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No contract after nearly a year of negotiations

Negotiations between the U.S. government and Lockheed Martin over the $400 billion F-35 Lightning II program have been tense. Defense News reports that one deputy program manager said that the relationship between the Department of Defense and Lockheed is "the worst I have ever seen." 
 
After that comment was made, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stated, "I don't know that I would portray it in those terms. These are difficult negotiations, as they always are when you're dealing with the amount of money and the complexity that's involved with the Joint Strike Fighter."
 
Defense News reports that last week Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter put his support behind comments made by Air Force Major General Christopher Bogdan. Bogdan had harsh words for Lockheed Martin’s failure to sign a contract with the Pentagon for 32 F-35 fighters after almost a year of negotiations.
 
However, Panetta does not agree that the relationship between the U.S. government Lockheed is the worst he's ever seen.


Lockheed F-35B Lightning II fighters [Source: Lockheed Martin]
 
“I don't share it, number one, because … I don't know the history of just how much has gone on in the past,” Panetta said. “But at least from what I have seen at this point, my view of it is these are very tough negotiations, but they aren't a reflection that either side has given up or thinks that the other side, you know, is in a more difficult state at all.”
 
Panetta is also reportedly unhappy that Congress won't be back in session until after the elections in November. An initial round of budget cuts in defense spending is set to begin in January. With Congress out of session until the elections are over, there is no chance of avoiding or delaying the defense spending cuts.
 
Panetta said, "I'll take whatever the hell deal they can make right now to deal with sequestration. The problem now is that they've left town and all of this has now been put off into the lame duck session."
 
“We need stability,” he said. “You want a strong national defense for this country? I need to have some stability. And that's what I'm asking the Congress to do: Give me some stability with regards to the funding of the Defense Department for the future.”

Source: Defense News



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RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Ringold on 9/28/2012 7:41:32 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, specifically the fact Iran and Israel are openly promising to go to war with each other at any minute, which is a new turn for the worst, and China, Japan and half of Asia dancing slowly towards war over little, uninhabited rocks sticking out of the sea.

Obama could fix both with a little bit of tough talk, some closed door meetings, etc., because both essentially exist purely for lack of direction and attention from the worlds superpower, but he's AWOL. Just saw a news ticker go by; "Obama arrives at fundraiser" at some newspaper website a minute ago.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Reclaimer77 on 9/28/2012 8:00:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Obama could fix both with a little bit of tough talk


LOL right. The only country he's ever been critical of in "tough" terms was his own.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Ringold on 9/28/2012 8:25:05 PM , Rating: 1
Oh no, I agree. But both problems I think flow from the fact that the world sees Obama's America is in retreat in terms of influence and desire to assert itself, so China, Iran and others are eagerly moving to fill the void. Without our leadership, those opposing them are disorganized, particularly in Pacific.

Iran needs to forcefully hear that yes, we absolutely will rain down hell on their heads and send their military industrial complex back to the stone age if they do not cease nuclear weapons development. The lesson of the cold war to blind liberals is Vietnam, therefore we should be weak, not the dozens of wars avoided, including a world-ending one with the USSR itself. The real lesson is the best way to avoid military conflict is make opponents know you won't blink. Iran thinks Obama's a puss, a paper tiger; his current policy is begging for war.

A joint press conference with Netanyahu, particularly from inside Israel, directed at Irans average citizen, would represent the best diplomatic effort possible.

China could be put in its box even easier. The disputed islands apparently are in our old treaties with Japan. That seals the deal. Quick memo from Obama to China saying Japan has our absolute support and, unless Japan changes its own mind, those islands enjoy our complete military support, including nuclear. China would huff and puff, maybe test fire some missiles or some such shit, and within a month their tantrum would be history.

But those require a spine, faith that America is on the side of good, a pair of balls in general. Obama lacks all of that, but he won't find any of those or fix anything at fund raisers.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Mint on 9/29/2012 8:54:37 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Iran needs to forcefully hear that yes, we absolutely will rain down hell on their heads and send their military industrial complex back to the stone age if they do not cease nuclear weapons development.

You don't really believe this, do you?

If any such threat was voiced, then Iran doubles down on creating a nuke (if they haven't already built one). Nothing motivates a country or its populace like the imminent threat of elimination. They'll be careful to do it in secrecy, of course, and all intelligence leaks will be written off by the world as fabricated, because Bush/Blair completely f***ed the credibility of western intel 10 years ago.

