Saturday, May 08, 2010

Robert Gates is in the House!

By J. Thomas Duffy

This particular monster can read minds, you see. He knows every thought, he can feel every emotion. Oh yes, I did forget something, didn't I? I forgot to introduce you to the monster. This is the monster. His name is Anthony Fremont. He's six years old, with a cute little-boy face and blue, guileless eyes. But when those eyes look at you, you'd better start thinking happy thoughts, because the mind behind them is absolutely in charge.

It's a Good Life (The Twilight Zone)

No doubt, military-industrial contractors, around the country, will spend the night attempting to summoning Anthony, from the Twilight Zone, pleading with him to wish Secretary of Defense Robert Gates into the cornfield.

Look at all the bad things he's saying, they'll tell Anthony.

Doesn't that make Anthony angry, they ask Anthony, in-between whispers to wish Gates into the cornfield.

Then, they'll down their second/third/fourth martini.

Robert Gates was in the house!

Robert Gates ... In the mother-fucking house!

Speaking at the Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kan., on the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, Gates let those contractors know;

Robert Gates is in the mother-fucking house!

“Eisenhower was wary of seeing his beloved republic turn into a muscle-bound, garrison state—militarily strong, but economically stagnant and strategically insolvent,” Gates said.

Gates acknowledged that saving money in the defense budget “will mean overcoming steep institutional and political challenges, many lying outside the five walls of the Pentagon.”

Apart from making the case against the alternate engine for the F-35 and more C-17s, Gates raised the alarm over Congress’s resistance to increasing the premiums and co-pays on the military’s health insurance. The Pentagon has attempted in the last several years to make modest increases to the co-pays and premiums in order to bring the health care costs under control, Gates said.

“Leaving aside the sacred obligation we have to America’s wounded warriors, healthcare costs are eating the Defense Department alive, rising from $19 billion a decade ago to $50 billion—roughly the entire foreign affairs and assistance budget of the State Department,” Gates said.

In case tightening collars denied oxygen to their brains, and the contractors were gasping for air;

“Another category ripe for scrutiny should be overhead,” he said. “According to an estimate by the Defense Business Board, overhead, broadly defined, makes up roughly 40 percent of the Department’s budget.”

Gates said the Pentagon’s approach to coming up with the requirements for specific programs and contract must change. Requirements for weapons systems should be based on a “wider real world context,” he said.

And, not to be overlooked, Gates threw down against the Congress;

“For example, should we really be up in arms over a temporary projected shortfall of about 100 Navy and Marine strike fighters relative to the number of carrier wings, when America’s military possesses more than 3,200 tactical combat aircraft of all kinds?” Gates asked in a reference to the congressional push to buy more Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets.

“Does the number of warships we have and are building really put America at risk when the U.S. battle fleet is larger than the next 13 navies combined, 11 of which belong to allies and partners? Is it a dire threat that by 2020 the United States will have only 20 times more advanced stealth fighters than China?”

Here that Congress?

Robert Gates is in the mother-fucking house!

Libby Spencer, over on The Impolitic, knows that Robert Gates is in the mother-fucking house.

I've been thinking about this for the last few months. It's good to see DefSec Gates address wasteful military spending. He takes on all the sacred cows inside the Pentagon including medical benefits and so-called overhead, but I think the big money is in unnecessary equipment.

John Nichols, over on The Nation, knows Robert Gates is in the mother-fucking house;

The question, of course, is whether members of House and Senate -- Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals -- are prepared to recognize that real world context and operate within it.

The fact of the matter is that no discussion of cutting spending, balancing budgets and reducing deficits is serious if it does not include a discussion of how to cut Pentagon waste and abuse.

The Secretary of Defense is ready for that discussion.

Hear that military-industrial contractors?

Hear that Congress?

And Anthony, you ain't got a cornfield big enough, cuz....

Robert Gates is in the mother-fucking house!

(Cross Posted at The Garlic)

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  • Thanks for the shoutout. I find it remarkably cheering that Gates is taking this on.

    By Blogger Libby Spencer, at 11:35 AM  

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