Rather than serving as an exception in a swamp of spending excess, the ending of the JLENS project should serve as a first step towards trimming other needless weapons programs and wasteful practices.
At the start of World War II, the combined economies of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were only half the size of the United States. If for no other reason than the sheer weight of its factories and work force, America thereby held the strategic high ground.
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.
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.