Home » Air » China’s Navy Advances as U.S. Budgets Flatten

China’s Navy Advances as U.S. Budgets Flatten

by Bryant Jordan on April 9, 2014

China1National Harbor, Md. — The Navy’s top weapons buyer on Wednesday said sequestration is putting the U.S. at a disadvantage in maintaining its technical edge over a rising China in the Pacific.

Sean Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, told a crowd at the Sea Air Space Exposition that U.S. dominance across the world is owed to “constant investment” in the Navy and Marine Corps.

He chose to single out a recent demonstration of U.S. Naval power last August to highlight his point. It was a test of an airborne-relay sensor aboard the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye that directed a surface-to-air missile fired from the USS Chancellorsville, a guided missile cruiser.

That’s the next great leap,” Stackley said referring to the airborne-relay sensor called the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air System. “This first test of [NIFC-CA] demonstrated our ability to match the reach of our platforms, our sensors, our networks and our weapons in order to extend our battle space beyond the enemy’s reach.”

He chose to highlight the test because it displayed the Navy’s ability to attack over the horizon targets – an important capability should the U.S. enter a war with China and its highly capable radar systems. The Navy must continue to invest in the research and development needed to develop advanced systems like NIFC-CA, Stackley said.

However, the budget cuts have put these investments in danger, he said. Of course, most observers would say the Navy has weathered the recent sequestration cuts the best amongst the services, but the Navy has also seen their expected defense spending flatten.

The reduction in development and procurement of weapons systems reduces the distinct advantage the U.S. military presently enjoys, Stackley said.

“That is our asymmetric advantage, and it is imperiled,” he said mentioning the sequester cuts. “Whether you’re counting numbers of ships, of aircraft, steaming days or flight hours, or training of sailors and Marines … the fact is that by whatever method you choose to count … the measure will be less, and in some cases much less.”

He said that Chinese naval leaders don’t have to worry about sequestration as China’s defense budget has risen over recent years.

“The threat is rising … China knows no sequestration. And their budgets are rising rapidly,” he said.

Of course, China spends only a fraction of what the U.S. does on its military. The U.S. Navy has a larger budget than the entire Chinese military.

However, Stackley said the U.S. still must maintain its military funding and get rid of sequestration.

“It is given to Congress by the Constitution to provide and maintain a Navy,” he said toward the end of the speech. “However it is up to us to educate and inform the Congress on what it is and what it is not the naval strength adequate to provide for our nation’s security.”

For that reason it is imperative that both government and industry do what it can “to rid the budget of any burden that does not go directly to building sea power.”

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{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

Lance April 9, 2014 at 5:08 pm

There is a BIG REASON why that is the way it is. Thanks to Obama and Bush's war in Iraq we are broke and cannot afford to build a 1945 size Navy. We gave China all our jobs and now they can spend spend spend and we cant. I don't give a crap to began with about China most of there weapons are junk. But this defense budget deficit is nto the result of WW3 coming in a year or two like many of these China fear mongers here on this blog want you to think, its about we wasted trillions on crap we don't need and programs we don't need this both for the military and civil affairs in the federal government. Sequestration is needed to undo some of the debt we made for ourselves, we can only blame ourselves. time to junk the billions in civil crap like teacher unions we don't need junk crap like JSF JLTV and LCS we don't need focus on stuff we do need F-15 upgrades F-22 maintenance DDG-1000 and Ford class carriers.

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Ken April 9, 2014 at 6:02 pm

I always like how most Americans blame their "elected" leaders and not themselves for electing those leaders.

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kiddy bear April 9, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Do you actually think that American voters would admit that they are ignorant, uninformed, or downright stupid?

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SFCPappy April 9, 2014 at 8:26 pm

The US Navy will never ever, even with trillions of dollars to spend, have the amount of warships the Navy had in 1945. In just Surface Combat Warships the Navy had 833 ships. Plus add to that over 5000 other ships.

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jake April 10, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Hey, I’m a proud American. Who’s just feeling helpless. Most elections are pre chosen for the American people. We no longer have control. Don’t you guys wonder why elections get so neck and neck ? It allows for small manipulations with more discretion. Most I talk to say “there’s nothing we can do” and that’s mainly the baby boomer generation and their children. They still hold the numbers too. So it’s gonna be awhile.

