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B-2 Spirit bomber crashes shortly after takeoff in Guam

One of the United States' premier aircraft crashed yesterday in Guam. The B-2 Spirit bomber took off from Anderson Air Force Base (AFB), but crashed shortly after -- thankfully, both pilots were able to eject safely and are listed in good condition.

The downed B-2 Spirit was one of four stealth bombers that were to leave Guam for Missouri after a four-month deployment. One other stealth bomber took to the air before the crash, but was ordered to turn back around and land at Anderson AFB. The three stealth aircraft remain grounded in Guam.

The B-2 Spirit that crashed was unarmed and there were no injuries on the ground or damage to buildings and support vehicles. The only loss was of the $1.2 billion aircraft.

This was the first crash for an operational B-2 Spirit. It's too early to speculate on a cause for the crash, but the Air Force is already piecing together data to conduct its investigation.

The B-2 Spirit was first shown unveiled to the public in 1988 and made its maiden voyage on July 17, 1989. The first operational B-2, the Spirit of Missouri, was delivered to Whiteman AFB on December 17, 1993.

Since its introduction, the B-2 has seen combat service in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The B-2 Spirit was developed by Northrop Grumman Corp. and is powered by four General Electric F-118-GE-100 engines which provide 17,300 lbs of thrust each. The aircraft has a typical takeoff weight of 336,500 pounds (payload of 40,000 pounds), a service ceiling of 50,000 feet, and a top speed in the "high subsonic" range.

There were 21 active B-2 bombers before the crash -- all except the Spirit of Kitty Hawk and Fatal Beauty were named after U.S. states.

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The Air Force is falling apart
By pauldovi on 2/23/2008 12:32:29 PM , Rating: 5
Congress continues to ignore the needs of the Air Force, instead pumping money into the Army. The average age of Air Force assets it now over 25 years and increasing. The Air Force is being starved of funding for major revamps of its hardware since the late 1980's.

Congress takes the Air Force for granted, they expect the high tech jets to be able to bomb any target at any time. If they continue to ignore the needs of the Air Force you are going to see more things like this happen. First the F-15's now the B-2.

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By Operandi on 2/23/2008 12:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
How old is the B-2 fleet? With the high price tag I would think the fleet would have been built up at a pretty slow pace so I wouldn't think age would be an issue with the B-2.

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By Brandon Hill on 2/23/2008 12:55:39 PM , Rating: 2
The first one was delivered 15 years ago, so it's not very old at all.

Now look at the B-52. That thing has been in service since 1955 (albeit with significant upgrades over the years). I think that the AF is gonna upgrade it and retrofit it to last 100 years.

That's amazing!

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By Anonymous Freak on 2/23/2008 3:05:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, the current Air Force plans have the B-52 in active service until at least 2050. The design celebrates 100 years use in 2052, so it is entirely possible that there will be B-52s still in active use 100 years after the design first flew. Although the oldest airframe that is still in use dates from the early '60s.

There is a saying among B-52 crew that when the last B-1 and B-2s are retired, the pilots will ride home on a B-52.

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By HOOfan 1 on 2/23/2008 3:41:00 PM , Rating: 1
Even if the oldest airframe isn't but 48 years old...if they really do fly them until would be as if the US airforce were still flying Curtiss Jenny biplanes today.

Heck even at 50 years old today it would be as if the Airforce were flying Jennys during Vietnam.

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By eye smite on 2/23/2008 10:44:58 PM , Rating: 4
I have to disagree with HOOfan. They've made so many changes to the 52 over the decades that it's nowhere near the same aircraft it was when first produced. It's current mission usally consists of orbiting for hours at a time with 20 or so gps guided missles or munitions that can be put on target at the call of a radio. Unlike the old days where they had to scramble a sortee to support ground troops, they can just lob a missle that way while on station at 30k feet.

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By HOOfan 1 on 2/25/2008 8:03:50 AM , Rating: 3
I wasn't saying that it was an outdated hulk. I was saying, it is amazing that the aircraft was designed so well initially that its service can be extended for so long.

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By Griswold on 2/23/2008 1:06:41 PM , Rating: 5
That was like the first B-2 that fell down in 15 years of service? You know, all the funding in the world cant buy you 100% reliability and security. I realize that 1 out of 21 isnt insignificant, but that doesnt change the fact that things fail, regardless of what amount of money you throw at it.

If they want to preserve these planes forever, they'll have to leave them in the hangar.

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By ebakke on 2/23/08, Rating: 0
By jimgrapid on 2/24/2008 12:53:49 AM , Rating: 1
You are assuming a mechanical malfunction. Most aircraft accidents are caused by pilot error. I think I'd wait on the investigation results before posting anything. And for anyone commenting on cost -- What price do you put on national defense? Want to go back to the times before ww1 or ww2 (isolationist) and wait on ww3?

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By smitty3268 on 2/23/2008 3:05:12 PM , Rating: 2
The Air Force, the Navy, and the Army all get nearly identical amounts of money. It's been that way for decades, after the military worked out a compromise to split the funding between the different branches.

