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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Stay classy Cheney & Navy to Scrap Carriers (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Stay classy Cheney & Navy to Scrap Carriers
Blayne Bradley
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Apparently Cheney recently was interviewed and gave some scathing criticism of the Obama Administration, has a previous VP or President ever recently offered criticism of a ongoing Administration?

An article on US carriers, not the one I read earlier as I'm having trouble finding it. But scuttlebut is that if the US military budget is hurt by sequestration then they will put the current CV fleet on the chopping block first, essentially they'll sacrifice the current carriers to get the new four Gerald Ford class carriers out of dry dock by delaying or reducing maintanance until they are no longer deployable.

I think that will be the smallest the US carrier fleet will be since World War II.

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Samprimary
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1. less than a quarter of the US carrier fleet could take out the entire rest of the world's carrier fleets combined, and we literally have more carrier capacity than the rest of the world combined, and yet we still want at least ten more total by 2040

mkay sure, not too torn up about nimitz refits being delayed

2. who is honestly listening to cheney anymore. the tea party?

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Blayne Bradley
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Four carriers mean only having at most three at active deployment at anyone time. Your ability to react swiftly is hampered severely and obviously this makes operations in hostile waters more vulnerable if one of the now fewer CV's are mission killed by any one of the numerous theoretical and probable means of doing so.

Four carriers is insufficient for the role the US plays in securing maritime trade and freedom of navigation, and objectively insufficient in a conventional war scenario against the possible threats out there with aircraft that rival or exceed the performance envelop of the F/A Super Hornet or the F-35.

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Samprimary
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do you think we only have four carriers
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Lyrhawn
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This doesn't bother me at all. They'll never be down to just four carriers.

But it wouldn't bother me at all if we mothballed one or two of them for the sake of saving money.

The funny thing about carriers is that yes, we outnumber the WORLD carrier fleet outside the US, but if you count up the carriers held by NATO allies, the number is even more lopsided. France, the UK and Italy probably have another five between the two of them, even though they're smaller. India, a nominal ally in any likely scenario, I think has another pair.

So who are we really worried about fighting? China's single aircraft carrier that doesn't even really work yet? I'm quaking in my boots.

I always think two things to myself whenever people like Cheney and Panetta say we're endangering the country with defense cuts:

1. I don't believe you.

2. Even if I did believe you, your assessment is based upon the notion that our current force structure needs to be maintained. I think our mission and our capability needs to be cut, and that means cutting spending, so their complaints fall on deaf ears for me.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
Your ability to react swiftly is hampered severely ...

React to what exactly? These days I have difficulty thinking about a situation that would both require conventional force, yet be a war of necessity rather than that of choice.
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BlackBlade
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Jimmy Carter has frequently criticized subsequent presidential administrations.

[ February 14, 2013, 12:03 PM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

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TomDavidson
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I think it's fascinating that a consequence of Congress' ability to actually negotiate on a budget is being called Obama's fault.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I think it's fascinating that a consequence of Congress' ability to actually negotiate on a budget is being called Obama's fault.

I think honestly people have forgotten that the Congress is supposed to set the agenda and vote on it, and that they control the purse strings. Not that the president just does stuff and once in awhile the Congress votes on it just for fun.

I honestly feel like tons of people think that if the president has some special sauce/X factor/leadership ability that everything else in government/economy just starts working.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
do you think we only have four carriers

Um no? Where did I say that?

quote:

The funny thing about carriers is that yes, we outnumber the WORLD carrier fleet outside the US, but if you count up the carriers held by NATO allies, the number is even more lopsided. France, the UK and Italy probably have another five between the two of them, even though they're smaller. India, a nominal ally in any likely scenario, I think has another pair.

In an ideal world that would be enough, but this isn't an ideal world and having a plethorea of different sized carriers that fill out different roles and provide varying different capabilties presents serious challenges; problem number one being that most of those nations don't really have an interest in using them to fulfill the role the USN has been fulfilling.

quote:

So who are we really worried about fighting? China's single aircraft carrier that doesn't even really work yet? I'm quaking in my boots.

The plan the PLAN has (heh, get it? It's a pun!) is to have 3 of their own carriers, the newer two would likely be larger than the Kuznetsov class they currently own, which come to think of it the Liaoning is probably almost done its shakedown cruise. Three carriers because again, that's the number required to have one carrier out deployed at all times, a requirement to maintain blue water capability. I actually fudged it in the US's favour in assuming that could get the inverse.

The point isn't the "one" carrier, its the first step in a long term process to gain real blue water capability through a thorough understanding of whats involved. Maintaining a functioning and world class carrier aviation arm requires a lot of experience and practice, which is why there is just the "one".

However to continue on from a previous point, its not the carrier alone that matters, its also about redundancy; Sunburn's are still pretty damn scary to most crews.

I would agree that 14 carriers or whatever it was back when was excessive, my personal views are likely similar in that the US could significantly downsize its military budget as a whole, but the Navy is one of those bits that I'm not so sure on should really be cut considering the roles it plays internationally.

So you could 'not believe' me about whichever point I made, kinda rude but whatever its a pointless non-statement without an argument behind it.

