So, This Also Happened

Here’s a little roundup of other goings on in the defense world that we didn’t write about this week:

Some cool gadgetry was hawked down in Rio at LAAD11, Latin America’s biggest arms show. Steve Trimble at The DEW Line’s got some great info on everything from France’s design for a new stealthy bomber to Brazil’s very own hypersonic vehicle.

NATO is apparently running low on ammo for he Libyan ops, what!? In some ways, this whole thing is a bit of a PR fail for the alliance.

Oh, and the ever-problem plagued ship, USS San Antonio (LPD-17) has a whole new set of challenges related to really lousy maintenance record keeping, according to Defense News’ naval reporter Chris Cavas. Hey, at least these issues are not “material” ones as Cavas report says.

  • Stan

    Nato running low on ammo? You’ve got to be kidding me! Nato without the US doing everything can’t even handle a little operation like Libya. What good is NATO then? The US should just disband NATO and save the money.

    • blight

      Someone tell me where the hell all the ammunition that was to be expended on the Warsaw Pact went. The United States certainly didn’t ship all of it back home…and the NATO countries never really expended it in anger. So where did it go?

      To be fair, bomb stockpiles were seriously depleted in GW1, which taught the US that ammunition expenditures were seriously under-estimated. However by the time we realized this, the Cold War was over and we did not scale up stocks of bombs in Europe.

      I imagine that for all coalition operations in Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan the United States provided ammunition to NATO allies. This begs the question of what happened to domestic stocks, and whether or not NATO made a conscious decision to eat into their wartime stocks and let them deplete to “peacetime” levels which are proving to be far too low for a low-intensity ground, high-intensity air conflict.

      • joe

        Presumably it’s all out of stock. Munitions have a use-by date just the same as food and industrial chemicals, and it’s not *that* long in the grand scheme of things.

        • blight

          Which suggests that Cold War stocks were expended in training, trucked away to the states, sold or simply destroyed. And with the demise of the Soviets, no incentive to either restock munitions at high levels beyond those required by training.

          So there you have it. Million-dollar jets, but short on pilots and bombs?

        • blight

          Ah. I figured that bombs were fairly durable items…what is the expiration date on a bomb anyways?

      • asdf

        and it was only for a couple of days, for obvious reasons. the uk revealed after the cold war that it only had about 2.5 days worth (budget cuts).

        • blight

          Was that because they projected their bomb stocks would last longer, but upon GW1-revision this didn’t work out? Or did they literally only stock bombs for 2.5 days? This sounds a little nuts considering how large the WP was…or emphasizes the total reliance on nuclear deterrence.

  • Belesari

    The NATO alliance is dead and the truth is out. The US has basicly been the military and political force that provides and real purpose to NATO for awhile now.

    When people ask “why does the US have to spend so much on defense!?”. i simply answer because we are damn near the only ones who really have a military in our alliance.

    How do you think everyone has afforded all those nanny states? They had the US to do all their dirty work.

    As for the LPD and Rio LAAD11.

    LPD: in no way suprising. Peice of sh*T ship built for a non war enviroment because no one wants to build anything thing with decent NSFS and good defenses. Which ironicly cant launch anything 50 miles out. So its worthless (when its running). Payed for by us and built by congress for votes.

    Rio: I’ve heard some complaining about the griphen and its performance. If i remember correctly the SuperHornet, the griphen and a couple others were still in the running for the next brazilian jet buy.

    • asdf

      why did they attack libya in the first place? gadaffi has been a friend of the west for a long time until now and now suddenly this.
      and why was the war in iraq started again? :D hint: the same reason as libya.

  • William C.


    We ought to stop spending money shoring up our NATO allies and spend that money on modernizing our own force instead!

    • dell

      x2. The Europeans have been cutting back their already gutted forces like crazy lately. Maybe if we stop holding their hands and handling every single security issue in the world they’ll be forced to take up some responsibility for their defense. Libya did not pose any threat at all to the US, it was Europe that was threatened by refugees and the loss of an oil source. THEY should have been the ones cleaning up that mess, as well as any problems in the Balkans and wherever else.

    • blight

      Perhaps the US should hang the rebels out to dry when it comes to offensive movements, just to bring home the point to NATO that it needs to take more responsibility for military spending. Or just demilitarize like many Central American countries and hope that the Russians don’t simply roll back in again.

      • William C.

        I think we should keep our military at its current level of strength, yet we shouldn’t be serving as the muscle of NATO in places like Libya and the Balkans. The Europeans continue to cut back on their armed forces and they ought to face the consequences of that when the United States isn’t there to carry the weight.

        Yet when somebody threatens our interests or attacks us, we should have that “big stick” Roosevelt was talking about to hit them with.

