Deja Vu all over again…

Go read THIS article from Strategy Page first, then come back…

I’ll wait…

Okay, here we go. Most, if not all of what the author references is, in fact, old news, at least in certain circles. That’s pretty much a given, due to the amount of information that has been ‘published’ via various sources since the late 1980s.

However, this statement-

But there is one aspect of the new Cold War that is very déjà vu. That is the way American military commanders are responding to all the military theatrics by solemnly declaring that the enemy (Chinese, Russian, North Korean, Iranian) military threat may be more than the United States can handle. This sort of thing is reminiscent of the Cold War exaggerations of Soviet (Russian) military power. Even during the Cold War, many civilian analysts pointed out the tendency to overestimate the effectiveness of Soviet weapons, equipment, leadership and training. This distortion became pretty obvious after the Cold War, when much was revealed.

The puffery is back now with regard to China and Russia. It’s no secret that China and Russia have long found it impossible to create effective military forces in peacetime. Not to underestimate them, but both nations have a long history of spectacular failure in this area. The Soviets proved that the historical lessons still apply and the Chinese make some serious efforts to deal with it openly.

This statement doesn’t take into account the actual shape and manning level of our forces. It’s not that the Chinese, Russians, et al have improved ‘that’ much (granted they have improved some and are continuing to advance new technology), it is that we are in dire straits on the weapons, maintenance, and training sides of the house. BO ran everything into the ground, putting off maintenance, reducing the budget through sequestration, which cost the military not only in lost training (can’t afford to get underway, can’t fly, etc.), but further delaying maintenance on ships, aircraft, helicopters, submarines, basically everything… And last, but not least, not putting replacement weapons contracts in place. I’m pretty sure we’re into the war reserves on a number of weapons systems. NONE of those get fixed overnight, or even a year or two. I’d say at least three years, at the minimum just to get the Fleet back to good shape.

And upgrades/new technology/new systems? Ten years, minimum… Due to the acquisition requirements today, even if the greatest thing since sliced bread comes along, it won’t get to the Fleet until 2027 at the earliest, because it will take that long to go through development and testing…

Ships/subs? Twenty years, minimum. The F-35? It actually started in 1997!!!

So yeah, while they don’t do real well, both the Chinese and the Russians, along with their allies, ARE in better shape than we are. They will throw people and equipment at whatever goal they have, not caring how may die to achieve that goal. America mourns EVERY loss, for good reason, but that also puts us behind the 8 ball…



Deja Vu all over again… — 16 Comments

  1. The U.S. wasn’t prepared for WW2, which led to a tremendous drain on limited resources, and led to a situation where a few changes in luck would have led to the defeat of the United States. The Axis powers were far from inefficient; and considering the amount of damage they did for such small countries, if they had the resources, they would have won.

    Nuclear capabilities, and a well equipped military, kept the large countries of Russia, and China, from pushing too hard, or waging war against the U.S., but with their ingenuity, they’ve managed to infiltrate our schools, politics, and economy. This lead to the deplorable politicians, and bureaucrats, which now keep our government from running efficiently, and willing to ignore the Constitution.

    These are dangerous times, and most citizens are sleeping.

  2. Good points all around NFO! When one looks at history, it is apparent that the maintenance of the military needs to be taken away from politicians. The issue of going to war can and should remain under constitutional control but this country keeps going from peak to valley, up and down, over and over again with the Dems being the ones to get the “peace dividend” while the Repubs are left to rebuild when the need arises, which it inevitably does.

    This stupid game costs lives. It allows dangerous people a time to grow their fangs and roam the earth at will. Not that the USA should be the world’s policeman everywhere and all the time, but having a visible and known strength is a good deterrent in any time.

    Anyone have ideas on how this can happen? This stupidity of a system as it currently is, just cannot be allowed to go on.

  3. Deja vu indeed. I may have mentioned that I was stationed in the (former) West Germany in the mid-70’s during the reign of the Peanut Farmer. My MOS was Small Arms Repair. Routinely my buddy and I would hop in our repair van duce and 1/2 and travel to customer units to perform weapons maintenance on site. I can’t tell you how many times we saw the same dog-eared maintenance tags hanging on the same weapons awaiting parts over and over. Our own supply was little better, so their wasn’t much we could do to help.

    At some point I remarked about this to one of our senior NCO’s. His reply was that if the balloon ever went up, we would get all kinds of support. I remember thinking “Support what? By the time it gets here, here will be a smoking crater”. Our standing joke was that if the Russians came through the Fulda Gap at midnight, we could all meet at our mess hall for breakfast.

    I would say that one of the key words in the Strategy Page article is “bodies”. The Russians and Chinese have always been willing to sacrifice massive numbers of bodies. It is not lost on them that our will has been slowly sapped away for a couple of decades now.

    One more point. An army fights with bullets, but it moves on beans. During WWII, three of our most vital fleets—

    Liberty ships.
    Duce and 1/2 trucks.

