Print 48 comment(s) - last by Martin Blank.. on Jan 5 at 8:26 PM

Surface-to-sea missile could target U.S. ships in the Gulf

Iran is one of the nations of the Middle East that much of the world watches closely. The country has a history of threats on those in its region and has been working to build its military might including a uranium enrichment program that has led to sanctions by the U.S. and other countries.
Iran has now announced that it has tested a new naval cruise missile in the Strait of Hormuz. The missile test was conducted during the final day of a 10-day military maneuver. The missile is called the Qader and it is a surface-to-sea weapon designed to destroy enemy ships. Iranian Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi said that the missile struck the intended target with precision and destroyed the target.

[Source: Vancouver Sun]

Iran offered the first glimpse of the missile in August of last year reports the NYT. The weapon is said to have a range of 125 miles, which would allow Iran to target some of the U.S. ships that are operating in the Gulf region. While some officials in the Iranian government have in the past threatened to disrupt shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, Mousavi has denied that the exercises have anything to do with such a blockage. The narrow Strait is a vital shipping lane for oil.
Admiral Mousavi said, "We won’t disrupt traffic through the Strait of Hormuz. We are not after this."
The firing of the Qader missile isn’t the only weapons test that occurred during the exercises. The Iranian Navy also tested a short-range surface-to-air missile called Mehrab. The Iranian state news agency IRNA quotes Admiral Habibollah Sayari of the Iranian Navy saying, "[These military exercises promote] peace and friendship for all countries in the region." He also said that the exercises send a message that foreigners had no room in the region reports the NYT.
Iran also recently claimed to have forced a U.S. drone to land where it wanted using a GPS hack.

Source: NYT

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RE: Which countries ?
By Solandri on 1/3/2012 6:52:39 PM , Rating: 0
Defense is actually where most of the cuts in government spending have come from in the last 5 decades. If government spending is getting too expensive, it isn't because of carrying a big stick.
(Vertical scale is percent of GDP.)

RE: Which countries ?
By LRonaldHubbs on 1/3/2012 8:44:47 PM , Rating: 1
First of all, that graph doesn't show the increases in defense spending post 2001. Secondly, it doesn't compare US defense spending to any other countries. You can't meaningfully conclude how big our stick is unless you compare it to everyone else's sticks. Anybody got a Peter Meter handy?

RE: Which countries ?
By FITCamaro on 1/4/2012 9:27:41 AM , Rating: 2
Any graph you layer against other countries spending you also need to layer against whether or not they rely primarily on OUR military for protection as well as the value of their currency.

RE: Which countries ?
By Martin Blank on 1/5/2012 8:26:09 PM , Rating: 2
Most of them do not anymore, and the primary two that do (South Korea and Japan) are working to get out from under that. NATO has shown itself more than capable of fielding a fighting force even without the US factored in, and the risk that NATO was meant to counter, that of the Russian-dominated Communist Bloc countries, is no longer a factor with many of those nations now a part of NATO.

This was a valid argument a decade ago. It isn't useful any longer.

RE: Which countries ?
By Amedean on 1/4/2012 1:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
Solandri is right, but the graph is just a graph. Healthcare and other entitlement programs are the monster hiding in the closet, but still I have no idea why Solandri's commen was rated so poorly.

RE: Which countries ?
By Solandri on 1/4/2012 4:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
I do know why it was rated poorly. I usually don't outright state it, but considering it got rated down to -1, I think I will this time:

There's a large segment of the U.S. population which is still stuck in the 1960s mindset. The U.S. military budget was too big back then. But it's since been scaled back drastically as a percentage of the economy (to about half what it was back then).

These people believe that, like in the 1960s, military spending is still the main cause of our budget woes, despite every CBO report for over a decade saying otherwise. If I post graphs or figures refuting it, cognitive dissonance kicks in and they latch on to every little flaw they can find to try to explain why the graph is wrong and their presupposed assumption is right.

"The graph only goes to 2001!" Well google up some graphs which go to 2010, I picked that one because it's from the site, and unfortunately they haven't updated it since 2001. has some nice graphs, but it's a conservative site, so they do put a spin on things, and anything from it is met with skepticism from the left even if it's just graphing data from government sites. "It's a percentage of GDP!" Well how else are you going to measure budget items taking into account inflation, the country's growing population, and expanding economy? "The units are 13 year intervals!" Look at the lines - they're one year intervals. It's just the labels which are 13 year intervals.

The biggest growth items in our budget (measured in raw dollars, percent, percent of budget, or percent of GDP) are entitlements (primarily Medicare/Medicaid) and interest on the debt. Those are what we need to address if we want to get the budget and debt under control. But as long as people are in denial and continue to think our problems are caused by military spending, our budget and debt are doomed to continue to grow.

Don't get me wrong. I've worked in the defense sector. I know there's tons of money being wasted there which could be cut. I'm not saying military spending should be shielded from further cuts. I'm saying the reality is, we could eliminate military spending entirely - cut it down to zero dollars - and the budget would still not be balanced and would still be growing out of control. Because the problem is not military spending.

If you read all this and still disagree with me, then don't take my word for it. Go read the CBO reports. Defense spending warrants two sentences. Almost the entirety of the 90 page report outlines growth in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as what we need to address to rein in budget growth.

RE: Which countries ?
By MrBlastman on 1/4/2012 1:12:43 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't matter how big other countries sticks are. Do you think we should really care? Do you think it should make a difference on what we do?


We are America and as such we should be proud of who we are. If people don't like it, too bad--nobody is forcing them to live there. If we feel we need more of one thing or another, that's our business, not others. If others are upset about it, it is up to them to decide if it is worth spending their own money on it.

America is not the World's country, America is an American's country.

I'd also say that chart is pretty accurate from everything else that I have read.

RE: Which countries ?
By rlandess on 1/4/2012 12:12:32 AM , Rating: 3
Seriously, if that graph is passable for evidence of anything in public discourse then it's time for intelligent people to either beat a dumb person into submission or stab themselves in the neck to avoid the misery of the coming era.

That is the worst graph I've ever seen. The time units are 13 year intervals. The other axis is %GDP... Why is it not GDP with the chart stacking the data points to show %GDP AND total GDP. Then the graph would allow you to make a comparison of dollars spent among the 4 labeled datapoints (which doesn't include current data.)

We still spend more on defense than all of our enemies combined probably. So what does it matter if our defense budget is slipping as a function of GDP? If our GDP doubled next year for some reason should we double defense spending? I'd say not without the eminent threat of attack by a technologically superior adversary. At this point there are none and there's nothing in the foreseeable future that we and our allies cannot deal with at 1998 levels of spending.

Also... Dollar for dollar spent two countries won't get the same value out of their military. For instance in theory our new technology is built on lessons learned from previous technology so in theory it should be cheaper to get to the next level of superiority than say... Botswana. But then again if you're China then you were already building parts for the US and with a little stolen technology and flippantness towards patent law you can have a passable modern fighter jet in a hurry... and at pennies on the dollar.

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