Why not a Defense stimulus?

posted at 11:41 am on April 28, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

If one wanted to follow Keynesian economics and structure a government stimulus, wouldn’t high-paying jobs that produce material useful for national priorities be at the top of the list?  Defense contractors and their unions wonder the same thing, according to the Washington Post.  While Barack Obama begs for shovel-ready projects for items like snowmakers in Duluth, the Pentagon keeps canceling proven weapons systems that provide tens of thousands of high-paying jobs to skilled workers.

Why, it’s almost as if the Obama administration has a problem with the military:

Some of the nation’s largest defense contractors, labor unions and trade groups are banding together to argue that the Obama administration is putting 100,000 or more jobs at risk by proposing deep cuts in weapons programs.

The defense industry and its supporters argue that the proposals by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will increase unemployment during a historic economic crisis. Why, they ask, would President Obama push hundreds of billions in stimulus spending to create jobs only to propose weapons cuts that would eliminate tens of thousands of them?

“It doesn’t make sense that our government is looking at trying to save or create jobs at the same time it’s talking about cutting something like this,” said Jeff Goen, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers chapter in Marietta, Ga., where Lockheed Martin does final assembly on the F-22 Raptor fighter jet, which is slated to be cut.

Lockheed decided to go quietly in the end, but its employees and suppliers may not be so easily defeated.   Lockheed got more funding for its next project, but that may not help the people who will get thrown out of work in the Raptor shutdown.  They’re looking at unemployment, and the prospects for aerospace work don’t exactly look bright in the next few years.

Few would object to a reform of Defense procurement, as long as it comes along with government-spending reform in general.  Gates wants to save money and focus on what he sees as priorities for the future in order to allocate resources rationally.  That sounds fiscally responsible, but if so, it’s the only area in government that’s doing it.  And since national security is one of the few explicitly Constitutional duties of the federal government, Defense seems an odd place to start housecleaning.

This administration has allocated $787 billion outside of the normal budgeting process for economic stimulus spending on items from snowmakers to bike paths, from medical-record conversions to filling potholes, almost all of which will produce nothing but short-term and low-wage jobs in exchange for products and services that have no relation to the mission of the federal government.  Four percent of that money could have gone to the Raptor and saved 95,000 jobs, and a couple of percentage points more could have kept valuable weapons systems — and jobs — from disappearing.  In a DC spending spree, the parsimonious treatment of Defense seems very odd indeed.


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Because the military is evil.

EEEEVVVIIILLLLL…

http://images.halloweencostumes.com/devil-horns-teeth.jpg

sonofdy on April 28, 2009 at 11:44 AM

The loss of skilled labor with the projected defense cuts will never be recuperated, nor ever replaced. The loss of our means to defend ourselves, with these projected cuts, likewise, may, may never be recoverable.

Priorities.

If we no longer exist as a nation, a strong nation, then all the ACORN and Job Corps government-paid volunteers won’t matter one bit.

coldwarrior on April 28, 2009 at 11:46 AM

I like my fedgov small in nearly all ways but national defense.

“Peace through superior firepower.”

eforhan on April 28, 2009 at 11:46 AM

That’s a rhetorical question, right?

Vashta.Nerada on April 28, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Yes, please, more defense spending.

Cindy Munford on April 28, 2009 at 11:48 AM

It’s also a strong investment in SCIENTIFIC R&D.

Obama: “Ooh, lookit me, I’m increasing scientifical R&D to 3% of GDP but lowering the military R&D budget by 10% of…


GDP.

Sorry I had a little teleprompter problem..”

Skywise on April 28, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Ed, WTF…not enough troll bait today!

dmann on April 28, 2009 at 11:48 AM

What’s odd about it? The only thing standing between the Democrats’ long-term enslavement of America is the mostly right-wing military.

Gut them now.

amkun on April 28, 2009 at 11:49 AM

And since national security is one of the few explicitly Constitutional duties of the federal government, Defense seems an odd place to start housecleaning.

Not if you’re a liberal Chicago Democrat, just a few years ago hanging out with domestic terrorists and anti-American pastors, more concerned with expanding welfare programs and getting the French to like us than keeping the country safe.

amerpundit on April 28, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Yup, and how about shovel ready jobs like building and staffing prisons? They’d rather whine about prison overcrowding so they can put more criminals on the street.

