Gates Slays Goldwater; Governor Bob Gawks

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    In a move that slashes the throat of military synergy and promises rewards for Republican cronies, Secretary Gates did Dick Cheney’s bidding in the name of Obama. Oh what a tangled web we weave when Republicans are left in place to deceive. McDonnell loses 6,100 of those new jobs.

    “With so many of these social programs that are being expanded in Washington, I think they’re cutting defense facilities to pay for them. That’s outrageous.” – McDonnell

    In a pitiful attempt to cobble together a “bipartisan” response, he used his “close” ties with Democrats to pull together two mayors for a response. Let’s see, the mayors of two cities significantly affected by the job losses. Where are the close bipartisan relationships with Democrats that matter and have influence in this? And his argument against closure of the Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) wasn’t justified by the requirements of national security; you know, a real principle. No, he cited the superficial explanation of the JFCOM role (while swiping at social programs) and talked about facilities, clearly unaware that the command has never fully fulfilled its role and scope nor accomplished its mission for lack of support from recalcitrant military leadership, resistant to civil authority.

    Rumsfeld started this dangerous silliness by rejecting the command structure that took 50 years to evolve and actually won wars including the Cold War. Gates is Rumsfeld lite. And he is ripping the brain and heart out of Goldwater-Nichols. This opens us to a level of fraud, waste, and abuse not even the KBRs of the world could have imagined: redundant capabilities, uneducated senior leadership, and uncoordinated planning.

    And McDonnell calls for a state commission! What? Are we going to resurrect the Army of Virginia? Nullification of DoD?

    • Jim B

      Easy for the republicans to gut soc sec, unemployment and any social programs, but they probably are not concerned about the jobs. It is the defense companies and those goodies passed out to them that is a concern.

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      It’s such a shame (snark) for the poor GOPers that they have to hate government and demand it be shrunk, but when people are told to live with the fallout of ending a government activity, they are the first to scream “NIMBY.”

      Just imagine the fallout in Virginia if the Tea Bag dream of abolishing the Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. actually took place. Virginia has one of the highest percentage of residents who work for the federal government. Do the Tea Bags want northern Virginia to have an unemployment rate higher than Martinsville?

    • here:

      In an era of looming defense cuts, DoD simply doesn’t need a muti-billion dollar organization to handle transformation and add another layer of command in force provision. Indeed, given the current budget climate, JFCOM’s demise was only a matter of time. Now the real question becomes: what happens to the billions saved by eliminating the Norfolk-based command? Dr. Gates has suggested that some of the money might be re-invested in the Navy’s ship-building program, a move that would (potentially) return billions to Virginia.

    • from Max Boot at Commentary:

      Apparently, Gates thinks the mission could be done just as well without the existence of a four-star command. Is he right? He may well be. And I say that even though I have been peripherally involved in JFCOM’s operations as a member (unpaid) of its Transformation Advisory Group. Certainly, JFCOM, like all military bureaucracies (indeed all bureaucracies, period), has its share of fat. But it also performed some important functions that will have to be done by someone, whether the command exists or not.

      The budget savings from this move will hardly do much to reduce the Pentagon’s budget, much less to close the government’s growing budget deficit…

      …OK, cut JFCOM. But then cut, too, the entitlement programs, which, with the encouragement and connivance of both the president and Congress, are growing out of control.

    • this time from National Defense magazine:

      Winners: Troops in uniform, ship programs, weapons systems that are needed to fight current and future wars.

      Losers: Bloated defense and intelligence agencies, redundant bureaucracies, four-star generals and admirals guilty of “brass creep,” report writers, white-collar contractors.

      That pretty much sums up the casualty report from the efficiency-campaign bombshells dropped today by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He is looking for $100 billion in savings from cuts in overhead costs over the next five years.

    • Dan Sullivan

      Every rationalization mentioned to dismantle JFCOM was used to justify it. Real leadership in defense management is required. A Truman Commission is called for. Why wasn’t Goldwater-Nichols effectively implemented?

      Tell me with a straight face that you believe that there will be a budget reduction in DoD as a result of this.  

    • weighs in:

      Defense Secretary Robert Gates declared Monday that he plans to kill the Pentagon’s U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) – a high-tech training operation in Norfolk, Va., that employs more contractors than troops. It’s a key step in weaning the U.S. military off the post-9/11 defense-spending binge, and it will be only the first in a string of tough cuts to come. The announcement marked the first time in recent memory that a Defense Secretary has called for scrapping one of the major commands – institutions with all the defenses of any medieval moated castle.

    • says:

      The Joint Forces Command is based in Norfolk, Virginia. Thousands of Virginians will lose their jobs. In Gates’s world, though, “Virginia may well come out with a lot more jobs than it loses.” Why? Less headquarters bloat will give the Navy more money to build ships in Newport News.

      “This is why the point needs to be emphasized,” he said. “This is not about cutting the defense budget.” Services like the Navy that identify savings can “invest them in higher priority things,” Gates said.

    • kindler

      …and anyone who questions any of those pennies is a commie job-killer!  

      (Yes, I know that there is a massive contradiction between calling people socialists and then relying on government military spending to create jobs, but logic is for wusses.)

      I lack your background in military policy and therefore I frankly don’t get all your points, Dan. What I do know is that we spend well over half a trillion dollars a year on the military industrial establishment, have (per Chalmers Johnson), 761 active military bases in 151 countries — and still can’t stop a lot of the terrorist threats aligned against us.

      So I’d rather have the SecDef talking about where he can streamline rather than continuing to find ways to add to the unimaginable, often counterproductive bloat.