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All The King's Horses, And All The King's Men Could Not Put Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again

During last Summer's conflict over South Ossetia with armed combat between the state of Georgia and Russia the use of some new high tech weapons were used including some new generation Israeli guided missiles. Russian military were backed up by a new generation of low slung T-80 tanks that were protected with a scale-like reactive armor that explodes outward whenever struck by missile or shell, making these tanks one of the most difficult to stop of any tanks used by any world military. But the Georgian military used a new generation of Israeli built guided missiles that use a double charged warhead that destroyed several of these tanks, which also created some diplomatic friction between Russia and Israel, just when Russian-Israeli relations had proven some steady improvement. The secret Israeli warheads on the guided missiles were specifically designed to defeat the T-80s by the first charge setting off the reactive armor, and then the second charge penetrating the armor and killing the tank and the crew. T-80_in_Saint-Petersburg.jpg

Georgia also used Israeli produced Hermes 450 spy drones to scope out Russia troop movements and mount counterattacks. And Russia hoped to make quick work of many Georgian military defenses with the deployment of a number of swept-winged TU-22M3 Backfire bombers, however Georgia responded with counterattacks using SA-11 "Gadfly" surface to air missiles and managed to knock as many as 10 high tech Russian aircraft out of the sky during the conflict. Some of these aircraft such as the Backfire bombers are very difficult to down and requite very high tech weaponry such as these superior "Gadfly" surface to air missiles to have high degree of success.

One important advantage the Russian military had was the use of modern high tech and very lethal new class of SS-N-22 "Sunburn" missiles which travel at supersonic speeds and can be outfitted with either conventional or nuclear warheads. This new class of anti-ship missiles as well as Russian experiments in hypersonic nuclear cruise missiles means that Russia probably now has a large force of anti-ship weapons that could completely destroy the entire U.S. aircraft force in the time of war sinking every flattop with hypersonic nuclear strikes leaving even the newer class of American aircraft carriers such as the $6.2 billion dollar Northrop Grumman built Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush with crews of over 5,000 sailors and airmen and 90 aircraft only burning piles of wrecked metal.

Russia also made extensive high tech use of computer warfare to hack onto Georgian computers and cause great interruption of the Georgian military and government. This was the first armed conflict where extensive computer warfare was used as a weapon.

The fact of the matter is that Israel has managed to build and export a whole new class of secret high tech weapons that rank as some of the best in the world specifically designed to thwart specific Russian high tech weapons. Russia has also poured substantial oil revenues into the modernization of it's military as well and continues to produce new and more lethal modern weapons as well. China is also undergoing the rapid development

Realistically, the United States government is in such a huge budget crisis dilemma right now that certainly many high tech weapons systems projects will have to be scrapped, shelved or scaled way back. The U.S. is going to very quickly find itself as the odd man out as Russia, China and Israel quickly become the armies with the newest most high tech weapons of any armies in the world.

Diplomatically, the Obama Administration needs to have very good relations with Russia and China where war is never an option between these states as the U.S. military hardware begins to age and cannot keep up with the advances of these other states as the U.S. budget woes hamper new high tech weapons development.

Unfortunately the U.S. is now finding itself in a situation somewhat similar to the old Soviet Union before it collapsed largely because it could not compete with all of the huge military spending of the U.S. during the Reagan years. The U.S. cut social programs and threw many Americans under the bus into poverty and homelessness during those years to free up hundreds of billions to spend like drunken sailors on massive military projects. And the far smaller Soviet economy expected this was a prelude to war, and spent all that it could to build up a military that it hoped could leave the U.S. a smoldering heap of ashes. Fortunately war did not break out, and the Soviet system mainly bankrupted itself through this wild military spending as well as it's expensive defeat in Afghanistan. The U.S. proved it could run up big national debts and deficits and spend massive amounts of money on new arms. But that was the 1980's.