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Guy April 10, 2014 at 8:43 pm

What is the point of spending on an extremely expensive military if the nation has lost the will and the courage to use it

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Dfens April 11, 2014 at 9:24 am

Clearly you don't understand what the military is for. It is welfare for the rich. That's its purpose. They transfer money from middle class Americans to the fantastically wealthy. It's like Robin Hood, except in reverse.

Wallygator April 10, 2014 at 8:45 am

Clinton and Bush were the reason for the PRC's advances. They whored jobs and money into China and built them up from a 3rd world nation state to a super power for what? A puffed up economy for a decade… at the expense of our military edge and industrial base.

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Barry April 10, 2014 at 10:09 am

Not my war. What's the point of posting if you don't know what you're talking about.

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Mark April 10, 2014 at 1:42 pm

We are heavily in debt because of entitlement programs.

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sid lawrence April 15, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Are we still buying wrenches for$900 and other items for the military for ridicules costs.costs. A lot of blame for waste of funds for purchasing arms are with contacts by manufactures going way over budget and we do not hold them to there original cost.Obama weekly vacations and Michel trips to china and other countries with her 20 some assistance as the both don't have a care about spending the tax payers money

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Don Meaker April 15, 2014 at 7:22 pm

US debt is for domestic welfare programs (SS, Obamacare, Medicare, and others) not because of wars.

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Andy April 9, 2014 at 5:51 pm

then stop support they economy…like forcing the CEO's stop outsourcing JOBS and MANUFACTURES there PROBLEM SOLVE otherwise I truely believe we are like Pakistanies on 1 hand they support TERRORIST and on the other hand they claim that they fighting TERRORIST to get MORE US MONEY…Look what happen to the DOCTOR helping the CIA to kill BIN LADEN……

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hibeam April 9, 2014 at 5:52 pm

China’s Navy Advances to Flatten US.

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kiddy bear April 9, 2014 at 7:29 pm

No armed conflict necessary if China plays it right and smart. A well-organized joint effort among the G-20 (excluding the US) to settle their trades in RMB or PMs will be more than enough to subdue the US within 10 years. Two or three informed posters have already mentioned it many times in these forums.

Big bilateral trade deals are being made at accelerated paces that cut the US dollar out of the loop. Large energy deals and currency swap agreements among China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and India will eventually end the reign of the Petrodollar. Once the toxic US dollar is shunned like a lethal virus, the US will probably have a hard time feeding the people even if the military is willing to auction everything off.

As of today, the US has more hungry people percentagewise than all countries in Europe except Hungry and Estonia.

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hibeam April 9, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Why would the world want to cut the US dollar out of the loop? The Commander in Golf is printing them as fast as he can.

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retired462 April 12, 2014 at 12:21 pm

IT IS WAY PAST TIME FOR AN AUDIT OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE! I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE SELLING ENOUGH BONDS TO PRINT 10's OF BILLIONS EVERY MONTH. It makes billions for investors, but does not do anything for seniors like myself, that rely on savings interest!

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peters April 14, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Dream on. Imagine a bank clerk asking to inspect the personal investment portfolio and transaction records of the bank's CEO and directors.

The Federal Reserve is not subject to audit by anyone, not the president, not the Congress, nor any of the govt agencies.

Anyone who wishes to challenge the monopoly power of the Federal Reserve should read JFK, and A. Lincoln.

William_C1 April 9, 2014 at 10:27 pm

Then screw it, we can create jobs building the tanks and ships to invade Venezuela to correct the energy situation.

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Jeff April 9, 2014 at 11:56 pm

Unfortunately, much of the critical raw materials and parts of the said ships and tanks are imported. Since the Dollar will be worth less than the paper it's printed on, I doubt we'll be having a properly equipped military to invade Venezuela.

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BlackOwl18E April 9, 2014 at 9:10 pm

"Of course, China spends only a fraction of what the U.S. does on its military. The U.S. Navy has a larger budget than the entire Chinese military."