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Darth_Mauve
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Hey, if we had an extra Carrier fleet, why it could have been stationed outside of Libya during the Bengazi attacks....never mind.
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Darth_Mauve
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As for Cheney--remember, he recently convinced some very, very powerful people to give him lots and lots and lots of money--and gave them 0 in usable returns. He has to make himself useful again or they will be looking for some refund--or other compensation.
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Samprimary
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Cheney? I thought that was more Rove.

quote:
Um no? Where did I say that?
why are you talking about four carriers then? Do you think that our carrier fleet size is going to dwindle inexplicably down to four?
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
I would agree that 14 carriers or whatever it was back when was excessive, my personal views are likely similar in that the US could significantly downsize its military budget as a whole, but the Navy is one of those bits that I'm not so sure on should really be cut considering the roles it plays internationally.
Combine this quote with the thing you said a couple paragraphs up about how Europe doesn't want to use their carriers for the roles the USN uses its for.

My response? Too bad. It's time for the rest of the world to start lending out their navies for patrolling the world's sea lanes. No one likes America playing the world's cop, they should be able to deal with it not being the world's coast guard. The only way those countries will ever be compelled to contribute more is if we actually cut the cord. A decade of asking them hasn't produced any results, because they believe we'll always be there.

So saying you think it's a bad idea because you want the USN to patrol the seas, well, that doesn't do much for me. Maybe Canada needs to cough up a few cruisers for the effort.

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Samprimary
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the chinese carrier continues to be a source of much naval hilarity. I mean, baby steps is one thing, but they overstate that thing's capacity to a level akin to how Iran is pimping out its new modern fighter (that will never fly because it is a fiberglass model)

yes, the dissemination of propagandistic claims about the capacity of military hardware is to be expected* but that thing is a hunk of junk, yo

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Boris
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quote:
having a plethorea of different sized carriers that fill out different roles
Uhh...Aircraft Carriers fill a single role. They carry aircraft. Their varying sizes are what is used to determine the type of aircraft they can carry. The UK pretty much only flies Harriers and other VTOL/STOL aircraft from their Carriers, which is why they are small. The super carriers in the Nimitz class are designed to handle any kind of aircraft that may need to be used. That's why they're so large.

I used to think we needed to spend what we could on defense. Then I worked as a contractor for the DoD. There is an immense amount of waste in our defense. I've honestly been thinking that we should be charging the nations that host our foreign military installations for the privilege of not having to develop and field their own military(in the situations where that is the case, such as Japan). And just pulling out of the nations that don't want to do so. If we did that we could significantly decrease the costs of having the only military in the world capable of responding quickly. Might seem like a kind of mercenary thing to do, but why not reap some financial benefit if we're safeguarding the shores of nations that have no military funding whatsoever.

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King of Men
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The general Anglo-Saxon-ish tradition has been to have small peacetime armies, but large navies. Navies keep the peace of the seas and protect trade, but cannot be used to impose military dictatorships as can a standing army. (Incidentally, notice that the UK has a Royal Navy and a Royal Air Force, but not a Royal Army; that's because the Army is descended from the Puritan regiments that won the Civil War for Cromwell.) This being said, carriers are capital units meant for wars against other sovereign states; if you wanted the US navy to return to the traditional role of patrolling the seas, keeping down pirates and slave traders, and perhaps launching the Marines at the occasional banana republic, you'd probably want more frigates, cruisers, that sort of thing.
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Boris
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Also...Based on your Initial article, Blayne, the only thing that would keep the existing fleet from staying out is their current RCOH schedule. Abraham Lincoln is the next Nimitz Class carrier to undergo refit (it takes a lot of work and expense to refit and refuel an aircraft carrier. They plan a 4 year window for the process.) The Theodore Roosevelt is about to come out of Refit, so we aren't actually losing an active carrier if they choose not to RCOH the Abe. The next ship on schedule for RCOH is the George Washington, and that isn't on schedule for about 3-4 more years. The Nimitz fleet is supposed to remain on active duty for 45 years from commission date. RCOH is the halfway to retirement refit. It will be about 2018 before the Nimitz itself is retired.

Ultimately, even if every CV carrier gets mothballed instead of going into RCOH, it'll be 20 years before they're done doing it.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Cheney? I thought that was more Rove.

quote:
Um no? Where did I say that?
why are you talking about four carriers then? Do you think that our carrier fleet size is going to dwindle inexplicably down to four?
So.... You didn't read my post? It's not y'know, inexplicable if it turns out I explained it in my post.

quote:

My response? Too bad. It's time for the rest of the world to start lending out their navies for patrolling the world's sea lanes. No one likes America playing the world's cop, they should be able to deal with it not being the world's coast guard. The only way those countries will ever be compelled to contribute more is if we actually cut the cord. A decade of asking them hasn't produced any results, because they believe we'll always be there.

I'm sure that will not ultimately come to hurt the USA in the end.

quote:

So saying you think it's a bad idea because you want the USN to patrol the seas, well, that doesn't do much for me. Maybe Canada needs to cough up a few cruisers for the effort.

