Letters to the editor
Common sense scarce in D.C.
There are a number of problems with President Barack Obama’s and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson’s view that the United States should put 9/11 behind us and return to life and national security measures as they were pre-9/11:
-- Religious zealots committed to destroying the “infidels” don’t care how long it takes to accomplish the goal or that their sacrifice results in becoming a “martyr.” In fact, this increases the “honor” of attempting to bring down the U.S. and Western civilization through acts of terrorism and senseless destruction.
-- National security policies pre-9/11 allowed 9/11 to happen; why would this situation be the desirable course of action in 2013?
-- If the U.S. and Western countries fail to keep national security safeguards which would have prevented 9/11 in place, are we doomed to repeat the same mistakes we made in 2001?
-- Some people seem to believe that the values, beliefs, goals and motivations of our country are shared by religious zealots, whether here or abroad — this couldn’t be further from the truth.
-- The sending of billions of dollars in foreign aid to countries supporting terrorism against the U.S. and our allies is insane and enabling terrorists to wage jihad.
-- Our borders are not secure, millions of foreign nationals are in the U.S. illegally and this poses a national security threat.
Common sense doesn’t seem to be common in Washington, D.C. -- much to our country’s peril.
V. Rosan Hutter
In response to Jack Lamb's comment of May 28 that Lord Baden-Powell (founder of the Boy Scouts) is rolling over in his grave: Perhaps he is rolling over because after more then a century in the same position, he now feels uncomfortable with that position and needs a change.
Low-balling development costs
When Pentagon officials partner with defense contractors to plan a new aircraft, tank or some other combat vehicle, you can be sure they will low-ball the cost of development.
A good example is the Marines’ V-22 Osprey. The original cost of development was estimated to be $2.5 billion. This amount swelled to almost $30 billion over the 25 years it took to put the aircraft in service.
Cost of operation is another important budget consideration. Once the V-22 went into service we learned the cost of operation is $10,000 an hour of flight time compared to $4,600 to fly the CH-46 Sea Knight transport helicopter it is supposed to replace. Now the Pentagon is considering a replacement for the Bradley M2 tank. BAE Systems, the British defense giant that manufactured the Bradley, says the cost of developing the new tank will be about $32 billion. The actual development costs will likely be much higher.
The proposed BAE tank will weigh a hulking 70 tons. Is this the type of fighting machine needed when our nation is involved in counterinsurgency warfare?
Barry L. Reece