Monday, June 02, 2008

Think About This

Today, two F-22 Raptor fighter jets will arrive at Holloman Air Force Base where they and others like them will be stationed. These fighters cost $361 million each. Yes, that is a correct number when you average the total costs of development and number of aircraft to be produced. Astounding, especially when one can easily argue that these fighters will face no competitors from other countries. Also consider the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management budgets for resource protection and law enforcement on Public Lands are being reduced this year by about the same amount it takes to buy one of these capable but unneeded air craft.

This is simply a program that enriches the defense industry. It is a lot like the $110 million V-22 Osprey aircraft that is being manufactured despite its dubious ability to do anything meaningful, except look weird. You have probably seen them flying around Albuquerque.

I remember when President Carter wisely cut the procurement of the B-1 Bomber because it was already obsolete and compromised. We probably ought to do the same thing with the two planes I described above. I say this as an Air Force Veteran and big fan of all things that fly.

We just shouldn't invest this kind of money on these manned aircraft any longer when robotic drones can do just about everything we need to do at great savings. Of course, the real answer to all of this is to just stop bombing countries in unnecessary wars.

This blog will not go down well with the Defense Industry employers and employees. I know they can find other great work to do in the area of renewable energy and manufacturing. They are all smart people. Yes, we still need a defense industry capability, but it should be geared up only as a last resort.

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