We have a hard enough time keeping your hands off our own arctic, why should we?

quote:

the chinese carrier continues to be a source of much naval hilarity. I mean, baby steps is one thing, but they overstate that thing's capacity to a level akin to how Iran is pimping out its new modern fighter (that will never fly because it is a fiberglass model)

yes, the dissemination of propagandistic claims about the capacity of military hardware is to be expected* but that thing is a hunk of junk, yo

[citation needed], I mean come on, lets be objective here.

For example with some random googling here's one article from Xinhua and nothing here at all comes across as an exaggeration, but easily verified with third sources.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
quote:
having a plethorea of different sized carriers that fill out different roles
Uhh...Aircraft Carriers fill a single role. They carry aircraft. Their varying sizes are what is used to determine the type of aircraft they can carry. The UK pretty much only flies Harriers and other VTOL/STOL aircraft from their Carriers, which is why they are small. The super carriers in the Nimitz class are designed to handle any kind of aircraft that may need to be used. That's why they're so large.

The operations UK and French carriers are capable of supporting, versus the ones US carriers are capable of, are of entirely different levels and largely incomparable; and plays havoc with force integration trying to manage different assets in the same fleet together. There's a reason why most munitions and small arms are standardized.

quote:

I used to think we needed to spend what we could on defense. Then I worked as a contractor for the DoD. There is an immense amount of waste in our defense. I've honestly been thinking that we should be charging the nations that host our foreign military installations for the privilege of not having to develop and field their own military(in the situations where that is the case, such as Japan). And just pulling out of the nations that don't want to do so. If we did that we could significantly decrease the costs of having the only military in the world capable of responding quickly. Might seem like a kind of mercenary thing to do, but why not reap some financial benefit if we're safeguarding the shores of nations that have no military funding whatsoever.

Specifically to the Japan example keeping Japan from fully rearming is a big part to keeping Asia stable. If Japan were to fully rearm, especially with its more nationalistic politicians like the dickface Mayor of Tokyo whom the Diet can't tell to shut up in a situation eerily similar to 1931, its a tinderbox waiting for a spark.

Many places if you charged them probably would certainly demand you withdraw completely, which speaking objectively is probably not within US national interest so you don't and won't.

quote:

Also...Based on your Initial article, Blayne, the only thing that would keep the existing fleet from staying out is their current RCOH schedule. Abraham Lincoln is the next Nimitz Class carrier to undergo refit (it takes a lot of work and expense to refit and refuel an aircraft carrier. They plan a 4 year window for the process.) The Theodore Roosevelt is about to come out of Refit, so we aren't actually losing an active carrier if they choose not to RCOH the Abe. The next ship on schedule for RCOH is the George Washington, and that isn't on schedule for about 3-4 more years. The Nimitz fleet is supposed to remain on active duty for 45 years from commission date. RCOH is the halfway to retirement refit. It will be about 2018 before the Nimitz itself is retired.

Ultimately, even if every CV carrier gets mothballed instead of going into RCOH, it'll be 20 years before they're done doing it.

There's more information in a different article that I don't have on hand anymore, but even assuming its 20 years before the remaining Nimitz's are mothballed I would still be concerned if I were a US policymaker, because 20 years is essentially like giving up a free turn to others to catch up in experience, training, doctrines and asset capabilities.

US Superiority in its fields is largely a result of assuming it can maintain a technological edge some 25 to 50 years ahead of the curve, it's increasingly looking like this may no longer be sustainable with so many boondoggles and crows coming home to roost happening at the same time. I would be concerned.

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Samprimary
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"so many boondoggles and crows coming home to roost"

what

quote:
[citation needed], I mean come on, lets be objective here.
What do you think the chinese carrier, originally a rusted 80's hull of soviet scrap that they purchased from .. what was it, ukraine? .. under the pretense of making it into a floating casino, CURRENTLY HAS in terms of operational capacity. How solid a frame do you think it has for wartime operations. How fast do you think it goes.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
We have a hard enough time keeping your hands off our own arctic, why should we?
Good luck getting those arctic assets to market without someone else patrolling the seas for you. You want to play in a world market without paying anything into maintaining it, with the assumption that the United States should subsidize your trade habits. Again, I'm not particularly sympathetic to that, and I even like Canada more than most countries.

And by the way, you're not fending off the US with your military. If we really wanted your Arctic assets, they'd be ours, and you couldn't stop us.

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Mucus
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We already contribute our share to anti-piracy operations and I'm not particularly sympathetic to the idea that we (as in the rest of the world) needs to match the bloated American defence budget or else *unspecified bad things happen*. FUD, I say. As per KoM's chain of thought, our frigates are more than sufficient for pirates.

You guys can overspend on aircraft carriers and the like but good luck making us feel guilty [Razz]

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Samprimary
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i'm not really a sucker for these military flex-offs or whatever but i cannot even imagine the intensity of the "oh shhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.........." that would echo around oh so many countries in the world if the united states pared its military and navy size down to the equivalent investment of canada
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BlackBlade
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Heh, me neither.
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Lyrhawn
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Mucus -

Well, the rest of the world does match America's defense budget, combined. I'm not really sure what your point is, since I've been advocating reducing spending on things like aircraft carriers.