How does a threat like that accomplish anything? Do you really think any authority in Iran believes the world will NOT retaliate if Iran strikes first? That they think the thousands of existing warheads will be Iran's side? Give me a break.

The biggest threat to peace is not Iran, but rather an overconfident Israel that thinks it can get away with a first strike. It already knows that it can get away with an offensive against palestinians with zero consequences. A cocky Israel is EXACTY what your recommended bluster will encourage.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Reclaimer77 on 9/29/12, Rating: 0
RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By syslog2000 on 9/30/2012 12:18:39 PM , Rating: 2

Reclaimer77, I don't get attitudes like this. What is it with Israel? Why do we have to be their bitch and carry water for them all the time? Why do you care so much? We have our own poor people, we have our own people without healthcare, without food, without shelter. How about you care for them first?

I keep hearing about how Egypt is the second largest recipient of US aid, which is outrageous enough, but where is the outrage about Israel being the LARGEST recipient of US aid? And with a such a small population, the aid per person the US gives Israel is ludicrous.

*WHAT* do we owe this little terrorist country? *WHY* does it have us by the balls? We dance to their tune on everything. Every. Little. Thing. Doesn't matter who is in charge - Obama, Bush, Democrats, Republicans, whoever. The actors change, the play stays the same.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Ringold on 9/30/2012 9:26:49 PM , Rating: 2
Israel's a terrorist country? Wow, what an idiot.

Israel's a country who is made up predominatly of a people who history has crapped on for the last 2000 years. Can you count that high? 2000. The 'Holocaust' was simply one of the more recent occasions of them being driven from an area and butchered on racist grounds.

So, the survivors lobby for and the UN agrees to let them have a tiny little strip of land close to their cultural homeland, someplace they'd also long ago been driven from. And since then, they've fought tooth and nail against incredible odds to hold on to what they finally had; if you read up about some of the early wars, like Egypts invasion, it's pretty much a miracle they weren't annihilated. In most recent times, Hezbollah, an Iranian-funded and armed group, rains missiles on them from Lebanon, Iran threatens them with annihilation, and now the Muslim Brotherhood is in power in Egypt, a group that's never liked the peace treaty with Israel. And for defending themselves against some of the worst neighbors in the world, you call them terrorists?

I'll tell you why I support Israel being the largest recipient of US aid; justice. The Jewish people, close to stereotype, really just want to engage in trade and commerce, eat drink and be merry. And, stay alive. For 2000 years, idiots like you have made it harder for them then anyone else. Plus, some of their enemies are conveniently ours as well. So yes, as long as America pretends to be a force for justice in the world, I vote we remain Israel's steadfast ally.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Paj on 10/1/2012 8:50:54 AM , Rating: 2
Creating countries out of thin air is a surefire way to completely fuck up entire populations.

True, the Jews have been persecuted throughout history. Their suffering has been truly terrible. What I dont understand is them acting as if they are the only ethnic group to have ever been persecuted throughout history? Why is Israel a special case?

Why can Israel be a proper country, but Palestine can't? What about the many, many, many other displaced populations of the world, who have lost their lands through military conquest, war, disease and being in the wrong place at the wrong time? If the goal is statehood and self-determination for national groups, should n't we be creating new nations for the Australian Aborigines? The Kurds in Turkey and Iraq? The Uyghur in China?

The US support for Israel is a key cause of anti-US sentiment, as is turning a blind eye to Palestinian statehood while allowing Israel to continue building illegal settlements. Ceding to Israeli demands on pretty much every respect of US foreign policy in the region. THAT is weakness, and that is what fundamentalists are exploiting.

A big step would be to make Israel retreat to pre 1967 borders, encourage nations around the world to recognise the Palestinian state. Make them lift the sanctions imposed on the Palestinian economy. Demonstrate that the US won't follow Israel around blindly - then you might start to see some change.


By Cluebat on 10/1/2012 12:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
Palestine is a made-up country and Israel is not.

Perfect example of public education.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By syslog2000 on 10/1/2012 3:27:28 PM , Rating: 2
Ringold, feel free to disagree with my assertions, but resorting to calling me names only undermines your credibility. You will notice I disagreed with Reclaimer, but I did not feel it incumbent upon me to call him names.

If you behave like a child, don't be mad when you are treated as such.

Respectful dialogue is not impossible.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By zed1 on 10/1/2012 3:40:15 PM , Rating: 2
It's the only way those idiots know. Don't blame them for being completely transparent. They simply don;t have the brain cells to come up with a rational argument so they always resort to calling people names when they have nothing useful to add to the conversation.


