by Niv Sultan You couldn’t blame defense contractors for being in a great mood this week. In his speech to Congress on Tuesday
Defense companies thrive when global conflicts drive up military expenditures, and Lockheed Martin is no exception. The company has made increasing its exports a top priority.
Rather than treating it as a jobs program, let's make the F-35 program rise or fall on its merits. That would mean holding off on the 450-plane "block buy" contemplated by the Pentagon, and deciding whether it's worth going beyond the 500 planes already committed to, out of a planned total of over 2,400.
These are weapons systems that are part human and part machine like the fabled half-man, half-horse centaurs of Greek mythology
It's not just that American consumers are helping to finance the construction of China's war machine. There is also the creeping loss of control over core strategic elements like the US food chain.
Elections take place in the now, not the long-term, especially in an ahistorical American era. And the now these days in this ADD/hyper-partisan media environment is short-term and savagely prone to character assassination.
This week, the Republican presidential candidates square off in Las Vegas, Nevada for the last debate of 2015. Here's a hypothetical exchange between the CNN anchor of "The Situation Room" and the leading candidate
When you spend $400 on a motorcycle helmet, you have certain expectations about quality and safety. But what should you expect when your helmet costs $400,000? Well, if you expected it to be magically able to see through walls, you'd be right. It won't actually give you Superman's X-Ray vision, but it's pretty close.
If the F-35 was a state-of-the-art plane that provided unparalleled capabilities while fulfilling a clear need, perhaps it would be worth the cost. But it is none of these things.
While the OCO shenanigans were the most egregious example of irresponsible budgeting in the HASC bill, they were far from the only one. As usual, members added funding for items that the Pentagon didn't even ask for, in order to pay for a wide array of pet projects.
It's budget season again, which means it's time for another round of budget gimmicks on the part of the Pentagon. The Obama administration's new Pentagon budget proposal exceeds the budget caps established in current law by $34 billion. That's a hefty sum even by Pentagon standards.