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By hobbes7869 on 2/24/2008 10:10:07 AM , Rating: 1
Either way, the funding to all armed forces is vastly under the amount they should have. Our military is providing the most important service, protecting our freedom and helping keep our safety. The government should take 75% of the wealth distribution amounts they spend (Social Security, well fare, medicaid and medicare) and apply that to our military. The vast majority of the people receiving those benefits contribute very little to nothing to The United States. Spend the money on something more worth while. Military superiority is the most important, followed by economic superiority. There will always be some other country gunning for the top spot and we must do all we can to maintain our status, "for if we are not improving we are going backwards". (I am sure I will get voted down because some people believe that we should poop sunshine and daisies)

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By PrinceGaz on 2/25/2008 3:30:28 PM , Rating: 2
I personally believe health, education, and other social welfare is of more benefit to most people than defence is. That's not to say that defence doesn't matter - it does, but other things here in the UK quite rightly receive considerably more money.

Defence gets about £32bn/yr, while health and education receive about £105bn and £78bn/yr respectively. I certainly wouldn't want our defence budget to be swapped with the health budget (or education for that matter), as is probably the case in the US. Money spent on the good health of all the population, not just those who can afford private health insurance, is a good thing imo.

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By masher2 on 2/25/2008 3:43:12 PM , Rating: 4
> "health, education, and other social welfare is of more benefit to most people than defence is"

Defense spending is just like insurance. It's worthless when you don't need it...and priceless when you do.

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By Hawkido on 2/25/2008 3:56:40 PM , Rating: 3
While I agree that some of the social programs certainly have benefit. I have to disagree as to the precedence.

1. Economic Power
2. Industrial Power
3. Resource Availability
4. Infrastructure (Roads, Public Schools, Etc.)
5. Military Power
6. Social programs should only be payed with surplus funds.

If you invest in social programs you just reward the lazy. and Piss of the Productive citizens.

Generosity HAS to be voluntary, else it is just a tax that politicians spend to buy votes from the indignant of their society.

If the people want to support their neighbor, then they will give their time, property, or money to aid them, and as such they will get credit for their generosity. If you take from peopel to give to others... It is just a state ran extortion scheme, and the only ones who get credit are the crooked politicians for YOUR generosity.

How fair is that?

"If you wanna eat, You work! If you don't wanna work, then you'll die! Oh, I'm not gonna kill you. If the weather doesn't kill you, the wolves are more than willing to work for a meal!"

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By hobbes7869 on 2/26/2008 8:08:34 AM , Rating: 2
Interesting list, I still believe that military power is most important, however you do have some pretty good points, especially regarding the effect of social programs.

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By Hawkido on 2/27/2008 1:54:26 PM , Rating: 2
I placed Military power lower for one reason.

You have to have a stong industry and economy to build and pay for the military, plus you have to have the natural resources and educated individuals to fabricate and develop the high tech weapons for the military.

We are no longer a brute force military power (like WWI and WWII). We have a prescision global strike force that can deploy at a moments notice and devastate an opponent before they can complete their Aplha strike against us.

We no longer wait for our enemies to build up and consume their neighbors till there is only one or two other countries left between THEM and US. The cost in lives is too great to afford that level of neutrality. (See death toll of just one side of WWI or WWII {individually} vs. Death toll of all sides including civilian of Korea, Vietnam, Iraq I, Afganistan, and Iraq II {combined})

By phxfreddy on 2/27/2008 4:08:13 PM , Rating: 2
Social programs should only be for the blind, retarded ( aka liberal) those in get the picture. If you can walk and do not have a fatal disease...screw you....and I'm sorry if the man is keeping you down...that's not my fault because that little man is in your imagination

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By AmishElvis on 2/23/08, Rating: -1
RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By opterondo on 2/24/08, Rating: -1
RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By Integral9 on 2/25/2008 9:13:15 AM , Rating: 2
At least you've gotten *one* new plane in the last twenty years. The Navy is still 'riding into the danger zone' with Tom Cruise.

RE: The Air Force is falling apart
By HVAC on 2/25/2008 2:30:30 PM , Rating: 2
'Cause they thought they were too good for the single engine F16. Not like they couldn't have spent their cash on new aircraft.

By inperfectdarkness on 2/26/2008 8:50:37 AM , Rating: 2
i don't know where you get your facts from...but the super hornets aren't that old. they're even newer than the strike eagles. wiki lists their official introduction as 1999--making them less than 10 years old operationally.

fyi, f-14's haven't been flown operationally since 2004.

By Vim on 2/23/2008 12:23:03 PM , Rating: 1
I guess 2.1 Billion dollars isn't that much when you're talking about trillions in budget, no?

RE: Pity...
By Trisagion on 2/23/2008 12:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
The article is slightly incorrect. Although a B2 on average (including development and maintainence) costs $2.1 billion, the plane that went down costs $1.2 billion. But lets not bicker over $900 million, no?

RE: Pity...
By Brandon Hill on 2/23/2008 12:57:51 PM , Rating: 3
RE: Pity...
By Brandon Hill on 2/23/2008 12:59:40 PM , Rating: 2
Nevermind, I see your point. I will correct the article.

RE: Pity...
By KristopherKubicki on 2/23/2008 1:35:58 PM , Rating: 5
A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money!

RE: Pity...
By kaborka on 2/23/2008 3:55:11 PM , Rating: 3
Ha, ha -- I wouldn't think anyone these days would remember the late Sen. Everett Dirksen, who first made that quote!

RE: Pity...
By Luna M on 2/24/2008 5:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
Do keep in mind that the B-2 that went down was it possible that the "missing" $900K were warheads?

