Gates Cuts Leading to ‘Strategic Drawdown:’ Wynne

Gates Cuts Leading to ‘Strategic Drawdown:’ Wynne

Former Air Force Secretary Mike Wynne argues below that Defense Secretary Gates’ acquisition decisions last week reflect that the United States is focused so intently on “becoming the armed custodians in two nations, Afghanistan and Iraq” that the country is engaging in a “strategic drawdown.” I thought Wynne might have some interesting thoughts on the Gates decision, especially given the scale of the cuts to the service he used to lead so I asked him to write something for Buzz readers.

Although the decision to curtail F-22 production attracted much ink in the last week, Wynne argues that the F-22 decision– while important — must be analyzed together with Gates’ other decisions to understand that the Pentagon is “reducing the President’s options to protect U.S. interests.”

On top of the change in strategic direction which Gates has ensured by his acquisition decisions, Wynne argues that the decision to kill half a dozen programs will result in “a searing indictment of America’s capability to design and build modern weapons.”

We’ve all heard the predictable congressional howls about parochial interests, but there has been relatively little trenchant debate about the strategic effects of Gates’ actions. Read on for Wynne’s take.

The F-22 Decision in Perspective

On December 3, 2008 (only four days from the anniversary of Pearl Harbor), President-elect Obama argued that as President he “would maintain the strongest military on earth.” The decisions announced last week by Secretary Gates undercut the President’s strategic objective. Instead, the decisions re-enforce the ability of the ability of the US to manage occupation, not to ensure the ability of the United States to protect its global interests.

Although the F-22 termination has received significant press, the real issue is that the decisions affecting the power projection forces set in motion a process of reducing the President’s options to protect U.S. interests. The F-22 termination is bundled with a group of decisions – putting on hold amphibious capabilities, next-generation destroyers, pushing the carrier modernization to the right, delaying the bomber modernization, undercutting missile defense and opening up a significant fighter gap – which further reduce the ability of the US to maintain a strategic lead in the development and production of power projection forces for the US and allied forces. We are now entering a period of strategic pause in which others can enhance their ability to undercut the capabilities of the existing power projection forces, while not fearing breakout capabilities delivered by the United States and a general process of further weakening the ability of the US to produce power projection forces The symbolism was stark: the North Koreans launch missiles in our direction, and we respond with a strategic drawdown. I am sure the North Koreans fear the MRAP fleet as a deterrent force; and the Iranians are cringing in their boots about the threat from stability forces.

In other words, the F-22 termination is a symbolic decision that forecasts a different approach to our international involvement in the future. The waning of independent action and the rise of consensus action is upon us. The question of it becoming reality becomes the sort of issue that America never debated in the past 70 years. The larger argument that we should be having is how to expand and not contract the sovereign options we offer to the president.

Our national interests are being reduced to becoming the armed custodians in two nations, Afghanistan and Iraq. It is our inherent strength in deterrent or global engagement forces that allows us to engage in wars of our choosing; sapping this strength limits our choices or bring to us the agony of a war not of our choosing.

The evolving strategic environment simply does not support the reduction of US engagement to imperial custodianship. A strategic debate worthy of the name must take into account that recent intelligence actually advanced the fielding date for the Russian fifth generation fighters; and sees nuclear capability for North Korea and Iran as very near term, which could spark regional or larger conflict. China has accelerated its strategic military funding; and at the same time worries about poverty driven uprising; and may need an external focus to meld their country. Future estimates of demographics indicate that the energy-rich north Asian landmass currently owned by Russia will dramatically lose population; On the other hand as China’s energy appetite accelerates the region’s population is increasingly Chinese nationals. Consensus on peace may well be the talk of the society; but there are near-term indicators that this might not be acceptable to rogue leaders who are more concerned with strengthening their hold on power than achieving international good will. Resetting of global relationships should not be defined as accommodation to what others offer us regardless of cost.

So the argument about America’s place in the world should be actively debated; the clear signal on weakening America’s global engagement forces; while investing heavily in occupation forces, will not go unnoticed. From an analytic policy standpoint, we are weakening our asymmetric advantage, and becoming symmetric with our peers in order to become more qualified to fight groups that do not threaten our nation.

Another strategic consequence of Gates’ decisions would be to provide a searing indictment of America’s capability to design and build modern weapons. The terminations in the air, space, helicopter and bomber domain will essentially gut American aerospace engineering — the very area that has provided our sea-locked nation with strategic advantage and strategic reach. This action; in combination with the actions to save finance and automotive should make our heads spin. Lockheed made the case that 95,000 jobs were dependent on the F-22; well, you can more than double that for the other products. In addition, this will make any other products or design and development work more expensive.

This may prove to be the greater weakening of defense; as we found out in the last lost decade. We lost talent that was available for the Reagan buildup; but was not there when we need it now. Now we are giving up design and development talent with no means to carry it into a dimming future.

In other words, I see this not as a single action stopping the F-22 well below the recommended military level; but as a broader action by a weary Defense Department to limit our sovereign options in the foggy future, by postulating ‘Peace in our Time’.

Join the Conversation

Mr Wynne has it right…put simply: the current crop of Dems are returning to the defense policies of Carter (creator of the Hollow Force) and Clinton (reduce investment in defense as though the DOD was going out of business). How many times will Americans have to be shown that these tired, disproven policies have dangerous consequences?

Beware foriegn entanglements.

The effects of the F-22 production so far justify no more than a tech demonstrator.


“President’s options,.….sovereign (emperor) options,.……foggy future.”

What opportunity costs are displayed?

Other than loss of jobs.


I thought the hollow force was the result of Vietnam.

DoD is out of the business of defense.

Mr Wynne hits the nail on the head — we are settling for the military that is restricted to the role of occupation force. Mr Gates’ decisions move all programs to the next Administration (with as slowly as things work) mean that we continue to use our worn equipment for another five years. Even F-35 production does not get up to speed until 2010 — assuming a very smooth test program. The ambush resistant vehicles are good for urban terrain but have such a high profile that they would not want to operate in the presence of the venerable T-72. Now we will not even begin on developing a follow on bomber — so the 1950s era B-52 will continue to be our primary bomber. So we can find money to bring high speed internet to rural areas — allowing people there to surf for porn faster — but cannot replace our F-16s.

Damn Obama is Carter 2.0, yet unlike Obama Carter was at least an honest man.

We don’t need many more MRAPs, we already have many thousand which won’t be good for much after these wars. We need more F-22As to ensure air superiority and a proper hi-lo aircraft ratio. We need upgrades for the Stryker fleet to further increase their effectiveness. We should get started on real replacements for the Abrams, Bradley, and Paladin, possibly on a common chassis similar to the ASM program of the early 1990s. The Marines need a working EFV or some sort of replacement for the AAVP-7A1, and the Navy still needs new ships.

Oh come on — no wonder Gates fired this (evidently sore)loser!
Note how he COMPLETELY ignored the increase in F-22 production, plans to proceed with a new Tanker acquisition, authorization of the next generation of spy sats and increases in UAV acquisition. These will give the aerospace design community plenty of work to do — F-22 design has been done for a decade (thats why its in PRODUCTION). Lets not forget that the overall DOD budget is going UP not down and still is larger than the next 25 nations combined. Lastly, Russia is on the road to bankruptcy with oil below $75 a barrel, China has lent the US $2 TRILLION dollars (a clear sign of hostile intent!) and, last time I looked, the only time since WWII when the US was attacked on its own soil was under George W Bush when Afghanistan provided a safe haven for Al Queda; how is preventing THAT not in defense of our nation? My fellow posters need to wake up; its not 1980 anymore…

Yes the F-22A is in production, the problem is that Gates will not produce enough of them. The tanker contract keeps getting pushed back and is a total mess. Plus just because China lends us money does not mean they want to acheive military superiority over us. Something we must not let them do.

delaying the bomber modernization, undercutting missile defense and opening up a significant fighter gap – which further reduce the ability of the US to maintain a strategic lead in the development and production of power projection forces for the US and allied forces.”

