The EU

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Great Letter to the Editor

On Monday The Boston Globe published an Editorial on future defense spending "Gates Against the Complex."  In this editorial The Globe argues that that it is time to drop weapons systems and bases that supported the Cold War.

This followed an article by Reporter Bryan Bender on Secretary of Defense Gates' work inside the Pentagon to trim defense spending.  Using the normal procedures of anonymous sources (people with agendas, but lacking the fortitude to stand by them in public), the report sketched out what is expected to be the path of future procurement.  With the cost of personnel now up around 60% of the Defense Budget, new acquisition becomes even more the target of defense cuts.  The Secretary is supposed to be meeting with his Combatant Commanders (the four-star war fighters out in the field) soon to discuss the future.

One of the points in Reporter Bender's article is the resistance of Senators and Members of the House to cuts of programs that mean jobs in the district or state.  Look at what happened when the Navy was talking of cutting DDG-1000.  Senator Kennedy, and others, spoke up and the Navy ordered another hull.  This is an important program for Raytheon, amongst others.  Here is the push trumpeted on Senator John Kerry's web site.

Today there were three Letters to the editor on the subject of the Editorial. Here Sayre Sheldon of Natick, president emerita of Women's Action for New Directions, a national women's peace group, says we all have to stand together if we are going to end this sort of thing.  She also credits Representative Barney Frank for being against Defense bloat.

Then there is the letter from Richard B Olson, of Provincetown, who argues that we will sell the F-22 Raptor "to regimes in the Middle East or elsewhere where they might fall into hostile hands."  He then argues that we will then have to acquire an even better fighter, keeping the arms race going--an "arms race--with ourselves."

And, in the middle, a long letter by yours truly, saying that acquisition should be based upon a strategy and asks for the Globe's strategy.

We need a conversation, but I haven't found the venue where it is being conducted.

On a side note, we lost an F-22 today, and the pilot, out at Edwards AFB.  In the article is this short paragraph
Lockheed Martin says there are 95,000 jobs at 1,000 companies connected to the F-22,
You can safely bet that those 95,000 jobs are spread across more than half the States in the Union.  Maybe even more than half the Congressional Districts.

Regards  --  Cliff

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