RE: Pity...
By Clauzii on 2/24/2008 9:41:52 PM , Rating: 2
900K??? They say 900 MILLION :)

RE: Pity...
By masher2 on 2/23/2008 1:02:58 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, cost accounting military hardware can be done in several different ways. The unit cost of a B-2 can range from just over $500M to over $2.3B depending on just how you do it, and what part of the total program you decide to count:

RE: Pity...
By Sureshot324 on 2/23/2008 9:44:52 PM , Rating: 3
The $2.1 billion number includes the R&D costs to develop the B2 divided by the planned number of planes. For them to build another one now to replace the one that crashed wouldn't cost anywhere near $2.1 billion.

RE: Pity...
By Eris23007 on 2/25/2008 5:31:31 PM , Rating: 2
Except for one problem... the production line has been shut down for ages. They will not be building any more B2s.

RE: Pity...
By ekzept on 2/25/2008 6:27:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but there's development and effort at building a B2 replacement.

RE: Pity...
By tuteja1986 on 2/24/2008 6:46:44 AM , Rating: 2
Well if you consider how much it cost to repaint the B52 bomber every thing and also service fee and including the upgrade every few years.. its really over 2 billion : )

Pilot alone is worth 40million + :)

RE: Pity...
By spluurfg on 2/24/2008 11:23:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah... in the end we're going to get our economic stimulus checks and find they're only for $580. =\

RE: Pity...
By Wagnbat on 2/23/2008 1:03:16 PM , Rating: 2
When you consider that this is the first ever loss of a B2 since they started in 1993, then I think it's pretty clear that it's just as valuble dollar per dollar wise as pretty much any other mission-comparable aircraft, especially when considering loss of equipment and life over the operational lifetime of the vehicle.

RE: Pity...
By ikkeman on 2/25/2008 11:53:24 AM , Rating: 2
then again - there are no mission comparable aircraft.

Concorde suffered a similar plight. It went from the best safetyrecord in the industry (no crashes what so ever) to the worst after only one accident!

RE: Pity...
By Sandok on 2/23/2008 2:13:39 PM , Rating: 2
That's a lot of money, for sure... A real pity since I love that plane, such a lovely piece of engineering!!!

RE: Pity...
By DASQ on 2/25/2008 11:36:51 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure they can hide that easily in the 10 trillion Federal debt.

RE: Pity...
By inperfectdarkness on 2/25/2008 7:59:55 PM , Rating: 3
my $.02

only the FSU and china pose a threat to our military might. believe me, gentlemen, when i tell you that su-30mkk and su-35 jets are rapidly approaching parity with legacy f-15c airframes. our merged dogfighting abilities are nowhere near advantageous--as dissimilar training against luftwaffe mig-29's with aa-11 archers proved how inferior our aim-9m's were.

we need newer jets. we need better jets. and we need numbers. all those jets from korea, vietnam, etc....we've long since retired. china, n.korea, FSU allies haven't. you can put a 2-ship of raptors up there to atrit our enemy's air capabilities; but if they hurl crappy jets at're going to run out of missiles (even assuming every missile hits a target).

even though the USAF has insisted it can do more with's been consistently forced to make do with significantly less than even that. trust me, we don't want to win 51-49. we want to win 100-0. just how dangerous parity in airpower would be for the USA is beyond comprehension.

the USAF by nature requries higher development and unit costs than any other branch. you can always instate the draft, put g.i. joe in the jungle/desert without expensive body-armor/equipment, and give him a gun. you can't simply flick a switch and have air superiority. and every time we develop a new method for giving us an edge--someone will sell our secrets to china. recent news headlines should give you a clue. so we are FORCED to constantly develop newer, better equipment to maintain that ever-eroding edge.

the largest standing land army in the world is useless against a skilled, purposeful, efficient air force.


and let's not forget how archaic the kc-135 is, how decrepit the c-5 galaxy is, and how we will never be capable of retiring the a-10 fully. even if we never have to fire a missle in the air--we have to transport troops & equipment, and we have to have airbridge refueling.

Its good to here no one was hurt....
By Hotdogah on 2/23/2008 12:09:52 PM , Rating: 4
..but it really makes the $10 million dollar missle we used in the sat shoot down project seem kind of seem cheap.

By 3kliksphilip on 2/23/2008 4:11:05 PM , Rating: 2
Aeroplanes can be rebuilt, pilots take years to train (This was the problem for England in World War 2). At least the safety mechanisms were up and working.

Plus the more they build, the cheaper they are!

B2 crash follow up
By redfisher on 2/24/2008 11:01:53 AM , Rating: 2
The news report states there was no damage to buildings and there were no injuries.

I read a report from a Guam resident that there was an event at the Base that took place well after the crash, and it included billowing smoke - as seen in footage posted by several news outlets.

any follow-up to this?

RE: B2 crash follow up
By joseinguam on 2/26/2008 11:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
No event was taken place after the crash. The entire area was shut down for hours. I know as I live there on base. There was nothing around the area, except the BX and commissary and a few maintenance buildings.

Ouch, thats expensive.
By Combatcolin on 2/23/2008 12:07:54 PM , Rating: 2
Thats the Pilots no claim bonus's down the tube.

"Have you had an accident in the last 24 months sir?"

"well, just this little knock i had while on a working holiday, nothing major"

Truly a site...
By HackSacken on 2/23/2008 3:47:23 PM , Rating: 2
I have lived fairly close to Whiteman Air Force base where most of these are housed. It's not a rarity to see them flying in the sky sometimes. I point this out as if any of you get a chance to see one, be it an air show/etc, don't pass it up. Really fascinating to see in person.

