From China, With Sprinkles

Gee, you’d think there’s be some type of common sense rule about not buying critical electronic components for your military hardware from your enemy, but I guess not.

Fake electronics becoming military danger

“Sprinkling” sounds like a fairly harmless practice, but in the hands of sophisticated counterfeiters it could deceive a major weapons manufacturer and possibly endanger the lives of U.S. troops.

It is a process of mixing authentic electronic parts with fake ones in hopes that the counterfeits will not be detected when companies test the components for multimillion-dollar missile systems, helicopters and aircraft. It was just one of the brazen steps described Tuesday at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing examining the national security and economic implications of suspect counterfeit electronics — mostly from China — inundating the Defense Department’s supply chain.

See also:
U.S. defense equipment has been outfitted with counterfeit parts from China
Senate Homes in on China’s Role in Counterfeit Parts Entering DOD’s Supply Chain
Senators to Take on Counterfeit Electronic Parts in DOD
US Senators Demand China Crack Down on Suppliers of Fake Military Parts
Officials: Fake weapons parts ‘ticking time bomb’
Officials: Fake weapons parts ‘ticking time bomb’
Opening Statement at SASC Hearing on Counterfeit Electronic Parts in DOD Supply Chain
Fake Chinese weapons costs US millions
Lawmakers says counterfeits flood Pentagon supply
Chinese counterfeit parts found in U.S. weapons
Officials: Fake weapon parts hit Pentagon supplies
Lawmakers describe counterfeit electronic parts flooding into military’s supply chain
Probe traces bogus military parts to China
Report: US military supply chain riddled with shanzhai parts from China
China rejects U.S. charges of bogus weapons parts

It’s bad enough that China steals our intellectual property at will and that we owe them over a trillion dollars, but now they’re deliberately sabotaging our military equipment with fake electronics that, upon failure, could cost the lives of our military service members?

/it’s not a hot war, but it’s not a cold war either and we seem to be losing

Caught Pants Down With All Our Eggs In One Basket

Remember less than a year ago when Obama and Robert Gates cancelled the F-22 Raptor progam, the world’s premier air dominance fighter, which was already in service, because it was a “waste [of] billions of taxpayers dollars”? In their infinite wisdom, the dynamic defense duo decided to gamble almost America’s entire air combat future on a single, unproven design, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, that has yet to be put into production and won’t enter service in the foreseeable future.

Well, guess what?

GAO analyst says cost overruns, delays continue to plague F-35 program

A congressional auditor said Thursday that the Joint Strike Fighter, the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program, “continues to struggle with increased costs and slowed progress,” leading to “substantial risk” that the defense contractor will not be able to build the jet on time or deliver as many aircraft as expected.

Michael Sullivan, the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s top analyst on Lockheed Martin’s jet fighter, also known as the F-35 Lightning II, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in a hearing that the cost of the program has increased substantially and that development is 2 1/2 years behind schedule.

The United States plans to buy about 2,400 of the fighter jets for the Air Force, the Marine Corps and the Navy. The projected cost for the program appears to have increased to $323 billion from $231 billion in 2001, when Bethesda-based Lockheed won the deal, according to Sullivan. Eight other countries — Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway — also plan to buy the jets.

The cost to build the plane is now expected to be $112 million per aircraft, according to a GAO auditor.

Sullivan said the program’s “negative outcomes” were “foreseeable as events have unfolded over several years.” He said that the cost increases are largely because Lockheed and the Pentagon are “trying to invent things and build them at the same time,” leading to costly changes in how the plane is being developed, built and tested. That continues to take “more time, money and effort than budgeted.”

He criticized the Defense Department, saying it “does not have a full, comprehensive cost estimate for completing the program,” and noted that it has “fallen short” of its expectations year after year. He said, “Constant program changes and turbulence have made it difficult to accurately and confidently measure progress and maturity of the aircraft system.”

See also:
Pentagon: F-35 fighter jet cost doubles
UPDATE 2-Price of Lockheed’s F-35 fighter soars
F-35 Fighters Now Double the Cost
Cost of F-35 Has Risen 60% to 90%, Military Says
Pentagon tells Senate panel that F-35 is more than 50 percent over cost
DoD: F-35 costs rise at least 50 percent
Joint Fighter Faces Critical Period
Donley: No JSF Alternatives Exist
Air Force: F-35 jet delayed by 2 years
Air Force: F-35 will be delayed, to cost significantly more
Joint Strike Fighter
F-35 Lightning II | Lockheed Martin
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II
F-35 Lightning II
Joint Strike Fighter Program

It continues to amaze me as to how they fit all those government clowns into such a tiny car.