But yeah, like Sam said, if we drastically reduced our naval footprint on the world's oceans, there would be a collective global lightbulb moment where everyone started scrambling to build new ships. Yes, most of them would be frigates, destroyers and the occasional cruiser, but that still proves the point that a lot of people are getting a free ride. I still think America has an obligation to provide a lot of support for patrolling the world's sea lanes, since our world trade footprint is the biggest, but even with that in mind, the burden sharing is seriously lopsided at the moment.

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Mucus
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I don't buy the idea of a lightbulb moment. I think that's just something Americans like to think would occur to flatter themselves. In fact, I think that there would be many more countries that would celebrate a pullback in American military spending rather than mourn it, starting right here in Canada.

The bulk of your military spending isn't for countering pirates, it is on hardware and personnel to counter conventional threats that simply don't exist anymore, so I don't see why other nations would rush to spend more simply because you spend less. In fact, there are many countries that would feel less threatened by the US and end up spending less as well, so I think it could easily go the other way.

View the various nuclear weapons reductions that were championed by Pierre Trudeau. A reduction in Russian and American nuclear weapons has not been matched by an equivalent growth in other countries such as China for example, which maintains a very small nuclear arsenal.

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Lyrhawn
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Recent history suggests otherwise.

The last couple major conflicts that Europe wanted to get involved in, Mali and Libya, showed just how ill-prepared they are to handle anything that takes place outside the continent. In both cases they had to rely on America's military (or someone else's in general) to do a lot of the heavy lifting, in the case of France to move hardware to Mali from British and American heavy lift planes, and in the case of everyone for help during the Libya operations.

What are they going to do the next time they decide to intervene in increasingly dangerous areas of the world when they find they can't get there on their own, or that it takes months to deploy given their mobility restrictions?

I think you're being incredibly naive. The vast bulk of world military spending comes from US allies. You think Italy is going to spend less when the US does because they're afraid we're going to invade Sicily?

Or for that matter, South Korea? Australia? Japan?

[ February 15, 2013, 10:02 AM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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Thesifer
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As a Navy Veteran of both Active Duty, and the Reserves, I can GUARANTEE you that we are wasting billions of dollars (trillions over the long-term) on our Navy.

I can't speak directly for the other services, as it's all just "stuff I heard." But I have directly witnessed that the system for the Navy is broken.

Completely, and utterly broken. And honestly, if "Tea Party" - "Small Government" etc. people REALLY cared about saving money, and smaller government, and using Tax dollars wisely, they would be up in arms about the military budget.

Years ago, I signed for a part that cost $720 on the invoice. The actual cost of the "Commercial Off the Shelf" Item was $20 (At Fry's Electronics down the street.) That's just one item in a long list of overpriced crap.

If they won't change that since they've built an entire defense industry around it, maybe we can fix the habit of worthless deployments.

My wife was recently given orders to a foreign country (we aren't at war with this country) for a 2 week 'deployment' .. Invoice cost: $24,000 that's not including the extra costs associated with it, just travel, food etc. And there are 30+ people deploying from one unit.

That's just one unit. There are thousands of units in the United States. Not only that, her reserve center is directly across the street from a major Air Force base, with a large contingent of Navy personnel, and she could do the same thing there that she would be doing in the other country (except better, because there would be no travel time, and it would be about $20,000 cheaper for the Navy)

To top it all off the people in the country don't want the Reservists, because they are only there for 2 weeks, and by the time they're qualified to do anything, they're gone. So it just brings down actual efficiency, it doesn't increase it.

On the Carrier Note - we have WAY too many carriers as it is. I do not have any problems with them being decommissioned or mothballed. We have too many LHD's / LHA's as well which are nearly the size of a carrier - yet non-nuclear.

We have too many ships, too many planes, too many tanks, too many of everything. We just have to keep building it because some congressman, and some senator has a plant in their district.

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Stephan
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quote:
Years ago, I signed for a part that cost $720 on the invoice. The actual cost of the "Commercial Off the Shelf" Item was $20 (At Fry's Electronics down the street.) That's just one item in a long list of overpriced crap.
That is a problem with government spending overall. The same thing happens in our school system. My last school district (very large population) spent $1,000 per laptop to supply each teacher with one from Dell. Not only can every teacher afford a laptop on their own if they wanted one in that county (lowest salary is 42k), but the way the vast majority of the laptops are used $350 ones would be more than suitable.

So much money is spent that they wait 10 years between laptop purchases. By then all of these will be long out of warranty and mostly used as door stops.

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Rakeesh
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It seems to me that nuclear proliferation is a horse of a radically different color than conventional military spending, whether it's geared towards 'low intensity' conflicts or great big WWII-scope conventional warfare. The intentions behind possessing nuclear weapons are quite different from conventional weapons, the risks are different, the laws governing them are different, and the applications are different.

You may be able to make your case that we should conclude the world would be grateful and not ratchet up military spending should the US decide to step it down, but I don't think you make your case at all by pointing to nukes.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:

quote:
[citation needed], I mean come on, lets be objective here.
What do you think the chinese carrier, originally a rusted 80's hull of soviet scrap that they purchased from .. what was it, ukraine? .. under the pretense of making it into a floating casino, CURRENTLY HAS in terms of operational capacity. How solid a frame do you think it has for wartime operations. How fast do you think it goes.
This is quite laughable. So you assert through your begging the question that it does not have wartime capability?