Air Force’s first priority should have been a new stealth bomber instead of fighters which served them well in Desert Storm…yet now bomber modernization is an afterthought compared to Air Force fighter tunnel vision.

The Air Force still refuses to fill the gaps with new legacy aircraft. The Navy is buying new F-18s…yet the Air Force is silent. Looks like Congress is going to have to force them to do the right thing and buy more legacy aircraft…the blame for the currently gap falls squarely in their laps.

Missile defense is still being funded…accept, now prioritites are being set…instead of just throwing money everywhere and hope some sticks.

Yes bomber modernization is another thing that needs to get done. We need some sort of new aircraft to replace B-52s and B-1s that have been lost due to attrition. We don’t need new legacy fighter aircraft when the F-22A is already in production and more could easily be produced.

Ok. If the F22 is that needed why isn’t it fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the immortal words of John Maynard Keynes, if you owe your banker $1000, he’s got you, if you owe him $1M, you’ve got him. With China lending us $2 Trillion and dependent on us as their #1 market, its hard to see why they will want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs and wipe out their investment. China is and will be a 21st Century big power that we will have to deal with — that doesn’t mean they will be an adversary & in fact, if their western Muslim minority gets radicalized by Al Queda, they very well could wind up being more of an ally in that conflict. Lets not simplisticly assume the Chinese are going to replace the Soviets as an existential threat to the US — the world is much more complex than that.

I am so tired of fighting the defense spending battle with people who use misguided reasoning.

Here is an analogy — Person A spends $50k on a car with a salary of $100k/year. Person B spends $100k on a salary of $500k/year. Who might have spent too much? The answer is Person A of course because absolute dollars does not matter only the percentage of income used. Person A spent half of his income compared to Person B who spent 20%.

Another way to say this is that Person B’s car is more affordable TO HIM based on income.

Its the same for defense spending as measured as a percentage of the federal budget or the economy. We are nearing post Cold War historic lows in both categories (not including war supplementals whcih will eventually stop). The US could easily spend a trillion on defense with a $14.2 trillion economy.

By most estimates you could buy more F-22’s, NGB’s, tankers, lots of other weapons and reset the force from wear and tear by adding $75 billion/year to the DOD budget.

The Dems just passed a $787 billion stimulas, that is 10 years of extra spending for defense. It is priorities not money.

I have no problem with people saying we should cut defense and spend on other government programs (I vehemently disagree) but IT IS NOT THE MONEY!

Wynne is not talking threats and risks.

Defense should not be managed like a municipal transit authority.

“Options” for a sovereign’s interest abroad, power projection are tools not conceived by the federalists, they are not strategy, nor necessary to the common defense.

South Korea, with excessive savings and rapid growth rate spends about 2.6% of GDP (2006) on preparing for the fearsome North Koreans.

Are they miserly? Exposing themselves? Do they miss the threat? Take risk?

What needs justify an additional $75B of stuff a year? Why buy it?

A rich country should have big battleships according to Mahan in 1887. To fight US’ main trading partner and keep the Royal Navy from being blown to bits by the army’s coastal batteries.

Strategy justifies spending not whether it is miserly to the defense employers.

Mr. Wynn is exactly right.

however, it is not a weary defense department but an Anti-American obmama who considers American power projection capabilities to be the problem — thus his solution is to dismantling it.…


Not sure what “power projection capability” are good for but.….….…..

What importance are those “power projection capabilities” which are not effective nor suitable? Rushed into deployment expensive, late and unready.

“Ok. If the F22 is that needed why isn’t it fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan”

Ever hear of a strategic deterrent? We don’t use nuclear weapons these days but we need to keep them around and update them in order to prevent other countries from nuking us despite what Obama thinks. Same thing with the F-22A, although it is far more likely to see action. It ensures our continued air superiority making it less likely Iran or another country will do something stupid. Just because we are not fighting enemy aircraft today does not mean we won’t a few years down the road. Look at the 1991 Gulf War, such a scenario against a similarly modern military is easily possible.

I don’t see the Iranian’s, N. Koreans, Chinese, or Russians changing their current course because we got F-22s…their not stupid. They know we have a conventional edge and have been undermining us by asymetrical means for some time. Iraq gave the world a textbook lesson of what happens when you go toe to toe with the U.S. At some point all this equipement just becomes excessive. The F-117 is aging and we are wasting money on stealthed air superiority fighters. Before we know it the Air Force will start stealthing cargo planes.

Wynne writes “From an analytic policy standpoint, we are weakening our asymmetric advantage, and becoming symmetric with our peers in order to become more qualified to fight groups that do not threaten our nation.”

Why does it seem common to equate irregular warfare threats to groups that do not threaten our nation? The terrorist groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan represent the greatest current threat to the United States. They are the only group to attack us since WWII. Strengthening our ability to defeat that threat seems like the responsible path to take.

Gates is reducing the number of F-22s but greatly increasing the number of new F-35s.

Isn’t the F-35 a more modern aircraft? It’s newer right? It has stealth capability like the F-22. It can take off on short runways and land vertically. It can be fitted with all kinds of ordinance, making it a multipurpose aircraft. Plus you can buy 3 or 4 of them for the price of one F-22.

So other than the F-22 being a somewhat faster aircraft, what’s the big advantage it has over the F-35 that we should pay 3 times the price?

Former Air Force Secretary Mike Wynne; AMEN BROTHER. Nice to hear SOMEBODY who gets it.



Grow up. The F-22 wasn’t designed or built for the current conflicts in Iraq & Afghanistan. Don’t be so nieve (&/or intellectualy dishonest) to imply that that is the only kind of conflict the US will ever fight.



The Iranian’s, N. Koreans, Chinese, & Russians course has a LOT to do with the weakness the US has shown. Gates BS recommendations show EVEN GREATER weakness & WILL embolden them because of it.

Wake up artful dodger or is that artful draft dodger? Clinton was the idiot that allowed the ragheads to learn,on our soil,how to fly the aircraft into the trade centers and pentagon on 9/11, while he was busy playing cigar under the oval office with a young intern.That jackass,and I mean the pun,was responsible for that attack. you must still be living on another planet to think the way you do. And as far as Gates cutting the f-22 and missile defense system, does anyone really think that’s not coming from his boss, mr.Obama? Do you people really think Gates is doing this on his own? Clinton cut the DOD in half, and Barack Hussein can’t wait to kill what Bush built back up. I think we all better wake up before it’s too late.Sadly,it just May be too late.

Mike Wynne is right on the money, in more ways than one, which is one of the reasons he and other critical thinkers like Buzz Moseley got it in the neck from the likes of those who show a total indifference to reality.…



…for starters.

