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Oct 20, 2018
Today at 7:58 AM
kinda related (but posted before that, two pair of quotes, credible, two pair of unquotes, Saudi explanation) is
Defense Industry Safe From Saudi Issues, Say Analysts
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so let's wait and see
now
Top GOP appropriator signals willingness to cut arms sales to Saudi Arabia
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In light of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and ongoing humanitarian concerns with the situation in Yemen, members of Congress have expressed
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about continuing to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia.

Now, the newly announced top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee has thrown her weight behind the option to end the long-standing arms relationship with Riyadh.

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, said that while Congress was still gathering information, “if we have the full picture on [Khashoggi], I would say no, we should not sell.”

Granger’s comments could be a signal for how
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between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Congress
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, as a result of the situation in Yemen and the fallout from the Khashoggi situation. Granger is a
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of the benefits of selling weapons abroad and represents a district heavy with Lockheed Martin presence.

As the newly announced top Republican on the appropriations committee, Granger would have an outsized ability to influence funding for Saudi military activities.

The question of whether that is the right move, however, remains unclear. Michèle Flournoy, a former
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, said that while looking the other way on Khashoggi is a “betrayal of our values,” it’s also bad for business. The U.S. can’t break that relationship entirely, she said, because it’s too important to the region.

Instead the Trump administration should try to engage all the “levers” of government.

“I personally would draw a distinction between offensive weapons being used in Yemen and defensive systems the Saudis need to protect their cities from Iranian missiles coming across their borders,” Flournoy offered.

Meanwhile,
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, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, argued that the potential return from the arms sales would indeed benefit the American public both in economic factors and in shared security.

The American public, Thompson said, should not judge the Saudi relationship in “days and weeks” but in the decades-long relationship between the two countries.
 
Oct 26, 2018
wow
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Trump campaigned on more money for the Pentagon, but his budget director appears to have won the fight for sweeping, across the board cuts to all federal agencies, including the Pentagon.
link:
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closely related is
Mattis: Cutting defense will not help deficit

20 hours ago
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Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on Saturday threw his weight behind an op-ed from two top Republicans calling for greater funding for the Defense Department — and lining himself against Trump administration guidance to cut fiscal year 2020 defense spending.

“Fiscal solvency and strategic solvency can co-exist,” Mattis said at the Reagan National Defense Forum.

In a Friday Wall Street Journal editorial titled “Don’t cut military spending, Mr. President,” Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Calif., and
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., warned that a smaller defense budget won’t have a major impact on fixing the national deficit, but would have painful repercussions on military equipment and end strength.

“Our top priority is the troops,” the pair wrote. “Any cut in the defense budget would be a senseless step backward.”

Mattis, in his speech Saturday, explicitly cited that op-ed approvingly, especially the idea put forth from the two members that cutting defense spending will not impact the deficit. Instead, major budget cuts “would be a dangerous disservice to our troops and the American people they serve and protect. We all know that America can afford survival,” he said.

The Pentagon had been preparing for a $733 billion budget for FY20, until a
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by President Donald Trump cut that to $700 billion. Pentagon planners have been scrambling the last few weeks to find ways to make those numbers work.

In a Q&A session afterwards, the secretary tried to downplay the potential chaos of such a surprise cut, calling it “the normal give and take of building the president’s budget,” adding “it should be challenging. We don’t want to spend any money in excess of what is needed on our defense.”

But Mattis indicated that he would push for more money behind doors, noting that Inhofe and Thornberry have laid out their view and “I would just tell you that the issue is in play, and I’ll give my advice to the president, I owe him the courtesy of that in private before I speak about it in public.”

“We have go to make certain we can restore America’s strength,” he added. “It’s up to me to make the logical argument about what the president’s submission should look like to the Office of Management and Budget, to the Congress ... at that point, the Congress will take our input on board.

“I’m optimistic at the end of the road we’ll have what we need to keep the country safe,” Mattis concluded.
 

FactsPlease

Junior Member
Registered Member
Related news. An interesting article and comment from NYT. Depends on how you look at it. Could be a first step of the effort for moretransparency - supposedly the pride of democratic governcy, or another sink hole in huge bureacracy called MIC of USA...

