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(CNN)   Lawmakers: You really want these tanks, huh? Army: No, not really. Lawmakers: Come on... you know you want 'em. Army: Goddammit we said "No"   (security.blogs.cnn.com) divider line 306
    More: Asinine, Odierno, Yoshiaki Iwasaki, General Dynamics, Drew Griffin, Sierra Nevada  
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6455 clicks; posted to Politics » on 10 Oct 2012 at 8:24 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-10 08:45:38 AM  

dittybopper: The only US aircraft they had prior to the Gulf War was 6 Lockheed JetStars, which are business class jets, not combat aircraft.

All of their small arms were Soviet designed and of USSR, Warsaw Pact, or PRC in origin.


You missed the other stuff I said. We covertly helped them to acquire quite a bit of non-US made armaments. And we supplied them with plenty of intel on the US-made stuff Iran was using.
 
2012-10-10 08:47:46 AM  
Yeah, I get that you're trying to bring make-work jerbs to your constituents, but maybe you could have them build something useful. I unno, I figure the people who build tanks would probably be more or less the same people we'd engage if we wanted to build a rail transit system that didn't suck. Maybe just do that instead.

Ok, so that would put the airlines out of business. Well, have the guys in that industry make farking spaceships for NASA.

Hey look at that. We're saving money, creating jobs, building infrastructure that people actually use, and doing cutting edge research. Maybe I should run for congress.

/ But we'll all be sorry when China invades and we don't have all those tanks lying around anymore.
 
2012-10-10 08:47:46 AM  

ox45tallboy: dittybopper: Not really.

A robot designed to build an SUV isn't going to be able to build a tank. Something designed to handle parts that weigh a couple hundred pounds isn't going to be able to handle parts that weigh thousands, and simply tack-welding parts together (as is done for a lot of auto body parts) ain't gonna cut it for armor plate.

It's more than just reprogramming the robots that make Tahoes and Suburbans.

But what it isn't is creating a whole new factory from scratch. The assembly lines are in place, complete with tools and equipment and people trained to use them, as well as managers that know how to get the most out of their employees and facilities. Yes, some things would need to be changed. This is why it would take a few months. But it would not necessitate completely building new factories and training new personnel from scratch.


But you've got to build new tooling (ie., the robots and such), probably beef up the cranes and other stuff and perhaps even the floor depending on the factory.

Building new production equipment alone to build tanks just so that you can *START* preliminary production is going to take time. It's specialized equipment. It's not just a matter of retraining people and reprogramming robots (which also takes time, btw).
 
2012-10-10 08:48:43 AM  

dletter: But, sounds like we have a LOT of tanks sitting out there, that need little to no repair to be ready to deploy. So, other than because some region (and a region very close to me in Ohio) doesn't want to lose jobs... why do we need to just keep paying for tanks that each probably cost what we spend on PBS each year, which we definitely need to defund, amirite?


And, as I pointed upthread, the next thing you know, someone will get the bright idea of selling all these tanks that are "just sitting there" to some country's government that we'll soon be supporting the overthrow of, which will necessitate even more weapons.
 
2012-10-10 08:48:59 AM  

ox45tallboy: I don't believe for one second that Hosni Mubarak's Egyptian government that had been in place for three decades went from "cool" to "needs to go" in only four years. What happened between 2007, when we sold him 125 Abrams battle tanks, as well as ammunition and training, and 2011 when we supported the uprising against him? If he was that bad, why the hell were we selling him tanks?


He was never that bad, at least according to American foreign policy. Our biggest ally in the Mid-east, minus Israel. But once the uprising started it forced America's hand. He was toast and everyone knew it. No need to waste political capital in Cairo on someone whose check was finally cashed.
 
2012-10-10 08:50:29 AM  
Factories can be retooled and started up again; it would take us YEARS to go through enough tanks to warrant doing that anyways, so it's not like we wouldn't have time.

What I don't get / love: We hear all the time from the Republicans, right wing shrill pundits, and troll accounts that government spending doesn't create jobs. But cutting military spending causes people to lose jobs. It's almost as if they're full of shiat.
 
