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Blackstone

Brigadier
Answer, treaty and prevention of Nuclear weapons proliferation.

Treaty obligations as the US and South Korea maintain a mutual defence pact.
And believe it or not the US has used that to prevent the South Koreans from invading the North.

South Korea has the technology, economics and egg heads to launch a rapid development program for indigenous Nuclear weapons in side a very fast window. However if the ROK went Nuclear then other states in the region would go nuclear. A nuclear arms race is something that the US wants to prevent.

Bonus round The Chinese conundrum. The PRC believes that the US wants to keep based on it's boarders, there may be a degree of truth to that. At the same time the US views the Chinese relationship to the North Koreans as a potential issue of war started. IE of the North started losing would the PRC who has a Mutual defence history with the DPRK step in? (Rhetorical question don't answer)

Point of the article quoted by yourself however comes into play. The FORK in a conventional war should by all counts loose.
However if that is the case and the Kim Clan has to know that to be the case. Then they have to know what the likely end of the Clan would look like. The end of a rope or high velocity lead injections. So from the Kim Clan perspective of war started what is there to loose? The DPRK has stockpiled Chemical weapons has rumored biological weapons programs and know nuclear technologies. There chemical weapons are warhead capable, they claim there nuclear weapons are miniaturized for warhead use (debatable) even without missiles though the can use other means of deployment (IE Subs, boats, Aircraft, A truck) if in the case of collapse of the DPRK. There is a high likelihood of those weapons either being ordered to be deployed for scorched earth operations. Or disappearing into the international black market. To date the South Koreans have had limited deployment of Anti ballistic missile defense systems. All naval. The US deployed THAAD as the South Koreans have no land based ABM of there own.
Of course the deployment of THAAD has the Chinese government miffed. Even if the US outright sold the Deployed units to the ROK the PRC would still be angry. More it's boiler plate then actual threat. The missile of the THAAD cannot reach into the PRC or Russia. And the Radar range doesn't prove deep enough into the PRC to actually effect there operations or probe beyond what is already probed.
Thanks for the reply, and your thoughts are definitely mainstream. You basically said US shouldn't rely on RoK to defend itself against DPRK, because of treaty obligation and prevention of nuclear weapons proliferation. Let's examine those two points.

US mutual defense pact with RoK was made when South Korea couldn't defend itself against the DPRK. That was then. Today, the situation is 180-degrees different. South Korea has over 50 million people, compared with North Korea's 25 million. RoK's GDP is about $2 trillion a year, versus around $40 billion for the DPRK. The South has a high-tech, first world military lined up against a low-tech, third world force using mainly obsolete equipment. The point is RoK is more than capable of defending itself against the North, and no longer needs American ground troops to fight for it. The treaty should be amended to US providing nuclear umbrella and maybe air support for a limited time (a decade?) only.

This brings us to nuclear proliferation, and epic fail is how I'd describe it. Least we forget, the two top regimes Washington wanted to keep nuclear weapons away from are North Korea and Iran, not South Korea and Japan. So how did that go? According to most news reports I've seen, North Korea already has about 10 to 20 nuclear weapons, and President Obama made a treaty with Iran that allows it to have nuclear weapons in about 10 years. How's that for preventing nuclear proliferation from rogue regimes? So, having failed to prevent our enemies from acquiring nukes, the game is to make sure our friends don't get them for defense? Really? Maybe it's time to revisit the topic?
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
...and not to discount our Coastie brethren, the sixth Legend Class cutter, WMSL-755, USCGC Munroe, just finished acceptance trials:

USCGC-Munro-WMSL-755.jpg

While the 7th, USCGC Kimball, WMSL-756, was just christened and launched:

USCGC-Kimball.jpg
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Last but not least this evening. Let's not forget that the 11th San Antonio Class, USS Portland, LPD-27, was launched several weeks ago:

US-Navy-launches-USS-Portland.jpg

...and with the Tripoli having been launched just recently (the 2nd America class) which is optimized for the F-35B, the US Navy is not slacking off either:

Launch_of_USS_Tripoli_(LHA-7)_at_Huntington_Ingalls_Industries_in_Pascagoula_on_1_May_2017.JPG

lha7_launch.jpg

The US Navy is modernizing its fleet. Look at all the active classes being built simuktanoeuosly all over the country:

Ford Class CVN
Zumwalt Class DDG
Burke Class DDG
America Class LHA
Freedom Class LCS/FF
Independence Class LCS/FF
San Antonio Class LPD
The New LXR Class cominf next
Virginia Class SSN

...not to mention the several auxillary classes that are being built.