Buddahpundit on April 28, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Ha ha ha ha ha!!! That’s a good one, Ed. Obambi “investing” in the military. Too Funny!

Fishoutofwater on April 28, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Unfortunately, jimmy carter v2.0 would not need any defense.We might as well roll out the red carpet for Islamic extremists now, and get it over with, that way I can use my right to bear arms at their arrival.

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on April 28, 2009 at 11:51 AM

The only government spending that has ever returned anything useful (which the libs love to use as examples of “great government spending”) is defense spending. The only government spending the left wants to cut is defense spending.

These people are criminally stupid and need to be jailed. They are threats to civilization, plain and simple (like their minds).

progressoverpeace on April 28, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Obama and the dems believe that we no longer face any threats due to the fact that they are in charge. There is no need for defense spending because there is no threat against America now that Barry has taken the riens. Unfortunately this outlook is going to bite ALL of us right in the A$$!
Unicorns and rainbows for everyone.

milwife88 on April 28, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Defense stimulus? For What?

Isn’t everything that happens to us our fault anyway?

We don’t need weapons, when there’s dialoge afoot…

JetBoy on April 28, 2009 at 11:53 AM

This is what democrats do…they gut the military while spending the ‘savings’ on programs that directly buy votes from their base. If it goes wrong and we are attacked, they blame the previous administration…The only dem I can think of who got caught and blamed for this scheme was Carter.

JIMV on April 28, 2009 at 11:53 AM

most intelligent badministration ever

blatantblue on April 28, 2009 at 11:53 AM

I’ve been thinking lately Obama is secretly HOPING for another terrorist attack on the US. Thus, his idiot moves.

If we get hit again, the Democrats have yet another crisis to manipulate. And a big crisis, at that, which they can use to do all sorts of things, all the way up to martial law.

amkun on April 28, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Defense seems an odd place to start housecleaning.

Not if you’re a global citizen. And certainly not if you are interested in humiliating your own country.

What’s odd about it? The only thing standing between the Democrats’ long-term enslavement of America is the mostly right-wing military.

Gut them now.

amkun on April 28, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Bingo. But 1st-eliminate gun ownership.

Badger40 on April 28, 2009 at 11:54 AM

Obama can always blame Bush if we get attacked, so what’s the point of wasting money on defense?

spmat on April 28, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Reducing DOD spending is a tax cut!

Badger40 on April 28, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Liberal leftists seem to focus on the things they don’t have (envy) and fail to understand what is required to hold onto the things they do have.

They seem to have a very child like world view, they see something, they want it, they take it. They don’t know how to make anything, they don’t know where stuff comes from. They just assume that it is here now, has always been here, will always be.

They don’t worry about the future, just the now.

Skandia Recluse on April 28, 2009 at 11:55 AM

If we get hit again, the Democrats have yet another crisis to manipulate. And a big crisis, at that, which they can use to do all sorts of things, all the way up to martial law.

amkun on April 28, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Ugh. This thought terrifies me.

loudmouth883 on April 28, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Awesomest plane evah.

Akzed on April 28, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Defense contracters should make cuts based on the following procedure – Tour the parking lot and fire anyone with an Obama sticker on their car…

Kuffar on April 28, 2009 at 11:57 AM

How do you raise and equip your own army loyal to you and not some piece of paper in a museum? First, you get rid of the competition.

Fletch54 on April 28, 2009 at 11:57 AM

Ah…. but we have no need for the F-22… it no longer meets the Anti Insurgency mission that the current Administration sees as the Future of Combat…

Now, anti insurgency ops are only needed in either an Occupied country, or to put down internal rebelion…

And we’re leaving Iraq…. and want to get less involved in Afganistan… and don’t want to invade anyone else… soooo…

Just why are we changing our Doctrine, training, and equipment over to primarily Anti Insurgency stuff again?

Romeo13 on April 28, 2009 at 11:58 AM

Personally, I can’t understand why the F22 was cancelled. The way things are going, we will almost certainly be facing off against Eastern-bloc fighters again, and I think we want our pilots to be the ones which come home…

unclesmrgol on April 28, 2009 at 11:59 AM

They don’t worry about the future, just the now.