2012-10-10 08:50:46 AM  

ox45tallboy: GAT_00: We waste money maintaining an active fleet of aircraft carriers larger than the entire rest of the world combined for absolutely no reason.

Okay, I'm with you on all the others, but the aircraft carriers are just cool as sh*t, not to mention intimidating as f*ck when you've got one parked 30 nautical miles from your coastline.

However, they are ridiculously expensive, and with all the military bases all over the world that we're currently supporting, virtually all of which have airports, we could probably do without them.

But they're still really f*cking cool.


Why not close the bases and just keep the carriers? Which are mobile bases.

/completely ridiculous premise, but it appeals to me.
 
2012-10-10 08:51:30 AM  

dittybopper: But you've got to build new tooling (ie., the robots and such), probably beef up the cranes and other stuff and perhaps even the floor depending on the factory.

Building new production equipment alone to build tanks just so that you can *START* preliminary production is going to take time. It's specialized equipment. It's not just a matter of retraining people and reprogramming robots (which also takes time, btw).


A matter of months, dude. Look at how we changed over to war production in the 1940's when we didn't even have freakin' computers. They used pencil and paper and very limited communications (think about phone service in the 1940's) and still did it in months.
 
2012-10-10 08:52:43 AM  

Sgt Otter: NewportBarGuy: And this is why we can't cut the defense budget. We're at war with our own "Representatives."

The defense contractors know this. Building one F-22 Raptor involves parts or subcontractors in 46 states. You can't tell me that that's a coincidence. That much bi-partisan pork will protect that hangar queen for decades.


This is why we MUST have nice things, whether or not we want or need them.
 
2012-10-10 08:54:00 AM  
We can't spend $10 billion on necessary bridge repairs because it's a bad economy, but we NEED to spend $100 billion on tanks and bombers right now.

This is why I don't trust the Republican Party.
 
2012-10-10 08:54:38 AM  
Wait a second. Republicans are trying to say that the government creates jobs? HOGWASH!!
 
2012-10-10 08:56:22 AM  

BeesNuts: Why not close the bases and just keep the carriers? Which are mobile bases.

/completely ridiculous premise, but it appeals to me.


I still can't figure out why we need so many troops in freakin' Germany. I mean, I think we got the Nazis under control.

But yes, we can do without at least some of the aircraft carriers, and drop a few of the overseas bases down a bit as far as personnel is concerned. Yes, keep them up and operational, but it is silly to keep them fully staffed in the tens of thousands. Hell, lose two aircraft carriers, one new weapons program that the generals don't like, and cut our overseas bases down to half of current personnel, and I think you'll have the 5% drop in military spending.
 
2012-10-10 08:57:01 AM  

swahnhennessy: He was never that bad, at least according to American foreign policy. Our biggest ally in the Mid-east, minus Israel. But once the uprising started it forced America's hand. He was toast and everyone knew it. No need to waste political capital in Cairo on someone whose check was finally cashed.


So why in the hell were we selling him tanks?
 
2012-10-10 08:57:26 AM  
cdn6.teapartytribune.com

This building is full of Job Creators!

/hotlinked from a tea party website for the lols.
 
2012-10-10 08:58:50 AM  

ox45tallboy: BolloxReader: We shut down a tank factory, it ain't reopening. Those workers will be gone by the time they are really needed and the equipment will most likely have been scrapped by the defense contractor.

I have to disagree with you here. Do you ever wonder happened to all those tank and jeep factories after WWII? They went back to making cars, the same thing they were making before WWII.

This is one of the best reasons for keeping manufacturing centers like GM and Chrysler open, and why it was so short-sighted of Romney to say "Let Detroit fail!" - it doesn't take a whole lot of effort to convert an already functioning automobile assembly line, especially one located in a defensively strategic place like the middle of the continent, into war machine production. Trying to convince Japan or Korea to convert their assembly lines into making our tanks for us, however, presents all kinds of logistical difficulties.

Having a strong manufacturing base is essential to our own national security, for precisely the reasons demonstrated in WWII. This does not mean we have to have functioning military production, just the capability for it.


