Saturday, March 13, 2010

Why we need the F-22

Mark Helprin writes a pretty good argument for America to continue production of the F-22 in the Wall Street Journal:
"Cancelling the F-22 Raptor, the most capable fighter plane ever produced, is yet another act in the tragedy of a nation that, bankrupting itself, embracing moral decline, and apologizing to its enemies, is losing the will to prevail. In pursuit of false prosperities that have failed even the economy, America for three presidencies and an entire generation has diminished its arsenals, unbalanced its military, and forgotten its genius for strategy....

Amid such static one thing stands out. As we rapidly disarm, China is just as rapidly arming. Perhaps because Americans do not play much chess we seem not to understand that a nation can be defeated without war, that after failing in the art of balance and maneuver the king may still stand, but motionlessly in check, "soft power" notwithstanding. "Soft power" in the absence of hard power is like flesh without a skeleton.....

In the very long list of such things is the F-22. Its stealth, speed, agility, and advanced sensors are such that in a 2006 exercise against F-15s, F-16s, and F-18s, the F-22, its pilots scarcely accustomed to it, scored 241 kills to 2. Famously, before its opponents know it's there, their aircraft are exploding. Former USAF Lt.-Col. Joseph Sussingham, F-16 Experimental Command Pilot, put it best: "To face a flight of F-22s is to face a wall of death."

The average age of Air Force fighter planes has more than doubled from 1960-1990 and is fast increasing. As the number of combat wings was nearly halved, and the U-2 and F-117 were eliminated in its anticipation, the F-22 became the keystone of American air power. With no new fighter on the horizon other than the F-35, it was as well a guarantee against placing every egg in one basket...."



What about the F-35? Well, what about the F-35?
"We scrapped the F-22 in favor of a single strike fighter, the F-35, for all the services. Despite major technical problems it is scandalously slated to go into production before it is fully tested. A lesser airplane, it has neither the speed, range, nor electronic capabilities of the F-22. Who needs speed? With munitions spent amidst a swarm of enemy fighters, speed allows the survival of aircraft and pilot. And the F-22's other characteristics superior to the F-35's mean that when its munitions are spent there may not even be a swarm of enemy fighters.

We have thrown away our best aircraft, as we have—directly or by attrition—discarded good ships, armor, and fighting echelons. We have closed production lines, dispersed the skilled people who run them, and weakened the defense industrial base to the point that in a national emergency it cannot revive. Even the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, hardly a hawk, called the death of the F-22 "ill-advised and premature
." ..." Article

2 comments:

Ironghost said...

Despite major technical problems it is scandalously slated to go into production before it is fully tested.

Oh Fiddle. It's not the first time a weapons system has gone into combat and been actually fixed on the job.

Anonymous said...

The F-35 is a fine aircraft. But it cannot compare to the F-22. Nothing in the world can. And Mississippi jobs help build the F-22. It is a shame.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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