Skandia Recluse on April 28, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Exactly. They are staticists.

progressoverpeace on April 28, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Reducing DOD spending is a tax cut!

Badger40 on April 28, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Only if you don’t put the money on another spot…

From little acorns, mighty disasters grow.

Obama Franks Waters LLC — destroyers of the world economy.

unclesmrgol on April 28, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Romeo13 on April 28, 2009 at 11:58 AM

The US military is not majority Democrat, so, sounds like a good conceptual basis for a movie though…

Akzed on April 28, 2009 at 12:01 PM

unclesmrgol on April 28, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Like this one that India and Russia have just signed a 15-year agreement to produce?

coldwarrior on April 28, 2009 at 12:01 PM

If we spent the money just to build incredibly complex devices, and then dumped them into the ocean, that would be a better use of tax dollars than paying people to be unemployed, have children out of wedlock and run their businesses into the ground.

logis on April 28, 2009 at 12:02 PM

OHHHHHHHHHHH
MYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Arlen Specter Switching Parties Today?

by Human Events
04/28/2009
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=31639

HUMAN EVENTS has learned from staff sources that Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa) is about to announce his switch to the Democratic Party

Baxter Greene on April 28, 2009 at 12:03 PM

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=31639

This has nothingto do with this topic but it looks like Arlen Specter is crossing the aisle for good now.

milwife88 on April 28, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Baxter Greene on April 28, 2009 at 12:03 PM

thanks…like we’ll notice a difference????

good riddance to the RINO..

right4life on April 28, 2009 at 12:06 PM

OT

Specter to run as a Democrat.

WTF?

Knucklehead on April 28, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Baxter Greene on April 28, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Good. The money the GOP would have wasted on Spector can now be used to support real Conservatives.

The people of Pennsylvania will deal with Spector.

I am sure that 100% of Pennsylvania Dems will just love Arlen.

I am truly certain that now 100% of Pennsylvania Republicans have a far far less lovable feeling about that opportunistic dweeb.

coldwarrior on April 28, 2009 at 12:07 PM

OK…back on topic…gutting our defenses to provide new jobs for ACORN.

coldwarrior on April 28, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Because our warfighting capability (and more importantly, the budget that supports it) is unmatched. In the case of the budget, we are an order of magnitude beyond the rest of the world. While I too would prioritize “stimulus” funds differently were I tasked with appropriating them–way way way more R&D funding, like Ed’s suggestion but give all the money to DARPA–raw warfighting capability is not exactly receiving meager support.

ernesto on April 28, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Personally, I can’t understand why the F22 was cancelled. The way things are going, we will almost certainly be facing off against Eastern-bloc fighters again, and I think we want our pilots to be the ones which come home…
unclesmrgol on April 28, 2009 at 11:59 AM

This isn’t just about pilot safety. Losing air superiority means losing a war. If somebody else has a better tank, helicopter, or almost any other weapons system we can get around that. But if we we don’t have air superiority, nothing else will matter.

The neo-hippies aren’t worried. First of all, now that Bush is gone, there is no more aggression in the world. And even if some country decides to give us the punishment we deserve, they’re sure to treat America a lot better than we treated our “victims”.

logis on April 28, 2009 at 12:09 PM

I like my fedgov small in nearly all ways but national defense.

“Peace through superior firepower.”

eforhan on April 28, 2009 at 11:46 AM

I love it!

My two cents: it’s part of Obama’s plan. Weaken the military, weaken intelligence. Then wait for the inevitable attacks that begin the day after he’s inaugurated for his second term, and we’re stuck with him for four more years. Between now and then, he’ll blame Bush endlessly for an economy that is going nowhere. And he’ll blame Bush for international problems, arguing that he can’t overcome the damage Bush has done to our country’s reputation.

Obama’s economic stimulus will ultimately come in the clean-up and reconstruction after we’ve had a few cities leveled on his watch–which, again, will be Bush’s fault for inflaming the hatred of enemies from overseas (who, in truth, have allies in those of Obama’s most rabid supporters).

