Leave it to Colbert to explain why Congress’ decision to pay for the tank that even the Pentagon doesn’t want makes perfect sense.
Don’t let the Pentagon get a hold of these prototypes….
Making Danger Room’s list of “6 Weapons that Love the New Pentagon Budget” is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, pictured above being escorted by F-18 Hornets. Somewhat ironically, the Hornets have many of the same capabilities as the F-35 but come at a fraction of the F-35’s $200 million per plane price tag. Meanwhile, the F-35 has been plagued with cost overruns, performance issues and is what we like to refer to as “the jet that ate the Pentagon.” (Photo from the U.S. Marine Corps.)
“When a relatively conservative institution like the U.S. military, which doesn’t like to take risks because risks get people killed, says it has enough tanks, I think generally civilians should be inclined to believe them.”
said Travis Sharp a fellow at the defense think tank, New American Security. The Army is insisting it doesn’t need any more M-1 Abrams tanks, but Congress is continuing to allocate fund specifically for the tanks.
This is why it is so hard to cut the defense budget. Even when the military says it has plenty of tanks, and it comes up with a way to save money by waiting to refurbish them, Members of Congress from both parties protect manufacturing in their districts over the recommendations from generals they love to applaud at every turn. Read more of this great CNN story about how Congress is refusing to save $3 billion.
Even with the sequestration cuts to defense spending, the U.S. would still be far and away the biggest military spender in the world. Read more at Battleland.
“We need to talk about how to reshape the military to address the threats of the 21st century, an approach that a majority of Americans support. The discussion needs to be about how to protect the country, not how to protect profits and privilege. We have to demand an end to parochial politics and a beginning of a real debate on what it takes to defend us and our allies.”
Sequestration will not be as devastating as some people say it will.
Great chart from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments new report and even better summary of the chart by Battleland’s Mark Thompson:
The ascendancy kind of resembles the Himalayas. Folks warning of disaster following any more budget cuts seem a little like novice mountaineers standing on the 28,251-foot summit of K2, the world’s second tallest mountain, and complaining that Everest’s 29,029-foot peak is higher.