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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 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.


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