BuckeyeSam on April 28, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Meanwhile in Russia, they are testing new balistic missiles…

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20090428/121344078.html

Now back to your regularly scheduled destruction of the American defense forces.

sonofdy on April 28, 2009 at 12:13 PM

it’s almost as if the Obama administration has a problem with the military.

0′s problem is that most of the military didn’t vote for him. That’s why he’s cutting defense spending, while spending billions on groups that did vote for him — like ACORN, unions, illegal aliens, etc.

AZCoyote on April 28, 2009 at 12:19 PM

coldwarrior on April 28, 2009 at 12:01 PM

sonofdy on April 28, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Cold War II.
Where’s the next Reagan? Cause it’s gonna take another one to fix this mess.

Badger40 on April 28, 2009 at 12:36 PM

0’s problem is that most of the military didn’t vote for him. That’s why he’s cutting defense spending, while spending billions on groups that did vote for him — like ACORN, unions, illegal aliens, etc.

AZCoyote on April 28, 2009 at 12:19 PM

He’s taking care of his Homies.

Badger40 on April 28, 2009 at 12:36 PM

A defense stimulus sounds Great!
I could us some funds to buy more ammo.. JHP’s ain’t cheap don’t ya know…

Oh, it’s not that kind of defense stimulus.. it doesn’t matter anyways. I lost All my guns in a mudslide last week – and it wasn’t even raining……

SeanTate5 on April 28, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Defense? We don’t need a defense. White flags are cheaper.

GarandFan on April 28, 2009 at 12:39 PM

GarandFan on April 28, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Ya think Obama learned that at the same time he learned to say “Merci, beaucoup?”

coldwarrior on April 28, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Barry has encouraged a defense spending stimulus… in China, NorK, Iran, Russia, etc… You know, the countries that will protect a one-world socialist way-of-life

phreshone on April 28, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Obama will never stop pounding the inverse.

If I had a hammer
I’d hammer in the morning
I’d hammer in the evening
All over this land
I’d hammer out danger
I’d hammer out a warning
I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

The Hammer Song, Lee Hays and Pete Seeger, 1958

maverick muse on April 28, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Actually Barry’s spending bills have caused a domestic self-defense stimulus… Go to the ammo section in a Walmart… cleared out due to the fear of the gun-grabbing to come…

phreshone on April 28, 2009 at 12:59 PM

I remember a drunk night many years ago when a bunch of college kids made predictions of the future. The scarey one I remember was that the US and Russia would join together to fight China.

oldgoat on April 28, 2009 at 1:04 PM

In a DC spending spree, the parsimonious treatment of Defense seems very odd indeed.

Not odd at all, really. Not when you consider who is setting the priorities these days.

Wingo on April 28, 2009 at 1:05 PM

The scarey one I remember was that the US and Russia would join together to fight China.

oldgoat on April 28, 2009 at 1:04 PM

Huh. That sure as hell is nothing but a dream.
If anything-I’m thinking Russia will team up with them. Like before.

Badger40 on April 28, 2009 at 1:06 PM

If we had an accurate DHS national threat advisory system, I dare say, it would indicate ‘severe’ or ‘in progress.’

Welcome to the rabbit-hole.

Earlg on April 28, 2009 at 1:06 PM

I have been retired from the Navy so long that I have no Idea what is comming down the pike for new ships. The pirates and lack of spine have demonstrated once again the need for a strong Navy. The ammo thing I saw comming and stocked up on reloading supplies last year in Pa. during the bear hunting trip.

oldgoat on April 28, 2009 at 1:09 PM

In a DC spending spree, the parsimonious treatment of Defense seems very odd indeed.

A bizarre statement, given who’s running DC right now.

They’re donks, for crying out loud: they only see the military as a fun-n-games social experimentation playground and as a piggy-bank to bust open in favor of entitlements, racial and sex-based preference programs.

Did anyone expect anything different? You didn’t need radar to see this coming from over the horizon.

