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Why Cancel the F-22?

June 30, 2009

This one sentence at Jay Bookman’s blog sums up the reason to cancel the hyper expensive and underused F-22 Raptor:

In the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the F-22s already on the flight line have never flown a single mission.

Just say NO to useless weapons which can’t be used in the wars we are fighting now!

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2014 4:03 am

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  2. Matt permalink
    March 22, 2010 2:45 pm

    Mike,

    You constantly tout the future threat of a high-tech major power conflict (vis-a-vis China and its “carrier killer missile”) in order to illustrate why CVNs would be useless.

    But when it comes time to look at the need for the F-22, you turn a blind eye to the fact that China and Russia are building hundeds of modern fighters — and instead show the F-22 quite obviously doesn’t help in fighting an insurgency.

    Either you think we need to maintain a credible deterrent against major power conflict or we don’t. I’m just looking for some sort of internal consistency in your arguments.

  3. Mike Burleson permalink*
    July 22, 2009 8:20 pm

    J2K-we end the wars, the terrorists follow us home. I still don’t see how the Raptor can defend us from insurgents wielding box cutters.

  4. J2K permalink
    July 22, 2009 3:54 pm

    The plane is needed, It was an experiment for use at some time in the future. I would rather have these planes sitting in storage than not have them at all. If this program is cut…the powers that be are extremely short sighted. If the administration wants to save money…how about ending the two wars that are leading absolutely nowhere and sapping resources.

  5. Brian permalink
    July 15, 2009 2:53 pm

    In 20 years, manned fighter aircraft will either be obsolete or on their way to becoming obsolete or have niche applications.

    The F-22 has controls to keep limit the G-forces down to prevent the pilot from passing out. The human is already the limiting factor in the fighter’s maneuverability. In a fighter, maneuverability is air superiority.

    The Army has already demonstrated that non-fighter drone pilots (i.e. 19 year-old Xbox game player) have a better record with drones than fighter pilots.

    The future of air superiority is unmanned fighter aircraft.

    The advantages are:

    Reduced cost ==> increased numbers
    Increased maneuverability
    Reduced risk to personnel.
    No need to rescue down pilots and place rescue personnel at risk.
    Increased situational awareness.

  6. Mike Burleson permalink
    July 14, 2009 8:09 am

    Thanks Filipino Dude! Sorry, but I don’t see the terrorists getting stealth planes when they can send in a suicide bomber to advance their agenda. By the time Al Qaeda gets Raptor, America will be long bankrupt!

  7. July 14, 2009 7:48 am

    The raptor won’t be effective now.
    But picture this:
    In the near future, terrorists aqquired advanced technology.
    And, the only thing to beat it is the Raptor.
    See the point? THE WORLD HAS TO ADVANCE ITS TECHNOLOGY
    And, we are NOT going to fly in low-tech aircraft.
    And, I’m a Filipino dude, telling you this.

  8. Scott B. permalink
    July 1, 2009 5:07 pm

    Mike Burleson said : “There are sources all over the web, but here he is in his own words concerning his connection to Somalia (toward the bottom):”

    What OBL is trying to do in this interview is start a p*ss*ng contest.

    And SYSADMIN folks systematically bite the bait !!!

    It should be obvious by now that this is NOT a winning strategy…

  9. Mike Burleson permalink
    July 1, 2009 2:10 pm

    There are sources all over the web, but here he is in his own words concerning his connection to Somalia (toward the bottom):

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/binladen/who/interview.html

  10. Scott B. permalink
    July 1, 2009 9:07 am

    Mike Burleson said : “As a closer example, we thought that Somalia in 1993 wasn’t worth bothering with so we pulled out after taking a few casualties. this led Osama Bin Laden to consider he could push us further if he slammed planes into our buildings, which led to even more casualties for us, ongoing to this day.”

    Where did you get this OBL story from ?

  11. Mike Burleson permalink
    July 1, 2009 9:00 am

    I think that winning in Vietnam would have been a very forceful deterrent, much like that little WW 2 episode was a deterrent to fascism. Winning the wars you have is more important in the long run to what other nations think of you. As a closer example, we thought that Somalia in 1993 wasn’t worth bothering with so we pulled out after taking a few casualties. this led Osama Bin Laden to consider he could push us further if he slammed planes into our buildings, which led to even more casualties for us, ongoing to this day.

    The point is, its easy to take your eyes off the ball if you are always looking over your shoulder about presumed or future threats, then you don’t notice those right in front of you. The military and the politicians want to go back to old-style, Cold War containment and deterrent strategies rather than the much messier and harder COIN warfare, but i don’t think the Pirates, terrorists, and insurgents are going to let us off that easy.

  12. July 1, 2009 7:28 am

    yes, but the media is obsessed with afghanistan, so the army harps on about it for funding…and the former army generals keep saying we don’t need carriers…so the press believe them, as they are generals, and generals know all about war…and the future…so the press and now several independent think tanks staffed by those same army generals think the carriers should not be built, and the T-45s sold, and the JSF’s and Astute class ssns not built

    this is seriously what is happening…and people try to say we have a simple system of government in britain

    yours sincerly

    Alex

  13. Scott B. permalink
    July 1, 2009 7:15 am

    Alex said : “the largest current commitment Afghanistan not apparently needing them”

    Betting the house on Afghanistan simply doesn’t make sense.

    There’s no winning strategy for Afghanistan : it’s one of these problems that you might somehow manage, but won’t be able to solve in any foreseenable future.