      • blight

        We walked into the Balkans to stop what we perceived to be genocide, or at a minimum a very untidy local civil war. One of the last wars where the United States was not perceived to be acting out of pure self-interest.

        Europe needs to consider this moment very seriously. If they want to keep NATO as a viable military force, now may be the time to go for a joint European army. Euro-tank, Eurofighter, Eurocopter; a standardized force with troops from all countries in a unified army. Combine your forces, reduce redunancy, preserve capability on the money you have rather than the money you don’t.

        Perhaps if they practice tighter integration, they can squeeze out some savings on the social welfare front too, but this is just a layer of abstraction without proof.

        • Chimp

          An excellent idea in theory, but it’ll be a cold day in hell before it ever happens. The more “partners” you have in a defence project, the more featherbedding there is. The UK on its own is able to make development of a new teaspoon go 20 years and ten billion quid over, so you can imagine what happens when the frogs get involved as well, or god forbid, the Germans.

        • dell

          I’m not opposed to the United States CONTRIBUTING to operations such as the Balkan conflicts (though not Libya). What would be nice is if we didn’t have to take the lead, take the initiative, and make up the overwhelming majority of forces *all the time*. It would be great if a European related crisis could be led by European officers, carried out by mostly European forces and financed by European money. But we can forget any chance of that now. Virtually every country on the continent is self-destructing their armed forces,
          dwindling fighter jets, tanks, troops, ships, and even helicopters.

          While the idea of a common European defense sounds neat on paper, it would be a beauraucratic and politicized mess that would never be put to use.

    • STemplar

      I’m sure the chief reason for maintaining the alliance is basing agreements. We need European bases or operations in the middle east and Africa become far more difficult and expensive. Now having said that it isn’t a green light for the Europeans to shirk their responsibilities. Perhaps allowing them to flounder a bit in this Libyan mess is a good thing, a little slap to their pride. If they want to keep having a say in world affairs they need to pay the ante for a chair at the table.

  • STemplar

    I remember when I was in Europe in the early 90s there was some sort of office or itty bitty committee being formed that is essence was to carry our European allies along. We were afraid since none of them were spending the cash to advance we were going to outpace them technologically and not be able to integrate operations. Maybe not quite that bad but it’s been pretty apparent for a long time the Europeans do not want to spend what they need to in order to stay capable. Frankly the majority simply do not deserve a seat at the table when it comes to geo politics anymore. The votes their citizens are casting are to be less and less involved and their lack of capability reflects that.

  • JDIM

    “We surrender.” - France

    • froggy

      pove con !

  • William C.

    Now to be fair the soldiers of our NATO allies have fought well in Afghanistan, yet their government’s contributions are pretty damned small compared to ours. Then we are treated to endless complaints by Europeans about how the Americans “dragged us into Afghanistan” and how bad we Americans are.

    With the Soviets gone NATO really isn’t working out too well for us these days.

  • Oblat

    While we berate our allies Obama has retreated from the war because the military says they don’t want to lose yet another war.

    The real question is if it cant win then what is it good for ?

    • froggy

      YESSSS !!!

      you can’t win if you haven’t the will for it !

      like in afghanistan, and Irak, that aren’t of your influence sphere !

      go back to asia !

      • Belesari


        Oblat, our military hasnt accually militarily Lost any wars not even vietnam needed to end the way it did. The reason we always QUIT is political and social.

        Though this does remeind me more of vietnam than wither Iraq or afghanistan. After all we are here once again with the french in there war. And once again we are the ones expected to pay for it.

        • blight

          With that logic, the French did not lose Vietnam-they ran out of willpower after Dien Bien Phu just like we did. Similarly, they did not fight to the last man like the Soviets did upon losing the Maginot Line in WW2.

          His point his correct. You can’t win without will. OIF is the most recent war that ended with a flag in an enemy capital, many wars since ended when the combatants political leadership decided to call an end to the fighting.

          • Belesari

            Oh i agree with that. Its just that its not the Military will power that has failed so often the soldiers are ready to get the crap done. The Political will is what is lacking.

            Just as in ww2 when the French government surrendered so as to keep Paris from being damaged the people as well as the army was ready to keep fighting.

            The irony? The US has the power to kill every Islamist nation on the planet……..without nukes. We could burn their cities to ash and rubble. But no this evil empire so heartless doesnt. It tries to reason with them. Uses its people and treasure to free them.

            The American people are ironicly becoming more and more ruthless, cynical, and uncaring. The upcoming generation was polled at 60% agree its ok to torture enemy combatants.

            Ah jihadist what a grand transformation you hath brought to this world.

  • froggy

    Hehe, he did I wake you up?

  • Will

    Editors (if you pay attention to comments a day later), please fix the link to LAAD11