Agreed. We should be focusing on ways to boost the economy so that there is more demand for other high-tech goods that will require skilled engineers to build them.
 
2012-10-10 08:59:20 AM  

indylaw: We can't spend $10 billion on necessary bridge repairs because it's a bad economy, but we NEED to spend $100 billion on tanks and bombers right now.

This is why I don't trust the Republican Party.


See, if we elect Republicans, we'll go to war, and they can say, "I told you so!"

If we elect Democrats, and don't go to war, the Republicans can say, "It's a good thing we have such a huge military to act as a deterrent! Look at all the American lives we saved from all this military spending!"
 
2012-10-10 08:59:20 AM  

dletter: Also, maybe it is just me, but, any wars we'll get into, probably sooner than later, will have little need for tanks.


THIS. I was under the impression that our military was trending towards a smaller, lighter, more mobile force. Where do freakin' tanks fit into that plan??

It's like keeping buggy-whip factories open, because someday we might have to go back to horse-and-buggy, and BECAUSE JOBS!!
 
2012-10-10 08:59:32 AM  
Friggin fiscal responsibility, how does it friggin work??!!
 
2012-10-10 08:59:42 AM  

ox45tallboy: And, as I pointed upthread, the next thing you know, someone will get the bright idea of selling all these tanks that are "just sitting there" to some country's government that we'll soon be supporting the overthrow of, which will necessitate even more weapons.


And selling them at a loss to the US government as well.
 
2012-10-10 09:00:15 AM  

dittybopper: ox45tallboy: dittybopper: Not really.

A robot designed to build an SUV isn't going to be able to build a tank. Something designed to handle parts that weigh a couple hundred pounds isn't going to be able to handle parts that weigh thousands, and simply tack-welding parts together (as is done for a lot of auto body parts) ain't gonna cut it for armor plate.

It's more than just reprogramming the robots that make Tahoes and Suburbans.

But what it isn't is creating a whole new factory from scratch. The assembly lines are in place, complete with tools and equipment and people trained to use them, as well as managers that know how to get the most out of their employees and facilities. Yes, some things would need to be changed. This is why it would take a few months. But it would not necessitate completely building new factories and training new personnel from scratch.

But you've got to build new tooling (ie., the robots and such), probably beef up the cranes and other stuff and perhaps even the floor depending on the factory.

Building new production equipment alone to build tanks just so that you can *START* preliminary production is going to take time. It's specialized equipment. It's not just a matter of retraining people and reprogramming robots (which also takes time, btw).


Invest time upfront and build factories that are designed to easily be converted from car factories into tank factories? Sure, the initial cost of building the factory is higher, but I'd rather have the government kick money to the auto industry to do something like that, than I would just have them build shiat we don't need.

You could even run drills every so often, where you take one of the car factories out of circulation and build a few tanks, so the employees are ready to go if the shiat hits the fan.

I guess it depends on whether that costs more upfront than what we're doing now.
 
2012-10-10 09:00:46 AM  

Satanic_Hamster: We hear all the time from the Republicans, right wing shrill pundits, and troll accounts that government spending doesn't create jobs. But cutting military spending causes people to lose jobs. It's almost as if they're full of shiat.


That knife cuts both ways. The other side argues that all government spending creates jobs, except military spending, which should be cut to the bone.
 
2012-10-10 09:01:45 AM  

indylaw: We can't spend $10 billion on necessary bridge repairs because it's a bad economy, but we NEED to spend $100 billion on tanks and bombers right now.

This is why I don't trust the Republican Party.


Think of how much cheaper it will be to simply blow up these failing bridges with tanks and bombers.
 
2012-10-10 09:02:14 AM  

ox45tallboy: So why in the hell were we selling him tanks?


The uprising happened pretty quick. Tunisia went and then the dominoes fell. I don't think the State Department was predicting in 2007 that Egypt was due for a fall. It was a stable regime.

That still doesn't answer the underlying question of why we were selling tanks to an authoritarian puppet, but that's another matter entirely.
 
2012-10-10 09:02:42 AM  

Arkanaut: Agreed. We should be focusing on ways to boost the economy so that there is more demand for other high-tech goods that will require skilled engineers to build them.