  14. July 1, 2009 7:02 am

    Had they been listened to by the gullible masses, what sort of results do you think it would have produced? Does that change the outcome of the Vietnam War in the short term? Does that change the outcome of the Cold War in the long term?

    you are preaching the choir, this is what I keep saying about those angling at cutting the nuclear detterrent, carriers, and everything else…all because of current cost constraints, and the largest current commitment Afghanistan not apparently needing them (I wounder about the other 100 odd commitments around the globe)

    yours sincerly

    Alex

  15. Scott B. permalink
    July 1, 2009 6:34 am

    Mike Burleson said : “No Scott, just that one unused deterrent is all we can afford.”

    You may not remember cause you were too young (or maybe not even born), but a similar *debate* took place in the laste 1960s-early 1970s (largely occulted by all the noise generated by the peaceniks though).

    Back then, some self-proclaimed pundits like Jay Bookman pushed for the Defense Budget to be re-oriented towards immediate COIN needs in South East Asia, rather than overall deterrence against the Soviets.

    Had they been listened to by the gullible masses, what sort of results do you think it would have produced ? Does that change the outcome of the Vietnam War in the short term ? Does that change the outcome of the Cold War in the long term ?

  16. July 1, 2009 6:32 am

    we have to send our Top Guns back to school to learn to fight low tech. My point is, it is easier for a multi-role, so-so fighter bomber to become a dog fighter in an emergency

    mike this is actually the point; to turn a so-so fighter bomber into a decent dogfighter, is a matter more of pilot training and decent short range missiles, like the excellent sidewinder, than anything else…witness the performance of the harriers in the Falklands war…they are so-so on statistics when compared to their oponents, but the greater training and technology of their weapons won the day.

    yours sincerly

    Alex

  17. Scott B. permalink
    July 1, 2009 6:28 am

    Mike Burleson said : “We can’t afford weapons not meant to fight.”

    They are meant to fight, which is a pre-requisite for effective deterrence.

  18. Mike Burleson permalink
    July 1, 2009 6:22 am

    Notice that in the last real air war we fought in Vietnam, we build these hot fighters and along come the Communists in these short range low tech planes, and we have to send our Top Guns back to school to learn to fight low tech. My point is, it is easier for a multi-role, so-so fighter bomber to become a dog fighter in an emergency, than it is for a high tech superfighter to fight low tech wars, the kind we most often fight. Because we are getting high price doesn’t mean we are getting good quality.

  19. Mike Burleson permalink
    July 1, 2009 6:16 am

    No Scott, just that one unused deterrent is all we can afford. If all your conventional weapons are for deterrence, what will you fight your wars with? The irony of which, the deterrence must not be working if you are fighting anyway!! We can’t afford weapons not meant to fight.

  20. July 1, 2009 5:33 am

    could I add the £20billion and still rising (only one base in the UK has been upgrade to take them..for £1.4 billion, and further 16 bases world wide will need similar or greater conversion…none of this cost has been included so far, neither has the upgrade of all Tranche 1, 2 &3, to Tranche 3a standard capable of taking the bombs for ground support) cost of the Eurofighter/Typhoon to this? compared to these fighters two carriers and the JSF’s to fly of them for a mere £5billion+£1.2billion, seems a steal!

    yours sincerly

    Alex

  21. Distiller permalink
    July 1, 2009 3:58 am

    That article is nonsense. Reminds me of 1942 Germany when building “Heimatmuseums” (museums of local history) in the occupied areas of Poland and the Baltics had higher priority than building Bf109.

    B.S. revisited. During peace times everybody wants to go multi-mission and bomber, come war things change to single-mission and fighters.

    The only opportunity to switch to a single type fastmover force would be a re-design of the F-35 towards a more fighter-like design. Basically a single-engined F-22.

    And the article could be turned on its head by saying LMCO is pushing the F-35 because it’s a fresh pot of money, while the F-22 is paid for and would only cost manufacturing from now on, thereby diminishing LMCO’s profits.

  22. Scott B. permalink
    July 1, 2009 2:11 am

    Mike Burleson said : “Nukes did little to deter 9/11″

    So you want to drop the Nukes as well ?

  23. Mike Burleson permalink
    June 30, 2009 8:17 pm

    Nukes did little to deter 9/11, and the Raptor is doing nothing to defeat the terrorists. Considering the only handful we can afford, I doubt the Raptor will deter anything, except maybe the politicians spending precious defense dollars where they are needed most, to replace worn out army vehicles, ground attack planes, helicopters, and other more relevant equipment for 21st century combat.

  24. justbill permalink
    June 30, 2009 7:59 pm

    I’m glad, and I’m certain so too are my British cousins, that the 1930’s U.S. Army and Navy didn’t think this way. If the brass and Roosevelt administration had adopted a similar view, the B-17, B-24, A-20, P-38, P-40, F4F and F4U would never have been ready to face the Axis. Each model, except for the Corsair, first flew before 9/1/1939. Fast forward to Vietnam in the 1960’s and early 70’s. I’m certain the pilots were glad they had F-4’s, F-105’s, A-4’s and A-6’s instead of Sabres, Thunderjets and Panthers. Despite the fact that earlier trio would’ve been perfectly acceptable for the smaller “new wars” of the 1950’s and early 60’s, they would’ve been woefully inadequate flying coffins in the SAM and MiG filled skies over Hanoi.

    Get the point?

  25. jim permalink
    June 30, 2009 6:01 pm

    How many nukes have we used? How many submarines? The F-22 is an investment to deter and win major wars against enemies with modern air defenses.

  26. B.Smitty permalink
    June 30, 2009 5:00 pm

    Or, just say “YES” to systems we will need in the next 20 years to deter our enemies and fight those pesky major wars that seem to come up every 10 years or so.

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