Yet, we are still losing our edge according to most. Sounds more like a problem with how our money is spent rather than needing enough money in the budget.

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Clint Notestine April 10, 2014 at 12:29 am

too much blown on contractors who sit and stare at a hole like caltrans

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Dfens April 10, 2014 at 9:16 am

We pay them more to fail and they fail. I guess capitalism doesn't work anymore, now that stupidity is what passes for capitalism.

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Nadnerbus April 10, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Our defense industry looks a bit like early 1970s Detroit auto manufacturing. Just a couple of big companies that have a virtual monopoly on the entire market, with the added disadvantage of only a single consumer of their products.

Just like the Japanese auto industry forced the US industry to start competing again and either lose the overhead and stupidity or die, I think US defense acquisition needs to look to the foreign market for more if its defense needs, to shake up the US domestic industry. A purchase of a foreign frigate design would be a good place to start.

It's a pity that Congress would never let that happen.

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Dfens April 10, 2014 at 4:37 pm

The Japanese didn't make Detroit start competing again. They kicked Detroit's ass because of cheap labor costs in Japan and no tariffs in place to protect our automotive industry on this side because we felt bad about nuking Japan in WW2. Detroit, instead of lobbying for higher tariffs to protect their industry lobbied for low tariffs with Mexico so they could outsource all their manufacturing there. Now "our" cars are still crap, no one in Detroit has a job, Japanese labor rates have skyrocketed and their cars are turning into crap too because they can't compete with Korea's low wages and low tariff access to our market place.

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William_C1 April 9, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Of course China still pays workers very little compared to what we pay ours. The pay of their soldiers can't be all that great either.

But honestly, what do you expect when our current politicians are more concerned about implementing "political correctness" across the military instead of providing them with the equipment to do the job asked of them.

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tal April 9, 2014 at 10:35 pm

''The U.S. Navy has a larger budget than the entire Chinese military.''

Yet the PLAN pumps out an astonishing amount of ships annually while the USN procure ships in single digital numbers for every FY.

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Jeff April 9, 2014 at 11:59 pm

It's called legal corruption, which is baked into the system.

Is there any reason to keep BOTH models of the LCS in production? I thought the whole point of the LCS competition is to produce only the winning design. So how did we end up keeping both of them?

The answer lies in institutionalized corruption.

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Dfens April 10, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Corruption my ass. We pay our defense contractors more to fail and they fail. It's all quite legal. It may not be morally right, but it's very legal.

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Dfens April 10, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Oh, you said "legal corruption". Sorry!

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Big-Dean April 10, 2014 at 5:13 pm

not only that, but they are building destroyers while we build little (large) crappy ships like the LCS

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Jeff April 11, 2014 at 6:07 am

The Freedom class LCS has repeatedly suffered from engine breakdowns, electrical blackouts, hull cracks, rust problems, delays, and cost overruns.

It also has a survivability rating LOWER than a fleet oiler!

Since when did it become OK to build a 'warship' with a survivability rating lower than a fleet oiler and then put it in use in heavily defended littoral waters?!

I mean WTF?! This is like sending a Marine wearing only underpants and armed with a spoon to storm a fortified beach.

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Active Navy 937 April 14, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Quality over quantity. Our Navy displaces more weight than the other top 5 navies combined.

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peter_jones April 18, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Those are facts….. This forum is only interested in self-appointed internet educated "experts" opinions. I.E. they want their own preconceived notions to be confirmed. Facts and logic, as well as people who actually served in the military or as a contractor, are not wanted.

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Virgil Cuttaway April 10, 2014 at 12:15 am

You guys never tell your readers why the Chinese are gaining so fast on the US militarily and economically: our people keep buying Chinese goods and the money is used first to build up Chinese military.

Moral of the story: its our own fault!

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d. h. gilmour April 11, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Thank you Wally World and Sam's

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Clint Notestine April 10, 2014 at 12:29 am

pretty sure china could chug along for quite a few years before they would even come close to the US navy

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dr horrible April 10, 2014 at 8:51 am

How clarifying! I guess we're done here, then?