No funding
By virograv on 2/23/2008 5:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
No I would have to agree. I am in the Air Force and there is no funding for even printer paper less things like tools and upgrades in equipment. It is little known that when we fly our training missions here at home station we are borowing from the next years budget. This pushes the amount that we have back for the next year. By doing this our base is broke sooner and sooner in the year. There are times that we can not even order parts for the Aircraft because we have no money to do so. Yes, the Air Force is way under funded!

B-2 Crashes in Guam
By Airjoe on 2/23/2008 8:23:31 PM , Rating: 2
In this case I'll take the quality over quantity. Give me 5 B-2s with the right loadout and a fleet of KC-10s and I can reduce your country, no matter where on Earth, to cinders in an eight hour day, and you'll never know we were ever there.

There is a tremendous value to being able to put iron on target and not be a target yourself. The B-2 is the best force multiplying aircraft the USAF has ever had. One B-2 is more accurate than an etire WWII air wing. Check the safety records of the B-52 and B-1B. What are the average yearly crash rates for those types? One smoking hole in the ground since 1988 is an outstanding safety record considering the amount of combat sortees flown since entering the fleet.

By opterondo on 2/24/08, Rating: -1
By redfisher on 2/24/2008 11:08:02 AM , Rating: 1
Or as simple as bird(s) strike.

I believe the B2 can fly on one engine, a flock of birds could have taken out both.

Long shot? Sure, but it is a Pacific Island known for large sea bird populations.

By Gibby82 on 2/24/2008 6:30:32 PM , Rating: 2
There are 4 engines.

By joseinguam on 2/26/2008 11:27:50 PM , Rating: 2
There are hardly any birds on Guam. No big ones, just littel sparrow type and some small black ones. Occassionaly we get some storks but they havent been around in many months. As for piolt error. Hardly, people should not assume. you know what assume means. If one knew how a B2 flew, you would not be so quick to judge

By joseinguam on 2/26/2008 11:31:00 PM , Rating: 2
We have no large birds in guam. we have sparrows and some little black birds and occasionally some storks, which have not been seen in many months. The snakes have taken most of the bird poplulation to nothing. Read your facts before stating things that one has no clue on.

By 91TTZ on 2/24/2008 11:37:33 AM , Rating: 2
just the fact that they survived mean it was pilot error


So if they experience mechanical trouble and have to eject, that means it's pilot error?

By JS on 2/24/2008 8:21:14 PM , Rating: 5
Everybody knows real men go down with their plane. Pulling the eject lever is for sissies and crybabies.

By DASQ on 2/25/2008 3:01:32 PM , Rating: 3
Clearly should have limped it to Iraq and crashed it into insurgents.

Were screwed!!!!!!
By Zachary Jeli on 2/23/08, Rating: -1
RE: Were screwed!!!!!!
By DanoruX on 2/23/2008 6:52:52 PM , Rating: 2
Because the B-2 is a sick piece of machinery, and the F22 still outclasses most/all other air superiority aircraft...

RE: Were screwed!!!!!!
By DigitalFreak on 2/23/2008 8:32:31 PM , Rating: 1
No, but I'm sure they'd enjoy watching you die.

RE: Were screwed!!!!!!
By lompocus on 2/23/08, Rating: -1
RE: Were screwed!!!!!!
By ZoZo on 2/24/2008 4:35:25 AM , Rating: 1
Europe has the technology to build such aircraft. They just don't see the point of spending insane amounts of money doing that when their current aircraft are enough.

See what France is building ;)

RE: Were screwed!!!!!!
By rninneman on 2/25/2008 12:10:25 AM , Rating: 2
Europe doesn't spend lots of money because the US has been doing it for them since WWII. If we pulled out of NATO, you would see defense spending ratcheted up tremendously. Especially considering Iran now has a missile that can hit most of Europe and Russia's renewed military efforts.

RE: Were screwed!!!!!!
By JS on 2/24/2008 9:08:37 PM , Rating: 3

Read his post. "Our Air Force" and "our enemies" kind of implies he's American, just like you. Although none of you makes your country proud.

Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By mankopi on 2/23/08, Rating: -1
RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By elpresidente2075 on 2/23/2008 12:27:59 PM , Rating: 5
Get an education, then a governmental clearance, then a job with one of them, then it could benefit you tremendously.

Ahh, America...

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By Tsuwamono on 2/23/08, Rating: -1
RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By opterondo on 2/24/2008 1:35:07 AM , Rating: 2
University can't buy intelligence and intelligence is very

low because of all the mutt love and governmentally

subsidized, stupid people breeding.

America the Great ran by stupid people like a used diaper.

The fix when it fails, lift all enforcement of immigration

control - Uhhggg!

By elpresidente2075 on 2/25/2008 11:22:44 PM , Rating: 2
Please, when you're trying to make a point such as that, try not to look/sound like a perfect example of said point.

America the Great is not run by stupid people, it is run by politicians. There is a subtle but significant difference there.

As for your mutt love comment... That's just ignorant.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By Ringold on 2/24/2008 3:31:24 AM , Rating: 2
I admit my experience is only with the lowest-tution state in the nation, Florida, but I know of a ridiculous number of people who are getting paid to go to college between Florida Bright Futures state scholarships, aid directly from the university and whatever work-related or academic scholarships they get.