Calling the creation of Wall Street and the Mercantiles a “Global Financial Crisis” because, inter alia, it brings into stark relief the concept of sovereign financial risk is bad enough but to create a situation where your Nation’s actual sovereignty is being put at risk — well, what would you call that kind of behaviour?–1.html
AussieAirPower the biggest F-22 advocate, fanboy site of the entire Web. Keep in mind that everything they say is heavily biased.

The Iranian’s, N. Koreans, Chinese, & Russians course has a LOT to do with the weakness the US has shown. Gates BS recommendations show EVEN GREATER weakness & WILL embolden them because of it.
_______________________________________________________What It has directly to do with us being bogged down in two wars. F-22 fanboys have selective memories.

Ah I see we have our share of naive libs. I served in the military under Carter and Reagan and I can tell you there was a night and day difference between the two. Carter supported a hollow military with very little capability. Reagan can into office and rebuilt us into a military powerhouse — second to none. Thank God Carter was a one term President. Now we have Carter 2.0 in the White House. His defense policies will only serve to weaken our military.

Ability to control the sky, penetrate air defenses is critical. Does the Raptor do this better than the JSF? I don’t know. I know we are in 2 wars, and the Af-Pak theatre is the most dangerous. Iraq could implode in the coming months, signs of that now. Gates has done a good job so far, and the production of UAV’s is now priority. The EFV’s kinks are being worked out, maybe the Air Force feels a left out in the cold.

The key take-away for the defense industry on this decision… Never design a weapon system whose technology is so classified that you aren’t able to get FMS partners. Foreign partners = leverage against the nay-sayers, reformers, isolationists, and jealous defense rivals. The F-22 was domestic only and couldn’t be dumbed down for FMS, while the F-35 is multinational. The U.K. has no place else to go for the Harrier replacement. Relative capabilities and limitations run second-place to who gets the $$‘s. Look at the BAE — U.K.- Saudi — U.S. quadrangle.

It is not so much we might fight China, it is their, and Russia’s, willingness to sell to whoever has the money very good 4th generation fighters such as J-10s, J-11s, and the SU27/20 famility of airframes along with advanced air defense systems. The questions is do we want to maintain the air superiority edge we have had for decades or are we willing to give that up? Seems we are willing to give it up. Mr. Gates is putting all of our tactical acft eggs in one F-35 basket. He has never liked the F-22 and has been on a crusade to cancel it since he came into office. Just because exercises have proven its worth and it does indeed do as advertised means nothing to him. The F-35 will not be produced in high enough yearly numbers to enter the force quickly (at around 100 per year, it will be 25 years before the last one is built). Add to it the cancelling of the next generation bomber, the replacement CSAR helo along with the F-22 decisions and Mr Gates, in one sweep, has gutted 3 core USAF missions. Why is that a good thing? The F-35 can not meet the F-22 in air-to-air or penetration missions. Oh, and the tanker contract? Still a mess. getting ready to do it all over for a third time.

Another item that needs to be addressed is ANG needs. They do not need a $80 million F-35 for CONUS air defense.

As a mid-level Aerospace engineer myself, I find it amusing that we bail out a company like GM that makes NON-COMPETITIVE products. And dump the last industry in this country that COMPETES globally (i.e. military).

Obama = mediocrity for the masses. Subplant real freedom of choice and wealth with cattle-like satiation and subserviance to the few power mongering politicians. I hate what this country has become.

The sad fact is that the majority of “Americans” aren’t intelligent enough to know what is going on!!!!! I’m an aerospace engineer, a rocket scientist, you name it, and I’m very very very very worried.

Developing world countries can buy Russian equipment…but how many of them have the expertise and infrastructure to make it work for them? Iraq had all kinds of stuff, but their infrastructure stood no chance against U.S. equipment,Americam military expertise, and infrastructure. None of these are going away. It’s just the fact that the conventional warfare people and their hardware are no longer conrnering all of the defense budget…just most…now.

Russian support for its fighters is crap. Go ask the Indians and see how poor it is to get unreliable SU35 engines…which are unrelaible and have to be sent all the way back to Russia before you get more.

Furthermore, the funding of our military is currently more than China…if it were less I would be worried. Russia is in such a bad spot that Mikoyan almost went out of business. Dmitry Medvedev had to promise the Russian military(plagued with desertion)they would get money for modernization despite rhetoric to the rest of the world about military buildup…it’s doubtful they may get the money. What we should be worried about that China and Russia are selling is things like the new RPG-30.

The Chinese threat is asymetrical in nature like missiles, subs, and cyber warfare, not tanks, and jets. Chinese jets are improving but still crap.

“Chinese AVIC Top Head admits the Poor Quality of Jet Engine”


The Chinese carrier effort so far consists of spending money to renevate an old carrier.

Militarily, the F-22 and F-35 are designed to work together, with F-22s securing the air and F-35s doing the bombing. How are they gonna support 600 F-35s with 187 F-22s?


Be worried.

Worry more: read GAO 09-543T.

If the new standard is “mediocrity for the masses” you defense industry engineers and rocket scientists doing the big projects are not even there.

Use the F-22s like F-117s.

It never ceases to amaze me that we had a grand total of 64 F-117s and 21 B-2s yet found a way to fight a way to fight some rather high intensity conflicts in Serbia and Iraq. Now we have one less B-2, but 187 F-22s with greater stealth than the F-117 and scores of F-35s coming with no doubt similar stealth from the front…and somehow that isn’t enough? We haven’t talked about TALD yet or better JSEAD and DEAD capabilities yet, either.

A few nations with very few top of the line fighters and air defense systems are no threat to our air superiority. China and Russia, the two top threats, are in fact no threat to our joint airpower and combined Patriots, Naval air defenses, JSEAD/DEAD, and allied F-35s. China’s TBMs may be a threat but I don’t see how more F-22s does anything about those.

The only current and projected threats of any consequence are to our ground forces in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. F-22s do nothing to help that. In places like North Korea with virtually no air force, and Iran with virtually no competent air forces and few air defenses, our airpower status quo will be more than up to the job AS IS, before we add a single F-35 of thousands soon to come.

Worried about some future imagined threat? No other nation can afford to field in coming years the number/quality mix of aircraft and air defenses that we will field with the F-35, future Patriots, and future Standard Missiles. The F-22s are just icing on the cake.

My perspective: It’s sad that today’s political environment determines the future of our nation’s strategic defense (even before the QDR has been released). Republicans have always believed in a strong national defense, pouring money into modernization, benfitting DoD and its retired generals who work for Boeing and Lockheed whereas the Democrats have always hated DoD and their rich contractors/lobbyists. Bottom line: This is about political power, money and the Democrats payback for the last eight years. After the next attack on our nation, the finger pointing will ensue and the Republicans will win the next election starting the cycle all over again but at what cost…defense jobs, R&D, technology, modernization, deterrence and innocent lives, sadly. This is about politics, period. Hence the op-ed by our AF leaders, echoing the Dems orders. I don’t agree with the cuts since it will make our nation’s defense weak and any future modernization will cost the taxpayers more to modernize as Reagan had to do. The best solution at this point is to adapt and overcome; make the best of it since we have no other alternative at this point until the next attack or election which ever comes first. History has repeated itself (again). BTW, the F-22s will make a good Thunderbird demonstration aircraft since the AF won’t have enough of them to effectively do anything else but airshows. The F-35 will be the last manned fighter since they will be replaced by UAVs or MRAPs with wings which ever comes first. Thanks for reading…G’day.