Spearhead Class (of which eight have already been built)
Puller Class Expeditionary Mobile Base
Montford Point Expeditionary Transfer Docks
 
real world Fear of DoD struggles grow, amid vacancy levels not seen for 50 years
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Pro-defense lawmakers have grown frustrated at how slowly the White House is moving to fill dozens of top-tier posts at the Pentagon, warning that vacancies are hamstringing efforts to advance the president’s national security agenda.

The administration has advanced 13 of U.S. President Donald Trump’s picks for the Pentagon’s civilian leadership to the Senate, which has 53 key jobs requiring Senate confirmation. The Senate has confirmed five — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson had been confirmed by the Senate and three mid-tier nominees — had been confirmed by the Senate as of May 25.

Trump’s total for civilian DoD nominees sent to the Senate is just over half the number President Barack Obama had sent by this point in his first term, according to data compiled by Defense News. By this time in their first terms, President George W. Bush had sent 17, President Bill Clinton had sent 16, President George H.W. Bush had sent 10 and President Ronald Reagan had sent 15.

This mirrors a larger trend for Trump. Of more than 500 key executive branch positions, Trump has only formally nominated 98 candidates, of which 36 were confirmed, according to data compiled by the Partnership for Public Policy. By this time, Obama had nominated 225, W. had 202, Clinton 205 and H.W. had 144.

“It’s hard to start a game when your whole team isn’t on the field, and each of the positions in these agencies have different roles,” said Mallory Barg Bulman, vice president of research and evaluation at the partnership. “DoD has announced a deputy secretary, and a lot of agencies don’t have somebody in that role. That’s somebody who’s going to serve as the chief operating officer for the agency. These people are managing very large and complex agencies.”

The White House Transition Project has also dinged Trump for the fewest nominations and fewest confirmations in a president’s first 100 days in 50 years. Of 72 critical national security positions, Trump had 14 filled, whereas Obama had 24 in the same period.

Arnold Punaro, a retired U.S. Marine general and former staff director on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the Trump administration is not to be faulted. Growing scrutiny and red tape for key nominees has fueled growth in the time to confirmation — from three and a half months under President John F. Kennedy to nine months under Obama.

“I don’t buy that what we’re seeing with this administration is much different from the past two administrations,” Punaro said. “The overall trend is it takes longer.”

Behind the scenes, Punaro argues, the White House is much, much further along in its vetting than it can publicly acknowledge. “There’s a substantial, larger number in the pipeline, moving through at a normal pace, and that to me is encouraging,” he said.

It’s unclear when Trump will have his service secretaries confirmed. Clinton in 1993 saw his Navy secretary clear the Senate on July 1, his Air Force secretary July 22 and his Army secretary on Nov. 22.

The more senior Bush moved slowly at first, but he brought in a Pentagon staffer to expedite nomination paperwork full-time, worked closely with the SASC and used judge advocates to assist the White House counsel’s office — a natural chokepoint given the breadth of issues it encounters.

“Administrations who will take the extra help, it tends to move faster, while administrations that don’t, it goes at the same glacial pace,” Punaro said. “[The SASC] set a hearing day every Wednesday morning, so if they could get a guy done, he’s got a hearing date.”

Fast-forward to the present day, where SASC Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, have both lamented that Mattis cannot steer the gargantuan Department of Defense appropriately without a full crew of Trump picks approved by the Senate.

McCain, who joined the Senate in 1987, affirmed Trump “has been more slow” than past administrations in offering nominees to the committee. The problem is not only having the people in the Pentagon for SASC staffers and lawmakers to talk to, but without Senate confirmation, acting officials simply lack authority to do their jobs.

