“Whether it’s Clinton or Trump…they’ve got to strike a deal with Congress,” Harrison said. “I think that’s job number one for the new administration.”&
“Job No. 1” may also be Mission Impossible. “I’m not optimistic that we’ll see enough of a shift in the makeup of Congress that it will break up the budget stalemate that we’ve had for the past five years,” said Harrison.
“Because a lot of these issues do not fall neatly along partisan lines, it depends on the specific individuals who win these seats, not just their party affiliation,” Harrison told me and a few other reporters after the briefing. “We’re already seeing some changes likeRandy Forbes,” the House seapower subcommittee chairman and ardent advocate of bigger defense budgets who lost his primary to an anti-establishment ex-Navy SEAL. “(Senate Armed Services Chairman) John McCain, we’ll see what happens in his primary….That could be a big shock as well.”Finally
Clinton seems pretty committed to the Democratic consensus that there should be no increase in defense caps without equal, dollar-for-dollar relief for domestic programs. Trump, however, is a wild card.I continue to be amazed at how people are so misreading the American people. How so called smart people can so easily dismiss the toll that 10 years of war will have on a nation. The weariness of the American people when it comes to the Middle East. How tired people are of the threat of terrorist attacks.
“Quite frankly we don’t know enough about Trump’s defense plans; we haven’t heard that many specifics,” Harrison told me after the briefing. “We hear things like we’re going to have a stronger military, and then we hear him say things like, aircraft carriers…cost us a million dollars every time we ‘turn them on’ — I don’t really know what that means — and we hear Trump making statements about reducing our overseas presence, bringing more of our troops home, reducing our security commitments to our NATO allies, our Asia-Pacific allies, to our Middle East allies…. Okay, if you’re actually going to do those things, you could have a much smaller military.”
Its not about racism. Its about fatigue. Economics. Security.
Fortress America is about to make a comeback.
Trump and Bernie's campaigns were fueled by the idea of taking care of America first. Participating in wars in the Middle East and engaging in foreign entanglements has run its course and the people want no more of it.
The defense budget will not be increased and the Defense Hawks in the Republican Party are all endangered.
What does this have to do with the F-35? Simple. Budgets won't increase, and the F-35 buy will be cut. Remember all the talk about restarting the F-15 line? Same with the F-16? Remember the talk about an Arsenal plane?
The Pentagon sees the writing on the wall and moves are being made for the plan B. What is the canary in the coal mine? Lots 9 and 10. They still haven't finished negotiating those contracts! That fact should have every defense reporter in Washington hopping. Its going to be another years till they can start full rate production. If they can't get the price right now then how many people will be around in ANOTHER FIVE YEARS waiting on this airplane?
The F-35 is far from being out of the woods. This program will go down in history as corrupting the Pentagon and Marine Corps to its very core. It will serve as a warning of HOW NOT to procure military equipment. It will be the shining jewel on the crown of the worst generalship in our nation's history.