Feeds

Obama & Gates vs the US military-industrial complex

Battle of Porkbarrel Hill begins

High performance access to file storage

F-35: Some risk of dead flyboys, not much of defeated ones.

The F-35 is widely hated in the military aerospace world, as much because it threatens to put most competing fighter designs out of business as for any other reason. However, its critics also fairly credibly suggest that pilots in F-35s might suffer casualties if opposed by late-model or possible future Russian air defences or combat jets.

That's extremely unlikely to happen, however: and one does note that the entire Russian combat jet fleet numbers fewer than 1,800 planes - most of which are either obsolete, unserviceable, flown by rubbish pilots or all of the above. A US fleet of 2,400 F-35s + 187 Raptors should be able to defeat this kind of enemy with a bit of effort, or smaller and more plausible opponents with ease. If the American fighter jockeys should take some losses doing so, well, the ground troops lose people all the time - not just in highly unlikely Tom Clancy scenarios.

So Gates' budget proposal is an almost unbelievably sensible one - almost a wish list for the USA's fighting service people.

It's tremendously bad news for the US military-industrial complex, however, and unfortunately it isn't Mr Gates who writes the final budget. Rather, the ultimate decisions are made by congresspeople and senators in Washington, many of them with the interests of the arms manufacturers very much at heart.

The backlash, in fact, has already begun. Here's a little YouTube contribution from Oklahoma senator James Inhofe, who considers that "President Obama is disarming America":

Inhofe is especially miffed at cuts to the networked-robot-legion Future Combat Systems plan, in particular the new NLOS-C howitzer - a classic Cold War self-propelled artillery piece, good for tackling Soviet tank armies under hostile skies in the Fulda Gap but pretty much irrelevant otherwise.

Unfortunately, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Inhofe gets nearly as much of a say in the Pentagon budget as Gates does. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.