With the F-35, Industry Is Holding Taxpayers Hostage
An October 2017 Government Accountability Office report details problems the services are having keeping the F-35 stealth fighter fleet ready for combat. One problem it highlighted was that, at a time when the Pentagon is desperate to ramp up production of new aircraft, the services have to wait an... Read more
It’s Time for a New War Vote
When U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Oct. 30, 2017, the United States had been at war for 16 years, one month and 16 days. The 107th Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military... Read more
108 U.S F-35s Won’t Be Combat-Capable
The new F-35 program executive officer, U.S. Navy vice admiral Mat Winter, said his office is exploring the option of leaving 108 aircraft in their current state because the funds to upgrade them to the fully combat-capable configuration would threaten the Air Force’s plans to ramp up production in... Read more
The U.S. Congress Is Trying to Give the F-35 a Pass For All Its Problems
The $700-billion defense authorization bill for 2018 contains a number of provisions that are likely to increase the risk of cost overruns for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and undermine the ability of Pentagon officials and Congress to assess the combat suitability of new weapon systems in the... Read more
Blame Bad Leaders For Military Waste
News about the F-35 nearly always focuses on technical issues — what is working or not at that particular time. Constant reporting along those lines sets the narrative that at the most fundamental level, the F-35 program’s faults are the result of deeply flawed technologies. Longtime readers know the... Read more
The U.S. Air Force Is Still Quietly Killing Off the A-10
The U.S. Air Force is putting on a great publicity show for their impending Light Attack Experiment, a.k.a. OA-X. Officially, this small-scale experiment is meant only to demonstrate the capabilities of four low-cost, off-the-shelf, lightly armed aircraft against lightly defended enemies such as Islamic State or the Taliban. Quite... Read more
The U.S. Navy Isn’t Revealing How Much Its New Carriers Really Cost
The U.S. Navy has learned a lot of lessons trying to develop its next generation aircraft carrier. The trouble is, as a report by the Government Accountability Office mentions, the Navy is so far refusing to put these lessons into practice, and the taxpayers end up paying the price. The GAO... Read more
The U.S. Navy Wants to Deploy Its New Flattop Without Vital Testing
The U.S. Navy is trying to dodge its responsibility to conduct a critical test of its new, $13-billion aircraft carrier. Language included in the a subcommittee mark for the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act that would strip the requirement for the Navy to complete explosives testing on USS Gerald... Read more
The U.S. Air Force Is Starving Its A-10 Squadrons—Again
Since February 2016 the U.S. Air Force has been trumpeting that it has ended—or at least paused—its extended campaign against the A-10 and the close air support mission. “As a mission, we’re fully committed to close air support,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein assured reporters at... Read more
How Not to Build an Aircraft Carrier
Pres. Donald Trump used the Navy’s next-generation aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford, as a backdrop to unveil his vision for the next defense budget in March 2017. The moment was meant to symbolize his commitment to rebuilding the military, but it also positioned the president in front of... Read more