If there's one thing we do have, it's the demand. We just don't have the manufacturing capabilities anymore.

blogs-images.forbes.com
 
2012-10-10 09:03:12 AM  
I think it was the old PNAC mission statement that said that it wasn't enough for America to have the world's greatest military; that it also had to be used, in battle, so the money isn't wasted, and so they can profit off that use.
 
2012-10-10 09:03:44 AM  
Aren't you glad the Army has all these tanks parked here? Just in case the Russians come and we have to have a big tank battle?
 
2012-10-10 09:04:30 AM  

Satanic_Hamster: ox45tallboy: And, as I pointed upthread, the next thing you know, someone will get the bright idea of selling all these tanks that are "just sitting there" to some country's government that we'll soon be supporting the overthrow of, which will necessitate even more weapons.

And selling them at a loss to the US government as well.


Can we just roll all these tanks down to mexico and get this whole war on drugs thing over with?

Or, alternatively, let's sell the tanks to the druglords so we can see where they use them.
 
2012-10-10 09:04:59 AM  

GoldSpider: Satanic_Hamster: We hear all the time from the Republicans, right wing shrill pundits, and troll accounts that government spending doesn't create jobs. But cutting military spending causes people to lose jobs. It's almost as if they're full of shiat.

That knife cuts both ways. The other side argues that all government spending creates jobs, except military spending, which should be cut to the bone.


Some people get embarrassed, lying in public like that. But not you Mister Straw Man Fighter! You proudly herp the derp. A Real American Hero, you have been awarded the Clint Eastwood Memorial Empty Chair Debater Medal. Congratulations.
 
2012-10-10 09:05:29 AM  

GoldSpider: Satanic_Hamster: We hear all the time from the Republicans, right wing shrill pundits, and troll accounts that government spending doesn't create jobs. But cutting military spending causes people to lose jobs. It's almost as if they're full of shiat.

That knife cuts both ways. The other side argues that all government spending creates jobs, except military spending, which should be cut to the bone.


I dunno, as someone that advocates for deep defense cuts, I fully acknowledge that industry keeps many employed. The horse drawn carriage industry did to at one point as well. If you're no longer needed for any valid defense purpose, you'll lose your job. Maybe become a consultant for whoever we sell the excess to, it's cake work.
 
2012-10-10 09:05:35 AM  

serial_crusher: I guess it depends on whether that costs more upfront than what we're doing now.


Yes, and with all the "green" technology, we'll have the M1A4 Abrams Battle Prius.

/Yes, I know, but "Abrams Battle Volt" doesn't roll off the tongue as well. 
 
2012-10-10 09:05:40 AM  
Part of the reason that military spending creates fewer jobs than other forms of expenditure is that a large share of that money is either spent overseas or spent on imported goods. By contrast, most of the money generated by spending in areas like education is spent in the United States.

In addition, more of the military dollar goes to capital, as opposed to labor, than do the expenditures in the other job categories. For example, only 1.5% of the price of each F-35 Joint Strike Fighter pays for the labor costs involved in "manufacturing, fabrication, and assembly" work at the plane's main production facility in Fort Worth, Texas. A full 85% of the F-35s costs go for overhead, not for jobs actually fabricating and assembling the aircraft. Link


We have shown the overall employment effects - including direct, indirect, and induced job creation - of spending on the military in contrast with four alternative domestic spending categories: clean energy, health care, education, and increasing household consumption through tax cuts. Specifically, we have shown that spending on all of these alternatives to military spending create substantially more jobs per $1 billion in expenditures relative to military spending. Link, .pdf
 
2012-10-10 09:05:52 AM  

ox45tallboy: dittybopper: But you've got to build new tooling (ie., the robots and such), probably beef up the cranes and other stuff and perhaps even the floor depending on the factory.

Building new production equipment alone to build tanks just so that you can *START* preliminary production is going to take time. It's specialized equipment. It's not just a matter of retraining people and reprogramming robots (which also takes time, btw).

A matter of months, dude. Look at how we changed over to war production in the 1940's when we didn't even have freakin' computers. They used pencil and paper and very limited communications (think about phone service in the 1940's) and still did it in months.