Spurius Ligustinus on April 28, 2009 at 1:12 PM

He knows exactly what he’s doing: making the US a less “mean” country that his wife can more consistently be more “proud of”.

cpr on April 28, 2009 at 1:18 PM

Most of my father’s friends died at Midway in crappy Douglas Devastators so I can’t tell you enough how much I think air superiority is important. He was the ‘lucky’ one, captured by the Japanese in February, 1942. Every time Americans think they don’t need better weapons they turn out to be wrong, from the smoothbore muskets still used when the Civil War broke out, through the Sherman, Mark XIV torpedoes, to the F-4 Phantom. It’s not money. The cost is lives. Now we know the F-15 is just barely superior to the best Russian planes, if it is. And the F-35 is unproven and unavailable, not to mention Chinese as of a couple weeks ago.

Beagle on April 28, 2009 at 1:21 PM

It’s not money. The cost is lives.

Exactly, The lives of Servicemen several orders of magnitude better than Fauxbama and the rest of the Demoncrats.

SeanTate5 on April 28, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Beagle on April 28, 2009 at 1:21 PM

INdia and Ruyssia just signed a 15-year deal to build Russia’s fifth-generation combat aircraft together.

Have heard a few recently tell me that India is no threat. And Russia isn’t either.

Maybe not today.

But, India is on par with the US in avionics technologies and micro-electornics, something Russia does not have.

Russia can build strong airframes…the Indians can easily and readily tweek out the combat systems.

Not only China…

Brazil has given hints they may go the same route, if there is incentive to do so. Never underestimate the little guy, standing off in the wings.

coldwarrior on April 28, 2009 at 1:28 PM

INdia and Ruyssia just signed a 15-year deal

And I cannot type worth a damn this morning, either.

coldwarrior on April 28, 2009 at 1:29 PM

This is his plane btw. So he really was lucky to be captured by the Japanese, because:

Today, no example of the Devastator survives in any museum or collection.

That’s because they suffered 80%+ losses at Midway and were taken out of service and scrapped.

coldwarrior:

Funny you mention India.

COPE India

The whole world knows that if you mess with U.S. Air Force pilots, you’re going down. Hard.

Except, someone forgot to send the memo to India, apparently. Because, in recent exercises, Indian flyboys in low-tech Russian and French jets defeated American F-15C pilots more than 90 percent of the time.

Now, granted, the Indians had the Americans outnumbered: usually 10 or 12 to 4, during the Cope India air combat exercise held last February around the Gwalior Air Force Station. But American officials also credited Indian pilots with being “very proficient in [their] aircraft[s] and smart on tactics. That combination was tough for us to overcome,” USAF Col. Greg Neubeck told Inside the Air Force. (The article is off-limits to those who don’t subscribe. But The Times of India is running major excerpts.)

Beagle on April 28, 2009 at 1:37 PM

Beagle on April 28, 2009 at 1:37 PM

Indians…despite Joe Biden’s take…are not just found in Kwiki-Marts anymore. A half-dozen on your six at 20,000 feet can be a wake-up call.

coldwarrior on April 28, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Ed, catch it @ Drudge.

Has globalisation made us more catastrophe-prone?
By Andrew Marshall, The Independent, UK
Mon, 27 Apr 09

As the world grapples with the worst economic downturn in decades and the possibility of a flu pandemic, a growing body of research suggests the complexity of the modern global economy may make us more vulnerable than ever to catastrophe.

The financial crisis began as turmoil in one small segment of the US mortgage market. Within months it had morphed into a global meltdown affecting almost everyone on earth.

The complexity that makes financial shocks more potentially dangerous also means that pandemics can wreak greater havoc.

And just as with financial crisis, herd behaviour, panic and the spread of inaccurate or incomplete information could provide negative feedback loops, making the catastrophe even worse. “Economic disruptions on the supply side would come directly from high absenteeism… There may also be disruptions to transportation, trade, payment systems and major utilities,” the IMF said in a 2006 report on the impact of a global flu pandemic. And beyond the immediate catastrophe, an overriding risk from both the financial crisis and any pandemic is that it causes a worldwide retreat from globalisation, with profound long-term consequences for the world economy.

In its 2007 report on global risks, the World Economic Forum imagined the consequences of a simultaneous pandemic and global liquidity crisis – a scenario that was purely speculative then but which now seems eerily prescient.

The result, it said, would be “a backlash against globalisation, which in turn compounds the hit on global demand”. Across the world, it said, increased militarism and authoritarian tendencies would reshape global geopolitics.