Now these 1980's vintage weapons are nearly museum pieces compared to newer technology weapons that have been developed by a renewed oil economy in Russia and the new export economy of China. Now it is the U.S. with the aging fleet of weapons, budget and deficit woes, and facing a likely defeat in Afghanistan where it cannot prevent it's ally in Pakistan from making treaties with Taliban forces to establish bases for cross border fights into Afghanistan to attack NATO forces and then retreat back over the border with Pakistan's protection.

And the U.S. not only faces problems with an aging military and the inability to afford a whole new class of high tech weaponry at all levels, but the basic economic survival of many of the nation's own cities is now in the balance as many cannot to keep all of their fire departments or police jobs.

The U.S. probably won't collapse as a nation like the old Soviet Union did. But the U.S. is now in a very similar position of economic ruin with a sharply declined industrial base and automobile industry bordering on complete ruin.

Mr. Obama is probably facing the greatest challenges of any president since Lincoln himself on how to make this country survive economically and avoid financial collapse. America is simply running out of money, and unemployment and poverty problems are only mounting. Mr. Obama is recognizing the seriousness of this threat to the U.S. and is quickly calling together economic summits as well as actions to help to stave off these serious building economic threats to the U.S. Yesterday, Mr. Obama called together an important budget summit and made sure to invite opposition leaders such John McCain and others to recognize that this is an American problem far greater than 9/11 and requires a united American answer to these problems.

Mr. Obama is still constantly seeking a bipartisan solution to every major problem facing the United States because this economic crisis is so serious for the future survival of the U.S. as a country. The fact of the matter is that united for some answers and solutions to this economic crisis we will survive as a nation, but divided along highly partisan political lines and jockeying for advantages in upcoming elections, we will fail and could even collapse as a nation.

Military spending becomes both a critical need for a modern state as well as their own greatest internal financial threat. Military projects provide very few jobs per every billion of dollars spent. Yet if you don't have the hardware, you will lose a war. And if you spent too much money on the military, your nation goes bankrupt and you lose your security. Ask many dictators around the world this question with a few tanks and soldiers, but populations living in poverty with no real viable economy to show for. Guns and butter requires a careful balance because either can and will destroy a nation's security. humpty_two.jpg

In the end it all boils down to the logic of the Children's tale, that "all of the King's horses. and all of the King's men, could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again" if a system self bankrupts itself, of which the U.S. is now very dangerously close.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (7)


Paul, I hate to point this out to you, but even during the Reagan years, entitlement program spending was higher than military spending by at least 3 to 1. So "throwing people under the bus" is not a logical statement. As to high tech programs being cut, well, usually what happens is the funds get cut to maintain reserve equipment, facilities (housing, etc.), training budgets, ammo budgets, food budgets, etc. The big "tech" projects all have porky little senators and representatives keeping their head above water. Look at how long the DDX lasted, over budget, over deadline, and had no thicker armor than the USS Cole. For what the Navy spent on that project, they could've modernized the battleships and had proven ships on the line already. Look at F-22 and F-35. Still plugging. Israel builds some of the best stuff in the world, that's no joke, but I guarantee you 1 on 1, Abrams tears that T-80 to bits, every time. Javelin can kill any modern MBT out there. Yes, the Russians have a very good missle in the Sunburn, but it's doctrine, training, and superior anti-missle defensed that will take it down. I don't think you have to worry about the American military losing it's technical edge. I think we need to worry about it's funding (see the 15-20% predicted cut) being cut to the bone to enable more entitlement spending than we can afford. Oh, and by the way, reactive armor has been around since the mid to late 80s. It's expensive, heavy, and dangerous to ground troops around it. If you want to see a really good anti-missle system look up the Israeli "trophy" system. Raytheon lobbied to keep the U.S. from buying it, even though it out-performed their concept by a huge margin. That's what keeps us from having the very best gear, cost and lobbying.