“We're not getting people to implement the new administration’s policies and strategies,” McCain told Defense News on May 17. “That's the problem. You hire a team who is with you philosophically and to actively pursue the agenda. If someone is in an acting position, no matter how great their integrity, they just don't have the same kind of influence the way a regularly appointed member of the team does.”

Thornberry months ago made the case holdovers from the Obama administration, which underfunded military readiness, cannot be relied upon to bring new urgency. But as the process has dragged out, he suggested at a press conference earlier this month that the nation’s security is at risk.

“We need to have good nominees and we need to have them in place because, just to emphasize, the world is not waiting on us to get our act together, and the Pentagon is the most complex, the largest government agency, it needs leadership,” Thornberry said.

There are some signs of a thaw. On May 25, several of Trump’s nominees received Senate confirmation by unanimous consent: David Norquist to be comptroller; Kari Bingen to be principal deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence; and Robert Karem to be assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs.

There has been a notable delay for Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan, Trump’s pick for deputy secretary of defense, the No. 2 spot in the Pentagon. Two months after Trump announced Shanahan, his name has not formally advanced to the SASC. McCain, earlier this month, suggested Shanahan’s industry ties may be slowing the process. “We’d certainly like to move forward with him, he’s got an excellent reputation,” McCain said.

Ethics rules meant to safeguard against self-dealing are particularly relevant at the DoD, which stewards billions of taxpayer dollars. DoD and the SASC have strict rules that bar presidential picks from owning stocks and bonds in companies that have Defense Department contracts.

Army secretary nominee Vincent Viola and Navy secretary nominee Philip Bilden, both financiers, withdrew their names from consideration over business entanglements. The second Army secretary nominee Mark Green withdrew amid accusations he’d made anti-gay and anti-Muslim remarks.

To Punaro’s reckoning, the bar set by the Office of Government Ethics is too high, and should be updated to reflect modern compensation patterns, like deferred income and restricted stocks. The SASC and Pentagon should be more flexible about letting officials recuse themselves from potential conflicts—instead of letting them disqualify candidates.

“A lot of the standards were put in, in the 1970s,” Punaro said. “It makes no sense.”
 

FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
Yep...the Virginia class just keeps on being built.

As do the Burkes now. Here's the Rafael Peralta, DDG-115, completing acceptance trials in December of 2016:

View attachment 39064

and in the mean time, DDG-117, Paul Ignatius, has launched:

View attachment 39065
Minor delay for a hatch problem for Washington necessary do 2nd trials but the 2 shipyards do great job !

2 by year to minimum it is the right number no shortfall with if necessary some of the last 688i still very good can have a RCOH about 500 millions/unit really possible. LA are good boy actualy retired have 34 - 38 years !

Without the 2 new : 51 SSNs : 35 LA ( 5 Fl I + 8 Fl II ( VLS ) + 22 x 688i/Fl III ) , 13 Virginia, 3 Sea Wolf
the max recently about 2 years ago 54.
 
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FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
MQ-9B

Certifiable Predator B[
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]

General Atomics modified the Reaper platform into the so-called certifiable Predator B in order to make it compliant with European flight regulations to get more sales by European countries. In order to fly over national airspace, the aircraft meets
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airworthiness requirements with lightning protection, different composite materials, and
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; performance changes include a 79 ft (24 m) wingspan that has
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and enough fuel for a 40-hour endurance at 50,000 ft (15,000 m). The version is expected to be certified before 2019.
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MQ-9B.jpg
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
The U.S. Army managed to ‘lose track’ of $1 BILLION worth of weapons in Iraq

I just love a video that can't identify an American Humvee ( which was not shown in the video)
Audit: U.S. Army Loses Track of $1 Billion-Plus Worth of Weapons, Other Equipment in Iraq

us-humvee-delivered-to-iraq-getty-640x480.jpg

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The U.S. Army has lost track of more than $1 billion worth of weapons and other equipment destined for local allies combating the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq, including an Iran-allied group of Shiite fighters, reveals a report.
According to a declassified government audit of the Iraqi Train and Equip Fund obtained by Amnesty International through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, hundreds of Humvees and mortars, as well as tens of thousands of rifles, remain unaccounted for due to a lack of central database for keeping track of U.S. taxpayer-funded military equipment.