The events of the next few months may show just how accurate such a scenario could be.

maverick muse on April 28, 2009 at 1:43 PM

For the cost of stimuluses and bailouts I could have had a border fence, agents to guard it, missile defense, more agents at ports, the F-22, etc. Instead I get handouts to Planned Parenthood, ACORN, and unions.

AnotherOpinion on April 28, 2009 at 1:44 PM

maverick muse on April 28, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Approaching May 1914…and fast.

Just a few months away from 28 June and the cataclysmic aftermath.

If I were a pessimist realist.

coldwarrior on April 28, 2009 at 1:46 PM

coldwarrior on April 28, 2009 at 1:40 PM

India seems a least appreciated American ally.

maverick muse on April 28, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Most of my father’s friends died at Midway in crappy Douglas Devastators so I can’t tell you enough how much I think air superiority is important.
Beagle on April 28, 2009 at 1:21 PM

With good enough air superiority fighters, second-rate bombers – or tanks, or helicopters, etc… can all get the job done. But if the other side has air superiority, the best fighting machines ever made might as well be so many clay pigeons.

If the Allies hadn’t had complete air supremacy for the Normandy beach landings, they could have turned out just as disastrously as the Midway torpedo attacks did.

logis on April 28, 2009 at 1:56 PM

maverick muse on April 28, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Yes, they have been for the previous eight years. Right now, India is moving away, albeit slowly, from that stance. This Administrations treatment of India, and on issues India believes are vital, is forcing them to look more toward Russia, among others, as they view preservation of their nation, their economy, and their people as more important than following dictats and demarches and pipedreams of the Obama Administation.

coldwarrior on April 28, 2009 at 2:03 PM

coldwarrior on April 28, 2009 at 1:46 PM

The virus is a bio-lab concoction.
It’s Mexican initial appearance is the most fatal.
The viral passage from human to human may not be so potent.
Spreading this generation of the virus will amplify its next round.
Which bio-weapon lab manufactured it is for speculation.
The intended target:
Constitutional Government and Western Free Trade
Obama’s visit timed perfectly to deflect blame from his owners, the ones MOST empowered to exploit the swine/avian/human flu in every way, beyond imaginable.

$.02
Morons need not defend the deceit of Mr. Malleable.

maverick muse on April 28, 2009 at 2:04 PM

Beagle on April 28, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Hats off to your dad and his fellows from the Battle of Midway.

Thanks to American signals intelligence, judicious aircraft carrier tactics, and more than a little luck, the U.S. Navy had inflicted a smashing defeat on the Japanese Navy. Although the performance of the three American carrier air groups would later be considered uneven, their pilots and crew had won the day through courage, determination, and heroic sacrifice. The Japanese lost the four large carriers that had attacked Pearl Harbor, while the Americans only lost one carrier. More importantly, the Japanese lost over one hundred trained pilots, who could not be replaced. Recognizing this defeat for what it was, Admiral Nagumo’s Chief of Staff later wrote: “I felt bitter… I felt like swearing.” In a larger strategic sense, the Japanese offensive in the Pacific was derailed and their plans to advance on New Caledonia, Fiji, and Samoa postponed. The balance of sea power in the Pacific shifted from the Japan to an equity between America and Japan. Soon after the Battle of Midway the U.S. and their allies would take the offensive in the Pacific.

maverick muse on April 28, 2009 at 2:17 PM

coldwarrior on April 28, 2009 at 2:03 PM

Yes. I’ve also noted with fear the geo-political alignment India has been making with its neighbors.

Culturally, Indians assimilate beautifully in America. Obama, no fried to liberty or intelligence anywhere, is in strong political alignment with Islam. That hurts non-Muslims. Having survived to date and among the world’s most intelligent people, the educated Indians will not play Obama’s tool. Their peaceful independence was permanently sabotaged by the British who dissected Pakistan from India’s territory [not that there wasn't a conflict to "solve"]. They are stuck between a rock and a hard spot, and are doing a much better job negotiating terms and arrangements to meet their needs with Russia and China than we are.

I have enjoyed friendships with each of my Indian clients from various sects. Given their ample legal immigration into the USA, it would be disappointing should their government actually take long term political stances against Americans while Putin’s Russia sends Obama through the garbage disposal.

