The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive, and possible the most error ridden, project in the history of the United States military. But DOD has sunk so much money into the F-35 — which is expected to cost $1.5 trillion over the 55-year life of the program — that the Pentagon deemed it "too big to fail" in 2010.
Now, I'm not going to claim to be a strategic expert, but from my foxhole, it seems as if the top brass of the Air Force has been fucking up one thing after another in a string of fuck-ups that goes back for a while now.
I understand the lure of the "do anything" fighter, I really do. But it doesn't exist. It never has. It never will. The Air Force keeps wanting to kill the A-10 Thunderbolt (aka The Warthog), despite the fact that there is not one single other plane in the Air Force inventory that can perform the mission that the A-10 does. The F-35 can't do it. The F-22 Raptor, the best fighter jet we have for air-to-air combat, can't touch what the A-10 does. So what's the AF's response? Kill the A-10.
Hell, at this point the F-35 is not an actual program to build and develop a superior plane. It is a program built and developed to transfer trillions of dollars from the US people to businesses that have connections with Washington D.C. politicians.
More than anything, the shift in strategy is an indictment of the way that the Air Force and the rest of DOD have been doing business for years. The F-35 has come to symbolize all that's wrong with American defense spending: uncontrolled bloat, unaccountable manufacturers (in this case, Lockheed Martin), and an internal Pentagon culture that cannot adequately track taxpayer dollars.This has been such a cock-up that I would fire anyone and anything associated with the program, cut all ties, and start from scratch. Re-start the F-22 production in the meantime to cover ourselves while we develop something new. Realize that in the future, the chances of fighting one super-power's planes with our planes is roughly about the same chance as sending our Infantry division out of fight another super-power's Infantry division: Those days are long gone. They're so far gone that we don't even keep a traditional Infantry Division around any more.
We're still fucking around with 2nd Generation warfare concepts while the enemies we're facing are past 3rd Generation and into 4th generation. Having a plane that blows a Mig out of the sky is nice. We have those. They're called the F-22 Raptor, which has been shit-canned in favor of the absolute failure of the F-35. But we also need planes to support missions much like we currently are fighting. And I'll take the decades-old Warthog over the new, expensive shiny toy that doesn't work like the F-35.
Bah. This is all pissing in the wind while that Stuttering Clusterfuck of a Miserable Failure Obama is still infecting the Oval Office.