Things have gotten many orders of magnitude more complicated since then.
 
2012-10-10 09:06:53 AM  
Mitt Romney will endure that the US has enough tanks to keep the Soviets from rolling through the Fulda Gap and conquering our West German allies.
 
2012-10-10 09:07:52 AM  

HotWingConspiracy: I dunno, as someone that advocates for deep defense cuts, I fully acknowledge that industry keeps many employed. The horse drawn carriage industry did to at one point as well. If you're no longer needed for any valid defense purpose, you'll lose your job. Maybe become a consultant for whoever we sell the excess to, it's cake work.


So keep the government contracts, but order something else, like civilian government vehicles or computers used for traffic control rather than targeting weapons systems.
 
2012-10-10 09:11:07 AM  

HotWingConspiracy: I dunno, as someone that advocates for deep defense cuts, I fully acknowledge that industry keeps many employed. The horse drawn carriage industry did to at one point as well. If you're no longer needed for any valid defense purpose, you'll lose your job. Maybe become a consultant for whoever we sell the excess to, it's cake work.


Same here. The federal government has a greater purpose than a make-work program.

The disingenuous "cut spending but NOT the military!" part of the GOP platform is a big reason why I will not be voting for any Republicans this year.
 
2012-10-10 09:11:26 AM  
i30.tinypic.com

"did i farking stutter?"
 
2012-10-10 09:12:31 AM  
GOP =/= Fiscal Responsibly
 
2012-10-10 09:12:37 AM  

GoldSpider: That knife cuts both ways. The other side argues that all government spending creates jobs, except military spending, which should be cut to the bone.


I think the general argument is what is the most efficient way to create jobs and what spending is beneficial for society.

"Liberals" - Pave roads, build bridges, improve water and sewer treatment, research funding into new technologies, money to municipalities and poor/middle class that will immediately spend it to spur on the economy.

"Conservatives" - Money to no-bid / no competition military contracts that will purchase things we will then just have sit in the a low humidity storage depot or will literally blow it up.

Hmmmm. What's the most beneficial spending that will help crate more jobs.
 
2012-10-10 09:13:26 AM  
Instead of paintball, let's play tankball.
 
2012-10-10 09:13:31 AM  

liam76: Things have gotten many orders of magnitude more complicated since then.


*sigh*

Yes, but so have our capabilities. So have computers and machines used for production. So have programmable robots that can flawlessly weld the same seam nonstop. So have robots that can lift and maneuver objects far too heavy for humans to pick up.

Do you realize how complicated it was to manufacture a simple analog telephone in the 1940's? Now, think about the fact that today unskilled Chinese workers are assembling iPhones by hand, because all of the hardest parts are done by machines.
 
2012-10-10 09:15:16 AM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: We have shown the overall employment effects - including direct, indirect, and induced job creation - of spending on the military in contrast with four alternative domestic spending categories: clean energy, health care, education, and increasing household consumption through tax cuts. Specifically, we have shown that spending on all of these alternatives to military spending create substantially more jobs per $1 billion in expenditures relative to military spending. Link, .pdf


Yes, but weekend warriors and armchair Rambos can't furiously stroke their flacid cawks to a Military Channel feature on building clean energy. Let's keep our eye on what's important here.
 
2012-10-10 09:16:05 AM  
If the same tax money and labor went into some other thing it would be socialismz.
 
2012-10-10 09:16:56 AM  

ox45tallboy: BolloxReader: We shut down a tank factory, it ain't reopening. Those workers will be gone by the time they are really needed and the equipment will most likely have been scrapped by the defense contractor.

I have to disagree with you here. Do you ever wonder happened to all those tank and jeep factories after WWII? They went back to making cars, the same thing they were making before WWII.

This is one of the best reasons for keeping manufacturing centers like GM and Chrysler open, and why it was so short-sighted of Romney to say "Let Detroit fail!" - it doesn't take a whole lot of effort to convert an already functioning automobile assembly line, especially one located in a defensively strategic place like the middle of the continent, into war machine production. Trying to convince Japan or Korea to convert their assembly lines into making our tanks for us, however, presents all kinds of logistical difficulties.

