Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

July 25, 2009

CORNYN WANTS TO PREPARE FOR THE INDIAN THREAT.... Senators have had to get pretty creative lately to defend spending more money on a fighter jet that doesn't work and that the Pentagon doesn't want. Sen. John Cornyn's (R-Texas) argument, however, might be my favorite.

"[The F-22 is] important to our national security because we're not just fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq," Cornyn says. "We're fighting -- we have graver threats and greater threats than that: From a rising India, with increased exercise of their military power; Russia; Iran, that's threatening to build a nuclear weapon; with North Korea, shooting intercontinental ballistic missiles, capable of hitting American soil." [emphasis added]

Wait, Cornyn thinks we should spend tax dollars on a fighter jet the Pentagon and the Air Force don't want because we should be worried about a "rising India"? Perhaps someone can take Cornyn aside and explain that that India is a close U.S. ally. If we need unnecessary fighter jets to prepare ourselves for a military conflict with India, the United States is in a much more precarious position that I realized.

Cornyn added that the F-22 is "one of our most innovative, strategic fighter planes." If by "innovative" and "strategic" Cornyn means, "planes that don't function properly," he's absolutely right.

The whole argument is just so foolish. Sure, there are possible international security threats on the horizon, but the debate isn't about whether to slash defense spending or do away with all fighter jets. We're talking about money for new jets that don't work and which was opposed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates (a Bush/Cheney appointee), the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (a Bush/Cheney appointee), the current Air Force Secretary and Chief of Staff, and the leading Democrat and Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

If Cornyn said, "Look, the excess spending will help some jobs in Texas," I could respect that. It would at least be honest. But Cornyn's problem is he has to manufacture an excuse to justify wasteful spending, and he hasn't thought the argument through.

Steve Benen 10:45 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (38)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Perhaps someone can take Cornyn aside and explain that that India is a close U.S. ally.

Is it? India is a friendly power, certainly, but describing it as an ally seems to be going too far. India was the leader of the "non-aligned movement" during the cold war, and was wary of the US for a long time because it thought (correctly!) that we tilted towards Pakistan.

We don't have any mutual defense treaties with India, and for good reason. It seems far too strong to describe India as a "close US ally".

Which is not to say that Cornyn isn't ridiclous.

Posted by: John on July 25, 2009 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

If Cornyn said, "Look, the excess spending will help some jobs in Texas," I could respect that.

I couldn't respect it. Not unless he added, "Because anyone who says that government spending doesn't create jobs is a goddamn idiot!"


Posted by: SteveT on July 25, 2009 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Read "Executive Orders" by Tom Clancy and then tell us that India isn't a potential threat to the United States of America.

Posted by: Al on July 25, 2009 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Danger! Danger! We're surrounded by enemies. Especially the Indians, who have invaded and occupied all the phone-in user help centers. OOOhh.

Luckily, India is a democratic country and will understand that politicians sometimes say bizarre things.

Posted by: MattF on July 25, 2009 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Uhh Al, you do know that Tom Clancy writes fiction, right?

Posted by: Winkandanod on July 25, 2009 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Actually as an immigrant from India I can testify that Indians have been bewildered for a long time at the weird anti-India strain in the American foreign policy, which becomes more strange whenever it comes to choosing sides between a democracy and the neighboring Pakistan.

Posted by: gregor on July 25, 2009 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

The C-Street crew has missionaries set up in India, spreading their christianity.

In fact, they have missions in over 100 countries!!!!

Posted by: annjell on July 25, 2009 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Winkandnod states:

Uhh Al, you do know that Tom Clancy writes fiction, right?

So does Ayn Rand but you don't see that dissuading them.


.

Posted by: spork_incident on July 25, 2009 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

go back to Clinton's statement, "Umbrella over the Middle East."

It's sad, the U.S. has to butt heads with every ethnic group around the world. Yet, according to them, "Oh, it's the blacks fault."

Blacks are blamed for everything in this country, from prop 8, crime, welfare, drug abuse....

Latinos are a small distant second.

Posted by: annjell on July 25, 2009 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Why does this remind me of an episode of "Get Smart"?

"Indians? But India is a neutral country"

"No sir, not those kind of Indians. Woo-woo Indians"

Posted by: Chuchundra on July 25, 2009 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe Cornyn was trying to warn us about the threat from Native Americans. He's proven time and again that he's not the brightest bulb in the Republican chandelier.


Posted by: SteveT on July 25, 2009 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

> If by "innovative" and "strategic" Cornyn
> means, "planes that don't function properly,"

Steve,
Quite honestly, can you give some justification for this? Beyond the incident 4 years ago where a canopy got stuck? Even taking into account the incident with the software you don't mention, every publicly-available source I have read agrees that the F-22 is technically and operationally successful and militarily useful. If you have some actual, reality-based, publicly available evidence to the contrary please put it in a complete post.