You can be the one to prove it, I don't find the adjectives you used to be particularly meaningful.

I mean c'mon, you even describe it as "naval hilarity", surely you can show us an example of what makes it so.

quote:

Good luck getting those arctic assets to market without someone else patrolling the seas for you. You want to play in a world market without paying anything into maintaining it, with the assumption that the United States should subsidize your trade habits. Again, I'm not particularly sympathetic to that, and I even like Canada more than most countries.

You miss the point that America benefits the most and disproportional so from the economic and political status quo, and has the most to lose. Canada doesn't need to contribute more than a token force because someone else will always pick up the slack because other nations want what we have to sell. International trade is important for virtually everyone, but no one needs to even in American absence needs to contribute more than to the protection of their own trade lines. Its only America and possibly China that truly benefits from third party international trade.

Lots of nations who don't have the military forces to contribute to begin with, especially in the third world and developing world, are you really insisting that they should put resources into surface navies? America does a lot of good for them, but most nations can't bootstrap themselves into economic security with their means.

quote:

And by the way, you're not fending off the US with your military. If we really wanted your Arctic assets, they'd be ours, and you couldn't stop us.

Yes, I'm sure on paper Russia could've curbstomped Georgia into the dust and deposed their government with someone more Pro-Kremlin, but here's the thing, now just as always there is a cost to every action on the world stage under taken by a state actor. And that cost is exponentially higher the more powerful you are.

There's a cost to these things.

quote:

i'm not really a sucker for these military flex-offs or whatever but i cannot even imagine the intensity of the "oh shhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.........." that would echo around oh so many countries in the world if the united states pared its military and navy size down to the equivalent investment of canada

The United States spends about 4.7% of its GDP on defence as of 2010%, and Canada spends 1.15% which would be, if the US brought down its budget per capita to 1.5% would still be about 240 billion$ rounding up. Which would still allow the Navy to be fully funded with maybe 100 billion$ left over to be divided up, and would still be 50% more than Canada's total military budget as a whole; and the total is still more than double the size of the PRC's military budget.

quote:

The last couple major conflicts that Europe wanted to get involved in, Mali and Libya, showed just how ill-prepared they are to handle anything that takes place outside the continent. In both cases they had to rely on America's military (or someone else's in general) to do a lot of the heavy lifting, in the case of France to move hardware to Mali from British and American heavy lift planes, and in the case of everyone for help during the Libya operations.

This is not necessarily proof of a lack of capability, it could just as easily be cynical exploitation of America's UHRAH mentality to the war on terror to get a free ride in that instance; France has fought these conflicts in their backyard in the past without such help in the past. But that's speculation, point is I'm not convinced its really indicative of a lack of preparedness.

Also the Libya intervention has actually been the target of quite the shoddy journalism. The French and British didn't run out of munitions for example, they used training munitions because they caused less collateral damage while still one shotting tanks. America had quite the backseat role during the conflict, France was the first in and did the most to initially neutralize the Libyan air threat. America was crucial for neutralizing SAMs because America specialized themselves for that LO0H missions; which is the point of an alliance, different members specialize in what they are good at. America is particularly good at taking out SAMs, this isn't a sign of unprepardness, but a strategic decision made over a decade ago.

You vastly overstate the American involvement in Libya.

quote:

What are they going to do the next time they decide to intervene in increasingly dangerous areas of the world when they find they can't get there on their own, or that it takes months to deploy given their mobility restrictions?

Which countries in particular have the over seas interest that would require this, and do they truly lack the capability?

quote:

South Korea? Australia? Japan?

South Korea is a situation where matching the Norks and turning into a garrison state has corresponding societal and opportunity costs, they would need to become a less free society to be able to effectively devote those resources. American aid to South Korea is effectively in this situation a matter of ideological solidarity, America contributes to the common defence because a) UN obligation and b) because it allows South Korea to remain a liberal democracy while still maintaining enough of a military parity to deter the North. Even if the US reduces its military spending to 1% its hard to imagine a situation where the DMZ isn't likewise kept a priority for funding.

Australia actually spends more than Canada, 1.6% of GDP; again its really difficult to imagine Australia significantly increasing its GDP spending as a %, as Australia has its own independent interests in the pacific rim that are independent of the USA, and there's some relaince on SEATO has a whole for common defence.

Japan is a special case, they are constitutionally limited by their constitution; while they are becoming more assertive as a trend it would still probably trigger a massive constitutional and political crisis if they were to suddenly try to do so now. That and their current Navy isn't small or to laugh at either.

For example during the 80's Washington put considerable influence on Germany and France to try to get them to increase their military budget so America wouldn't have to shoulder as much of the burden in case of a Soviet attack through the Fulda Gap, German and French politicians tended to respond pointing out the numberous social and political costs of simply maintaining peacetime conscription.

quote:

We have too many ships, too many planes, too many tanks, too many of everything. We just have to keep building it because some congressman, and some senator has a plant in their district.

I'm not sure I agree when it comes to aircraft, but I don't know what the peacetime attrition rate is.

quote:

It seems to me that nuclear proliferation is a horse of a radically different color than conventional military spending, whether it's geared towards 'low intensity' conflicts or great big WWII-scope conventional warfare. The intentions behind possessing nuclear weapons are quite different from conventional weapons, the risks are different, the laws governing them are different, and the applications are different.

