Obama administration to kill Tomahawk production

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Obama administration to kill Tomahawk production

steve eggBy Steve Eggleston

Over the last cou­ple of decades, the Tom­a­hawk cruise mis­sile has become the Navy’s go-​to stand­off weapon of choice. Its range, accu­racy, stealth­i­ness and range of war­heads has proven invalu­able, as over 1,000 Tom­a­hawks have been used since its com­bat intro­duc­tion in the first Gulf War. Sev­eral bal­lis­tic mis­sile sub­marines have been con­verted into Tom­a­hawk cruise-​missile subs car­ry­ing 154 mis­siles apiece, over twice the num­ber car­ried by a destroyer or cruiser.

There­fore, in Barack Obama’s Amer­ica, its pro­duc­tion must end years early, with pro­cure­ment drop­ping from 196 this year and a planned 980 through 2018 to 100 next year and noth­ing afterward.

The claim at the time was that the resources that would have gone to procur­ing the Tom­a­hawk are going instead to devel­op­ing its replace­ment, the Next Gen­er­a­tion Land Attack Weapon. That’s a “slight” exag­ger­a­tion — the proper verb is “will” as that pro­gram doesn’t exist yet and won’t be pro­duc­ing oper­a­tional mis­siles until at least 2024.

Bryan McGrath over at Infor­ma­tion Dis­sem­i­na­tion offers an “inno­cent” expla­na­tion of why the sud­den shift has hap­pened; there is only a finite amount of money out there, and there is, despite the wild claims from the Wash­ing­ton Free Bea­con, a fair amount in reserve. I would buy it…if seques­tra­tion had first hap­pened this past year. How­ever, every­body has known it was the “default” since 2011.

Rather, I put far more stock in his clos­ing state­ment as the rea­son (empha­sis in the original):

I believe that the coun­try needs to put addi­tional energy toward deter­ring the war it can­not afford to fight, and that is a war with China, Rus­sia, or China and Rus­sia. In order to best deter such a war, it must be well-​prepared to wage it. Cal­cu­la­tions of risk that involve dimin­ish­ing stocks of pre­ci­sion guided muni­tions with­out the indus­trial capac­ity to quickly replace them should be viewed with con­cern. It is not 1939. We do not have end­less untapped indus­trial capac­ity that will build 50,000 air­planes and 6000 ships and boats. We have lim­ited pro­duc­tion lines in incred­i­bly high-​tech fac­to­ries that rely on a pre­cious sup­ply of skilled work­ers who are not repro­ducible overnight. Any war with another major power will expend PGM’s at a rate our indus­trial base will strain to replace. Steady peace­time pro­cure­ment of these spe­cial­ized weapons not only makes the US bet­ter pre­pared to wage war – should it come – but it sends pow­er­ful sig­nals of readi­ness and will that serve to deter war in the first place.

At some point we must rec­og­nize that the height of national strat­egy is NOT the pur­suit of the most effi­cient allo­ca­tion of resources. It is the advance­ment and sus­tain­ment of national inter­est. In tak­ing on this addi­tional near-​term risk, the United States effi­ciently allo­cates resources while send­ing yet another mes­sage of qui­es­cence in the face of an increas­ingly trou­bled world.

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steve eggBy Steve Eggleston

Over the last couple of decades, the Tomahawk cruise missile has become the Navy’s go-to standoff weapon of choice. Its range, accuracy, stealthiness and range of warheads has proven invaluable, as over 1,000 Tomahawks have been used since its combat introduction in the first Gulf War. Several ballistic missile submarines have been converted into Tomahawk cruise-missile subs carrying 154 missiles apiece, over twice the number carried by a destroyer or cruiser.

Therefore, in Barack Obama’s America, its production must end years early, with procurement dropping from 196 this year and a planned 980 through 2018 to 100 next year and nothing afterward.

The claim at the time was that the resources that would have gone to procuring the Tomahawk are going instead to developing its replacement, the Next Generation Land Attack Weapon. That’s a “slight” exaggeration – the proper verb is “will” as that program doesn’t exist yet and won’t be producing operational missiles until at least 2024.

Bryan McGrath over at Information Dissemination offers an “innocent” explanation of why the sudden shift has happened; there is only a finite amount of money out there, and there is, despite the wild claims from the Washington Free Beacon, a fair amount in reserve. I would buy it…if sequestration had first happened this past year. However, everybody has known it was the “default” since 2011.

Rather, I put far more stock in his closing statement as the reason (emphasis in the original):

I believe that the country needs to put additional energy toward deterring the war it cannot afford to fight, and that is a war with China, Russia, or China and Russia. In order to best deter such a war, it must be well-prepared to wage it. Calculations of risk that involve diminishing stocks of precision guided munitions without the industrial capacity to quickly replace them should be viewed with concern. It is not 1939. We do not have endless untapped industrial capacity that will build 50,000 airplanes and 6000 ships and boats. We have limited production lines in incredibly high-tech factories that rely on a precious supply of skilled workers who are not reproducible overnight. Any war with another major power will expend PGM’s at a rate our industrial base will strain to replace. Steady peacetime procurement of these specialized weapons not only makes the US better prepared to wage war–should it come–but it sends powerful signals of readiness and will that serve to deter war in the first place.

At some point we must recognize that the height of national strategy is NOT the pursuit of the most efficient allocation of resources. It is the advancement and sustainment of national interest. In taking on this additional near-term risk, the United States efficiently allocates resources while sending yet another message of quiescence in the face of an increasingly troubled world.

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Olimometer 2.52

Dire Straits isn’t just a music groups it’s when it’s a Saturday and you need $817 to pay the mortgage and have only 3 days to get it.

That’s better than $250 a day when we haven’t met a weekly goal all month, but as Yogi Berra says, it ain’t over till it’s over.

Keep it from being over, hit DaTipJar below.

 

If 61 of you hit Subscribe at $20 a month subscribers this site will be able to cover its bills for a full year and things will be a lot more like Alito and Kagan around here than Kennedy & Roberts reliable..