Having a strong manufacturing base is essential to our own national security, for precisely the reasons demonstrated in WWII. This does not mean we have to have functioning military production, just the capability for it.


Allegedly Yamamoto saw the assembly lines in Detroit and said not to, "awaken the sleeping giant," of U.S. production. He could see tanks coming off the assembly lines like Fords.

farm5.staticflickr.com
 
2012-10-10 09:20:35 AM  

BolloxReader: We shut down a tank factory, it ain't reopening. Those workers will be gone by the time they are really needed and the equipment will most likely have been scrapped by the defense contractor.


We will likely never have a dire need to new tanks on such short notice that we couldn't ramp up production again.

What we could do, instead, is mothball the equipment we don't need and retool the factory and retrain its employees to build other things. You have equipment, facilities and experienced, skilled labor freed up. That tank factory could be making parts for wind turbines, or medical equipment like MRI machines, or dredges to fix our sediment-clogged waterways, or any number of things requiring heavy industrial support that we actually need.

I don't want to see idle hands either, but I also don't want to see time, resources and money get wasted for bullsh*t political reasons.
=Smidge=
 
2012-10-10 09:21:01 AM  
We've got money for weapons and war, but when it comes to infrastructure, education, and helping the average American citizen, well, we've all got to tighten our belts, you see... Not the wealthy, of course, though.
 
2012-10-10 09:21:29 AM  

ox45tallboy: Fine! Spend it on infrastructure!


THIS. I guarantee every single state involved in these defense contracts has an interstate bridge that could be replaced, a national park that could be upgraded, an airport control tower that desperately needs to be remodeled, some National Guard armories using furniture from the 1960s... anything. We're not saying to keep the money out of the economy. Just spend it more wisely... we don't need to buy new tanks when there are 2000 sitting unused in a parking lot. We don't need to buy fighters that will never be flown in anything but an airshow.

It's not the taxpayers' fault that defense contractors haven't figured out how to diversify their production lines. Apparently it's too hard for a company like General Dynamics to build Abrams' and Strykers during defense acquisition cycles, and then switch to building bulldozers and SWAT vans any other year.

Being able to change an industrial line like that just seems like some magical science-fiction pipe dream. You know, like we had in that far future time of the 1940s.
 
2012-10-10 09:24:09 AM  
We have to be prepared for the war against Iran that Romney promised Netanyahu yesterday.
 
2012-10-10 09:24:25 AM  

InmanRoshi: dittybopper:
Don't make the classic mistake of projecting the last war you fought into the future.

Yeah, isn't it annoying when people attempt to hilariously shoehorn past events into a projection of the future when they're not at all comparable?

dittybopper: Funny thing about isolationism: We tried that in the first half of the last century, and we still ended up getting dragged into a couple of world wars, and we were unprepared for both.



Both of you will really like this article by Jon Huntsman. Link 

"In the aftermath of the failure of the super committee, we are facing cuts in defense. Yet there has still been little discussion about overall defense spending priorities and how we must transform our defense infrastructure for the 21st century.
..........
These approaches miss the target in two respects. First, they let resources drive strategy, rather than using strategy to drive force structure and capabilities. Second, they fail to fundamentally alter our defense posture -- so any short-term savings will be quickly erased."
 
2012-10-10 09:24:30 AM  

NewportBarGuy: I support stimulus measures in a down economy, but we have to at least be reasonable. If we pump that same amount of money into infrastructure, we can probably keep most of these people employed and not wind up with things we don't need. If we need to train them into a transitional field, then do it. Or give them a lower cost project to replace the MRAP which we'll need for more mobility.


If we support infrastructure, there will be even more jobs down the road. A location with good roads, power generation, a strong grid, and excellent communications attracts employers from other places. Tanks that just sit around? Not so much.
 
2012-10-10 09:25:13 AM  
FTFA: If the U.S. pauses tank production and refurbishment it will hurt the nation's industrial economy, lawmakers say.

But we can still laugh at the Soviets and their proven failure of a system where they attempted to control the economy through manufacturing demand, right?
 
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