Psychologically, I just have a hard time thinking that India would choose communism vs. the democracy of their own functioning government.

maverick muse on April 28, 2009 at 2:43 PM

This is his plane btw. So he really was lucky to be captured by the Japanese, because:

The only way you could be called “lucky” to be captured by the Japanese is if the alternative is death.

IMHO.

Those guys were beyond brutal.

sonofdy on April 28, 2009 at 3:26 PM

logis on April 28, 2009 at 1:56 PM

I agree completely. Air supremacy makes everything else work well. Or vice-versa. If the Devastators had air cover at Midway instead of mostly attacking alone the outcome would not have been nearly as grave. Of course the Wildcat was outmatched early on, as were our pilots, so it still would have been brutal. Not until the Hellcat and Corsair, after killing all the best Japanese pilots, did USN aviation start taking names in WWII.

maverick muse on April 28, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Torpedo Eight was totally KIA at Midway but for Ensign Gay. But they brought down the Zeroes which opened it up for the bombers which sank the four carriers. My dad was Torpedo Five.

Torpedo Eight was the first US carrier squadron to find the enemy fleet. Approaching low and from the northeast, the fifteen Devastators came upon Nagumo’s force at 0920, immediately after the last plane from the morning strike against Midway had landed. Nagumo had abruptly changed course, from southeast towards Midway, almost due north, to evade further strikes from Midway and to close the American ships. Expecting neither fighter support, nor coordination with Hornet’s bombers, Torpedo Eight attacked immediately. At first, Waldron divided his squadron to pin his target – likely Akagi – between two groups of planes, but as Zeroes swarmed over then, VT-8 formed up again on Waldron’s TBD. Grinding along at perhaps 100 knots, the Devastators began to fall to the Zeroes. Several were splashed almost immediately. Waldron’s wing tank was hit; just before the plane slammed into the water, he was seen climbing from the cockpit to escape the flames. The remaining planes pressed on, now targeting Soryu in the center of the Japanese formation, but their determination wasn’t enough. Of the fifteen planes, only one – Ensign George Gay’s – dropped its torpedo: a miss. Of the thirty men, only one – Ensign George Gay – survived the mission, crashing shortly after his attack, to become a front row spectator for the events that followed.

sonofdy on April 28, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Absolutely, but everyone captured with him and he survived the war. About half of the POWs in Japan died in captivity. He termed himself ‘lucky’ and he did appreciate the irony. Nearly everyone else he knew in naval aviation died in combat or POW camp. Dad had a lot of survivor’s guilt and bad memories which he worked through with golf therapy.

Beagle on April 28, 2009 at 7:04 PM

Mr. Morrissey, my hat is off to you in a big way for this superb and very important post. This is significant, because I am not all that fond of a good percentage of your posts. However, in this case, you actually step out to lead in a BIG WAY. For all the criticism that talk radio and the right-wing blogosphere (and there has been a great deal of that) have leveled at the Obama Administration (and its Democratic lock-steppers in Congress) in the past 100 days, precious little of this dissent has been precisely focused on the issue you very effectively spotlight in this post — reckless, harmful cuts in Defense spending!

What is the deal: Aren’t “conservatives” viscerally pro-Defense (to a fault) anymore? (Think Reagan.) If, as you suggest, the fact that Obama wants to cut the heart out of some of the healthiest parts of our economy during a time of economic downturn is egregiously pernicious, then how much devilishly worse is his intention to do it when: a) our troops are actively engaged in “overseas contingency operations” against planners of “man-caused disasters;” (b) several “loose cannons” (e.g., Ahmadenijad, H. Chavez, Kim Jong Il) seem hell-bent on pushing the world towards serious conflict; and last, but certainly not least, (c) China is simultaneously EXPANDING its increasingly super-power-like military with budget allocations that INCREASE at a rate of approximately 20% annually!

sanantonian on April 28, 2009 at 11:49 PM

The F22 is one of the few things without a ‘Made in China’ tag on it anywhere, thats why. China is funding the show, why would they want us to have any strength to fight back?

johnnyU on April 29, 2009 at 8:46 AM