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this one is interesting:
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Contrary to the president's rhetoric, there is no forthcoming Trump buildup, and the new strategy emphasizing China and Russia is becoming ever more elusive and out of touch with fiscal reality. It is simply unaffordable at this point in time.
With
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, Washington is ready for very tough negotiations on the next and final budget deal of
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. But that’s missing the forest for the trees. No matter how much money the Pentagon gets, the president’s budget for next year is still flat or declining. Contrary to the president’s rhetoric, there is no forthcoming Trump buildup, and the new strategy emphasizing China and Russia is becoming ever more elusive and out of touch with fiscal reality. It is simply unaffordable at this point in time.

The last bipartisan bargain in 2018, which dwarfed the two previous deals combined, cost $185 billion on the defense side and $131 billion on the non-defense side for a total of $286 billion.

Compare that to the likely president’s budget request for the Pentagon alone next year and the odds quickly look long. Funding the president’s original projected
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and $743 billion in fiscal 2021, plus a large “base-to-OCO” transfer will require $270 billion. It is nearly unimaginable that a newly empowered House Democratic majority will not open negotiations by demanding pure parity for defense and non-defense discretionary increases.

That tab quickly grows too big to swallow, even for deficit-loving, free-wheeling big spenders in both parties on Capitol Hill. With inflation rising and annual deficits bumping up close to a trillion dollars, members are starting to get squeamish about large, unfunded new bills. This comes as the Congressional Budget Office projects that continued deficit spending will take the amount of federal debt held by the public to roughly 100 percent of GDP by the end of the 2020s.

Even if leaders can agree on and ram through a massive deal, those levels of defense spending are part of the flat five-year spending plan advanced by the Trump Administration. A defense budget that roughly keeps pace with inflation means that the military loses buying power. While it sounds like insider accounting, this has serious implications for those in uniform, especially for readiness. So, while the administration’s proposed increased from a $716 billion defense budget in 2019 to a $733 billion defense budget in 2020 sounds hefty and generous, the Pentagon will not be able to buy any more than it did the last year—assuming inflation hangs around 2 percent.

A flat defense budget is unacceptable to enough members of Congress to keep a deal with less money from passing. President Trump’s disappointing investment plans have been panned by a bipartisan cast of defense experts who have pilloried the idea that such a spending profile could fund a true “buildup” that would not only reverse the damage to the military of the past two decades, but better posture the United States for long-term great-power competition.

Most recently, the congressionally-mandated Commission on the National Defense Strategy highlighted the chasm between the lofty goals laid out in the administration’s National Defense Strategy and the money to back it up. Rather than a topline ask of $733 billion in 2020, the 3 to 5 percent real growth called for by the commission would generate a 2020 topline of $752 billion to $766 billion. The difference would only grow larger in fiscal 2021 and beyond, like compound interest.

As if it weren’t enough that $733 billion was too little to provide for the common defense of America and meet the Pentagon’s own stated objectives and requirements, the administration now would like defense to absorb a 5 percent spending cut in 2020. While much remains unclear about the specifics, officials’ comments seem to indicate that the defense topline request will likely be $700 billion not $733 billion in 2020, a loss of $33 billion from a budget that should have been at least $30 billion higher to begin with.

Why is the Trump Administration doing this? Because scoring political points about the deficit and debt while doing nothing to solve that problem is easy. If you listen closely, when you hear National Security Adviser John Bolton say that “right now you can have significant impact on both the deficit and national debt by cutting government spending on discretionary programs,” you can almost hear an echo of the bipartisan coalition of President Obama and GOP fiscal hawks who passed the Budget Control Act together in a laughable attempt to balance the budget (largely) on the back of the military.

But if the original BCA has been such a great idea, why has it been revised every single budget year since? The truth is politicians want it both ways—to be seen as cutting overall federal spending and growing spending on individual priorities and programs when they can. But there isn’t likely to be any growth in defense spending. Simply financing a flat defense budget of marginal growth for the next two years will be a tall hill to climb for the new Congress. Pentagon planners can hope for better but plan for another 2013, when sequestration kicked in after years of promises it wouldn’t.
it's
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Oct 26, 2018
very interesting
Boeing Lands Contracts With Upfront R&D Investing
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and here's related Opinion: How Boeing’s Low Bids Are Unsettling Defense
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The major pure-play defense primes—
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,
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and
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—have seen their shares come under particular pressure in recent weeks despite robust third-quarter results and encouraging initial forecasts for 2019. While the equity market has hardly been helpful, the issue that has also been plaguing the sector is concern over
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’s decision to bid three recent defense programs at a loss with a fixed-price development structure.