I’m tired of hearing about this whole fighter debate. People seem to forget that the F-15C and E models and F-16’s, as aged as they may be, are still some of the most technologically and superior fighters in the world. Hell, the F-15 has a perfect air to air combat record. The Russians are broke, the Chinese as well as the North Koreans aren’t stupid enough to attack us. As if they really want to. Last I checked Al-Qaeda doesn’t have fighters. This is just another near-sighted, fighter jock mentallity trying to suck needed funds from more important things other than fighters. We have too many people in the Air Force that have “Oh goody, a new toy” syndrome when it comes to this. I think the SecDef made a good call on this one. CSAR-X got cancelled, but I’m not complaining. I’ll just man up and keep pressing with what I have until they figure something out. Besides, someone has to come get you when you get shot down in your new toy.


I hesitate to “blame” Carter for excesses of Reagan build up. The acquisition systems did not function, not Carter’s fault. Reagan requirements processes were not better.

From my observation the money came too fast, corners were cut to spend the money and results were expensive failures.

Interested in what “modernization” from Reagan build up was deployed. F-117, and B-2 failed most of their KPP’s and were stopped for reason.

Nothing much I can think of came from Reagan build up.

What use modernize if the future is so foggy both with respect to adversary strategy and tactic as well as outcomes of the “modernizations”.

“Interested in what “modernization” from Reagan build up was deployed. F-117, and B-2 failed most of their KPP’s and were stopped for reason.“
Say what?

“…For example, the C-17 and F-117 both exceeded operational requirements in Kosovo and Operation Enduring Freedom.”

“Achieving Defense Transformation Through Total Life Cycle Systems Management”

Also note that the KPPs for F-117 and B-2 were more on the order of “wish lists” than actual requirements. It must have been hard to write performance specs for a low-RCS aircraft when RCS had never been predictable before!

If your KPP is “give us the moon and the sun” and you only deliver the moon, is that really something we should consider a FAILURE?

Than by that reasoning the F-22 should be hitting it’s KPP…is it?

loggie20 — nothing much came from the Reagan military build-up? A little event called the Fall of the Soviet Union.

Please stop posting you are an embarassment to thinking human beings.

The F-22 does very little that a TLAM and/or F-18 can do just as well.

One again Cole shows he is living in some fantasyland.

The F-22 is not the F-117 or B-2. IT IS THE REPLACEMENT FOR THE F-15. The YOUNGEST F-15C in the USAF is 23 years old & has been surpassed by other aircraft.



Quite the opposite, the F-22 is MUCH better than the TLAM &/or F/A-18.

Cole is on a different wavelength.

The similarities are: they all should have been killed, the resulting airplanes did not meet any of the promises of the contracts nor the acquisition system, they don’t have a mission and the testers would them all wanting.

All three were/are throwing good money after bad, trying to make use from waste.

pfcem, back to you childish insults I see.

How about describing why after the fall of the Soviet Union we needed 381 or even 240 F-22s when 750 F-15s were to combat thousands of top quality Soviet fighters…and now the Russians have perhaps 15 SU-35s, a bunch of grounded Mig-29s and other old aircraft, and air defenses that we can easily defeat.

Even the Air Force admitted they wanted 10 Squadrons for 10 AEFs which is a requirement of convenience rather than threat. Wouldn’t want to exceed 4-month deployment tours now…

Georgia taught us how easily our air defenses would make mince meat of Russian or Chinese aircraft.

The sole reasonable argument FOR the F-22 is to bomb, and it already doubles the number of F-117s in that regard in numbers alone before adding the greater bomb payload of the 187 F-22s.

But the F-22 lacks the optics/pods to identify and bomb hidden, civilian-hugging, and moving targets requiring zoom and laser designation. The F-35 is more than up to that task without costly F-22 upgrades for optics, situational awareness, and modern computer processing. All F-35 versions will be fielded in numbers no other nation on earth will come close to producing, let alone with the semi-stealth of that aircraft.

But I fully expect Congress to weasel some more F-22s through the system while Army ground pounders bearing the brunt of deployments and casualties get their sole major procurement program decimated.

Watch out Cole, pfcem knows all of Air Power Australia’s research in and out.


Someone should have killed F 22 in 1999.

There are 187 F 22’s because that is all the money could buy after overruns, delays and lost performance. Air Force got no more money so; as costs rose and time slipped the lesser numbers and capabilities were “accepted”. No one asked “at 330M an airplane is it worth taxing so extravagantly our kids to pay for it?”

The 62% mission capability is paying for some of the things not bought to keep the number going even lower.

The airplane is not needed.

The money going to Lockheed is what drove the whole program.

However, why is FCS important, does the Army need to waste money like the Air Force?

How much of all this is needed to keep the industry going to deliver peacetime tactics that will be made irrelevant by the next adversary.

The world, outside of the peacetime dreams stated here on DODBuzz, is nothing like Europe in 1913.

can we please stop saying that the money was not there to buy F-22’s.…

If you add up GM/Chrysler bailouts, the welfare “stimulus”, the general increase in non-defense discretionary spending an interest it comes close to $3.5 TRILLION — about SEVEN TIMES the whole defense budget — just so barry can pay off his idiot union/welfare/govt supporters.

mr.gates wants to take the American military back to the stone age. All you people who say we do not need the f-22 are idiots. Let’s just keep flying the crap out of the F15 a until they all fall out of the sky . Then we can build new ones at 100 million a pop and you will be bitching that they cost too much. (Boeing est. cost of new stealth eagle) Then when Mr Obama gets rid of all our nukes we won’t have to worry about the economy because we will all be speaking Russian or chinise. Just a parting thought , if the defense budget is going to inscrease how come it seems to me that we are getting a hell of a lot less for our money.

*GOD* help us because Obama and congress sure aren’t.

Mark said:

“Mr Wynne has it right…put simply: the current crop of Dems are returning to the defense policies of Carter (creator of the Hollow Force) and Clinton (reduce investment in defense as though the DOD was going out of business). How many times will Americans have to be shown that these tired, disproven policies have dangerous consequences?”

I thought Carter was responsible for the large navy that Reagan used to club the Soviets into submission? We’re all on the same side, guys. Get over your partisan crap and let’s make sure we don’t become an afterthought.

LOL…partisans comments are always a hoot to read.

Yeah, it takes a strange mind to classify a budget INCREASE as “cuts”.

There has to be a serious review how Government does business, there are 2 programs I personally know of two projects that have been funded to the tune of multi-millions of dollars since 1990’s till date and the “plane” can not even fly. What a lot of people don’t get is the culture of defense contractors is to keep milking the Govt regardless of quality or performance. Would you accept to buy a GM that does not drive, I don’t think so!

A major UAV system today our forces rely upon needs near a million dollars “refit” that could be avoided just with spending and extra $50 of material at manufacturing time, the manufacturer knows this fault and keeps quiet, I wonder why?

Our defense budgets do not yield a quality bang for the buck, generally speaking, so the question of cutting programs should have cut into white elephant “projects” designed to keep the old boy network busy and their pockets filled, this is the achilles heel of the USA, we are being undermined within, like it or not unless and until we address and correct such practices head on we will always have massive budgets that deliver very little.

Wynne–Sour grapes…get back to retirement. Your narrow, cold war thinking is why you were replaced. The Air Force will do just fine with its new forward thinking direction.

The military is also part of the problem with Power Point officers who make careers based on fielding pet projects that they fight for, even after it is proven no longer usefull, for fear of ending their career.