The argument against the F-22 is (1) budget (2) realistic assessment of need. IMHO it really damages the reality-based arguments on those points to be running around saying things like "the canopy sticks!" when the people actually making the decisions know quite well that the canopy got stuck once, 4 years ago, on a test flight, and that the canopy seal was redesigned as a result. That's what test flights are for IIRC.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on July 25, 2009 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Cornyn is following a Republican tradition of treating Tom Clancy novels like a White House briefing. Cornyn fears war with India like in Executive Orders, and Dan Quayle favoured anti-satellite weapons because of how important they were to the good guys winning in Red Storm Rising. The funny thing is, right-winger as Clancy may be, he probably has too much respect for the military to actually agree with any of the rah-rah wingnuts.

Posted by: KeithW on July 25, 2009 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Hell No. These are the same people who have been spreading fears that the world was going to end in 2012!

Bush gave India Nuclear weapons

Pakistan already had it, and they had A.Q. Khan to go with it.

There's rumor that a certain contractor was smuggling arms in Iraq and that a certain contractor used 'white phosphorus in Fallujah.

Youth With a Mission, has a church in St. Croix, USVI, I think its called Southgate Baptist...now you have quite a few atheist there.

In fact, some of the youths-worldwide, have complained about intimidation and being trained to fail.

I'd say, see if this guy is on any defense committees, or security committees.

All Texas want is our money. They can have Lou Dobbs back since he's from there.

Posted by: annjell on July 25, 2009 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

> The funny thing is, right-winger as Clancy may
> be, he probably has too much respect for the
> military to actually agree with any of the
> rah-rah wingnuts.

Although presumably a Republican, Clancy stated beforehand that he saw no justification for W's Iraq war. He didn't say anything publicly after that, and I suspect he was muzzled the same way the retired generals who spoke up were.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on July 25, 2009 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

KKKornyn's thought proccess

I need to drum up support for the F-22 boondoggle, hmmm. That's it! Fearmongering!

Indians are black. That's why me and my friends call 'em sand niggers. Hell, we've already fought the indians and won. Now that they've upgraded their weapons systems from bows and arrows to nukes, we need the F-22 to keep them in check.

Of course there's the small matter of India being a democracy and our strongest ally in the region. I'll just lie and use scary language like "rising India."

Posted by: Trollkiller on July 25, 2009 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe Cornyn knows something Steve doesn't, namely that the coming wars with India, Russia, Iran and North Korea (hey, where's China?) will all be very short affairs (less than 1.7 hours) and all take place in dry weather?

Posted by: SRW1 on July 25, 2009 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, India's really peeved with us for sending them all our jobs.

Posted by: stinger on July 25, 2009 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Cranky:

" ... every publicly-available source I have read agrees that the F-22 is technically and operationally successful and militarily useful. If you have some actual, reality-based, publicly available evidence to the contrary please put it in a complete post."

Don't want to preempt Steve, and certainly can't put up a complete post, but what about the following for publicly available evidence:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/09/AR2009070903020_pf.html

Posted by: SRW1 on July 25, 2009 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Cornyn's real argument:

"Don't waste money on health care. Waste it on useless fighter jets. At least they're made in Texas."

Posted by: pj in jesusland on July 25, 2009 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

We're currently in competition to supply the Indian Air Force with combat aircraft in a deal that would be worth billions of dollars to our economy. Why does Cornyn wants to kill that sale? Why does he hate the creation of jobs for Americans? Why does he hate America?

Posted by: IQ49 on July 25, 2009 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

If Cornyn is so fond of the F-22, he and Gov. Rick, "Runs with Secessionists" Perry should use Texas' much maligned stimulus funds to buy up some F-22's for their Republic of Texas Air Force.

They will help out their brother in arms, Saxby Chambliss, and acquire some good firepower to fight off the Mexican and Yankee hoards.

Posted by: burro on July 25, 2009 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

"India is one of our most reliable allies and has worked closely with our nation to fight the war on terror and prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Passage of this cooperative agreement will further strengthen our strategic relationship and bring India into the mainstream of international nonproliferation efforts, while lessening India's dependence on fossil fuels." - John Cornyn, December 23th, 2006.

http://www.theindianstar.com/index.php?udn=2008-01-21&uan=14

Posted by: Dominique on July 25, 2009 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, like Sen. Cornyn, Tom Clancy understands that we will, sooner or later, be forced to deal with the Hindoo Menace. Now if we can only get Jack Bauer on board, we'll have all the important people making the case!

Posted by: Citizen_X on July 25, 2009 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

One thing - Lockheed Martin is in Ft. Worth TX. Do you think Sen. Cornyn would want to vote down jobs in Texas - Wouldn't help keep his position there very secure.

Posted by: crackster on July 25, 2009 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

First, they steal our call centers - Now, they have stolen our YF-17 Cobras - Or are they merely using the Russian Cobra maneuver with their MIGs?

Posted by: berttheclock on July 25, 2009 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Robert Gates - "W's" SecDef who President Obama asked to continue in the job - in a speech on 7/16/09 stated succintly the reasons the F 22 program should be cancelled. Fortunately a majority in the US Congress heard him.