Lockheed said that if it had matched Boeing’s price, it would have taken a $5 billion loss. Although Boeing’s initial reach-forward loss was “only” approximately $700 million, there is concern that other contractors will have to follow Boeing or concede market share—as well as signing up for potentially ruinous fixed-price development programs. While the concern is understandable, the fears are probably exaggerated. There does not appear to be any sign of the Pentagon radically changing its contractual structure—it is well aware that it has had to bail out contractors that have taken on too much risk. However, Boeing’s approach to price is still negative. No one wins a price war, but Boeing is currently the biggest loser.

To take the Boeing side of the argument, the justification for its “investment” in the U.S. Air Force T-X and U.S. Navy MQ-25 is that these platforms will see additional sales beyond the initial requirements, together with many years of aftermarket support. Boeing leaders say the initial T-X award covers only 20% of the potential original equipment market and 10% of the aftermarket. While investors may question both Boeing’s ability to capture the remaining 80% and 90% of these markets and the potential time line, it is worth noting that this additional market requirement is critical to making the net present value of these projects work. Moreover, Boeing is adamant that it has reduced the risk on the T-X and MQ-25 thanks to years of preliminary R&D with flying prototypes. With that in mind, here is a look at other programs on which Boeing is competing, considering whether these additional market and cost/risk parameters may apply:

Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) Boeing is competing against Northrop Grumman to supply the next generation of ground-based ICBMs replacing the Minuteman. Given the strategic nature of nuclear weapons, there is no export market for this product, and the aftermarket is limited to keeping the missile ready to go. However, the Air Force has been happy to bring other contractors to support the Minuteman fleet—
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has performed technical support, for example. Boeing apparently does not have a new ICBM prototype in testing, and so there will be a significantly higher R&D requirement versus what is required on the T-X and MQ-25. The Air Force has structured GBSD in a conventional fashion, with a cost-plus-development contract before low-rate initial production and full-rate production, though in theory that could change ahead of the downselect in 2020. The program is estimated to have a total funding requirement of $62-100 billion.

Future Vertical Lift (FVL) Boeing is teamed with Lockheed Martin (
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) on this competition, and it is up against
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(Bell). The FVL probably fits many of the T-X/MQ-25 characteristics, as the new helicopter is primarily designed to replace the Sikorsky Blackhawk and Boeing Apache fleet, and it could be the basis to also replace the
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and fill the gap created when the Bell Kiowa Warrior was retired. The details of what the Army wants from FVL have yet to be firmed up, but there is a potential domestic market of thousands of helicopters, with an equally large export market. Given this scale-—and the desire to keep a suitable number of helicopter OEMs in the market—it would not be a surprise if the Army ultimately splits the FVL into separate components. However, the scale of the potential original equipment and support revenues and the fact that both bidders are already flying prototypes mean this program could be a candidate for Boeing price aggression and a fixed-price structure.

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(EELV)
Boeing and Lockheed are also teamed as the United Launch Alliance (ULA), one of three companies selected to develop the Air Force’s next-generation EELV space launcher. The other two teams are Northrop Grumman and Blue Origin.
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, which like ULA is an incumbent provider, has been left out. The situation in launch is very different from the rest of defense, with SpaceX and Blue Origin acting as the disruptors on price versus the Air Force. ULA has struggled to match the new entrants on cost, and so it may have to take some price pain to remain as one of two providers of military launch capability. The Air Force also has said SpaceX can rejoin the competition at Phase 2 (solicitation phase) and that there will be a “full and open competition” for all launch providers with a low-risk proposal. The three teams developing the EELV are public-private partnerships. Ultimately, we expect ULA to be one of the three companies selected for government launch but with a much lower price than it has enjoyed in the past.

History would suggest that price wars have no winners—and that the defense industry has potentially even more to lose from signing more fixed-price development work. While the rest of the industry has no desire to match Boeing’s approach, it is not clear whether the Pentagon will take a more aggressive stance on pricing and contractual risk. Beating up the defense industry at a time when it is also trying to promote technological development is contradictory, and given the way industry pushed back (successfully) on proposed changes to the progress payment structure, we cannot see the
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attempting a wholescale change in its approach to industry. Nevertheless, Boeing’s decision to start a price war in defense is bad news.
 

