Military Aviation > Defence in General

Robrt Gates - Fool or genius?

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Sometimes I agree and think he's more realistic than the generals or congress, sometimes I think he's got it wrong and he doesn't even want to listen to people who actually know what they're talking about. So fool or genius, both maybe a little strong, but indeed that's the question.

Someone better... there's always someone better...  I'm too far from your world to make suggestions though, I can make a big lists of who's NOT though... ;)

How's AW&ST? I tried Flight International digital edition for a while, and found it troublesome to use, and not much interesting (military av) articles. I see AW&ST also has digital subscription, I'm wondering if it's good. Have you tried your digital access to AW&ST, Shawn?

shawn a:
On dial-up, I'd probably find it even more troublesome!
I got a bad case of staph in Hawaii--thank god for modern antibiotics!!

shawn a:
Here's a summary, according to Robert Dorr, a columnist for Combat Aircraft.
Gates cancelled CSAR-X (144 combat search and rescue helicopters), stopped funding for thr NGB (next generation bomber), Stopped Raptor production at a measly 187 planes, wants to kill rhe F-136 (alternate engine for the F-35), wants to stop production of the C-17 at 223 USAF airframes, wants to retire the ENTIRE FLEET of F-15C/Ds, and wants to retire the B1B Lancer when there is absolutely nothing in the pipeline to replace it!
The guy seems to be an eerie combination of a beserk cost-control accountant and a "Manchurian Candidate"
I'm sure the chinese are wishing him the best.

Hi Shawn,

So what did Dorr say? His suggestions are what? I mean it's real easy to dislike the man making the cuts whenever they are popular aircraft/programs.
Cuts are always sad news when the world is not becoming any safer and you still need a strong military. But realistically, not believing in Red Dawn scenarios and ignoring my feelings for the aircraft... those cuts aren't too bad. I haven't digged into it, but just judging from things I read about all of them over the years and thinking about capabilities / how they work out, I think they make sense and I admire Gates for having the guts to make these unpopular cuts that are needed if the US ever wants to get its military budget under control and have a meaner, leaner military.

Just my 2 cents...

shawn a:
 Actually, Dorr was quite neutral in his opinions in the article, and really didn't seem to make any suggestions on anything.
I guess what bothers me is that cuts are being made to whole programs, I mean whole programs are being cut!! With no alternatives in sight.
I might try to set aside my feelings for the aircraft involved if I had a higher opinion of the -35, assumed we can make the -135s last forever, had a NGB in the pipeline, and felt that 187 Raptors would compensate for, instead of supplement the -15C/D fleet.
About the -35, I heard an insightful comment on stealth to the effect that stealth relies on materials technology, which is slow to develop and expensive to produce, while counter-stealth relies on electronics and computing technology, which we all know is advancing ever more rapidly and is orders of magnitude cheaper.
I admit Gates has guts to make the cuts, and will produce a leaner and GREENER miltary.. but meaner? How? The smoke and mirrors of stealth?
I hope I'm wrong about what I think his effect will be.
Shawn A


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