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Does anyone really think the F35 program is worth this much...
The airframes of the current aircraft inventory the F35 is slated to replace -- most of the F15s, the F16, the F18, and the Harrier -- were for the most part designed and developed in the 70s. We can almost toss the F14 into that group as it was only recently retired.
I wonder what the combined costs of all of those programs would be in 2011 dollars, including all costs required to bring them to their current technological level. Together these aircraft represent almost all of our non-bomber combat aircraft.
The vast majority of our combat aircraft are getting physically very old and their designs are very old.
Continuing maintenance costs are also an issue. F14 maintenance costs per flight hour just before retirement were at least four to five times those of the F18s that replaced them.
Further, newer designs are already in service elsewhere in the world, with others under development.
We need a replacement very, very badly and the F22 program has been terminated. We have no other option.
How much is a superior world class Air Force worth? I think it is priceless.
I think Rubin is right. A neo-isolationist Republican candidate who wants to make large cuts in defense spending and major unilateral withdrawals from our current military deployments and commitments would be a disaster for the GOP.
It could even spawn a strong on defense third party candidate.
A candidate who leans this way must articulately answer in detail, not in broad brushed generalities, Prof. Rahe's questions.
Such a major redirection and restructuring of foreign policy and defense is a high risk experiment possibly without historic precedent. And looking at Ryan’s fiscal plan, it is also unnecessary.
The military role of the US around the globe is unprecedented. A significant US pullback from the world stage could make a major war much more likely, one we would inevitably be drawn into. Moving back towards a 1930s style foreign policy is dangerous.
I very much doubt the GOP will nominate such a candidate. The decades long neo-isolationist libertarian dream of pulling the GOP and the country in this direction will likely not come true. I am fairly certain this faction represents a small minority within the right-of-center conglomerate.
The “debate” about "enhanced interrogation" is largely about moral posturing, where the line is drawn, and who decides. If the stakes are high enough all but the most suicidal idealist with a martyr complex would approve of "enhanced interrogation", including waterboarding.
#1 is historically false.
#2 is impossible to prove conclusively and contains a large element of idealistic wishful thinking. If someone does not want to talk they won't, no matter how clever the interrogators and how much time is available.
#3 is an absurd assertion without evidence. The usual "debate" on this challenges someone to present a plausible scenario which is then nitpicked to death to "prove" it is not plausible.
#4 is another absurdity. Almost everyone will draw a line somewhere. Does any rational and sane individual really think it is better to let millions die rather than subject a terrorist to sleep deprivation or waterboarding ?
In the end it comes down to who makes the decision and when. I think most believe it is a Presidential decision.
When discussion of "original public meaning" is distilled it essentially becomes a discussion about the original intent of the authors and their definition of the words they used.
No. Original public meaning avoids having to divine “their definition of the words they used.” It is the commonly understood definition of the words they used that original public meaning addresses and uses as a guide to interpretation.
If you want to argue that they assigned their own peculiar meaning to the words they used, the burden of proof is on you. Conjecturing their thoughts is insufficient proof. ·
The "original public meaning" of "the press" in the late 1700s is quite different from the definition we use today, unless one considers the intended meaning of the authors.
Then the "public meaning" of "the press" was the printed word, in a form an ordinary person could easily reread over and over again.
In the 1960's Walter Cronkite's broadcasts were considered "the press". They were not printed words and they could not be watched over and over again by the ordinary person. Transcripts do not count because all visual and audio information is lost.
Determining the original intent is unavoidable.
His options were do nothing or order a SEAL raid. The question is why he took so long to make a decision. The Wikileaks disclosure explains this.
While ordering the raid was bold it was not "gutsy", as his only other option was to continue doing nothing. After the Wikileaks disclosure doing nothing was also high risk -- the risk Bin Laden would get away and this fact would be leaked before the 2012 election.
Obama did not have much of a choice. The decision was a no-brainer that any President would make it.
Also, Bin Laden had to be killed. Obama could not capture him. No matter what he did with him it would be political suicide after his years of self-righteous lecturing. All of the following would be political suicide
The attempts to take a disproportionate share of the credit and the exaggerated efforts to portray Obama as some kind of Dirty Harry Callahan-style tough guy when he dithered and really had no other viable options have been disgusting.
All reporting I've seen indicates we learned of the compound around Aug-Sep of 2010. It was under every conceivable form of surveillance ever since.
While they were not absolutely certain Bin Laden was there everything indicated he was.
Obama could not bomb the place because of all of the following.
The primary reason Afghanistan was not a success after we toppled the Taliban in the fall-winter of 2001-2002 is Pakistan.
If not for Pakistan no one would give a crap about Afghanistan.
The only reason we, and NATO, are still in Afghanistan is Pakistan. Our efforts in Afghanistan are all about Pakistan.
Karzai knows this. It is why he is comfortable with repeatedly giving Obama the finger ever since Obama publicly threw him under the bus in the fall of 2009.
The Constitution was written, revised, and finalized after much discussion, debate, and compromise amongst many individuals.
The authors did not include a glossary. Nor did they reference a particular edition of a contemporaneous dictionary.
It was then ratified only after much discussion and debate.
When discussion of "original public meaning" is distilled it essentially becomes a discussion about the original intent of the authors and their definition of the words they used. Unless one thinks the authors were speaking in code.
In realistic terms, and likely in the view of historians, the "War on Terror" will be over when large numbers of conspiring and organized Islamist terrorists and their enablers stop trying to mass murder Americans. Hopefully that will not be after tens of millions are killed.
However, even if that happens tomorrow, as these things go, as a political rallying cry the WoT may never be over. Nor will the War on Drugs (WoD). In fact, the WoT is currently being redefined to include the WoD.These phrases and labels become slogans and symbols around which people who support them, as contemporaneously defined by the promoters, rally.
In past decade, the GWB years, the Dems rewrote the book of previously accepted "unwritten" rules. These include, but are not limited to, the "unwritten" rules governing the behavior of ex-Presidents and the behavior of the "loyal" opposition regarding foreign policy.
To date the Dems have politically benefited, enormously, from these unilaterally defined new rules. Idealists on the right may think that in the long run the Dems will pay a price for these rules changes, and try to carry on as if the previous rules will prevail. However, political power in a universal suffrage democracy is all about the present and the immediate future, not the long run.
The right has a tendency to self-impose "unwritten" rules the left ignores. The sooner the right realizes there are no "unwritten" rules the better off we will be.
Nickolas: I've posted this link before, but for those who haven't seen it...
Libertarian Purity Test
Caplan is a widely recognized true blue libertarian.
I took the test and got a 77, which put me as a moderate libertarian. The biggest problem with that quiz is that Part 3 is a Yes/No of anarchist views, not libertarian.
I think Mr. Caplan would disagree with that characterization. Anarcho-capitalists, including Mr. Caplan, argue they are not promoting anarchy. Rather they are trying to identify and define the absolute minimum necessary level of government compatible with both a robust free market economic system and the principle of maximum personal freedom, accepting that some level of government is necessary.
Anarchists, on the other hand, reject and oppose the concept of government on principle.
Milton Friedman's son, David Friedman, is an anarcho-capitalist. As is his son.
I've posted this link before, but for those who haven't seen it...
Caplan is a widely recognized true blue libertarian.
Who exactly would be doing the assassinating? Active Special Forces personnel? I see a potential problem with that plan.
And if it is someone else, some other shadowy group, what happens to them when they retire? Who bumps them off?
And so on and so forth.
This admin is typically so busy trying to package and sell Obama and control the narrative that it discounts, neglects, and ignores the truth.
Indications are this decision was forced on Obama by a very recent Wikileaks disclosure that we knew the nom de guerre of one of the couriers. The fear was Osama would bolt soon if he was hiding in the compound.
Obama has been procrastinating and dithering for many months on making a decision to hit the compound. His hand was forced by the Wikileaks disclosure. His political handlers had no time to plan and package this event. They have been winging it and making it up as they go. It shows.
It sounds like your friend has watched too many Hollywood produced movies. Two overlapping memes have been common in the past several decades.
1. The bad guys employ many ex-US Special Forces types, who typically become amoral mercenaries after retirement.
2. The bad guys operate a right wing extremist cabal within the US government, and they use mindless and amoral Special Forces units to advance their nefarious agenda.
I still disagree. If it were known to a clique of people in the Administration -- Panetta, Clinton, Biden, Brennan, Gates, and various others in the intelligence and military eschelons -- that the President knew where Osama Bin Laden was to a reasonable certainty but refused to take action, I am confident that information would have leaked sooner than later.
As for a mission gone wrong, it's well understood that sometimes horrible things happen in war. Plausible deniability would have been on Obama's side there as much or more as in the "he got away" scenario: the military designs the operational specifics of its missions, and so long as the military brass signed off on the probability of success of the mission along with its acknowledged risks, the President wouldn't be raked over the coals for a mission failure.
I agree with all of this.
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