Feeds

Obama & Gates vs the US military-industrial complex

Battle of Porkbarrel Hill begins

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.