".... It never took center stage as a campaign issue in the 2000 presidential race, but President-elect George W. Bush in five weeks will be confronted by a major issue neither he nor Congress can afford to ignore: the potential for a systemic collapse of the U.S. armed forces within the next decade.
While the 16-month electoral contest between Bush and Democratic nominee Al Gore turned and twisted on a host of domestic issues -- the future health of Social Security and Medicare, income tax cuts and the federal role in controlling prescription drug prices -- a growing number of defense experts warn that one of the first nightmares the new president will inherit is the threat of a "defense train wreck" looming in the next five to 10 years as the result of a decade of massive under-funding of the true costs of maintaining the current size and structure of the U.S. military. ....."Everybody hits the wall about 2005-2006," says Dan Goure, deputy director of the international security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., who co-authored a detailed analysis of the defense budget crisis last year. "The derailment is in sight." ....."
Reuters 12/15/00 Jim Wolf ".....Lockheed Martin Corp. said it would test fly the Navy version of a proposed Joint Strike Fighter warplane on Saturday in a contest with Boeing that could be worth $300 billion for the biggest Pentagon contract ever. Lockheed's X-35C model will take off from a test facility in Palmdale, Calif., and land about 30 minutes later at nearby Edwards Air Force Base, the Pentagon's No. 1 supplier said on Friday. ...."