“This audit provides a worrying insight into the US Army’s flawed – and potentially dangerous – system for controlling millions of dollars’ worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region,” declared Patrick Wilcken, the arms control and human rights researcher for Amnesty, in a statement.

“It makes for especially sobering reading given the long history of leakage of US arms to multiple armed groups committing atrocities in Iraq, including the armed group calling itself the Islamic State,” he continued.“The need for post-delivery checks is vital. Any fragilities along the transfer chain greatly increase the risks of weapons going astray in a region where armed groups have wrought havoc and caused immense human suffering.”

The U.S. Army provided the unaccounted weapons and other military equipment to the U.S.-backed Iraqi Army, Kurdish Peshmerga troops, and the Iran-allied Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), a predominantly group of Shiite fighters sanctioned by Baghdad.

Amnesty International has accused PMU fighters, also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and al-Hashd al-Shabi, of committing atrocities against civilians in Iraq using weapons from the United States and other countries.

The report, which covered September of last year, noted that the Pentagon fails to track the weapons after being transferred to the Baghdad-based government.

U.S. Department of Defense officials “did not have accurate, up-to-date records on the quantity and location” of a vast amount of equipment pouring into Iraq and Kuwait to provision the Iraqi Army, reveals Amnesty International in a press release.

“The equipment – which includes hundreds of Humvee armored vehicles, tens of thousands of assault rifles and hundreds of mortar rounds – was destined for use by the central Iraqi Army, including the predominantly [Shiite] Popular Mobilization Units, as well as the Kurdish Peshmerga forces,” it adds.

In the report, auditors reveal several lapses in the manner in which U.S. taxpayer-funded military equipment is logged and monitored beginning from the point of delivery.

Among the shortcomings, are:

Fragmentary record-keeping in arms depots in Kuwait and Iraq, with information logged across multiple spreadsheets, databases and even on hand-written receipts.
Large quantities of equipment manually entered into multiple spreadsheets, increasing the risk of human error.
Incomplete records meaning those responsible for the equipment were unable to ascertain its location or status.
In fiscal year 2015 alone, which includes the time covered by the government audit, the U.S. Congress allocated $1.6 billion for the fight against ISIS.

Amnesty International reports:

Meanwhile, a previous Department of Defense audit in 2015 pointed to the fact that the Iraqi armed forces applied even laxer stockpile monitoring procedures. In some cases, the Iraqi Army was unaware of what was stored in its own warehouses, while other military equipment – unopened and uninventoried – was stored out in the open in shipping containers.

“Sending millions of dollars’ worth of arms into a black hole and hoping for the best is not a viable counter-terrorism strategy; it is just reckless,” said Wilcken.

Amnesty acknowledges that the U.S. military has vowed to improve its systems for tracking and monitoring future military equipment transfers to Iraq.

“However, the Department of Defense made almost identical commitments in response to a report for Congress as long ago as 2007 that raised similar concerns,” it points out.
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The issues are not just Accounting they are also deeply tied to the problems of the Iraqi forces and Intelligence of the fighting forces. The Drops of Equipment for example was because individuals Thought to be allied turned and gave the wrong people access. The Iraqi Army when it broke down left large amounts of serviceable military equipment behind. And the Iraqi's themselves started arming Iranian backed groups. leaving questions of what is where and who has what. These issues though are not unique to the Iraqi conflict. History is replete with events like this.

For Example in Operation Barras in 2000 Sierra Leone, Members of the 1st Para Of the British army recovered a number of L1A1 rifles From groups like the West Side Boys a number of these rifles were Discovered to have been from the 1 Para's own Armories even though they were supposed to have been destroyed.
In another case Al-Quds Brigades have been seen using FN F2000 rifles, these were believed to have been recovered in Libya after the Fall of the Regime and resold.
And then there was the Arms Garage sale of the USSR after the fall. The Black market was flooded with military arms.
 

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