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(Some excerpt)
After decades of ducking the legal requirement that it undergo a thorough financial audit, the Pentagon finally opened up its books to 1,200 outside accountants and analysts. The
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was recently completed, and here’s the good news: The Army Corps of Engineers (most of it, anyway) and the Military Retirement Fund passed the audit.

The bad news: The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines and most other divisions failed, which means they were unable to show that they were
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of their finances and assets.

The Pentagon has long prided itself on being a “can do” organization, firmly committed to protecting the nation. But when it comes to husbanding the billions of taxpayer dollars that pay for the vast military establishment, defense leaders have had less exacting standards.
“We failed the audit,” Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan
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with a curiously nonchalant air. “We never expected to pass it.

 
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TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
FactsPlease, i know you are new and all but the red... It's a reserved color. For use by moderators same for blue. The rest is fare game.
 
FactsPlease, i know you are new and all but the red... It's a reserved color. For use by moderators same for blue. The rest is fare game.
personally I didn't like the reference to MIC made

#10342 FactsPlease, 6 minutes ago

that's what Communists had been telling me like 30 years ago, how the US is run by MIC according to them LOL

I'm critical of certain Pentagon programs, also its accounting, but my criticism has nothing to do with MIC Conspiracy or ... ....
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
personally I didn't like the reference to MIC made

#10342 FactsPlease, 6 minutes ago

that's what Communists had been telling me like 30 years ago,
A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction...

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.
President / General Dwight David Eisenhower R 1961.

The worry about such is not unique to the left. Along with Ike. Fredrick Heyak also warns of it in his work The Road to Serfdom.
Military industry is important but it has to have a control to keep it from becoming a threat itself.
Most of the problem with the audits is ineffective management and inefficient use of resources. Case in point miss labeled missile engines.
 
Oct 26, 2018
wow
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Trump campaigned on more money for the Pentagon, but his budget director appears to have won the fight for sweeping, across the board cuts to all federal agencies, including the Pentagon.
link:
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and now the question is
Is Trump really going to cut the defense budget?
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For military planners, the biggest question heading into 2019 is whether the president’s proposed
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is a negotiating ploy or a sincere target.

Defense experts at the
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on Saturday said they aren’t sure which is more worrisome.

“Because this came so late in the planning process, all the personnel costs are cooked,” said
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, who served as deputy secretary of defense under both former President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump. “All the operations and maintenance money is set. So you have to go into modernization to find the money.”

“Even if we go with (the higher predictions), this becomes a real cut … We still wouldn’t be able to afford the 355-ship Navy or a larger Army.”

For the last month, Pentagon planners have been scrambling to rework their fiscal 2020 budget proposals in the wake of Trump’s surprise announcement that he would require all federal agencies to trim 5 percent off their spending for the current fiscal year.

The president said the Defense Department would be excluded from that requirement, but would eye a military appropriations target of $700 billion — far below the anticipated $733 billion level of military planners.

In recent weeks, lawmakers have begun lobbying administration officials to raise their military spending plan. Earlier in the day at the Reagan event, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis voiced support for the $733 billion mark, calling it critical for the continued recapitalization of the armed forces.

Work said that push will continue for months to come, but he remains unconvinced the president is really focused on the $700 billion number.

But Jack Keane, former Army vice chief of staff and a current defense analyst with ties to the Trump administration, said he sees the figure as far more disconcerting than just a negotiating ploy.

“I’m concerned that the director of OMB (Mick Mulvaney) is blowing in (Trump’s) ear that the deficit is mounting and defense has to take its share of the cuts,” Keane said. “And if we come in at $700 billion, there’s no growth in Army brigades, the Air Force goes backwards.”

He called the president’s $700 billion target a serious risk, especially considering the president’s “tendency to think once he has made a decision, that it’s done.”

Work said the bigger worry is that the early spending figure fight is distracting from more critical debates, like whether House Democrats will go along with anything close to either figure and whether the two parties can come together quick enough to avoid triggering automatic spending caps still mandated under law.

“The conditions we saw in 2012 have been duplicated today,” he said. “We have divided government. Deficit concerns are rising.

“Everyone says sequestration will never happen again. I was told by everyone back then that sequestration would never happen. And it did.”

The new session of Congress begins in January. The president’s formal budget request for the Defense Department is expected in February.
 

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