Community college courses are cheap enough to almost be negligible.

The real expense is living expenses, but I'd recommend to most people to live at home. You wouldn't be missing much. Problem solved.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By sh3rules on 2/23/2008 12:41:15 PM , Rating: 3
At some point we won’t be able to afford all those expensive military toys (national debt, anyone?), and even if we could China will probably make good weapons for a fraction of the price. Remember that in war, quantity is often more important than quality.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By FITCamaro on 2/23/2008 1:20:41 PM , Rating: 2
China is still quite behind us in terms of military technology. And what they do have, a lot of it was stolen from us.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By hcahwk19 on 2/23/2008 1:52:33 PM , Rating: 1
Except, the military technology that is similar to ours was not stolen. It was sold to them by our previous administration in return for campaign contributions.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By FITCamaro on 2/24/2008 12:32:09 PM , Rating: 3
I didn't want to open that bag of worms. But yes we can thank our lovely ex-president Clinton for the loss of some of our secrets. So lets elect his wife so we can lose the rest.

By dflynchimp on 2/23/2008 6:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
as with what the other guy said. China didn't have to steal anything from us. They hired field experts from U.S to train their own specialists, then combined what they learned from us with what they had learned from Russia. In terms of technology, China's actually not doing so bad compared to a few decades ago.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By FITCamaro on 2/23/2008 1:25:56 PM , Rating: 4
And that is the most untrue statement you made. Iraq had far more T-52 tanks on the ground than we had M1s in the Gulf War. But we kicked their ass all the same. Superior firepower and military technology is far more important than numbers in almost anything except ground combat.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By cmdrdredd on 2/24/2008 10:24:39 AM , Rating: 2

Also superior tactics. General Schwartzcoff(spelling?) decided not to go head on, but rather race hundreds of miles across the desert around to the flanks of the republican guard. Decimating the force from their weak side under cover of air support.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By Manch on 2/23/2008 2:09:25 PM , Rating: 2
Remember that in war, quantity is often more important than quality.

err... no

The Battle of New Orleans

Battle of the Bulge

Battle of Mogadishu

Try again.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By masher2 on 2/23/2008 2:41:12 PM , Rating: 5
Eh? In the Battle of the Bulge, the Allies were outnumbered on tanks and artillery, but they heavily outnumbered the Germans on troops.

As for the old "quantity vs. quality" argument, I can give you such famous counterexamples as the Battle of Isandlwana.

The truth is, there is no one right answer. Both sheer numbers as well as equipment/training/morale/etc are important in their own right.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By Manch on 2/23/2008 4:04:57 PM , Rating: 2
True, but his argument wasn't strictly about manpower. While we did outnumber the Germans 800K+ vs 500K+ respectively,they more than had us on tanks,artillery and supplies.

His was a blanket statement about quantity more often than not being more important than quality which holds no water. I was just pointing out a few instances that prove otherwise.

You're right though we can go back and forth all day naming battles that would fall on one side or the other.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By HrilL on 2/23/2008 2:19:01 PM , Rating: 2
While that was true in the older wars. Like World War II. The German tanks were far better then ours but we just had so damn many of em. But now days that doesn't seem to be the case since our tech is so much more advanced then theirs we can take them out without even getting shot at.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By jabber on 2/23/2008 7:57:57 PM , Rating: 2
yes I remember a tv show comparing the German Tiger tank to the US Sherman. Both tank crews said the Tiger was the best but the german tank commander had the last word on it...

"Yes our Tiger tank was worth four of the American Shermans, but they always had five of them!"

As for the Airforce being underfunded, maybe its just too large? Are big large scale WW2 style battles likely in the future? I doubt it. More likely skirmish warfare, where on the ground intelligence and specialised troops and equipmant are far more effective.

Obviously the most effective method in warfare is to avoid it in the first place.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By masher2 on 2/23/2008 8:39:57 PM , Rating: 5
> "Are big large scale WW2 style battles likely in the future? I doubt it"

I recently cancelled my home insurance, as I hadn't had a flood or house fire in over 40 years.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By borowki on 2/23/2008 9:00:19 PM , Rating: 2
The Germans lost because they have no oil. Having lots of tanks doesn't help when they're just sitting around.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By borowki on 2/23/2008 8:29:26 PM , Rating: 2
No, because we'd still have the manufacturing capacity. America does not have a fixed amount of money. It can always create more to fund defense projects. That wouldn't affect our living standard unless there is a shortage of manufacturing capacity in the country. Thanks to China, this is definitely not the case. Through their monetary policies, the Chinese are arming us.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By jimgrapid on 2/24/2008 1:01:51 AM , Rating: 2
Got a good example since 1990?

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By masher2 on 2/24/2008 1:28:02 AM , Rating: 2
The First Chechen war would probably qualify.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By Durrr on 2/25/2008 6:14:28 AM , Rating: 2
The funny thing about national debt, is that we are in debt to ourselves (government securities).

