The mantra is: Nothing is too good for our boys in combat; that means our equipment is expensive but also so effective it is the master of the battlefield. The cost is actually even more than you are told and the demonstrated performance is far less. There are many examples of this bad bargain (extremely high cost for very disappointing performance), but the F-22 is perhaps the pinnacle of the myth.
I explain in the second part of a series at Time’s Battleland blog at and below.
By Winslow Wheeler | October 2, 2012 |
Second of two articles (first one here)
The most prominent effect of a major increase of money in the defense budget since 2001 has been decay in our forces. It has consisted of fewer combat units (such as Air Force squadrons and battleforce ships), aging of our major weapons inventories, and declining readiness of fighting personnel, such as pilots and tank drivers. It has actually been occurring for decades, as some insightful people have been pointing out for a long time.
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Less training for F-22 pilots and a potentially toxic environment in an airplane that cannot vastly outperform older, cheaper “legacy” aircraft is just one example of the high cost technological bloat that clogs our armed forces. Other examples include, but are hardly limited to, the hapless Littoral Combat Ship, the unaffordable F-35, missile defenses that fail even in cooperative testing, and high cost, low effectiveness Reaper drones.