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Darth Cheney April 10, 2014 at 9:21 am

Just think if we didn’t have all the lazy poor people on welfare and food stamps, or the troops returning home to no jobs and having to use food stamps and welfare for housing. Or, all those hungry kids on school lunch programs draining the United States financially. Just think – how much more money could go to the corporations for tax breaks and the military for protecting Americans for those foreign threats! That is America’s problem – poor people with no jobs because corporations sent them overseas for greater profits – not the tax breaks for the rich! Geez, if only Americans knew the freedoms of being Rich and Republican! After all – it is Obama’s fault that GWB started those wars – it’s all Obama’s fault!

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Jim April 10, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Well, when Obama took over, we had 7 trillion fewer dollers on our credit card, and considerably less unemployment. What happened to all of Obama's promises?

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Dfens April 10, 2014 at 4:42 pm

I'm guessing you meant "considerably less employment". It's funny to watch Republicans and Democrats point fingers at each other, when there's not a bit of difference between the economic policies of either group of con artists. I'm sure it would be much more amusing if they weren't both taking this country to hell in a handbasket.

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Ruger April 14, 2014 at 1:55 pm

The funny thing is that when Democrats are in control it's not dems and rich democrats, it's always repubs and rich republicans. It's those unicorns that keep getting in the way of ending this cronyism. (curruption). Remove the politics and think like an American, not divided.

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Bill April 10, 2014 at 10:01 am

Don't fall for any of this crap. Let the Navy have a cake/cookie sale if they want more
toys. The American public are getting conned by the likes of Lockheed/Boeing (retireed
Admirals/Generals), etc. While the european union spend their money to improve the
quality of life for their citizens, we waste ours on new military toys. Enough is enough.s

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William_C1 April 10, 2014 at 2:20 pm

And when Russia is at the gates what good will The European Union's welfare programs do then?

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Dfens April 10, 2014 at 4:44 pm

At that point most of the countries will probably prefer Russia to the EU's decimation of their economies.

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peters April 14, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Putin has more brains, will and governing power than all US Con-gressmen put together. Putin is not a puppet, unlike US politicians.

Putin can win a cold war this time easily, especially when China, India, Iran, and many countries in Asia and S. America are in the league.

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Bernard April 10, 2014 at 10:15 am

We're dumping hundreds of billions into the failed F35, we wasted billions on the useless V22, and we overpay for everything so of course we're following behind. Clean up the defense contract business. Stop letting them get away with under bidding and then going over budget. Every contractor who has gone over budget by more than 20% should be barred from further contracts for the next 10 years unless waved by a congressional consensus.

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Bernard April 10, 2014 at 10:23 am

Of course this should only be applied to contracts started after such a rule is put into place. Many of the contracts currently in place simply need to be cancelled. In fact any time a project goes over budget there should be an investigation for fraud and it should be treated as a serious violation of the public trust. Finishing a project within the budget should not be the exception, it should be the rule.

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Jim April 10, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Good idea, oh, but by the way, no changing of the requirements after the contract is signed.

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Bernard April 10, 2014 at 3:38 pm

That's critical. If you change requirements then you cannot guarantee a budget anymore. You'll have to change all estimates.

Now, as an software engineer I understand the need for iterative development, however that requires strict discipline with project scope. Every change is going to affect the budget and the contractor needs to report those things. However, the government also needs restrictions on how much change they are allowed to do before a project should be forced to be put up for a rebid.

I think if requirements changes increase the budget needs by more than 15% the project needs to be halted, new requirements need to be drafted, and other contractors need to be given the chance to bid on the new contract. If you don't have a penalty in their for scope creep than all projects will suffer from scope creep and that will be used to cause budget overruns and delays.

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Dfens April 10, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Good luck with that. I'm sure the contractors don't fail because it pays better. It's all because of this massive conspiracy to change requirements. There's never been a great weapon developed by a systems engineer or their idiot processes. Great weapons are designed by great engineers. Period.

francis April 10, 2014 at 12:06 pm

The comments on this site are like being back in the hip coffee house with those gaudy paintings on the wall. And the attitudinizer booming on about Texas, consmerism, and this months fascists.

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Gdadl April 10, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Then why don’t you stop coming and or commenting ????