/as far as birds go, it’s quite clear now that one F-22 Raptor, already in the hand, is worth way more than two F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, still in the bush

Gunfight At The D.C. Corral

Check out candidate “Judgment to Lead” Obama, back in the day, talking smack at McCain and getting his Afghanistan hawk on, “taking the fight to al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan . . . I will make the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban the top priority that it should be, this is a war we have to win . . . we cannot lose Afghanistan to a future of narco-terrorism . . . we need more troops, more helicopters, more satellites, more Predator drones, in the Afghan border region”

Well, we’re about to find out if Obama really does have a commitment to winning in Afghanistan or if his campaign pronouncements were just so much more bull[expletive deleted] spewing out of his yap. Because, ruh roh, watch out, Obama’s Democrat fellow travelers in Congress are donning there chicken suits and getting ready to run their tidy whities up the flagpole.

Senate Armed Services Chairman: No More U.S. Troops to Afghanistan

The debate whether to send more combat troops to Afghanistan took a twist reminiscent of the Iraq conflict when the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Friday advised not sending any more U.S. combat troops to Afghanistan beyond those already approved by President Obama until more Afghan security forces are trained.

Speaking on the eighth anniversary of the date the United States was attacked by terrorists trained in Afghanistan, Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., also called for a shift in U.S. efforts toward more trainers, who could, in part, be supplied by NATO allies. He said he would like a plan for Afghanistan that would replicate the “Sons of Iraq” strategy to separate low and mid-level Taliban fighters in Afghanistan from the leadership of that terrorist group.

The Afghan Waver

Sometime soon, Mr. Obama will have to respond to Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal’s likely request to increase the number of American troops in Afghanistan.

This past Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave the most explicit suggestion so far that Democrats may oppose any such request. “I don’t think there is a great deal of support for sending more troops to Afghanistan,” Speaker Pelosi said, “in the country or in Congress.”

Feingold wants timetable for moving U.S. troops out of Afghanistan

Sen. Russ Feingold on Monday ratcheted up criticism for President Barack Obama’s plan to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan and began calling for a timetable to get the troops out of the country.

“After eight years, I am not convinced that simply pouring more and more troops into Afghanistan is a well-thought-out strategy,” Feingold said during an editorial board meeting with the Appleton Post-Crescent.

See also:
Levin: Let’s train more Afghan forces
Senator Calls for More Afghan Forces, Not US Troops
Levin complicates Obama’s Afghan strategy
Congress wary of more US Afghanistan troops-Pelosi
Pelosi: Afghan surge lacks support
Doubt raised on troop boost in Afghanistan war
Feingold opposes Obama on troops to Afghanistan
Feingold questions Afghanistan military strategy
Democrats in Congress grow uneasy over Afghanistan

And if there wasn’t enough tension between Obama and the Democrats in Congress, now along comes the Afghanistan NATO/U.S. Commander, General Stanley McChrystal, to make the request for more troops. Caution, Democrat fratricide Xing, next several months.

Afghanistan: Gen. Stanley McChrystal Delivers Review of U.S. Operation

President Obama has already called for more than 20,000 additional troops in Afghanistan to more than 68,000 troops by year’s end. McChrystal’s assessment team had recommended as many as six more brigades, which could mean about 30,000 more troops.

McChrystal is expected to request more troops , although it is not known whether he will ask for as many, or even more than his assessment team recommended. Whatever the number, it will be hotly debated throughout Washington and could put the president in an uncomfortable position. Given Obama’s criticism of the Bush administration’s handling of the war, accusing the former president of failing to properly fund the war, it would be difficult for Obama to turn down the requests of a new commander who is tasked with turning things around. . . .

See also:
Officials: McChrystal to Request More Resources to Fight Taliban in Afghanistan
Request for more troops in Afghanistan likely, source says
More Troops Likely Needed in Afghanistan
Obama to Weigh Buildup Option in Afghan War
The Taliban Is Serious About Winning In Afghanistan, Are We?

/so, will Obama stick to his “we have to win” promise to protect the American people by following his military commanders’ advice and send more troops to Afghanistan, or will he “wee wee it up” and cave in to the bed wetting, cut and run Congressional Democrats, tuck his tail between his legs, and wave the white flag of surrender in Afghanistan?