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The F-22: expensive, irrelevant and counterproductive
by possibly noteworthy at 11:55 am EST, Feb 2, 2008

On Dec. 12, the Air Force announced with considerable fanfare at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia that its F-22 fighter had reached "full operational capability." Air Combat Command commander Gen. John Corley called it a "key milestone."

Brimming with pride, a spokesman for the manufacturer, Lockheed, stated: "The F-22 is ready for world-wide operations" -- and then added, "... should it be called upon."

His afterthought makes the point: There are, of course, two wars going on, and the F-22 has yet to fly a single sortie over the skies of Iraq or Afghanistan. Nor has the Air Force announced any intention of sending the F-22 to either theater.

The Air Force is quite right to keep the F-22 as far as possible from either conflict. The airplane is irrelevant to both, and were it to appear in those skies, it almost certainly would set U.S. and allied forces back.

See the counterpoint:

One of my favorite sayings is, "If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck." The F-22 ensures that America's fight against any hostile air power will be very one-sided.

Consider, as well, one of Rumsfeld's Rules:

If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.

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