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Dfens April 10, 2014 at 6:34 pm

I like him. I've been called a lot of things, but never "hip". More often, "nerd".

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peter_jones April 18, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Exactly right. A bunch of 16-23 year olds wanking about a world they've created in their own minds. ..and you can be sure that despite the apocalyptic tenor of the comments, these guys don't do a damn thing about any of their concerns. Except post on the internet and wank.

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superraptor April 10, 2014 at 1:36 pm

We could have a more powerful Navy in a flat budget environment: cancel LCS, cancel the F-35C, decrease our supercarriers to 10, build 4 new Virginia subs per year including the 70 ft long VLS addition which is already planned. Reequip the USN with 2000 tactical nuclear cruise missiles (Russian and China have tactical nukes on their ships, we don't, thanks to Obama, all removed in 2010). Go for an atack sub fleet of 100 subs. Bring back the anti-ship tomahawk missile which also was eliminated. The reason that we have such a weakened military is political correctness, it is not money. We could buy 1000 Brahmos missiles from India for 2 billion, instead we spend 134 billion dollars on the F-35 and get nothing. The USN wants to cancel the F-35C, but is prohibited by the Pentagon to do so. And the GOP is unwilling to cancel sequestration which is fulfilling the Ulratleft's dream of the utter failure and destruction of the US military. So much for GOP patriotism. One day we will be wiped out.

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peter_jones April 18, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Brahmos missiles? Jesus. What garbage.

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blight_ April 18, 2014 at 2:53 pm

With that logic India would replace all of its carriers, land vehicles, Sea Harriers and Mig-29K's with…Brahmos missiles!

India is keeping and building out a surface navy. They are buying Mig-29K's for their STOL carrier. They aren't trading anything even with the Brahmos.

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Rob April 10, 2014 at 1:39 pm

China realizes it can match our arsenal and out do us in the Pacific. Our forces are spread globally. Theirs are not. Then add in the fact that Russia would back China in any conflict, Japan & NATO needs to step up. Otherwise, if we continue to cut back we are best to just handover Pacific influence to China now in trade for our debt.

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Israel April 10, 2014 at 3:06 pm

China can spend more because of their political structure. They can build this fleet at a less cost. For one their working class does not have the same rights that American working class citizens have. They can screw their workers over into longer work shifts at less pay. This is just one facet of their structure. The U.S. has to rethink their strategy. Size means nothing if the strategy of the leaner fleet size is superior.

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Dfens April 10, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Our strategy is to pay defense contractors more to drag out the design of new weapons and to pay them more to jack up the price. You think there is a better way?

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knygos dedikacija April 11, 2014 at 3:17 am

“The wariness about foreigners was to be a characteristic of the time. British intelligence had reports since 1909 about how German intelligence was being gathered in Britain and Ireland,” he says.

When state of war broke away in Lordly 1914, sleuth paranoia soared throughout the UK with a rash of newsprint
stories, books and films. High-visibility picture palace releases,
including the German Snoop Peril, Guarding Britain’s Secrets and The Kaiser’s Spies, added
fuel to the elicit.

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mrlee April 11, 2014 at 5:18 am

I just love the way that all of you people get angry about military contracts going over budget, when you know absolutely nothing about military contracts. Firstly, something is hashed out on paper, and then designs are drawn up. If it is small enough, a prototype is manufactured and the problems are hashed out of it, and design specs are changed. Changes add to the cost. Then when you think that you have what you want, you realize that it is not operating quite up to what you had hoped for, and so you have to go over your designs and figure it out again only to see that you weren't using it correctly, because it is so new. And at that stage, it is out of date because of something newer.

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wtpworrier April 11, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Just so you know, I tried to hit the thumbs down button…Contractors are always going over budget, and I will bet a dollar to a hole in a soggy doughnut, that it's by design.

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peter_jones April 18, 2014 at 2:24 pm

…and like others on this thread, you have no relevant experience other than wanking on a keyboard.

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wtpworrier April 11, 2014 at 1:37 pm

"National Harbor, Md. — The Navy’s top weapons buyer on Wednesday said sequestration is putting the U.S. at a disadvantage in maintaining its technical edge over a rising China in the Pacific"____________________________________Well thats true to an extent. China got a whole fleet of one Carrier that can't launch a single plane. If you are gonna make a case for the US to stay on it's toes in this matter, at least try to be a bit more realistic.