When are these people going to realize that we are showing our weaknesses instead of our strenght? That the only real way to achieve peace is through strength? Bullies will always try to intimidate anyone who shows weakness.
We are doing nothing but giving carte blanche to these rogue governments, N. Korea, Iraq, Russia, China — not to mention all the many terrorist organizations all over the world.
These last, especially, must be laughing their heads off thinking of the damage they will be able to do to us, because we seem to not have the stomach to stand up to them.
I don’t just mean the cuts in the Air Force procurement programs, this is endemic throughout the system, affecting the other branches of the Armed Forces as well.
And the fact is that, whether you want to admit it or not, these programs also keep thousands of people employed which, I would think, is especially important now, when so many thousands of workers are being layed off all around us. These jobs have a positive impact on the economy, their loss will be felt.
Lastly, I am dismayed at the way we seem to kowtow to international opinion. What have these people done for us lately, other than to belittle, insult and provoke us? With all due respect to countries such as Romania, Poland and others that I see out here in Afghanistan and elsewhere, that WE are underwritng for the sake of putting an “International” face on the conflict here, why don’t we just use that money were it would be better spent, instead of all these cuts that do nothing but hurt us in the long run?


Because WELL AFTER THE FALL OF THE SOVIET UNION, the USAF has been reorganized. The “fighting force” of the USAF is now 10 AEF (Air Expeditionary Force) that are on a rotational schedule so that within 24 hrs a AEF can be in theater with more (up to 3 IIRC) arriving within a week & still more (up to 7 IIRC with the understanding that IF all 7 were required that they would not necessarily all be at full strength & that by the time they all arrived that those that had arrived earlier would have already been weakened) within a month. Not to mention the fact that the ENTIRE US military is build around fighting not just ONE conflict at a time…

The F-22 is an Air Dominance Fighter (not a bomber) to replace the F-15 (not the F-117), the only ‘bombing’ it is intended to do it that DIRECTLY related to its Air Dominance role — meaning SEAD/DEAD.



Spare us your ignorance &/or intellectual dishonesty. The defense budget had been SIGNIFICANTLY cut. The only reason why the total number even appears close to what it was before is that the Obama administration has switched the majority of the WAR FUNDING from supplimental appropriations to INTO the baseline defense budget.

I want to start my comment by saying that there are a lot of perple sounding off with BAD intel! let’s get some figures straight : 1 F-22 = 140 mil. , 1F –35 (price varies according to agenda). est. early production 100 mil. –200 mil. once the high rate production begins it is est. around 100 mil or as high as 120 mil. each ‚(you can forget all the BS about 80 mil.), F –15E 70 mil. aesa equipped excludeing targeting & jamming pods , F-15SE ( silent eagle) est. 100 mil. , F/A 18 E/F. 55 mil , F-18 G. ( growler) 60 mil, F –16 35 mil as high as 50 mil. with new aesa radars plus pods. all of these figures I have read from various sources. I think most poeple forget that this is 2009 everything cost crazy amounts of money , the CEOs need their multi– million dollar bonuses. I am an A&P mechanic and I have subscriptions to several aircraft magazines ‚so after you read all this BS about how the F22 is too expensive you know that it is just not true .

Guys, some of you are missing Sec Waynne’s core point…US Power Projection and Global Reach is in jeopardy with the program cancelations and funding cuts under way with this Administration. Some salient points from an Air Force perspective:

- The Air Force fleet ( fighter, bomber, tanker airlift) is the oldest on average that it has ever been. Weapon System failures due to fatigue such as experienced recently in the F-15C and C-130 fleet groundings can and most like will negate significant war fighting capabilities in the future. God forbid the aging KC-135 fleet is grounded before a replacement is contracted and fielded= essentially no power projection!

- Forward basing has been drastically reduced. We have just 3 fighter wings in the far Pacific and 3 in Europe with a squadron of air superiority fighters( F-15Cs) each. There is but one squadron of aging C-130’s in each theater. These Pacific and European bases are at risk from conventional missile delivered runway denial munitions(think the North Koreans might have had that in mind with their latest IRBM tests). The bulk of AEF assets are tied down in the Gulf supporting OIF/OEF forces.

- The F-22 with its supersonic cruise, stealth and BVR air-to-air attack capability is crucial to air superiority over any large scale conflict today and in the future. Remember that in every conflict since Vietnam we have we have operated against third and four tier opponents where we had almost an immediate air superiority because offensive surprise and their inferior capabilities and numbers. That will not be so over the Straights of Taiwan with China controlling the time of hostilities, and employing a deadly long range Integrated Air Defense System with “double digit” SAMS and high numbers of 3rd and 4th generations fighters. ( See the USN’s new problems concerning getting to the fight with China’s supposed anti-Carrier strike weapon in the 13 Apr “The Early Brief”).

- Large conventional wars are not a thing of the past. Can you envision China’s retaking Taiwan triggering the North Koreans invading South Korea or vice versa ( anyone thinking that a Trillion dollar investment or the loss of the WallMart contract will inhibit the PRC doesn’t understand the mindset of a five thousand year old society or the PLA). And certainly the dynamics of a Pakistan/India/China conflict could come about in a heartbeat as we have seen recently.

- As the world’s only superpower we have no choice but to be prepared to control the outcome of any near term or future global conflict, whether on the strategic or low intensity level.
The current flavor of the month is the WOT but the former AF Chief of Staff, Gen Moseley, at the Combat Air Forces Weapons and Tactics Conf in 2008 warned his warfighters about casting the next conflict in the light of the last one’s tactics and technologies. We cannot afford not to have the edge in the next conflict whether now or in a decade from now. Pres Obama and Sec Gates need to remember that the number one priority of the US National Command Authority is to protect its citizens…that means adequate investment in manpower, technology, balanced and far superior weapon systems and a robust defense industry. History has taught the Pearl Harbor’s, Dunkirk’s and 911’s result from not understanding this!

Some of us are glad that the Defense Department has Gates and the President is Obama. After the sad history of Bush, Rumsfeld and the rest of that crew, we finally have intelligent leaders. Not only to we have superior weapons of all types, we have the greatest fighting force of men and women in the entire world. And right along with them we have the best industrial and government work force to make sense of this absolutely insane world we now have to live in. When, after 200 years we end up fighting pirates on the sea, along with running around the mountains of Afghanistan and street fighting in Iraq, we need brains more than braun. When we use our God-given talents as people and as a country, we do great. Don’t worry about the F-22, we will do OK. Debates like this are a good example of our democracy. They simply do not take place in many other parts of the world.

OK, after reading these blogs and understanding many who have offered an opinion really do not know what they are talking about, the bottom line here is what? It is not about the F-22 or any other aircraft; it is about Def Sec Gates and what he is doing to the Air Force and their capabilities to own the sky day or night in any weather. I think it is agreed his plans are now exposed and are NOT in the best interest for the A/F nor for the USA. Some have said this is history repeating itself with comparison to the President Carter era. This is true, however the one thing that is not touched on is the fact that President Obama is not experienced enough to realize just what Sec Gates is doing to the A/F and to the USA. So, that being the case, what do YOU and I do about it? What CAN we do about it? It is not that the public is not interested; it is they are concerned about keeping or finding a job for themselves and keeping their homes.