You may be able to make your case that we should conclude the world would be grateful and not ratchet up military spending should the US decide to step it down, but I don't think you make your case at all by pointing to nukes.

Its kinda difficult to see Europe in general increasing spending when their economy's are in the hole right now that's for sure.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:

quote:
[citation needed], I mean come on, lets be objective here.
What do you think the chinese carrier, originally a rusted 80's hull of soviet scrap that they purchased from .. what was it, ukraine? .. under the pretense of making it into a floating casino, CURRENTLY HAS in terms of operational capacity. How solid a frame do you think it has for wartime operations. How fast do you think it goes.
This is quite laughable. So you assert through your begging the question that it does not have wartime capability?

You can be the one to prove it, I don't find the adjectives you used to be particularly meaningful.

I mean c'mon, you even describe it as "naval hilarity", surely you can show us an example of what makes it so.

While the chinese carrier does not currently have meaningful wartime capability and is currently mainly being used for test landings, I have not yet asserted this through "begging the question" — Could you try rephrasing your post without the misuse of logical fallacy names or talking about whether or not you find my 'adjectives meaningful' so that I can figure out exactly what kind of a response you are looking for?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
I don't buy the idea of a lightbulb moment. I think that's just something Americans like to think would occur to flatter themselves. In fact, I think that there would be many more countries that would celebrate a pullback in American military spending rather than mourn it, starting right here in Canada.

I don't doubt this at all. But after a few weeks/months the state of world affairs would adjust to not having the assumption that the US can respond with overwhelming power. Namely, aggressive elements would start flexing their muscles to see how far they get before somebody slaps their hands.
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Thesifer
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
I don't buy the idea of a lightbulb moment. I think that's just something Americans like to think would occur to flatter themselves. In fact, I think that there would be many more countries that would celebrate a pullback in American military spending rather than mourn it, starting right here in Canada.

I don't doubt this at all. But after a few weeks/months the state of world affairs would adjust to not having the assumption that the US can respond with overwhelming power. Namely, aggressive elements would start flexing their muscles to see how far they get before somebody slaps their hands.
If we cut our defense spending in half, I believe we would still spend more than the entire world in defense. Especially when you add in "National Security" (FBI,CIA,NSA, etc.)

I doubt cutting 100-250 billion per year from the defense budget would have much worldwide effect.

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Mucus
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This is a little off topic, since I thought we were talking about pirates and anti-piracy efforts, but it does highlight a fundamental difference.

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
What are they going to do the next time they decide to intervene in increasingly dangerous areas of the world ...

Presumably, they wouldn't decide to.
I'm remarkably excited about that possibility given the general track record of Western powers when it comes to "intervening."

quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I don't doubt this at all. But after a few weeks/months the state of world affairs would adjust to not having the assumption that the US can respond with overwhelming power. Namely, aggressive elements would start flexing their muscles to see how far they get before somebody slaps their hands.

I thought the US was the aggressive element [Wink]

In any case, the US would still be able to respond with overwhelming power, i.e. nuclear weapons on top of ICBMs. That pretty much rules out any moves by major powers. So what we're really talking about is a reduction in the ability of the US to intervene in minor states without access nuclear weapons.

I gotta say, you're going to have to sell me on why that should be of concern to me.

[ February 16, 2013, 03:05 AM: Message edited by: Mucus ]

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Rakeesh
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Who needs swaths of Africa, anyway?
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
1. less than a quarter of the US carrier fleet could take out the entire rest of the world's carrier fleets combined, and we literally have more carrier capacity than the rest of the world combined, and yet we still want at least ten more total by 2040

You deploy a carrier fleet beyond overwhelmingly powerful, so that even the contemplation of fighting it, or taking out a single carrier, is negated by the certainty that there will be three more in its place within a few days. That's why we have so many.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Thesifer:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
I don't buy the idea of a lightbulb moment. I think that's just something Americans like to think would occur to flatter themselves. In fact, I think that there would be many more countries that would celebrate a pullback in American military spending rather than mourn it, starting right here in Canada.

I don't doubt this at all. But after a few weeks/months the state of world affairs would adjust to not having the assumption that the US can respond with overwhelming power. Namely, aggressive elements would start flexing their muscles to see how far they get before somebody slaps their hands.
If we cut our defense spending in half, I believe we would still spend more than the entire world in defense. Especially when you add in "National Security" (FBI,CIA,NSA, etc.)

I doubt cutting 100-250 billion per year from the defense budget would have much worldwide effect.

If we cut our defense budget in half, I actually think Europe, combined, would have a higher spending rate. Regardless, I'm all for cutting at least $200 billion, right off the top. Mothball fleet elements, send tanks and plans to the yard in Nevada or wherever it is to be kept for later. Honorably discharge thousands from the armed forces, and focus on low-cost military options that can get us by for the next decade or two.

Mucus -
quote:
Presumably, they wouldn't decide to.
I'm remarkably excited about that possibility given the general track record of Western powers when it comes to "intervening."

