Friday, January 6, 2012

DOD future strategy

A few points on DODs strategy statement.

Pretty thin on details. What would I do; considering the dire budget problems?

I think for the Army, the Regiment in the Active/Guard/Reserve has to be the core unit. It is smallish, and can be scaled as needed. Brigades? Divisions? Sure, when there is a need to form up several Regiments as needed for exercises and contingencies. Other than that, Brigades and Divisions (their footprint) becomes a small number of headquarters that are themselves small.  Stressing the Regiment as the key player is important also be cause it is commanded by a Colonel. This means there is no general left behind act. We have too many flag officers.

The Guard Regiments would be very light and do the basics; provide homeland security and provide manpower for expeditionary Brigades and Divisions. Given that we have some small as well as large manpower states, I figure you could raise/reorg 30~40 Guard Regiments not counting aviation.

The Navy, like the USAF has to shed useless weapons systems. For starters, get rid of two systems that provide no real worth yet consume resources we can ill afford. That is: cruisers and the Littoral Combat Ship.  Like it or not, carriers will have to be cut. We don't have the money to do everything. With that, the Navy should start on some new initiatives.

-New nuclear weapons to replace the old ones
-A new affordable no-frills Frigate
-A small armed transport. It will look like a small cargo ship, yet have a helipad and a hanger, small hold with crane.
-Keep building attack submarines
-Fund a new light carrier design which is nuclear powered
-Stop large carriers. The Ford will be the last one.
-Fund a new nuclear destroyer for the nuclear light carrier
-Continue to fund land-based ISR
-Cancel the F-35C, continue to by Super Hornets, fund FA-XX

Disband the USMC--we can no longer afford a second land Army.

Dramatically cut the USAF
-The Air National Guard will provide home air defense.
-Replace old nuclear weapons with new ones
-Continue upgrades of the C-5,  F-22, and A-10.
-Cull the F-15E fleet and upgrade a smaller number of aircraft.
-Remove the F-15C-D
-Keep only F-16 Block 5X
-Fund Wedgetail as an AWACs replacement
-Fund other 737 types as manned ISR including a JSTARs replacement
-Join with the Navy on UCAS-N
-Continue to test Avenger
-Low rate buys of F-16s and F-15E
-Upgrade a smaller number of B-1s
-Remove nuke capability from the B-52
-Fund long range hyper-sonic strike from the B-52
-Fund a new ICBM
-Fund a small number of 777-200LR transports. Light transport to keep the aircraft's range. Will not have refueling capability.
-Fighters, Bombers and Tanker/Transport will be reorganized into single and dual squadron GROUPS. Like the Army's Regiment, this kills star growth yet is still doable.
-Cancel the F-35A

DOD wide--
Remove all air assets from Europe. Remove all land forces. We deploy and exercise there. Not garrison there.
Fund facilities and agreements with Australia for additional exercising of tanker, transport, F-22, F-15E and large bombers.
Change the retirement system into a 401k setup. Scaleable with years served. This also keeps people from chasing high-year tenure.

There is more but that is a start.


Graeme said...

As a strategy you could also share SM-3 data with the Russians and whomever else that they may sell it too...?!

I'm flabbergasted.

nico said...

I tried it as CanuckFighter suggested, saved 750 billion, took a grand total of 2 minutes. There should be more options but it really shows that we do spend way to much on stuff that doesn't bring a whole lot to the fight.It was funny to notice that you weren't allowed to completely cancel F35, you had to buy it for USAF or USN but not completely wipe it out.

I like the fact that you could get rid of nuke bombers, huge waste of money.

I would like to develop a new common ICBM/SLBM to replace old Minutemen (maybe 100), can the old ones and replace D5 for new SSNGX.

I agree on getting rid of LCS and bringing back new Perry type frigate. Would be a heck of a lot more useful,cheaper and could make up numbers. Get rid of all CGs if not ABM capable.

I wouldn't get rid of Marines but they need to adapt to new century, maybe less the "hitting the beach" and better prepared for COIN or MOUT. ARMY would be reduced but maintain some heavy units with Abrams. I think USA needs both but they have come to resemble each other too much, they need to be more separate in capablities.

Anonymous said...

YGBSM! You folks need to take the blinders off! Do you actually have any real world knowledge of what is out there and what may very well happen in the next say 10 years? DOD takes it in the shorts while the welfare types contunie to ask for more and get it, get it?

Canuck Fighter said...

The irony in all this is that despite all the spending such as Iraq (1 trillion) or Afghanistan (600M), the actual percentage (%) of GDP expenditure is far less for Iraq/Afghan foreign wars than it was for Vietnam for example. Military spending is not 800 pound gorilla.

The real budget worry is social security, medicare including pharmacare. These social programs will cost in the 10's of trillions. These costs are associated with the boomer population over the next 20 years.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting both links, Graeme and Nico (originally via CF).

To Graeme: I missed that news item so it was especially interesting to catch up with current events of things. After reading the bit however, I think Section 1227 sounds pretty reasonable and worthwhile and I would have to opine that for the most part this law corresponds pretty well to the Constitution. In that case, I'll have to disagree with Obama's interpretation of the Checks and balances despite him wanting to engage the Kremlin diplomatically (which is a good thing). In that case though, I feel he'll have to find some other ammo and avenues in which to base his well-intended, pro-active diplomacy.

If push comes to shove however, I'm pretty sure that the Supreme court would come down on Congress's side of this said 'interpretation' with respect to requiring checks and balances included in the above noted Defense Appropriations law.

In this case, it would come down to how important defending Section 1227 is to Congress.

And to Nico... I was pretty close to you - I saved $755B ($440bn from the personnel category). And btw, it appears you can indeed 'cancel' the F-35 Program outright by saving a projected $48bn over 10 yrs in 'procuring' both F-16 and Super Hornets instead of F-35A, B and C.

I'll also concur with Nico to reduce - not eliminate - the Marines force structure. They are by far the cheapest man-for-man expenditure of all branches in the Defense budget. They are by definition ready-built 'lean' force structure - as lean as you can get. Not only that, the Marines are an aggressive elite capability to complement Army, not duplicate (especially not duplicating when the combined aggregate Army/Marine ground force is reduced to recent levels of the Army alone).

At about $29 bn per year, the Marine budget is nothing compared to Army's plump $245 bn budget. I'd actually support cutting $5 bn from Army and give it to the Marines for equipment. They'd buy more bang for buck than anyone else.

I'd further support an expanded MARSOC contribution USSOCOM too.

FWIW, my little nephew (18) is actually in Marine aircrew school at the moment. They have intensive SERE training this summer and have already been informed to expect broken bones before it's over. On their 55 hr hike with packs during boot camp a guy in his group unknowingly broke his pelvic and continued on for a couple hours saying he could continue until dropping, going into shock and having to be medevaced out. That's dedication.

I'd probably argue to cut the armored MBT tank units though, replace the LAV-25 within 10 yrs. Expand HIMARS procurement for fire support too imho.

Anonymous said...

Don't think the USMC is going to dissapear with the strengthening of the US's Asia-Pacific presence.

nico said...

I agree that SS and Medicare need to be reformed but the posting was about DOD future strategy. If you are serious about balancing the budget and cutting the deficit, I believe everything should be on the table including defense. It takes less than a few minutes to find literally 100 of billions of dollars in savings with very little to no damage done to US security interests. On the contrary, some of ELP's ideas are better/cheaper and provide for a sustainable DOD procurement(which isn't the case now with how much we borrow from China).

Having served my country and worked a little in the industry, there is more than enough waste to cut in DOD with no problem or harm.