Now that said, the attributes of the F-15C are many for a 30+ year old aircraft that was designed 40 years ago. Also, it was not too long ago that the war games in India the A/F had resulted in the Indian A/F handing the USAF F-15C drivers their heads as they flew the latest Russian fighters against them. We LOST big time and the embarrassment still lingers. Also, there were many foreign fighter pilots that sat up and took notice of this good but old and out dated capability the USAF depends so much on. You must remember, the role or mission of the F-22 is totally different that that of the F-35. Just as the role or mission of the F-15 is different than the F-16.

The problem not being addressed here is that the bean counters since McNamera have been running the show at the SecDef level. Now the bean counters are saying we are spending too much on force modernization when we need to give that money to needy and greedy banks instead. Say goodbye to the best armed forces in teh world, we will be relegated to the hollow military of the 1970’s again (deja vu).
I was there, I remember the sorry state we were in under Carter.

“Former Air Force Secretary Mike Wynne argues below that Defense Secretary Gates’ acquisition decisions last week reflect that the United States is focused so intently on “becoming the armed custodians in two nations, Afghanistan and Iraq” that the country is engaging in a “strategic drawdown.” I thought Wynne might have some interesting thoughts on the Gates decision, especially given the scale of the cuts to the service he used to lead so I asked him to write something for Buzz readers.”

Wasn’t Wynne the guy that allowed the Air Force to fall into decadence and decay? These guys(Chaney, Wynne and the rest of em)had their chance, they screwed it up. When you screw things up as bad as they did you are not in any position to criticize anybody about anything. My advice to them is, enjoy your retirement.

For people who like citing that ridiculous Red lag exercise…please read this: http://​kuku​.sawf​.org/​A​r​t​i​c​l​e​s​/​1​3​9​.​a​spx


“if the defense budget is going to inscrease how come it seems to me that we are getting a hell of a lot less for our money.”

Wasteful practices causes prices to escalate in defense. Lots to do with ineptitude and politics.

The F 22 is more important for the jobs than any military utility.

If I had a choice between the F-22 and the F-35 I would take the F-22 cause I’ve seen it fly, But thats not my call to make, it’s the SECDEF’s call, he did, thats good enough for me. From what I understand the F-22 cost a lot more money than the F-35(feel free to correct me if I’am wrong)plus a lot of our allies are buying the thing(F-35). The deal was made during the last administration, I guess you cant go back on a deal half way through, can you? that would be bad for buisness. If Gates made the wrong decision only time will tell. I think I’ll reserve my comments about it until then. Besides, we are still buying some of the F-22’s, just not as many.

I agrre with Cole April 15th, 2009 at 7:00 pm.

And aside from all the promotion and so called projected use as a jack of all trades. let’s get to the truth, The F-22 sole mission is to knock the adversaries SH#T out of the sky. Air Supremacy of the battle space by ranging over large swaths of sky using it’s advantages of speed, stealth, integrated sensors/avionics and weapons. This is a prime enabler of everything else we do with other weapons systems. The Secretary has determine the number required to meet that requirement against the projected threats of the forseeable feature.

After reading many of the blogs I see the all about me mentality! Most talk about needing to spend money on a strong defense, but look around! We have the highest unemployment rate in 25 years. We have more homeless people in the US then ever before because they lost their jobs, lost their homes and living in tents. Unemployed personnel are not paying taxes. Homeless people are not paying taxes. It’s simple math folks…if you dont have monies going into the pot you cant have monies coming out of the pot. A smaller pot of money means you got to cut something to pay for something else. With that said, what do you cut? Do you tell the unemployed auto worker, bread winner of the family from Michagin, that his unemployment will not be extended because it is more imporant that we have the money for defense and the F-22? It is easy for those of us currently employed (and I work for the DoD) to say defense is more important the unemployment but I bet the auto worker would beg to differ. Just like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, psychological (food) comes before safety. How many of you are willing to pay an addional 1 percent tax to fund the F-22??

The current administration has the tough call; and I wouldn’t to be in their shoes.

On a side bar, how many of you bloggers are driving a foreign vehicle or prefer to buy that foreign product because you believe it to better? Don’t you think the profits from that is used to beef up our adversary’s military? All I can say is, …

“Buy American…the next job you save maybe your own”

I work on a rather high level of the F-22 and I believe Gates decision is sound.

The whole issue revolves around the question: “What will the world look like in 20 years, 30, and 40?” The F-22 is in production, yes, but how many will be combat capable in 30 years? How many of 187 will be in the inventory then? The F-22 in stealth config carries 6 AMRAAMS and 2 Aim-9’s. The F-35 in air-to-air stealth config will be 4 AMRAAMS, no Sidewinders. That is a definite disadvantage. The F-22 cost is $ 140 M production cost; the current F-35 is around $ 80 M. In 20 years what will be the cost of the current production F-35?
So in 20 or 30 years, DoD decides another manned fighter is needed. The first $30 or $40 Billion will get you the first prototype! Nothing more.
It is just like the fire station down the street. I don’t need fighters, bombers, tankers, ships, etc. Until the bell rings! Then I need everything and I expect it to be the best and I expect all the experienced, expertly trained personnel needed to field the equipment.
Remember the Korean war? The top North Korean general has said that his country started its preparation for the war in 1948 when the US cancelled the new super carrier America and decided to put all the money in the B-36 bomber. It showed them that the US was going to protectionism and leaving the world stage.
Right now we have the direction to field more grunts on the ground with rifles and GPS. Meantime Russia and China are gearing up to catch us technologically. They will sell their products to other countries that will use them against us, like the Israel vs Arabic world arena. Been there, done that.
What was the US and the world like about 30 — 40 years ago? In 1972 the F-14 and F-15 were just coming out. The war in Vietnam appeared headed for peace. Jewish athletes were murdered at the Munich Olympics. North and South Korea moved toward unification.

The president has many decision to make regarding the DOD and the economy. Mr. Obama, like all presidents have a team of intelligent gentlemen working around the clock to ensure the success of this great nation. Lets look back at the last 8 years of the United States and understand that decision made then have and will continue to effect Obama’s first 4 years in office.

I am always amused when so many folks are given “snake-oil” so that they will miss the point. The true point of Sect. Gates’ actions is that he has to do what he did because this “fight” is actually a recurring battle between which Department in the Federal Government will be the lead Department. All this BS about weapons systems and cuts are merely ways to avoid the real issue of this battle between the Department of Defense and the State Department for which will be the dominant force into the next 4 to 12 years.
The Department of Defense has been the lead Department for nearly 30 years but that is clearly changing. Expect the Department of State to call the “tune” for the country under this and the next President. It will be a long time before the Defense Department has the opportunity to move into the dominant position it has held over the past couple of decades.
Whether this sea-change is good or bad for the country will play out over the next few years but never believe that this series of actions does not presage a major shift in power in the Nation’s Government!

The defense budget isn’t being CUT (the dollars are increasing). Our defense outlays/priorities are being reorganized to reflect todays realities.

Money is being taken away from programs of dubious value (i.e. corporate welfare programs) and is being focused on building our forces and buying weapons (etc) that support defeating threats that we are more likely to enounter.

The defense budget isn’t being cut. It’s being increased. Military​.com has done some excellent articles on the wasteful nature of some of these programs, especially the F-22.


It’s a bit hilarious to watch conservatives who claim to be opposed to waste throw a hissy when the waste being cut happens to be defense programs.

Ladies and gentlemen:
Every time the Democrats are elected, they cut the military. Barney Frank, that great military genius said “they don’t need all those weapons”. Alas, we cannot be prepared for every eventuality, but consider this: every dollar spent on weapons is spent in the US, or should be. This a far superior stimulus package than any the administration has yet devised.