That's a pretty ahistorical argument. Traditionally, capability hasn't hindered action, it just makes it messier.

quote:
In any case, the US would still be able to respond with overwhelming power, i.e. nuclear weapons on top of ICBMs. That pretty much rules out any moves by major powers. So what we're really talking about is a reduction in the ability of the US to intervene in minor states without access nuclear weapons.
I think you dramatically overstate our willingness to use nukes, while simultaneously writing off vast swaths of the world as unworthy of protection from hostile forces. Plus you ignore the threat from non-state actors. Are we supposed to nuke Al Qaeda cells individually with nukes?
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JanitorBlade
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Mucus:
quote:
In any case, the US would still be able to respond with overwhelming power, i.e. nuclear weapons on top of ICBMs. That pretty much rules out any moves by major powers. So what we're really talking about is a reduction in the ability of the US to intervene in minor states without access nuclear weapons.

I gotta say, you're going to have to sell me on why that should be of concern to me.

Nukes is way overdoing it 99.999% of the time. I'm talking about pirating, costal instability along important trade routes like through Malaysia and the Straights of Hormus. Part of a countries threat assessment is what is the maximum amount of force a country could/would commit to a situation. I'm actually in favor of a *huge* draw down in military expenditures. But, yeah, what Lyrhawn said. There's no situation where a nuke is appropriate for dealing with say terrorist cells.

But tensions could conceivably reach a boiling point between Japan and China, half as large is half as intimidating. Now of course the US could build up their forces again if our standing army was insufficient, so it might not be as big a deal.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:

quote:
[citation needed], I mean come on, lets be objective here.
What do you think the chinese carrier, originally a rusted 80's hull of soviet scrap that they purchased from .. what was it, ukraine? .. under the pretense of making it into a floating casino, CURRENTLY HAS in terms of operational capacity. How solid a frame do you think it has for wartime operations. How fast do you think it goes.
This is quite laughable. So you assert through your begging the question that it does not have wartime capability?

You can be the one to prove it, I don't find the adjectives you used to be particularly meaningful.

I mean c'mon, you even describe it as "naval hilarity", surely you can show us an example of what makes it so.

While the chinese carrier does not currently have meaningful wartime capability and is currently mainly being used for test landings, I have not yet asserted this through "begging the question" — Could you try rephrasing your post without the misuse of logical fallacy names or talking about whether or not you find my 'adjectives meaningful' so that I can figure out exactly what kind of a response you are looking for?
You just contradicted yourself.

You asserted that it was "naval hilarity", referring to Chinese sources using propaganda to through implication were boasting or otherwise overstating their capability, but at the same time use what I assume the official line that its primarily for training to state that it has no wartime capability? I presume you meant to post a link somewhere as your first sentence sounded artificial.

If the Chinese intentions, and official actions are so humble as that they themselves to an international and domestic audience state that the Liaoning is purely a training ship, and lacking in capability where's the naval hilarious boasting? Neither does this logically follow from your posts nor is the logic used correct in assuming "training" equals "no capability" this is clearly false; but I will leave it as an exercise for you to muddle through to provide substantiated evidence as to how the Liaoning has no capability, as you originally asserted, or as I requested, provide examples as to how it is "naval hilarity" as to be worthy as dismissal.

Your tripping over yourself, just concede you don't actually know what your talking about and probably only hear random news snippets that aren't vetted by qualified analysts.

quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
I don't buy the idea of a lightbulb moment. I think that's just something Americans like to think would occur to flatter themselves. In fact, I think that there would be many more countries that would celebrate a pullback in American military spending rather than mourn it, starting right here in Canada.

I don't doubt this at all. But after a few weeks/months the state of world affairs would adjust to not having the assumption that the US can respond with overwhelming power. Namely, aggressive elements would start flexing their muscles to see how far they get before somebody slaps their hands.
Which would be quick and by a UN sanction multinational strike force with the US likely still a significant contributor. The US didn't have the massive reagonesque era bloated budget it did when it fought in Korea.

quote:

I think you dramatically overstate our willingness to use nukes, while simultaneously writing off vast swaths of the world as unworthy of protection from hostile forces. Plus you ignore the threat from non-state actors. Are we supposed to nuke Al Qaeda cells individually with nukes?

I agree, though Mucus is right but wrong, cutting spending by half doesn't leave the US with only nukes, that's easily 4x China's budget; that's still boots on the ground you can insert in with less fancier stuff.
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BlackBlade
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Blayne: We have hundreds of military bases around the globe. Reduce that number by say 25%, and that's 25% less operational efficiency. We have maintained those basis, an enormous fleet, the largest air force and sustained two wars of 9 and 10+ years respectively.

The UN is a joke when it comes to intervening militarily. We are the de facto back bone of its forces. As for Korea, we were only a few years out from WWII, we had a large military. We had a large military during Vietnam too. There's no escaping the fact that if we dropped our military down by 50%, there is a strong possibility that there would be conflicts we would be unprepared to respond to.