By rdeegvainl on 2/25/2008 9:30:35 AM , Rating: 3
Surprised no one said this

King Leonidas: You there, Arcadian! What is your profession?
Free Greek-Potter: I am a potter, sir.
King Leonidas: And you, what is your profession?
Free Greek-Sculptor: Sculptor, sir.
King Leonidas: Sculptor.
King Leonidas: And you?
Free Greek-Blacksmith: Blacksmith.
Spartans: HA-OOH! HA-OOH! HA-OOH!
King Leonidas: You see, old friend? I brought more soldiers than you did.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By rninneman on 2/23/2008 1:20:46 PM , Rating: 2
Since when is it the US government's role to give you money? You could also try pursuing your own American Dream by starting with a job or an education to get a better job. Perhaps you could get a job with one of the many government contractors that combined happen to employ hundreds of thousands of Americans.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By mankopi on 2/23/08, Rating: -1
RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By masher2 on 2/23/2008 2:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
> "but you forget that some people cant get the education because they cannot AFFORD it. "

Stuff and nonsense. Scholarships and grants allow anyone with good grades and test scores to go to school for free, or even make a profit on the experience. For those with lower scores, there's student loans and the good old standby of working to pay for it. Public universities are amazingly cheap, if you're in-state.

If you have even a room-temperature IQ in this country, you can get a college education, no matter what you or or your parents earn.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By Manch on 2/23/2008 2:16:52 PM , Rating: 2
"get a good education, then get a job..." but you forget that some people cant get the education because they cannot AFFORD it. How much does it cost to get a good Universtiry degree?

Join the military. All I needed was my free public education! Now they train me, pay me, pay for my college, my IT certs.

I remember a philosopher [Henri Bergson] who once said: "the only way to know a thing is not by going around it but stepping into it, become one with it, then you can appreciate what it means to be it".

Well, come on then step into it, become an army of one, appreciate it!

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By TOAOCyrus on 2/23/2008 2:24:12 PM , Rating: 2
Yep I get over 2k a year after tuition, books, and expenses with all my grants and scholarships. I haven't taken out a single loan. State colleges FTW.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By Manch on 2/23/2008 2:26:25 PM , Rating: 2
yep and now the DoD has mandated IT certs for all of their employees. They are paying for my A+, Network+, Security+, CISSP, and a few others. Aside from 100% tuition assistance we have Dantes, CLEP, and then we still have the GI bill for later use when we get out or to supplement the the TA

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By TOAOCyrus on 2/23/2008 2:28:38 PM , Rating: 2
Check that 2k semester.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By Omega215D on 2/23/2008 3:48:21 PM , Rating: 2
I worked for UPS and they reimburse you nicely for school. The job didn't really require much brainwork either, just be able to lift.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By hyperbolicparody on 2/23/2008 3:58:41 PM , Rating: 2
Join the military.

Join the Chair Force...I mean Air Force. People forget that they need more than just pilots.
Good head on your shoulders and you can move up the chain in logistics, maintenance, IT, software, systems engineering... plus the pay is halfway decent and the bases (in my experience) tend to be located a little closer to civilization than other branches.
Lower chances of taking direct fire than the navy fliers, or the grunts on the ground, and directly applicable skills for the commercial sector.
I should note I was never in the AF, but I've worked with/for the Army, Navy ("Naval Aviators"), Marines, National Guard and Air Force... and it seems the Air Force is as good as it gets when it comes to building marketable skills.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By Manch on 2/23/2008 4:13:54 PM , Rating: 2
The Air Force has the highest quality of living standards for Enlisted compared to the other services. I'm an E-5 and right now I live in a nice apartment with room to spare. If I was an E-6 in the Army since I'm single I would be in the dorms. Not getting shot at is a bonus but sometimes we get those nice deployments where we're on the receiving end of hajji(did I spell that right?) mortars. Plus. we're taking over a lot of convoy duties. Despite all of that, anyone that joins any of the branches with the expectation that they will never be in harms way is deluding themselves.

Oh yeah, why do you have to crack on the Air Force!?! lol

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By rninneman on 2/23/2008 4:00:03 PM , Rating: 1
You are a terribly misguided person. Military spending accounts for a fraction of the federal budget. Socialist programs such as medicaid, medicare, social security, welfare, etc make up the vast majority of the budget. Well in excess of $50 billion in the defense budget goes to the salaries of the men and women who serve. (They are probably not compensated well enough.) Defense spending helps put food on the table for over 2 million service members and their families. That doesn't touch on the number of people working in the private sector that benefit from defense spending.

Yes, there are times where luck does help in life, but mostly hard work it what gets you anywhere. Do you think luck is what made America the greatest nation on Earth? No, it was the hard work of millions that wanted to make a better life for themselves and their children. (Btw, what was the point of bringing up that Bergson quote without actually connecting it to you argument?)

When does a little bit of help become too much? You say you are poor yet you obviously have enough money for a computer so you can post on sites like this all day long. How about spending some time with a search engine and figure out how to pay for an education or get one paid for you with the programs in place. I would suggest joining the military, but you are probably a liberal hippie tree-hugging commie pinko, so the military is probably not your thing. At least be greatful that our military has protected your right to make foolish posts on the internet all day long.

With $1.2 billion, you are going to turn out a legion of doctors, engineers, and scientists? What world are you living in? We poor endless trillions (yes, that's trillions with a "t") into social programs for the poor, but some people just don't want to help themselves and would rather mooch off of the system.

Let me guess, you want Barack Hussein Obama to be the next president. If you actually had a decent work ethic and knew what it was like to truly earn something, you wouldn't want a fascist communist like him taking it away from you to give to ungrateful, lazy, poor people.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By Darkskypoet on 2/23/08, Rating: 0
RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By masher2 on 2/23/2008 6:05:14 PM , Rating: 5
> "As you can see from the numbers above, almost 41% of the Federal Budget goes to the military."