How many times must the military go through massive cuts before we learn. Obviously the liberal voters who put Obama and his party in power have no idea or even care about the security of this nation. Now the DHS has declared that military veterans are a threat to America we see the true colors of this administration and its supporters. Gate is not a supporter of this nation, he is a politician who works only for his boss who is destroying America, not for its military and its security.

Is this how President Obama will pay for the stimulus deficit?

The thing that concerns me most about the F-35 are the reports that it is inferior to current Russian & Chinese aircraft. If this was coming from sources tied to competitors I’d be suspicious. But several comments have been coming from AF & Dod sources. It was said it was couldn’t turn or climb well when compared to current aircraft and that it did not have the speed to evade. I would feel much better about the plan if an independent group (not the GAO) did the assessment. I recall the last time we tried getting a common aircraft for all the services. I did not go well.

I forget how much money we lost in cost over runs on so called projects that did not work but I think it was well over 100 billion, thats a lot of money. Calling it cost over runs is putting it mildly, I call it thievery. From what I understand those were the projects that were cut and I say good riddance. There is no doubt in my mind that the money will be put in areas that will benefit the troops directly. The
President and the SECDEF made the right decision. The President and the SECDEF have a plan to increase the size of the Army, cutting the budget while increaseing the Military would be.….well, Bushlike, now theres a new word for you, Bushlike!! Heeehehehe Hahahaaaaa!!! any way this President is much smarter than that.

Why should we expect a foreigner/transplant; socalled self proclaimed ex-muslim make sure this country and our interests are safeguarded?
Consider this why would we make policy to not assassination of government heads when we have always known that it is better to cancel out an oppressor of mankind instead of putting this country in a huge debt by waging massive troop obligations to a country that isn’t doing anything to take back their country themselves. We helped the Aphgans take back their country from the Russians because they were doing everything in their capabilities to do the work. We made major mistakes waging these wars by involving our young men and women (our best of the best next generation) to die in a waste land that values fresh drinking water more than the oil that we made sure we didin’t square the debt by giving the liberating country cheap fuel. We made every mistake that could have been made because we were afraid of looking bad; we had no way out of that problem; we should have made the best of a bad situation and be damned what the others in the world think of us,Soooo we now must give what is left of our assets to the white collar crooks thinking the American public is ignorant when they are among the smartest people on the planet.

To not continue with procuring the latest weapons that the research and development have already been paid for Billions of dollars just to learn what we could add to our defenses only to have the Democrats strip our abilities to defend ourselves and look weak to the rest of the planet; getting our boots peed on by a chihuahua and taking it again. Has it bee so long we forget what Carter did to us; what Clinton did; why should we expect Obama to be different?

The problem with not staying the course when it comes to defense makes it necesasary for us to spend massive amounts of our wealth on defense. We know if we don’t get right and do it now we will see again our children murdered in the back allies of some third world country because the Democrats again raped our ability to defend our children who have always paid the price for this.

How Obama got the money (record breaking dollars obtained) for the campaign and how he swept the election when everyone I spoke to about the election said they were voting Republican, I’ll never know. I think its time to take the lections out of the ballet box and give us the e-adressed pin backup voting capability and stop the ballets sent in by dead folks; and the hanging chads to be scrutinized by those with an agenda counting the ballets. Our current system is suspect.

We need to stay the course; it took years to get us set up to be strong again, don’t stop the machine and finish what we start.

We need not worry about China as a threat. Ya sure. As Hitler marched into Soviet territory in 1941, Russia was transshipping rubber from Indo China to Germany. How could Hitler have cut his own econnomic throat that way???? China has many land ambitions and contro ambitions in its own back yard…Taiwan, Siberia, for ex. With American power projection enfeebled these ambitions may overcome desire for favorable balance of trade with America.
Much earlier, China’s neighbors will reach accomodations, to our detriment.

Unfortunately, the Air Force has been asleep for the last decade…but worse of all, it forgot how to dream! Gone are the days of von Karman, Arnold, Doolittle, Lemay, and Schriever. Innovation and technology were focused on faster, higher flying, smarter airplanes. Consider this: today’s fighter and bomber aircraft along with their employment are modern, updated versions of what was fielded 90 years ago in World War I at the birth of aerial combat. Don’t get me wrong, the F-22 is the most capable, exotic airwar machine ever built. But it represents an evolution along a line of air vehicles that represents a continuum without discontinuity. We need to begin growing leaders in the Air Force who are not afraid to think creatively and be willing to exploit the best technology this country has to offer in new and different ways. Very few senior leaders I know or served with have what it takes to risk their careers or reputations the way in the spirit of Mitchell, Spaatz, or Doolittle. The majority are limited by status quo accountability and winning funding to continue programs. It then requires an external force or leadership to say “that’s enough…we need to go a different direction.” Until new leadership appears, you’ll have guys arguing why this or that program is vital to the AF’s future. Carl Builder had it right…the Icarus Syndrome prevails.

All that said…No one does it better!

–to respond tithe person who responded to my comment , I relize that the procurement process needs to be revamped. These large corperation’s CEOs need to stop being so greedy
and put America first & not their bank account. ( maybe sit in on a history lesson subject : Mr Roy Grumman)
As for the F-22 , just spend the extra 50 billion and get 300 more Raptors and in 30 years as in the case of the F-15 we will be saying that was money well spent. I know that 50 billion seems like a lot but in the context of a 986 billion dollar stimlus package what’s another 50 billion going to hurt ., and at least your putting Americans on 48 states to work. They spend 30 billion or more a month in Iraq an we get exactly squat out of that money. (except for body bags filled with great Americans that should not be in them)

“Jack April 13th, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Ok. If the F22 is that needed why isn’t it fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Because Gates has continually refused to use the aircraft in combat! He’s been against upgrading the fleet all along and doesn’t want to let the aircraft be used in combat thus justifying more purchases.


Do a search on the history of the aircraft and when the AF tried to operationally deploy.

We’re heading to a military capability designed around current operations rather than a service than will be able to respond to unknown threats. A Paper Tiger, soon to be challenged.


PolicyWonk & MVCO,

Get your facts straight. The defense budget IS being cut.

You are either intellectually dishonest or are being fooled by the ploy of adding what was previously war supplimental spending to the baseline defense budget. So while the final number of the baseline budget is a bit higher than the last the amount being spent on baseline budget items has SIGNIFICANTLY decreased.

It isn’t clear that the F-22 is really needed. We can understand the notional idea of air-to-air combat against other 4th generation aircraft, but our adversaries may have an equivalent number of those aircraft. After all, they are expensive birds. On the other hand, there is no reason why we couldn’t field a UAV with air-to-air capability that certainly could outperform the F-22. The UAV ability to outmaneuver any manned aircraft is a positive factor. UAV control would remain an issue, but can be managed. I haven’t seen the trades involved but a fighter UAV seems possible.

Pfcem, you can go into hysterics and claim that the defense budget is being cut, but that doesn’t make it so. Besides, why did those who supported the war in Iraq lie so much about how little it was going to cost. We had good economists predict that the cost for that war would be at least in the $2 trillion range. Surely those who supported the Iraq war must hate America to have plunged into the war with such forecasts available. They surely didn’t care what would happen to the nation, as we have clearly seen. With that crowd, it’s all politics and the nation be damned. They got their wish.

