Even when we get at least one principled participant in the process of fielding a new weapons systems, we still have the result of a turkey pretending to be an eagle; as in the case of the F-35 stealth fighter. A fighter who's main stealth performance so far is to fly under most of the Air Force's turkey detection system.
You need only read a bit of the warisboring.com article linked below to see how the revolving door of military staff, people looking to get into the industry they currently watch over, to see just how dismal the results can be. And it's only because one participant in the review process has remained doggedly objective that we know anything about this at all.
The baseline here is simply that the aircraft, in it's current state of non performance, would struggle to match what we already have in the field. And this after spending something like $400 billion, and still counting. It's depressing as hell not only because of the harm it may cause the people already in harm's way, but because we've been taken on this ride way too many times before.
Before I go any further, though, I'd like to make one thing very clear. I am not a progressive who thinks all, or even a majority, of military spending is necessarily wrong. We need a very capable military, and will continue to for quite some time to come. After all, between our own mistakes in dealing with other nations of the world, and the ingrained nature of extremism, greed, and stupidity that's always been out there, we are going to have enemies for some time to come. Of this there can be no mistake.
My main problem with the military as it now operates is that it is forced to do so within all of the failings of a cost based economy; as well as the social organization formed around that model that separates us all into various groups of interest simply because our livelihoods, and status, depend on these narrower concerns. As a result decisions are made far too often outside of objective requirements, or even the most basic of practical considerations. It also, unfortunately, ensures that far too few of us share in the burden of protecting the nation.
Having a much more effect military, in my view, goes hand in hand with recognizing that Capitalism is long past its use by date. If we are to have any hope of protecting ourselves into the future we'd better come to terms with is fact. The sooner the better.
Testing report contradicts the U.S. Air Force’s rosy pronouncements
by DAN GRAZIER & MANDY SMITHBERGER
A look at F-15SE Silent Eagle