Invite your attention to pages 5 thru 7 of attached which outlines in very clear terms the likely FY 2013 and longer term impacts on the Department of Defense and the Joint Force of the impending sequester brought about by this week’s dereliction of duty on the part of the Senators and Representatives making up the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.
Phi Beta Iota: Panetta-McCain may be the toxic replacment to Cheney-Warner. The letter is without merit. The acquisition system is so broken now the Navy and Army cannot build anything coherently–the Navy still lacks Naval Gun Fire and the Army still lacks an infantry weapon able to out-gun the Taliban, while the Air Force continues to stink at close air support and lack both an intra-theater adequacy of lift and a long-haul heavy lift capability (or the ability to be effective above 6,000 ft). DoD, in short, is a mis-managed mess and Panetta has no idea how to go about fixing that, nor does he want to. Lockheed Martin and others are quite happy with the way things are, where 50% of every dollar is waste but that waste is profit for them because it includes their overhead. It is true that the current laws mandated by Congress make it difficult for any Cabinet Secretary to cut waste–this is the same Congress that mandated we pay 100% asking price for Medicare drugs instead of the more common global standard of 2% for generic wholesale. As long as Congress remains corrupt, and the SecDef remains corrupt, there is no fixing this problem. The FACT is that we have to cut one trillion a year (what we are borrowing), not one trillion over ten years. The FACT is that DoD would be much stronger if it could combine both intelligence and integrity and actually create the four forces after next, at a much reduced cost, that those with intelligence and integrity have been discussing for decades, and with greater intensity, since the mid-1990’s.
The 2012 election is now in play, and the Republican wing of the war party is gearing up to blame President Obama for America’s failed wars (who, while not entirely blameless, is hardly the architect of defeat) and the accompanying national humiliation. This email is about an opening shot that just appeared in the Weekly Standard.
One of my closest friends, retired Marine Colonel XXX, forwarded the attached analysis of the US defeat in Iraq. (I use the word ‘analysis’ charitably) It was written by Fred Kagan, his wife, and another person, neocons all. The Kagans are among one of America’s most vocal advocates preventative war, especially the invasion of Iraq, and were “architects” of the so-called “surge” (which is Versailles-speak for a relatively modest, time-consuming escalation, whereas in traditional military parlance, the word ‘surge’ implies a massive increase, like a doubling or tripling, of effort over a very short period of time).
It looks increasingly likely that President Obama is going to cave into the oil interests promoting the pipeline to move oil mine in tar sands of Canada to the Port Arthur Free Trade Zone in Texas.
One of the prime selling points of this scheme, which has environmentalists all in uproar will no doubt be that the pipeline is needed for energy security. So what is going on? My good friend Pierre Sprey’s answer may surprise you. He has graciously given me permission to distribute it.
Peak Oil or Peak Profits?
email from Pierre Sprey, 5 September 2005
A new Oil Change International report has injected a breath of fresh air into the endless stream of media BS about peak oil, declining US oil production, disastrous dependence on foreign oil, need for new offshore drilling, blah, blah , blah, blah…. The report’s charts show that our domestic oil production has been rising markedly since 2008. The excess domestic oil and the new Keystone pipeline oil are unneeded for the domestic market and will go largely to exports to fatten Big Oil’s bottom line.
The most interesting conclusions are:
“Gasoline demand is declining due to increasing vehicle efficiency and slow economic growth;
Meanwhile the surge in new shale oil production in North Dakota and Texas has led to the first rise in U.S. oil production since 1970 and is forecast to continue for some time;
As a result of stagnant demand and the rise in both domestic and Canadian oil production, there is a glut of oil in the U.S. market.
Refiners have therefore identified export markets as their primary hope for growth and maximum profits.
In the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks the then national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, called in her senior staff and asked them to think seriously about “how [to] capitalise on these opportunities”.
The primary opportunity came from a public united in anger, grief and fear which the Bush administration sought to leverage to maximum political effect. “I think September 11 was one of those great earthquakes that clarify and sharpen,” Rice told the New Yorker six months afterwards. “Events are in much sharper relief.”
Ten years later the US response to the terror attacks have clarified three things:
the limits to what its enormous military power can achieve,
its relative geopolitical decline and
the intensity of its polarised political culture.
It proved itself
incapable of winning the wars it chose to fight and
incapable of paying for them and
incapable of coming to any consensus as to why.
The combination of domestic repression at home and military aggression abroad kept no one safe, and endangered the lives of many. The execution of Osama bin Laden provoked such joy in part because almost every other American response to 9/11 is regarded as a partial or total failure.