F-22s: A Toy Recall? (August 13, 2007)
The Air Force recently took delivery of a new expensive toy, the F-22 Raptor fighter jets. America rules the military skies. That is not stated boastfully. That superiority should shape policy. American air military superiority is so overwhelming that the Fly Boys note: “If it flies, it dies.” They also note that the current fighter, the F-15, has never been shot down in combat. The world’s troublemakers pose and impose a threat to civilian commercial and private aircraft, but not to American air military superiority. America can control the sales and distribution of its military aircraft. The current fleet of F-15s can be upgraded with new avionics and radar and is more than capable of sustaining the air superiority. Perhaps these new toys should be recalled and the resources used for national defense.
The new high-tech airships almost fly themselves, although they carry two pilots: a man and a dog. The man rewards the dog with a bone; the dog bites the man if he touches the plane’s controls.
Those Chinese. When a Chinese toy manufacturer did not get the lead out of the paint, the toys were recalled. He was so dishonored that he committed suicide. By contrast, after delays and cost overruns in the production of unnecessary hardware, American military toy manufacturers give themselves bonuses and stock options.
On the other hand, with the Army and the Marines debilitated by Bush’s War, America may need to enhance its air superiority and maintain and expand its naval capabilities. There are growing concerns that nation-states may present conventional military challenges in the future. Despite the delays and cost overruns, these expensive toys may turn out to be a prescient purchase.
Bumper sticker of the week:
Don’t worry what people think
They don’t do it very often