[FoRK] "Two faces of the Tea Party"

mdw at martinwills.com mdw at martinwills.com
Fri Jun 25 10:06:35 PDT 2010


>
> On Jun 25, 2010, at 8:39 AM, Reese wrote:
>>
>> After 1989 (or was it 1991?), it was a weapon in need of an enemy,
>> there wasn't one.
>
>
> So we should just keep on using a 1960s model? Combat aircraft are a
> staple of warfare, it is silly to imply that there is no use at all for
> them. The F-22 was designed to be used as a next generation platform for a
> variety of roles.
>

It was designed to replace the F-15/F-16.  The F-15 has over its 34 year
history has a 100-1 kill ratio.  The F-22 (being flown by retrained
F-15/16 pilots) have shown a 15 - 0 kill ratio over the F-15 and a 38 - 0
kill ratio over F-16's in full scale dog-fighting evolutions as part of
it's acceptance testing.  So I think replacing a 42 year-old airframe with
something new is/was necessary.  Or as my father used to say...  "Do you
think you can go faster by putting a 350 CID engine in a Model-T or a 350
CID engine in a new Corvette?"  Proof to the person who would like to try
taking the first curve, at top speed, in either.

>
>> Are you purposely failing to mention the JSF (F-35) program? The
>> increased costs of an alternate engine, parts inventory, training,
>> etc. etc. etc. and that whole boondoggle. Not to mention that as a
>> new design for a jet engine, it has been an abject waste with a
>> significantly higher testing failure rate than the industry standard
>> for new engine designs (about 1 failure per 13 hours versus 300 hours
>> IIRC)?
>
>
> I wasn't the one enumerating wasteful programs. Why would I mention it?
>
> As it happens, yes I think the JSF program is a boondoggle. At the end of
> the day it is a jack-of-all-trades export version of the F-22 with some of
> the advanced technology removed. They wrapped several unrelated
> requirements into a single platform.
>
>

F-35 was mandated by Congressional wrangling, to again try, what failed in
the F-4 Phantom program.  Make one aircraft that fits all needs and can be
resold. (Or as we used to say... "The F-4 Phantom was the United States
proof to the world, that if you put a big enough engine on it, you can
make a brick fly.").

>>>> The Osprey program,
>>>
>>> Ignoring that this was again a very tiny fraction of the DoD budget,
>>
>> You keep saying that. How about you document it with some numbers?
>
>
> You made the assertion, not I. Since you are too lazy, the annualized cost
> of the program to date is ~$900M.  Not even a lousy billion dollars.
>
>
>> Great R&D, with a lot of technical problems that resulted in a lot of
>> crashes and the loss of a lot more lives than were necessary, with
>> inadequate reversions to the drawing board and sometimes proceeding
>> with operational testing even after flaws resulted in crashes and the
>> unnecessary loss of our lives.
>
>
> The Precautionary Principle is alive and well I see. I suppose you would
> have argued against the Apollo program too.
>
>
>> It seems like another costly solution in search of an insignificant
>> problem. Another style of mouse trap where the existing and less
>> expensive traps work just fine, thank you very much.
>
>
> Yes, so many countries and companies have tried to solve this design
> problem because there was no value in it. Naturally. It has a number of
> very compelling advantages that allow it to operate under a set of
> parameters no other type of aircraft comes close to matching.
>
>
>>>> or the development, manufacture, and maintenance
>>>> of both tactical and ballistic nuclear weapons?
>>>
>>> Development and manufacture?  The US has been dismantling these for a
>>> long time and currently has considerably fewer than Russia. The US
>>> hasn't produced a new design in ages.
>>
>> Don't avoid the issue. How much has been spent, since the decision to
>> build Little Boy?
>
>
> A lot, a long time ago. What does this have to do with defense spending in
> the modern era? This is completely irrelevant.  Are we going to talk about
> the arms spending minutiae of the Spanish-American War next?  We probably
> still have those weapons in storage too.
>
>
>> It is your claim that the bulk of DoD spending is on personnel. Do
>> you think the overseas bases are staffed by and paid for out of the
>> budget of the State Department? Even if you are correct about the
>> latter, what sort of wacky economics shell game is that?
>
>
> Overseas bases are a vehicle for foreign aid. You know this.  Yes, the DoD
> has to pay for it, but the DoD maintains bases in a lot of places the DoD
> doesn't care about.
>
>
>> I was expecting something that would make nuclear weapons impotent
>> and obsolete, just like Reagan said. What were you expecting, a few
>> [b|tr]illion a year for the military-industrial complex?
>
>
> The point of the program was to make long-range weapons non-viable. It
> forces the battlefield toward a vastly more expensive equilibrium.
>
>
>>> There are two problems.  First, the programs you mentioned add up to a
>>> drop in the DoD budget bucket.
>>
>> Again, you keep claiming that. Prove it.
>
>
> You made the assertion that they were a big part of the DoD budget. If you
> haven't figured out Teh Interwebs then I can't help you. It isn't as
> though the DoD budget is a secret.
>
>
>> So, what are these "many" that were "a monumental waste..."?
>
>
> There aren't that many that have a large absolute price tag.  The JSF was
> and is a giant boondoggle. Rumsfeld was able to kill a bunch of expensive
> weapon programs that were designed for a backward-looking "land war in
> Europe" scenario.
>
>
>> You keep singling out R&D. I'm not. Here's another failed program:
>> Seawulf class submarines.
>
>
> I keep singling out R&D because the rest of the budget is largely
> operational expense and Veteran Administration, which you are studiously
> ignoring.
>
> The engineering that is done for US military R&D is extremely bleeding
> edge. Unlike many other countries, the US can't just copy design elements
> from other people in most cases. This, along with Congressional monkeying
> with the projects every year for pork-related purposes, creates a certain
> amount of risk that exists anytime you try to do something that has never
> been done before.  Or worse, several things that have never been done
> before, all in the same system.
>
>
>> I leave as an exercise for you, proving your claims.
>
>
> I really can't help someone who militantly refuses to use Google for
> something so widely documented that it is unclear why you are arguing from
> a position of ignorance in the first place.
>
>
>
>
>
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Regards,
Martin




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