August 25, 2007

There Was A Woman In An Old Commercial Who Used To Say,…

…”If you’ve got something good, stick with it.” I can’t for the life of me remember whether it was a paper towel commercial or Allison the Plumber in a Comet ad or whatever.

This expression flitted through my mind for some reason when I saw this article.

The U.S. military will move its secure command center from deep inside Cheyenne Mountain even as Russia revives military maneuvers that led America to burrow under the rock almost 50 years ago.

Construction on a new command center 12 miles away at Peterson Air Force Base is well under way despite security concerns that have driven some lawmakers to consider halting funding for the transition.

The move will shift more than 100 people responsible for detecting attacks on North America from a facility that sits under 2,000 feet of granite to a basement in an office building on the base that officials concede offers lower protection.

Having our ultimate military command and control center inside Cheyenne Mountain rather than in a more exposed location is very sensible, but who says bureaucrats, military or civilian, are sensible people? Why, one wonders, can’t they leave what would amount to an enemy’s number one target in its present secure location and just work around it?

Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, the U.S. commander responsible for homeland defense and protecting North American air space, says the switch is worth the risk of leaving a facility built to withstand the indirect effects of a multi-megaton nuclear blast.

It will combine operations now divided between Cheyenne and Peterson, helping the commander to receive information and respond to crises or attacks more quickly, Renuart said. It will not, however, save money as the military promised, congressional investigators have shown.
Renuart said the plan was the best way to make the most of resources currently split between the two Colorado locations.

“We can’t accommodate all of that integrated command and control capability in the mountain,” he said. “And so it makes sense to have that put in place where we can get the best unity of all of that effort, and that really is down here at Peterson.”

He said using communications technologies to link the two centers was no substitute for having everyone in one place.

Now me, I’d rather they dealt with the communications technology and kept the folks who might one day be running the defense of our country against an enemy country as far out of harm’s way as possible, lest our defense structure be decapitated at a highly inconvenient time.

We hear all this yelling from the portside about certain government agencies retaining a “Cold War mentality” when the Cold War is long over. Tell that to the Russian government, who would appear to be stepping back in time to the point of borderline saber rattling in an Americanly direction, or to the Chinese, who are using profits from their relatively recent emergence as a superstar in the global marketplace to build up their military, buy up megabucks’ worth of U.S. Treasuries (an abrupt selloff of which could have immediate and negative consequences for the international buying power of the U.S. dollar) and stockpile Mideast and Southwest Asia oil like water before a drought.

Like I just said…

But those arguments, offered repeatedly by defense officials for more than a year, come against a backdrop of tension between Washington and Moscow and Russia’s decision to resume long-range bomber missions common during the Cold War.

Russia, angered by U.S. plans to place missile defense assets in Eastern Europe, said the flights were resumed on a permanent basis due to security threats. In recent weeks, those flights have come near Alaska and Guam, a U.S. territory.

Those actions, coupled with China’s increasing military capabilities and concerns about the intentions of North Korea and Iran, have led some officials at Cheyenne to oppose the move out of the mountain.

Prior to 19 April, 1985, U.S. federal buildings were built purely on the basis’ of ascetics and bureaucratic convenience. No real attention was payed to any kind of blast resistance. A lesson was learned the hard way, and now structural security is incorporated in the plans for new federal buildings.

That lesson was extremely expensive in terms of lives needlessly lost — the transfer girder system, which essentially placed structural support on top of the first floor (to lend “an air of spaciousness” to the lobby by eliminating any support columns) rather than on the foundation, was directly responsible for the collapse of all the floors above. Assisting the tragedy, well, to a 5,000 F.P.S. explosion, the granite exterior on the ground floor was indistinguishable from flimsy glass.

But as I said, a lesson was learned and we have moved on — learning the same kind of lesson in the heat of, say, a nuclear attack by a hostile nation and having our military command suddenly vaporize might render any prospective lesson completely moot.

Ah, here are some anonymous folks on the inside weighing in:

Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of harm to their careers, they say the new command center at Peterson cannot be protected from nuclear, chemical or biological attack and its systems will not be sufficiently hardened against an electromagnetic pulse from a nuclear blast overhead.

This all sounds very Democrat, if you ask me. Okay, Cold War’s over, folks. No need for any more defensive stuff, let’s just expose the ol’ jugular

Article link Hat Tip: James Taranto

by @ 2:22 pm. Filed under Homeland Security, WTF!!!!?
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8 Responses to “There Was A Woman In An Old Commercial Who Used To Say,…”

  1. Shoprat Says:

    To quote another commercial “Why ask why?”

    I guess sense and politics just don’t go together.

  2. Seth Says:

    Shoprat –

    Amen to that!

  3. Ken Taylor Says:

    It is fine to revampr certain situations from a Cold War stance to the military of today. But one must remember that even today’s enemies either have or can aquire nukes. DUH!

    Also with the way ,( KGB)Puttin is acting of late, one can never know when Russia will become an enemy again as it was prior to Reagan!

  4. Donald Douglas Says:

    “Expose the jugular…” I like that!

    Ain’t that what the Dems been doin’?

  5. BB-Idaho Says:

    Hey, Cheyenne Mountain is where the stargate is; Col Jack O’neill, Dr. Daniel Jackson, Maj. Samantha Carter and phelgmatic Teal’c had their offices there. Just because they ended the series (damn!) doesn’t mean the military needs to move to one of those ubiquitous abandoned WalMart buildings on the edge of Colorado Springs. Dang bureaucrats are being controlled by the Goa’uld. Jack! Don’t let ‘em!

  6. Seth Says:

    Ken –

    I think Russia (Putin obviously misses the good old days, and the way those old line Kremlin folks play hardball politics he could probably engineer a successor who shares his views) and China both need to be watched.

    I see the root problem behind the move from Cheyenne Mountain as being a human nature issue: The body, as they say, forgets pain (I don’t know about that, I have some pretty vivid memories of pain experienced decades ago!), and it seems we are as apt to forget a threat quickly and shed the defenses accorded it once it has “gone away”.

    While Republican administrations are generally circumspect about reducing or defanging national security and intelligence assets and the Armed Forces when “peace has broken out”, the Democrats follow their “human nature” instincts wherever they lead and dismantle what they can, along the way, of our “no longer needed” defense structure.

    I’m surprised that a Republican C-I-C would be so quick to write off the safest, best and most logical choice in the matter, though I’m sure our Democrat-run Congress will be more than happy to pay for it; Another way to spend our money and another erosion of our war defense capability.

  7. Seth Says:

    Donald –

    That is definitely a primary function of today’s Democrats.

    I say “today’s” because the Conservative Democrats among whom I grew up and other Democrats I knew back then were patriots. That began morphing in the mid to late 1960s as Vietnam War protesters (ultra-left liberals coming out of the closet or wherever, a lot of kids who were easily fed the bumper sticker slogans of the day, many drawn to communism — imagine a bunch of hippies all shouting “Ho-Ho-Ho Chi Minh!” over and over, giving adulation to the leader of our enemy in time of war), and between the left leaning media and a lot of politicians trying to enhance their careers, well…

    Today’s Democrats have compromised their integrity and sold their souls to socialist liberals, they aren’t the Democrats of my youth. I was somewhere on the liberal side of the fence until the Carter Mis-administration showed me what the Democrats had become and what they stood for, voted for Reagan (best vote I ever cast!) when he ran and haven’t looked back.

  8. Seth Says:

    BB –

    This is remarkable — you bring up Stargate just after I finished watching the final episode of a season of MacGuyver on DVD.

    It must be Richard Dean Anderson week, LOL.