Oops -- incorrect. You're looking only at the discretionary budget, which is only a small part of total federal spending. Non-discretionary funding is by far the largest, totalling some $2.6 trillion in FY2006 (compared to $1.017T for discretionary)

Nearly all of nondiscretionary spending goes for services like Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, etc.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By masher2 on 2/23/2008 6:08:38 PM , Rating: 2
> "Were we planning on making indentured servants out of all of these people, too? "

No, and neither were we planning on letting them make indentured servants out of us.

The idea was to grant them freedom to make their own living, not to provide them with one automatically.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By Darkskypoet on 2/23/2008 10:08:37 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the clarification on the Discretionary vs Non discretionary funding. So non discretionary covers pension liabilities etc as well? This makes up quite a large amount of it I would guess? AS does other military commitments for spending, and much of the spending on the Patriot Act, etc?

Hmm lets see:

Military Nat'l Security discretionary + Veteran's Affairs: $762 Billion

Social security + Medicare + Medicaid = $1,196 Billion

Total Budgeted outlays: $2,902 Billion

(Planned) Military as Percentage: 26.3%

Social Services as Percentage: 41.21%

Seems so far Social Security is more expensive. However, after all Social Security / retirement receipts for same period are expected to be: 927 Billion.

So SS+MC+MA+"Income Security" = $1,521 Billion minus SS+"Income Security" receipts of $927 billion equals: $594 Billion... Hmm... A bit of a different picture.

To be fair, we would have to calculate all the income and corporate taxes earned due to military spending to see what it's net cost is, and then on top of that do the same for all the Social Services spending; doing this might give us some sense of the net cost of each. Further still, we would then have to calculate productivity gains / losses due to social services, as without such services, there is a definite productivity loss to the economy as a whole.

It is not a simple calculation to be honest. However, even trotting out the so called 'Non-discretionary' spending reveals that after the social security take, the spending that is being derided is far less then the Trillions pointed to. Further, their are other arguments to be considered as to utility gained per dollar for each type of spending. Do cruise missiles increase productivity of American workers? Do social security programs?

If we take a look at the spending by percent again, after we take into account SS derived income, we see that Military spending still remains At near 25% of the total budgeted spending, and Social services accounts for a bit less at ~20% of total budgeted spending.

Suddenly we get a similar picture to the 'discretionary spending', The military accounts for at least as much deficit spending / Income tax spending as social services. In fact, it actually comprises more of it.

I took the numbers for 2008, and it is widely expected, that the initial appropriation for The 'War on terror' will climb beyond the initial ask of 145 Billion. This will further increase both Deficit and Military spending.

As to the "The idea was to grant them freedom to make their own living, not to provide them with one automatically." comment. Revisit your immigration situation as it stands, and how many of those poor and wretched are forced to work in substandard conditions as they hide and flee from INS?

Some of those 'Aliens' work far harder then your own citizens, the economy in many areas depends upon them for a source of cheap labor, and yet the government refuses to acknowledge those that are simply trying to live the American dream. Honestly, some days I feel like saying, "deport the spoiled lazy fu**ers, and naturalize the hard working illegals.

(pardon for the expression)

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By masher2 on 2/23/2008 10:44:55 PM , Rating: 5
> "do cruise missiles increase productivity of American workers? "

Yes they do, when those missiles prevent enemies abroad from attacking us or cutting off the flow of critical resources to our shores.

I'm sure you believe that, should we beat all our swords to plowshares, no one would ever be mean or nasty enough to attack us, our allies, or critical resources overseas, but the real world doesn't work like that. Even as I type this, US military might is preventing at least half a dozen nations from engaging in military adventurism.

The US has for so long protected the geopolitical status quo that a whole generation of people have grown up from birth thinking it's a law of nature. It is not.

Let me repeat that. World peace is not a normal state of affairs. The relative calm which we've experienced since 1945 is the direct result of US military might.

For 60 years, every nation on the planet has had to consider the odds of US intervention before waging war. That strategy has been so succesful that certain young pipsqueaks without a sufficient historical grounding believe no other situation is possible.

I only hope such people never find out just how wrong they truly are.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By rninneman on 2/23/08, Rating: 0
RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By jimgrapid on 2/24/2008 1:27:44 AM , Rating: 2
The government will provide a college degree for anyone. We provide the opportunity for a good education for everyone, yet how many of those who can't afford a college education squandered the first 12 years of free education? I read a quote from Chuck Yeager about how to become a test pilot. He said in effect -- If I tell you, you will never make it as a test pilot. Think, take responsibility for yourself, set your goals and go after it. The government doesn't owe you anything and we throw away much, much more money (as percent of gnp) on social programs than we throw away on defense.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By opterondo on 2/24/08, Rating: 0
RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By DKWinsor on 2/24/2008 2:20:39 AM , Rating: 2
My point is not just about how much money goes into military hardware but what THAT money can do for the very needy people in America

If the money spent on defense is taken out of defense and put in education, America would be a nation of "doctors, engineers, scientists" all in slavery. We could be Chinese slaves or British, doesn't matter as long as they have the guns.



Some people are blessed to come from families that can afford good education, others achieve it through hardwork but there are still a few others out there who want the education but cannot afford to get it

... But you just implied in the first half of the sentence that those who earned an education through hard work were initially unable to afford it. So I don't see what the problem is.

