The maneuvering begins.http://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/25bff0ec-481e-466a-843f-68ba5619e6d8/restoring-american-power-7.pdf
"...halting the accumulated damage done during the Obama administration through decreasing force size, depleted readiness, deferred modernization, and sustained high operational tempo"
"BEGINNING TO REBUILD THE MILITARY
This paper seeks to provide actionable recommendations on the national defense budget for the new Administration and the Congress. Thus, the scope of this paper is limited to the next five years (Fiscal Years 2018 to 2022)."
There's some interesting stuff in here.
Would like to see the Navy/USMC "high/low" mix include the USGS. Increased amphib/small surface combatant production levels could involve moving some capability to the USGS. One could make a case that 16 F-35B's on a large deck amphib (especially if they get NGJ capability soon) are as effective as at least 1/2 a CVN w/F-18's. Basically "distributed lethality".
Like the idea of increased SSN production. I would like to see the life span reduced to 20+5 years though. If tech dev increases, renovating a boat will make less sense than building a new block upgrade boat. Especially if production rates are 3 or 4 per year. Increasing production actually makes the boat cheaper.
Increasing the USMC makes sense. It's not expensive either. There is capacity for additional amphib builds immediately. A lot of "bang for the buck". Ramp up 53K & 130J production. All good ideas to increase readiness. I think the Marine F-35B and big-deck #'s should be increased. Marines 35B's should get AETP engine first, ASAP.
The verbiage about reduction of F-35 total production targets is just dumb. It just makes the jet more expensive because others (Canada etc) have more FUD (fear, uncertainty & doubt) to not purchase these jets. Increase production and keep working on block upgrades. Modify F-35 like Mercedes modifies their 300 series cars. Basically block upgrades to a great base design. Ordering a bunch of F-18's doesn't make sense. Boeing can only make 2 per month. They've already got a multi-year order from overseas. Even if they increase production it's going to take years to get 74 F-18's out of them. Certainly not in 5 years. Idiocy. Order 16 Growlers only. It's going to be even worse if the F-18 wins the Indian competition and Boeing moves production there. These people stuck on F-18's - get over it already.
"The F-22 fleet is also impressive, but small. And the aircraft’s high unit cost and older technology means that restarting production is not the best way to counter future threats
to U.S. air superiority." I wonder if McCain read the F-22 production restart report already. Anyone see any news on that yet?
I truly don't get this "high/low" fighter fleet mentality. Who's going to decide when the "low" capability fighters are used? And what is meant by low capability? If it's not a sensor/shooter then where does it fit in the new "connected" military? Counter-terrorism and CAS? If it's CAS in permissive environments then put up more drones or keep a bomb truck up. Make the ground units more lethal with a new combo version of the XM25, unit drones and other tools. Build a "new" A-10 if that is the benchmark - a new small bomb truck - not a light fighter.
McCain makes a case for how bureaucratic the Army is - the failed acquisition programs etc. The Army needs to figure out how to be more lethal. Perhaps Mattis will help them focus.
Restoring American Power is as much about state-craft as it is DoD. Wish McCain would have addressed at least the need to need to enhance the depth of people at State. Also would like to see the USIA be re-engaged in a "yuge, beautiful" way.