Hollow Defense Debate Heats Up as Congress Moves to "Save"
Readiness by Adding Unneeded Weapons Systems

September 25, 1998

Comment: #192

Discussion Thread:  #154 Front-Loading the C-130J ... What Does "Protecting the Industrial Base" Really Protect? and Comments on Hollow Defense Debate (#s: 165, 166, 167,168, 172, 177, 178, 179, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187)

The dust has barely settled from the Sept 15 meeting where the joint chiefs lowered the boom on the President about the military ballooning readiness problems, but Congress is, nevertheless, moving out with a get well plan, as indicated by the following information provided to me by a conservative member of Senate Staff.

Begin message

2 KC-130J $112.4 mil (Navy/USMC)(not requested)
1 WC-130 $75.5 mil (USAF) (not requested)
1 EC-130J $85.0 mil (USAF) (1 C-130J requested)*
3 C-130J $192.0 mil (ANG) (not requested)


7 C-130 $464.9 mil vs Request of $85 mil
C-130 Mods $211.4 mil (requested)

Grand Total:

$676.3 mil

 * Serves important role of "blessing" the new model.

Of course, there will also be a FY 1999 "emergency readiness" supplemental (total amount unclear). According to Chairman Stevens, when finished, this "emergency readiness" measure will also include funding for THAAD and other missile defense beyond that already funded in the regular 99 appropriations bill.

Daniel Webster was right.

End of Message

The troops just have to understand that there is only so much morale to pass around, and when it is time to improve morale, it is strategically more important to protect morale in Marietta, Georgia. After all, making the tough decisions is what leadership is all about.

With decision making priorities like these, is it difficult to understand why barracks are falling apart, training allowances are being cut, spare parts are in short supply, combat units are not fully manned, and why people are punching out.

Chuck Spinney

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