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By Ringold on 2/24/2008 4:06:17 AM , Rating: 2
"the only way to know a thing is not by going around it but stepping into it, become one with it, then you can appreciate what it means to be it".

I went to a lousy inner-city school due to a desegregation program (which is what magnet programs really are). I had the same teachers as the poor black majority of students had. I couldn't entirely ignore their existance (though I tried as hard as I could), so I got to see how they lived.

They fail at school and fail at life on their own free will. Their sense of victimhood, either as a function of race or social class, was debilitating; they didn't seem to feel responsibility for their own lives. Neither do you; you just weren't "lucky."

If someone did give you 1.2 billion dollars and you went to my old high school, you'd have a ton of very well fed, well clothed individuals living in very nice homes with all the latest gadgets -- for a while. As soon as that safety net was removed, their very culture and world view would insure the vast majority would immediately sink back to their former marginal existance.

That said, I did meet one (unfortunately just one) guy there who took life by the horns. He worked two full time jobs (yes, you read that right) while still managing to barely graduate on time -- most days he showed up and used school time as sleep time, and did school work while on the job. He took one check and set it aside for college, lived off the other but gave most of it to his mother to help feed the family. He lived with 8 brothers and sisters; he was the youngest, and yet only the 2nd or 3rd to graduate high school. I lost track of him once he was in college, but he'd moved out to get away from all that crap so I've got no doubt he's got his 4 year degree.

So I've seen that life, and while I resisted becoming one with it as in your quote, I do understand it. It's a life of weakness, self-pity, and a sense of entitlement. In short, it's self-imposed hell.

If you'd get off your ass and were willing to work half as hard you could go a long way. Even at the real-world minimum wage of around $7.50 to $8 an hour, an 80 hour work week would net you 600 to 640. I've known people that have put in 110 hour weeks, so what is your problem?

RE: Sounds good for Boeing and Co
By masher2 on 2/24/2008 3:00:11 PM , Rating: 2
> "As soon as that safety net was removed...the vast majority would immediately sink back to their former marginal existance..."

Not long ago, I managed to see a good example of this firsthand. The father of a family of what most would call "poor white trash" was killed in an occupational accident, and the family received a $5M settlement.

The mother used the money to buy a house just down the street from us, where she engaged in a string of dusk-to-dawn drinking binges, late-night poolside beer busts, and buying new cars for boyfriends who never wore shirts. One of the children was expelled from middle school for pot possession; the other wound up pregnant at 14.

In less than five years time, the money was all gone, the million-dollar house was put up for sale, and the family moved back from whence they came.

By Choppedliver on 2/24/2008 3:57:32 PM , Rating: 2
I was on the roof of the 351st OMMS Building watching when the first B2 was delivered to the Air Force Inventory at Whiteman AFB, in 1993.

It landed 90 Years to the MINUTE of the Wright Brothers First Flight.

That was a historical moment, one I won't ever forget.

Hard to believe we have come so far in 90 years.

By DVEight on 2/23/08, Rating: -1
RE: Ok...
By FITCamaro on 2/23/2008 1:21:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yes us trying to stop genocide isn't justified at all.

RE: Ok...
By masher2 on 2/23/2008 2:04:38 PM , Rating: 3
In the Kosovo campaign, we prevented a little Serb-on-Albanian violence...and engendered even more Albanian-on-Serb violence.

Have you really no idea what's happened in Kosovo since the 1999 war? Most of the Serbs in the region had to flee, and those which remained are essentially in armed camps, permanently guarded by UN peacekeeping forces.

RE: Ok...
By FITCamaro on 2/24/2008 12:29:54 PM , Rating: 2
So we should have done nothing?

RE: Ok...
By masher2 on 2/24/2008 12:54:47 PM , Rating: 2
There are plenty of actions we could have taken which would have helped the situation. Doing nothing at all would have been better than what we did -- an air campaign that decimated infrastructure, heightened hostilities between both sides, and resulted not only in tens of thousands of civilian deaths, but even more violence after the fact.

There's been more ethnic cleansing in the Kosovo region after the NATO involvement than before. The Serb population is rapidly declining to zero...which, of course, was the goal of the Albanians all along.

RE: Ok...
By Xodus Maximus on 2/24/2008 2:32:54 PM , Rating: 2
Yes doing nothing is sometimes the best, especially when you are thousands of miles away and your opinion on the subject was formed by reading a story in the newspapers, the perspective that led to us involvement was delivered by Madeleine Albright. Her personal feelings on the subject tainted her objectivity, being a Czech born Jew who had to pretend she was Roman Catholic publicly out of fear.

It is my belief that she wanted revenge for her angst, and in the process got alot more innocent people killed by distorting the truth. What made Kosovo different than the Sudan, or the dozens of previous similar events the US ignored previously?

RE: Ok...
By JS on 2/24/2008 8:27:40 PM , Rating: 1
I fail to see why a Czech born Jew would be naturally inclined to intervene on the behalf of Muslim Kosovo Albanians, as you seem to argue.

RE: Ok...
By HrilL on 2/23/2008 2:13:47 PM , Rating: 1
You need a refresh in history. I'm not saying our schools are that great but at least we know what genocide is when it is happening.

RE: Ok...
By DVEight on 2/24/2008 9:05:03 PM , Rating: 2
Do you realize that after almost 10 years there is still no proof of any genocide being committed in Kosovo and Metohija? It looks like another Iraq WMD case BEFORE the Iraq WMD case

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