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
GAO: Navy Lost 1,891 Days of Attack Sub Operations Waiting for Repairs; Spent $1.5 Billion Supporting Idle Crews
I don't believe for a minute those crews were "idle". Those shipmates aboard ships that are under repair are frequently sent TAD,temporary Duty Assignment, to other subs or ships so they will be current in their rating and watch standing ablity. Idle? The USN also sends sailors to "C", continuing education in rating, schools to keep those sailors current/trained up in their ratings. Idle.. I think not. Idle time..I bet that includes salaries & incentive pay of the sailors that would be paid anyway...I'll stop here.

I'd like to thank GAO for this report...they are nothing but a bunch of bean counters...
 
guess the meaning of
is important here;

I retype from the original document
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starting at the bottom of p. 8:

"Using historical daily cost data the Navy (sic)
adjusted for inflation,
we estimated that since fiscal year 2008 the Navy has spent more than
$1.5 billion in fiscal year 2018 constant dollars on attack submarines
sitting idle while waiting to enter the shipyard, and on those delayed in
completing their maintenance at the shipyards (see table 1). [superspcript 12]

table 1 is reposted Today at 7:58 AM

While the
Navy would incur these costs regardless of whether the submarines was
delayed, idled, or deployed, our estimate of $1.5 billion represents costs
incurred from fiscal year 2008 through fiscal year 2018 for attack
submarines without receiving any operational capability in return. While
acknowledging the magnitude of these costs, Navy officials stated that
there may be some benefits that could be realized from these operating
and support costs since crews on idle attack submarines can conduct
some limited training."
 
Last edited:
Why don't we just wait a damn minute?? MBS is the author of a great many reforms in Saudi Arabia, reforms that are NOT popular with the more traditional religious clerics and their followers??

does anybody else think this is all just a little bit "too convenient", lots of people in Saudi Arabia would love to derail MBS and his reforms, lots of people in the US would love to discredit the current administration and derail our strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia!

this smells to high heaven, NOW having said all that, we ought to find and punish the killers of Jamal Khashoggi, no matter where the trail leads, I just think this seems a little too convenient, and now being leaked by the WaPo......

we also know for a fact that those opposed to such reforms would rather die that see MBS move Saudi Arabia into the modern world....
in the latest development
Trump says US stands with Saudi Arabia despite journalist Khashoggi's killing
  • President Donald Trump says that the U.S. stands with Saudi Arabia in the wake of the slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • In a lengthy statement, punctuated with eight exclamation points, Trump says that "we may never know all of the facts surrounding" Khashoggi's death, but "our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."
  • Trump told reporters Saturday that a "very full report" will be coming by Tuesday on the U.S.' investigation. But in his statement Tuesday, Trump appeared to cast doubt that the U.S. probe of the matter was complete.
... Updated 13 Mins Ago
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bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
While the Navy would incur these costs regardless of whether the submarines was delayed, idled, or deployed, our estimate of $1.5 billion represents costs
incurred from fiscal year 2008 through fiscal year 2018 for attack
submarines without receiving any operational capability in return. While
acknowledging the magnitude of these costs, Navy officials stated that
there may be some benefits that could be realized from these operating
and support costs since crews on idle attack submarines can conduct
some limited training."
That's what I said...jeez...by the way I never read the full article...
 
Yesterday at 9:02 PM
in the latest development
Trump says US stands with Saudi Arabia despite journalist Khashoggi's killing
  • President Donald Trump says that the U.S. stands with Saudi Arabia in the wake of the slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • In a lengthy statement, punctuated with eight exclamation points, Trump says that "we may never know all of the facts surrounding" Khashoggi's death, but "our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."
  • Trump told reporters Saturday that a "very full report" will be coming by Tuesday on the U.S.' investigation. But in his statement Tuesday, Trump appeared to cast doubt that the U.S. probe of the matter was complete.
... Updated 13 Mins Ago
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and now
Published 43 mins ago
Brennan wants Congress to declassify CIA report on Khashoggi killing
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asif iqbal

Brigadier
so Trump is putting money above human rights ?

can someone who dismisses the verdict of his own intelligence agency's be fit for president?

Capitol Hill has a different views and Democrats are preparing for a move, removing MBS?
 

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