Chad. Your observations, knowledge and opinions are an excellent addition to this discussion. Indeed the Israeli "trophy" system is an incredible military technology. I can certainly see where the Russian "reactive" armor could present a clear danger to the troops using it as well as the bulk involved. It's too much like being surrounded by bombs.

Certainly, I fear too much of an imbalance in either direction as not good for the country. The balance between the military and social goods, the classic "guns vs. butter" arguments are a careful balance where too much of either has serious dangers involved for fragile budget and economy situation.

Thanks for furthering this discussion with your extensive knowledge of military hardwares, Chad.


My question is: If all these so called extra's would be cut out, and each company does not have any so called over rides, would our military budget have to be cut?

There is no doubt, in this day and age, we need to have the best. Are we getting that from American companies? Would appreciate someone answering these questions.As a disabled vet, who severed over 40 years ago, the only real contact I have is with the Veterans Admin. Plus what I have read, and who can really trust what you read anymore?


Paul, thank you, it's nice to know that I can still post on your articles.

Butter vs. Guns is also a matter of ideological issues. Those that say we need more entitlement spending are commonly (not always) linked to "the military is evil" side of the argument. Usually the money for entitlement programs comes from cutting the military budget. What we truly need is to revamp the entitlement programs so that "relief" efforts are going to those that NEED it, not just those that don't want to work to feed themselves. My wife is a school teacher, and does home visits to the families that receive free lunches, and other benefits from the state. She has multiple families where the parents are unemployed, and they have large flat-panel tvs, x-box 360, etc. in their homes. All paid for by the government. This irks me. That's my taxes paying for their entertainment. Entitlement programs should not be to maintain a standard of living that involves comfort goods. Food, clothing, shelter. That's it. If you want more, go get a job. This family in particular have not held any employment in the 2 years that she has had their child in her classroom. McDonalds and Wendy's are always hiring. So is Wal-Mart. I just get irked when my military will have a 15-20% (predicted) budget cut, yet entitlement programs are getting expanded in a "stimulus" bill. I agree, we need to help people that are "down and out", but how far should we be helping them? Should we be paying for plasma tvs and x-boxes? I don't believe so. Honestly, I think we should be giving out boxes of food, clothes, and making direct rent payments. No more, here's a check, do what you want with it. My wife has 4 kids come to her class every morning that have told her that they eat lunch at school, mcdonalds or pizza for supper, and nothing else. She brings food for them to eat breakfast at school, because their families are not giving them breakfast. There's nothing to eat in the house. But who's got the plasma and x-box? Same families. They won't even shop to feed their own kids. That just saddens me to know that they put their own entertainment before their children's needs.

Allen, if you want to discuss military procurement, current gear, etc., my e-mail is chad dot engbrecht at us dot army dot mil. I'd love to discuss the military of your era with mine. If you need a good site to read, I suggest defense tech, or strategy page. If you go to murdoconline.net he has links to them both on the right side of the page, and usually covers news from the gear side of the military house.


Paul, I'm asking you to ban this little jackass. He/she goes to this, without any pre-amble, she goes to this? I get banned every time I even disagree with Lee, let alone say inflammatory shit like this. I'm in the military, and I can tell you that I would honestly rather give my own life than kill any "little brown babies". I am not a racist, and she/he runs around spouting this shit all the time. She/he used to be justice 58 over at wizbang until she got banned. Just cut it off. We were having a nice civil conversation until this crap came along.


have some comments been removed from posts? i posted a couple of times this afternoon, but they aren't there now. and it looks like whatever justice60 wrote to wind chad up is gone too.

just curious.....

chad, i think that something went wrong with the blocking mechanism. lee banned me before, too when i called him on some of his bs. but i can post here again. i'm trying to get paul to see the light. i don't think he's a totally lost cause yet.

Lee Ward:

None of your comments have been deleted, ke - feel free to repost your comments if needed.

Yes, a new troll has been banned and their comments were removed, yours were not.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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