Harry Horse,

Quite the opposite, It is VERY clear the F-22 IS needed. The F-15 fleet is already older than it should have ever been allowed to get & air superiority fighters superior the our F-15s are being (& will continue to be) procured by potential adversaries.

CUAV cabable of air-to-air combat are MANY DECADES away



The budget numbers make it so.

Nobody lied about how much the war in Iraq would cost. IF the war had gone according to plan it would not have cost so much. The problem is the Bush administration misjudged the aftermath. The “surge” SHOULD have occured in 2003/2004 rather than 2007 but we wanted to be seen a liberators rather than conquerors.


Who cares if the F-15 is old. We required 750 F-15s for air superiority in the Cold War. No comparable Soviet threat of yesteryear exists today or in the future that will drive the need for anywhere near as many air supremacy fighters. Modern fighters and air defense systems numbered in the teens to a few hundred are no threat to the U.S.

For all the crying and nashing of teeth over claimed future threats, one trend remains clear. The U.S. has raised the bar SO HIGH on air supremacy that no other nation (to include the U.S.) can afford to field the fighter numbers that used to be fielded. So why should foes even bother to try to fight us in the air? They know they will lose and their airfields and planes on the ground will be gone in under a week. What a futile waste of money and prestige. That is why the trend has shifted to mobile tactical ballistic missiles…the poor country’s air force.

Look at the defense budgets of the world and see the U.S. far and away the highest at $651 billion…yet even we have trouble fielding and supporting the procurement and O&S costs of our high tech stealth fleet.

Now look at China with just a $70 billion defense budget, about 1/10th of ours. How could they possibly field a fighter as good as ours in any substantial numbers? Same for Russia’s meager $50 billion defense budget. Even if they had the technology, they wouldn’t have the money.

Now look at the MANY MANY allies next highest on the list of substantial defense budgets. These friends will buy F-35s and their own air superiority fighters. These are all good guys who would be on our side in many scenarios against China and Russia. Why are we worried?

After China and Russia, you must get all the way down to Pakistan at number 23 in defense budget spending, with just a $7.8 billion budget…much of which is supplied by the U.S., before you start to run into a potential foe we might face. Number 27 Iran: $6.3 billion. Number 30 North Korea: $5.5 billion and starving. Number 33 Algeria: $5.0 billion. Please tell me how you expect such nations to field a large effective fighter and air defense threats on such meager annual defense budgets?

Ten high tech $100 million stealth fighters would be one billion dollars or roughly 1/5th to 1/6th of most second tier foe’s ENTIRE ANNUAL DEFENSE BUDGET before they train pilots, maintain, and operate those 10 aircraft. It is ridiculous to believe any of those foes could afford a high tech fleet like ours.

Yet many of these smaller threat nations CAN field large standing armies with low paid conscripts on a relatively moderate to small defense budget. These potential foes can afford to practice guerilla and hybrid warfare in threatening their neighbors and attempting to kill us if we should intervene. They can hug civilians and hide in complex terrain to thwart our best airpower efforts.

Quantity once had a quality all its own…before quality made itself invisible to enemy radar and could fire beyond visual range at targets seen from the moment of their take-off. Even quantity in mediocre or outdated form requires billions of dollars our potential foes simply do not have.

I don’t know what planet you were on during the Carter years, but I was on active duty flying F4s in the AF…not much flying because Carter reduced O&M money to the point that most of the AF was not combat ready…our accident rates were horrible and it was a tough time to be in the military. There is no partisanship in these facts.…the Carter years were dangerous, his policies allowed US military readiness and capability to sink to unthinkable levels.
You and most supporters of Gates’ defense notions on air combat wouldn’t know an F-pole, from a MAXcl turn to a high yo-yo from the constipating cheese in an MRE. Try an WVR engagement a Su30 armed with an AA11 and a HMS with an F18 and see how that comes out…but you wouldn’t know about that??

I was surprised to read about Boeing’s new F-15SE. It has been kept kind of quiet. Could this be a “stop gap” until the JSF is ready? Why isn’t the Raptor being sold to Japan? We are all concerned with the Chinese, so why not equip the Japanese with the F-22? The ROK airforce is said to be on the list to recieve the new F-15SE, has anyone read about this?

Why in the hell would we buy the F-15SE for 100 million ( Boeing’s sugested price) when we can get the Raptor for 140 million . the Raptor is so far beyond the F-15 in any configuration . As for the person who stated that the raptor ” doesn’t even have any targeting pods to deliver bombs .With the raptors radar it does not need targeting pods , the raptor can localize , fix , and target anything on the ground , it’s radar is that good!! As for Gates ‘s decision to end production of the F-22 the concentrate on F-35 ( bomb truck) , just look at Vietnam when we used a bomb truck ( f-4) for air to air we struggled and if we would have had a more capable fighter it would have saved a lot of lives and who knows the outcome might have been different. Mr. Gates must have forgotten the lessons of Vietnam .

The F-15SE is a waste.. probably not very stealthy ( ~1 sqm RCS probably ), its LO CFTs don’t carry much, and the a/g CFTs are not stealthy.

The only real solution is a mass production of F-35.

And even if the F-15SE is “good”, it is still not developped, it would take years to finish it and flight test it. That would completly mess up the F-35 program.

The F-35 will reach IOC in 2013, possibly even 2012 with an accelerated plan, so it won’t necessarily be available before the F-15SE.

after I mean..

and any money that goes to the F-15SE doesn’t go to the F-35, the it would delay the F-35.

did you folks read the article in air​-attack​.com the the F-35 program had been breached most lilly from china , and that terabites of tech. info had been copied. Why spend billions of dollars on R&D when you can just steal it. You would have thought that we would have learned that lesson back in the 1940s with the Russians and the A-Bomb program . WE NEED TO TIGHTEN UP!!

Just one more comment about this subject: A lot of people ask why the F-22 Raptor is not over in iraq fighting and the answer is that Mr . Gates would not let the AirForce deploy it . The AirForce wanted to, but were told they were not aloud to deploy it. It’s all part of Mr. Gates plan to end the production of the Raptor. His reason was that the Iranians might not like it. ( because they fear the Raptor’s capability) Who gives a … what the Iranians think!! That excuse is a bunch of BS!

When are military leaders and politicians actually learn from history. If we focus all of our efforts on a certain conflict then we are left vulnerable. After WWII the Air Force was focused on Strategic Nuclear warfare. Then Vietnam kicked off and we didn’t know how to fight. After that we focused on Tactical Nuclear warfare and killing Russian Tanks in the Fulda Gap. Then Desert Storm kicked off. We didn’t know how to fight there and had to quickly learn how to fly medium altitude tactics instead of tactical single ship nuclear bombing missions. The problem is that war was not as lethal during Vietnam and the Iraqis gave us time to train and get caught up. War is too fast and too lethal to try to play catch up against 5th generation fighters with DRFM jammers and SA-10/20 SAM systems. All the predators and reapers we buy are useless in a high threat conflict unless we are just going to use them as expensive decoys. If we continue to focus only on the current conflict then we might as well plan on massive loss of American lives if we ever have to defend US interests against a formidable foe. We need a defense secretary who actually has some foresight and will not just let history repeat itself.

i read about the comment, it make me madder, continue the production of the F-22, the job of the dept. of defense is to give best equptment to the military. you dont sell your top of the line fighterjet to other country, YOU KEEP IT FOR YOURSELF WHEN THE TIME COME to fight


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