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Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:46 PM


Will Chuck Hagel Stand Up to the Drone Lobby?

Or will he be yet another victim of Pentagon operators?


U.S. Central Command has released some interesting numbers on the performance of modern air systems in Afghanistan; the data do not auger well for our defenses in the next decade, nor for the suitability of the man who appears likely to be the next secretary of defense, former Senator Chuck Hagel -- his admirable iconoclasm toward some national security dogmas notwithstanding.

With the Department of Defense budget looking at no real growth or even reductions in the next few years, there will be a clear need for defense systems that offer more performance for less cost. The data from Afghanistan on what drones are contributing to the war there show that we are getting little but paying a lot, the reverse of what we will need in the future. These data notwithstanding, drones are the embodiment of what conventional wisdom in Washington holds to be the wave of the future for air power -- the quintessence of the high tech cutting edge that the pundits want more and more of and just the kind of myth that politicians appointed to senior executive branch positions fall for time and time again.

The Pentagon's new leadership needs the wit to recognize that the conventional wisdom on these (and other) systems can be badly wrong, and it needs the moral courage and political dexterity to act, standing up to the embedded material and intellectual special interests in the Pentagon, Congress, and think tanks that leap to the defense of these systems time after time. Without such brains, guts, skill, and, especially, persistence in the next Pentagon leader, our defenses are in for a rough ride -- downhill -- in coming years. In short, we need real deeds from a tough, no-nonsense executive, not just interesting, sometimes iconoclastic words.

The Air Force component of CENTCOM (AFCENT) releases numbers to the public each month on Air Force and allied sorties and weapon releases in Operation Enduring Freedom (which mostly means the war in Afghanistan) for drones and manned aircraft. (Data on CIA drone activities in Pakistan and elsewhere are not included.)


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Reply Will Chuck Hagel Stand Up to the Drone Lobby? (Original post)
rug Jan 2013 OP
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #1
librechik Jan 2013 #2

Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:23 PM

1. What is the evidence that indicates that he would? His so called anti war stance is all talk.


In the Senate, he'd talk a bit then vote Yes for any and all war requests.
The noise about his opposition to war is just like the noise he makes before voting for war, it signifies nothing.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:39 PM

2. I don't expect so.

the coup is complete. Nothing gets through that the national security team doesn't allow.

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