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d. h. gilmour April 11, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Are we sure Michelle wasn't there to make a sale/gift agreement of our "obsolete" carriers and destroyers being decommisioned like we did with so many ships given to the Russians at the end of WWII. She looked like she was having a great time waving their flag around and cheering.

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bob ramos April 11, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Remember we are a slave to foreign oil we have to down size our economy and military to reduce our oil consumption dependability because we lead the world in oil consumption. This process will be very painful, that's why the world seems to have gotten so greedy and grabbing, everyone is trying to get theirs first.
We are in the position to cut off china from our U.S market any time we want.
The problem here is the higher ups wont share that info.

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Don Meaker April 15, 2014 at 7:25 pm

We are really cutting bac on our importation of oil. Try to keep your paranoid fantasies up with the times.

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Gdadl April 15, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Actually you are the one in fantasy land – Obama talking points fantasy land. Importation of oil is up … not down as the lair in chief would have you believe. All that said the person who made the comment that you commented on is even more a nuts

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Vitor April 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm

The ignorance of economics here is strong. So much cheap mercantlism and keynesianism here.

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Lewis Smart April 13, 2014 at 8:56 pm

It seems to me, at the very least, counter-intuitive to expect that asymmetry can be maintained indefinitely. The strain of resisting equilibrium will show eventually.

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TopAssistant April 14, 2014 at 8:11 am

Our useless politicians in BOTH the DEMONcrat party and the RINO/GOP leadership/followers in the soon to be defunct Republican party shifted their attention and spending from on constitutional issues to unconstitutional programs. They need to move back to the limits our Founding Fathers placed on national spending and involve themselves into what is limited by the Constitution Article I, Section 8, Clauses 1-18.
Our Constitution says three things about the responsibility of the federal government for our national defense. First, “provide for the common defense” is our national government’s top priority; second, our national defense is the only mandatory function of the national government; finally, national defense is exclusively the function of the national government. However, what happens when our national government, including our politicians ignores their Oath of Office and our Constitution when it comes to our national defense, our homeland security and the preservation of our Constitution?
To force national politicians to follow the Constitution will require citizen/voter involvement to ask all politicians, beginning at the local level (mayor, city/town council, township trustee, county/parish supervisor/commissioner, state House and Senate members) to push our national politicians to do their jobs by placing our national defense, homeland security and the preservation of our Constitution back above Cultural Marxism i.e. political correctness and the constant pandering politicians make for votes and funding to get reelected.
The Constitution requires the national government to “provide for the common defense” of this nation, however, the Constitution also requires the federal government to protect the nation. Article Four, Section Four states that the “United States shall guarantee to every State a republican form of government and shall protect each of them against invasion.” In other words, even if the federal government chose to exercise no other power, it must, under the Constitution, provide for the common defense. Read “A Constitutional Basis for Defense” by Jim Talent, June 1, 2010 http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/06/

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meow April 16, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Oh come on, stop exaggerating Chinese threat to waste more taxpayer money on the blundering military.

The Chinese haven't even started building aircraft carriers and 10000 ton class destroyers yet.

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Bernard April 10, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Personally I don't trust the contractors or Congress to do the right thing. They both figure out ways to game the system so they earn more while our soldiers and taxpayers get screwed.

One of the big factors corrupting Congress in defense contracting is the desire to bring work to their state. I don't think that should ever be allowed to be an influence on contracting. During the bidding no one other than the contractors should even know which states the work is going to be done. They should only know how much will be done on US soil and that's it.

Of course, as you point out. It's a long shot hoping for any of this to happen. Too many people are getting very rich from this stuff.

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Dfens April 10, 2014 at 6:32 pm

I don't think it is as long a shot as you suppose. Really, all of the government procurement rules are under the control of the executive branch. The president could change them tomorrow if he wanted. It would only take signing his name to the appropriate document. If we were to elect a president that was worth a damn for once, they could fix the problem the next day after taking office.

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