By Ringold on 9/30/2012 9:18:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Nothing motivates a country or its populace like the imminent threat of elimination.


The country wouldn't be eliminated, just their military apparatus and capacity, both in war materiel and human capital. Which is different then what they promise Israel; total elimination.

But yes, I've actually read a little history, so of course I believe it. You're a modern Neville Chamberlain. You completely fail to understand the logic that kept the "cold" in Cold War, like I said. Yes, there were proxy battles, but Warsaw Pact and NATO forces never engaged because both sides promised annihilation, and both sides BELIEVED the other side was serious.

To undermine your argument further, Obama's already promised military action! He's just not believable. Do you know how we got out of Vietnam? We got them to agree to the peace treaty (really, a cease fire that allowed us to leave) because they actually believed Nixon was borderline insane and if he couldn't get a diplomatic breakthrough, he intended to start turning Vietnam in to a nuclear wasteland. True story; read some history books on the matter. Nixon had State Department people purposefully leak that impression.

I also didn't say it'd necessarily work. I do believe, however, if you liberals bother to look at history, that history suggests the best CHANCE of avoiding war with Iran is to make my aforementioned promise. It's worked before in history; appeasement and pandering, by contrast, I'm not aware of ever working.

The left should seriously bone up on their history, it's the largest single intellectual failing they have as a group, and pretty annoying.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Kurz on 9/29/2012 9:23:22 AM , Rating: 3
Culture is what destroyed the USSR not bombs.

People want to live peacefully and trade with each other.

People in charge of Governments want more power and express their might. Show your ability to wage war, but never wage it. Be a country of defensive purpose only and people will respect you.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By FITCamaro on 9/29/2012 9:37:05 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
People want to live peacefully and trade with each other.


Yeah the people of Iran, Palestine, the Gaza Strip, etc are showing that real well...

quote:
Be a country of defensive purpose only and people will respect you.


Hitler proved that assumption to be false.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Paj on 10/1/2012 10:48:53 AM , Rating: 2
Bit hard to trade when the US and Israel impose sanctions on the other side.


By Ammohunt on 9/30/2012 3:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
That is an extremely naïve way to look at the world but is standard fare from most colleges nowadays so it’s expected. Sorry to say human nature is against you. The threat of total annihilation and insurmountable odds is what won the cold war *Hint: research SDI,MAD and Ronald Reagan. Also want to take a look at why people wages wars your beloved conflict winning culture is responsible for 90% of human disagreement and war.


By knutjb on 9/30/2012 5:39:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People in charge of Governments want more power and express their might. Show your ability to wage war, but never wage it. Be a country of defensive purpose only and people will respect you.
So sit idle while atrocities are committed, like Clinton did in Rawanda which began 3 days after he pulled out troops from Somalia. Or not give hope and change support to those trying to overthrow Iran, or push a albeit bad ally out in Egypt for radical change leading to the easily predictable power shift to a group who supports violence against us. Maybe lead from behind in Libya and not have any say or provide any assistance to prevent the formation of terrorist groups. But hey it's Ok to ignore from afar Syria, no problem there.

Most people do want to live in peace but that can never happen without leadership at the front. You fail to project and stand by your proclaimed morals and values, evil will rise to fill that vacuum. Then you get massive world chaos snowballing, like we have now.

Those who stand idlely by condone evil by their mere failure to recognize it and, more importantly, act against it.

Pershing had it right...


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By marvdmartian on 10/1/2012 8:30:10 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Iran needs to forcefully hear that yes, we absolutely will rain down hell on their heads and send their military industrial complex back to the stone age if they do not cease nuclear weapons development.


Better yet, let them develop whatever they want.....with the knowledge that the first time they use one, we do the whole "nuke you back to the stone age" thing. Or not.

Sadly, one of the wealthiest countries in the Gulf region has been taken hostage, and held for the past 35+ years, by a bunch of religious fanatics who would gladly see their countrymen get nuked, all in the name of their prophet.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By zed1 on 10/1/2012 3:54:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sadly, one of the wealthiest countries in the Gulf region has been taken hostage, and held for the past 35+ years, by a bunch of religious fanatics who would gladly see their countrymen get nuked, all in the name of their prophet.


Sadly one of the wealthiest countries in the world has been taken hostage, and held for the past 60+ years, by a bunch of religious fanatics who would gladly see the whole world get nuked, all in the name of the petro dollar.


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