2009/02/04

The defense stimulus topic and this blog

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Maybe you remember my December post
"Military procurement in 2009/2010".
Well, it turned out to be a very early (actually the earliest I've found) text about the use of military spending as part of current stimulus plans.

Here's a short list of some articles about the topic:
(My mini-article was published on 2008-12-14.)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123008280526532053.html
2008-12-24

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2399
2009-01-02

http://marathonpundit.blogspot.com/2009/01/hey-obama-defense-stimulus-would-be.html
2009-01-07

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0108/p01s03-usmi.html
2009-01-08

http://solari.com/blog/?p=1983
2009-01-09

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Economy/story?id=6614384&page=1
2009-01-11

http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2009/01/the-defense-stimulus/
2009-01-13

Then I stopped tracking them, but here's a new one:

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/boot/52861
2009-02-01


I once showed the blog after its first couple posts (before I really made it public) to others and got feedback like "not original content" (that was about the very early COIN text). Well, I believe I paid attention to that critique and had a lot of original and unique content over the past one and a half year.
The stimulus article was even a precursor to a public discussion (albeit irrelevant in it, as this is no major newspaper, after all).

Most other articles on the subject didn't get the same point as me, about the opportunity to increase near-term spending in the military budgets without additional long-term debt. That's a bit sad. Maybe they should read this blog ;-) .


Anyway - I have about two dozens of topics prepared (or noted in keywords) for future posts. Stay with me for many more months of non-mainstream, skeptical coverage of defense and freedom topics!

Sven Ortmann

2 comments:

  1. Sven--Your observations about Russia's approach to defense modernization is provocative. If we take it at face value--that the often under-valued Russian military is just a few years away from reasserting itself at any given time--wouldn't that suggest that the West could spend less on defense too and only seek to ramp up if/when the Russians moved to rearm?

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  2. This was more about the "let's work on our weak spots, not cheer about our wonder weapons" article.

    I covered Russia previously
    http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2007/08/no-major-war-in-europe-in-next-ten.html
    and as much as I like low military spending, it's a bit more complex than what you suggest.
    I don't expect them to turn on us militarily in a few years (rather on Ukraine), but don't exclude it as a possibility.


    First problem: Lags (a.k.a. initiative)
    The reacting powers would react with a lag of about three years due to imperfect information collection, processing and distribution.

    Second problem: Aggressor's timing advantage
    An aggressor can plan ahead to be ready for war in year x (Hitler planned 1940 for basic readiness, 1944 for full readiness against Russia and 1947 for naval readiness against the UK).
    He can ensure that his forces are fit at that time. A reacting power - no matter whether low or high expenditures in peacetime - is at a disadvantage.
    High peacetime expenditures can even be a disadvantage, as the equipment will be older on average than the aggressor's (example France 1940 - it still had many WWI guns).

    My conclusion (I wrote several blog posts around it) is that we need to be aware that conventional warfare is the only truly threatening one (besides genocidal nuclear warfare). Militias at the end of our world will never touch us much, they cannot invade us or cut our sea lanes. Conventional warfare deserves our attention.

    Our policy as well as our armed services need to be fit to react quickly.
    We need good education for the relevant politicians, a good cultivation of military competence (including a reserve of trained soldiers; basic infantry training suffices to save 6+ months of lag) and we need always competitive hardware designs.
    That's more easily done by many incremental steps instead of 35-year- development and replacement cycles as usual for much of our hardware.

    Finally, we need to prevent that these precautions take effect - we should prevent WW3. Reduce reasons for war, don't create new ones - and avoid wasteful arms races and wars.

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