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Samprimary
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quote:
blah blah blah, redacted, blah blah, Your tripping over yourself, just concede you don't actually know what your talking about and probably only hear random news snippets that aren't vetted by qualified analysts.
Maybe you could read this block of text back to yourself and wonder why people so frequently conclude you are not worth engaging on the subject of issues like this.

quote:
Neither does this logically follow from your posts nor is the logic used correct in assuming "training" equals "no capability" this is clearly false
By "no capability" i assume you are twisting my words at the point where I said "no meaningful wartime capacity"

So, try rewriting your post to address the statement I actually said? If you want to argue with a phantom person who is not me who said that the carrier had "no capability" and ask that this phantom person defend the idea that the carrier has "no capability" you're totally welcome to do that, but you won't get a response, because it's not a statement I made nor do I need to defend.

(in effect, it's your favorite individual oft-misused formal fallacy name: you just tried to strawman me. Hard.)

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think you dramatically overstate our willingness to use nukes, while simultaneously writing off vast swaths of the world as unworthy of protection from hostile forces. Plus you ignore the threat from non-state actors. Are we supposed to nuke Al Qaeda cells individually with nukes?

I think I'm repeating myself here. The ability of the US to deal with non-nuclear capable opponents would only be affected to a minor degree with the kinds of budget cuts that we're talking about.

And even if they were, the prospect of the US bombing fewer black and brown people as "protection" doesn't exactly strike me as a horrifying idea. So maybe there will be more living males in Yemen or Pakistan that haven't been posthumously been declared "combatants." Oh noes. (I'm assuming that the US wouldn't be stupid enough to nuke so-called "terrorist" cells. Please don't prove even this amount of faith wrong)

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
I'm talking about pirating, costal instability along important trade routes like through Malaysia and the Straights of Hormus.

Again, I think we're going in circles a bit.
The American navy is way over a necessary budget for dealing with pirates. We don't exactly have Spain and Britain issuing letters of marquee these days.

As for military adventures confronting Iran, honestly I trust that they'll get a nuke soon and we can then proceed to ignore them like adults like we do North Korea.

As for terrorism? Maybe you guys could spend less effort/money worrying about terrorism and more effort dealing with something statistically more likely to kill the average American citizen, like car crashes or gun violence.

Swords into plowshares or whatever the saying is, that used to be a popular idea on the American left once.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Blayne: We have hundreds of military bases around the globe. Reduce that number by say 25%, and that's 25% less operational efficiency. We have maintained those basis, an enormous fleet, the largest air force and sustained two wars of 9 and 10+ years respectively.

The UN is a joke when it comes to intervening militarily. We are the de facto back bone of its forces. As for Korea, we were only a few years out from WWII, we had a large military. We had a large military during Vietnam too. There's no escaping the fact that if we dropped our military down by 50%, there is a strong possibility that there would be conflicts we would be unprepared to respond to.

Yeah that's not particularly true, but it isn't worth the effort.

quote:

Maybe you could read this block of text back to yourself and wonder why people so frequently conclude you are not worth engaging on the subject of issues like this.

Are you going to respond with the evidence to support your original assertions or not? Are you going to explain why you feel the Liaoning has no wartime capability?

quote:

By "no capability" i assume you are twisting my words at the point where I said "no meaningful wartime capacity"

Semantics, its pretty clear that without a meaningful definition from your part you'll just shift the goalposts as to what constitutes "meaningful". Also wrong use of strawman fallacy of my counter argument didn't rely on the literal interpretation of "no capability" But a refusal to engage in that discussion without you conceding ground and presenting evidence for your original assertion.

Again, I'll point this out to you, you have presented zero evidence for any of your assertions, and proceeded to contradict yourself. Are you going to present evidence or not?

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Rakeesh
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Boy, who knew the American military was such a universal negative!

Anyway, I'm sure that with the sorts of major defense spending cuts being discussed here (some of which are quite sensible, others are very political) that it will end up being one of those common instances in which a sudden vacuum will occur and remain basically static. A major shift in regional military power throughout much of the world certainly won't be met with proportionate ripples, and those ripples will be sunshine and daisies throughout the world.

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Rakeesh
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As for North Korea, well it's sure been a good thing for the world that they got nukes and that we're now sort of ignoring them. Especially the North Koreans! Clearly the problem is with those attempting to address this sort of threat, rather than the threat itself.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
quote:

By "no capability" i assume you are twisting my words at the point where I said "no meaningful wartime capacity"

Semantics, its pretty clear that without a meaningful definition from your part you'll just shift the goalposts as to what constitutes "meaningful".
Yeah, it's semantics in the sense that I definitely said one thing, and you made it out to be something significantly different, that I don't need to defend myself against.

quote:
Also wrong use of strawman fallacy of my counter argument didn't rely on the literal interpretation of "no capability" But a refusal to engage in that discussion without you conceding ground and presenting evidence for your original assertion.
Can you write this out again? The way it is written it makes no sense and is terribly grammatically garbled.

quote:
Again, I'll point this out to you, you have presented zero evidence for any of your assertions, and proceeded to contradict yourself. Are you going to present evidence or not?

Uh, I've provided as much evidence for my assertions as you have in this thread. I'd wait until you could reasonably demonstrate where I have contradicted myself.

(I know I haven't, but it would be interesting to see where you jumped to the idea that I had).

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Thesifer
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http://notatthebar.com/blog/2013/02/03/the-military-needs-to-change/
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