    Out three top generals—

    General Motors
    General Electric
    General Dynamics

  4. Maintain and train on the current superior technical weapon systems or decrease the funding and readiness for future even more sophisticated systems down the road. I vote maintain and train.

    Add on to this the peace time PC/ No Errors allowed command structure chasing war fighter from the services in droves.

    Good luck to all that serve.

  5. As an outsider who never had a dog in the fight (other than paying taxes) I keep thinking about the late Col. Hackworth’s perfumed princes. We have way to many flag officers all fighting to keep their domains funded while the real work is done at the O-6 level and outside contractors.

    The inflation occurs in the enlisted ranks. Sometime use YouTube to look at Air Force bands. Accomplished musicians, to be sure, but the amount of E-8 and E-9 stripes appall me. Those are not leadership positions.

    One last point. I would bet my retirement that major defense contractors spend as much on lobbyist as they do on R&D.

  6. Jess- Agreed!

    LetsPlay- Hell yes. Politicians in the middle of acquisition is NEVER good!

    RHT- Oh yes. Spares and beans… 7 Days on pork/beans & pork chops because the supply ship was late.

    Gerry- Yep, bird in hand is worth two in the proverbial bush of 10 years from now!

    WSF- Re the bands, no they aren’t leaders, they’re simply well paid musicians… And the big boys DO spend more on lobbyist!!!

  7. The dismal and miserable Carter years were followed by the Reagan years which led to rebuilding and the cycle seems to be repeating itself. Naturally the Dems are hoping to regain the legislature and put the spike into President Trump’s rebuilding efforts.

  8. Another thing that happened at the opening of WW2 was the removal of so many sub commanders who did not have war fighting capability.
    I heard that at the 100th Submariners Ball.
    Outside of subs, does our current leadership know how to fight or be PC?

  9. The Supreme Commander of the U.S. Armed Forces has a problem, and it’s the same problem we’ve had since WWII. The Commander has little to no idea on how to successfully fight a war. Getting advice from various officers is pointless; they all truly believe they and theirs are top priority, and they’ll demand resources at the expense of another branch of the service.

    Now what?

    It takes money to maintain armed forces. It’s a very expensive proposition. Case in point, we have ten supercarriers in service. We are the only nation that owns a supercarrier; no one else can afford one. I’m not even sure just who we’re fighting these days. Some of these countries I’ve never heard of in my entire life (public school education – what can I say?), and I couldn’t find without the aid of an interactive map and the Internet. Furthermore, I’m willing to believe that while the muk-muk screwballs in you-name-it-Stan have wonderfully bad intent, they couldn’t find NYC with a AAA trip-tik and a tour guide.

    So who are we fighting? And if we are fighting someone, why aren’t we bombing them back to the stone age instead of screwing around with them?

    I don’t know. I have a lot of questions but not many answers.

  10. Hey Old NFO;

    “Si vis pacem, para bellum”, if you want peace, you must prepare for war. That is the problem, the spare parts locker has taken a beating the last 8 years, spare parts and training ain’t sexy, it don’t get the TV ads or the lobbyist but it is necessary for an effective military. The Military has been on a war footing since 2003 and all of our equipment is tired, our F16’s are tired, the A10’s are tired,our tanks are tired this is what happens when we go to war and the logistics haven’t kept up with demand. I am a fan of history and I remember the Hollow Military of the late 70’s. We had lost an entire generation of equipment modernizing due to the length of Vietnam and the Soviets had continued upgrading. Now we seem to be at the same place again and Trump has to try to rebuild with the democrats screaming at him about “Russia interference” in the election. I remember reading that the KGB had done a study on when did the U.S. turn the corner in defense spending during the Reagan years and it was late 1983 when the KGB data told him that the defense money started hitting the line units and replenishing the parts lockers and ammo bins and new equipment started coming online. It will be 2020 in my mind before the increase in the $$$ and the corresponding shift in priorities from PC feelgood crap back to hurting people and breaking things is a policy again.

  11. Those are all solid points. I’m Ok with Mattis in charge.He gives me some reassurance.

  12. During the Carter Interregnum I know several Virginia Guard units had to buy practice ammo at Wal-Mart.
    Some defense contractors spend MORE on lawyers than R&D. One (you metro-DC commuters drive by one or more of their buildings every day) contests each and every lost bid and ties up the actual project until they get a cut either as co- or sub-contractor. I lost one job ’cause they held up a project so long the Government agency just wrote the entire thing off rather than bother with the process.
    I fear our next war won’t be against the Soviets … er … Russians or the ChiComs. It will be a multi-party low level insurgency against Muslims, Chicano separatists, criminal gangs, and home grown Marxist/snowflakes. But I’m a cynical pessimist.

  13. Fargo- Mattis is GOOD! 🙂

    Stretch- Yeah, I know who you’re talking about. The games REALLY need to stop. I’d say you’re more an optimistic pessimist… 🙂