"We also took into consideration the capabilities of the newest manned combat aircraft program, the stealth F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The F-35 is 10 to 15 years newer than the F-22, carries a much larger suite of weapons, and is superior in a number of areas - most importantly, air-to-ground missions such as destroying sophisticated enemy air defenses. It is a versatile aircraft, less than half the total cost of the F-22, and can be produced in quantity with all the advantages produced by economies of scale - some 500 will be bought over the next five years, more than 2,400 over the life of the program. And we already have eight foreign development partners. It has had development problems to be sure, as has every advanced military aircraft ever fielded. But if properly supported, the F-35 will be the backbone of America’s tactical aviation fleet for decades to come if - and it is a big if - money is not drained away to spend on other aircraft that our military leadership considers of lower priority or excess to our needs.
Having said that, the F-22 is clearly a capability we do need - a niche, silver-bullet solution for one or two potential scenarios - specifically the defeat of a highly advanced enemy fighter fleet. The F-22, to be blunt, does not make much sense anyplace else in the spectrum of conflict. Nonetheless, supporters of the F-22 lately have promoted its use for an ever expanding list of potential missions. These range from protecting the homeland from seaborne cruise missiles to, as one retired general recommended on TV, using F-22s to go after Somali pirates who in many cases are teenagers with AK-47s - a job we already know is better done at much less cost by three Navy SEALs. These are examples of how far-fetched some of the arguments have become for a program that has cost $65 billion - and counting - to produce 187 aircraft, not to mention the thousands of uniformed Air Force positions that were sacrificed to help pay for it.
In light of all these factors, and with the support of the Air Force leadership, I concluded that 183 - the program of record since 2005, plus four more added in the FY 09 supplemental - was a sufficient number of F-22s and recommended as such to the president."

$65 Billion has already been spent for 187 F-22 aircraft. We really don't need more to guard the Homeland (from India or any other real or imagined threat) or for any other reason because there is other equipment, newer, cheaper and more specifically designed for the missions we need performed in the pipeline.

Senator Cornyn SDSU!


Posted by: robert on July 25, 2009 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Cornyn is right, even the poorest person in India has a higher IQ than half of the Senate (Cornhole included) and that's what makes them a threat.

Posted by: The Galloping Trollop on July 25, 2009 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

i guess that cornhole is too stupid to see that india wants to pump up their military because they perceive pakistan's military as a threat.

maybe he thinks that as soon as india polishes them off, we're next!!

Posted by: dj spellchecka on July 25, 2009 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Uhh Al, you do know that Tom Clancy writes fiction, right?

Yeah, they used to say the same thing about 24, be our guys showed them how you can use real-life torture to battle fictional ticking time-bomb threats!

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on July 25, 2009 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, never mind, Citizen_X said it much more eloquently than I did....

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on July 25, 2009 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

All Texas want is our money.

Exactly. To Republicans, welfare is a good thing when it comes wrapped in the flag and lots of freedom-talk.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on July 25, 2009 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Other possible explanations:
1) Cornyn is old enough to remember that India used to pal around with the Soviet Union and it still has some insalubrious, socialist ideas. Cannot be trusted.
2) Cornyn meant to say China, rather than India but got the two mixed up. Quite understandable too; both countries are huge and both are home to people who look weird or, at least, not Texan.

Posted by: exlibra on July 25, 2009 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

"But Cornyn's problem is he has to manufacture an excuse to justify wasteful spending, and he hasn't thought the argument through."

Wow. I didn't think you could fit "Cornyn" and "thought" into the same sentence.

Posted by: FitterDon on July 25, 2009 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

If I am not mistaken, COrnyn was the founding member/chairman of Senate India Caucus,.

Posted by: Ravi Joshi on July 25, 2009 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

You have to excuse Mr. Cornyn. When he was little his mother spanked him on the head instead of his butt and it rattled his brains. You can't really blame her because his head was firmly fixed in the same position that we find it today.

He is one of those people who Molly used to just shake her head in bewilderment about. "What is he thinking!?" We seem to have a lot of them wandering around loose down here.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on July 25, 2009 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

More F-22's are probably not necessary, beautiful plane though it is - but suggesting India is a close ally is a bad argument. Maybe they are now, yes, but that shouldn't automatically assume they always will be. India and the U.S. are not ideologically matched, India has long been a preferred customer of Russian arms vendors, and India and China basically became the great-power threat when Russia crumbled. We regularly game against Chinese and Indian threats in military exercises. It doesn't necessarily mean they're a likely enemy, but it pays to keep an eye on who in the world has power-projection ability.

For an example, you need look no further than Iran - once the Great White Hope of American ambitions in the Middle East. America sold them their Air Force, trained their pilots in the U.S. and generally made them a force to be reckoned with (no other Air Force in the world ever flew the F-14 Tomcat, which was pretty much the biggest asskicker in the world in its day), until that unpleasantness with deposing their leader and foisting the Shah on them once again spoiled a beautiful friendship. But friendship it once was, and you'd have a hard time arguing they're not the enemy now.

Posted by: Mark on July 25, 2009 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Cornyn may have been co-founder of the Senate India Caucus, but, there is a rumor he assumed the Lakotas and the Cheyenne to take a larger role.

Posted by: berttheclock on July 26, 2009 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK
Post a comment









Remember personal info?










 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly