Vermont’s Pentagon payout: What’s our bang for the buck? | Seven Days | By Ken Picard [11.10.04]
Rutland Herald/Barre Times Argus | Oct 10, 2010 | By Haviland Smith
During the endless deliberations that took place on U.S. policy toward Afghanistan during the summer and fall 2009, it became clear that the U.S. military establishment — as personified by Adm. Mullin and Gen. Petraeus — was vitally interested in proving that it could reach a successful conclusion in Afghanistan. The military seemed disinclined to consider any of the other factors involved in our Afghan commitment.
Here are some suggestions that have substantial potential for achieving a desirable outcome.
-Take a petition and fact sheets and talk with your friends, neighbors and co-workers to gather petition signatures and raise awareness.
-Write a letter-to-the-editor of the Burlington Free Press and also your local newspaper.
-Write a letter to your local, state and federal legislators.
-Sign the on-line petition available at petitionbuzz.com/petitions/stopthef35.
-Consider donating money to help finance expenses such as flyers, yard signs, printing, etc.
“It loads up like a bomb truck.” For defense? No. The F-35 is designed to be a first strike weapon capable of carrying 2,000 lb bombs and cruise missiles. Watch this 3 minute F-35 promotion video to learn more.
Depending on how you look at it this chart either is good in that it says we are keeping our troops safe (which is debatable!) or bad in that we are allocating too much money to too much hegemony, while lining the pockets of folks like Lockheed Martin the maker of the F-35 and others on the Spade Defense Index I discussed earlier. I say this money would be better spent domestically. We are currently spending $698.14 per active-duty US military enlistee.
“The worst helicopter crash in four years killed nine people bringing NATO fatalities in Afghanistan in 2010 to 529 and making it the most deadly year since the war that began in 2001.” “Pentagon officials said most of the dead were Americans.” (N.Y. Times, 9/22/10)
There is something that Wall Streeters and Captains of Industry pay close attention to and it is called The Spade Defense Index. The SDI is a blended index of “publicly traded companies that benchmarks the performance of companies involved with defense, homeland security, and space.
For local coverage of the F-35 see the following list from CCTV: http://www.cctv.org/search/node/F-35.
CCTV began covering the issue in April, 2010. See the detailed factsheet for times in the videos cross referenced with statements made by officials.
Thanks as always to CCTV, The Center for Media and Democracy, for great consistent coverage of important local issues.
The pentagon and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have stated for the last couple of years their sincere desire to cut military costs and drive down their annual $738 billion budget. Of this $134-137 billion goes to procurement, while $77-81 billion goes to R & D according to President Obama’s latest budget proposal for FY 2011 (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/02/01/us/budget.html). However, a recent article in The Times by Christopher Drew (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/business/15pentagon.html?ref=business) reveals the true intentions of Mr. Gates et al.
Sound issues will be considerable. The Eglin Airforce Base Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) shows that the F-35 will be 27 dB louder at low elevations, and louder at 2000 ft. than the F-16 is at take-off.
While the Airforce representative tried to diminish these findings by saying that the plane would not be going at the speed represented on the chart at lower levels, he did not refute that the plane will be louder or explain the methodology of how the measurements were actually made, and the chart given showed that it would be 18 dB louder than the F-16 even at 20,000 feet.