Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



Thompson Files: Experts are right on F-22

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Loren B. Thompson
Arlington, Va. (UPI) Nov 13, 2007
Believe it or not, the Bush administration is run by smart, hardworking people who are committed to protecting the American Dream for future generations. You don't get a top job on the Bush team unless you are highly qualified, and you don't seek a top job unless you are highly motivated. So why do public opinion polls indicate that vast swaths of the electorate doubt the administration's competence or integrity? Well, it's partly because of Iraq and Katrina, and partly because of the biases harbored by many journalists.

But there is another reason for the administration's low standing that seldom gets acknowledged among supporters: The Bush administration doesn't listen to experts. It thinks it knows better than all those academics what the Iraqi people want, why budget deficits aren't a problem, and how to deal with global warming. And guess what -- a lot of the time, the administration turns out to be right!

For example, the economy is doing remarkably well despite continuous attacks on administration economic policies by experts since Bush first took office. Nonetheless, if you think that expert analysis can be ignored in policymaking anytime it doesn't give you the answers you want, you're eventually going to make some pretty big mistakes.

There's a clinical case of that defect unfolding right now in the Pentagon as senior policymakers assemble the administration's proposed defense budget for fiscal 2009. The U.S. Air Force has repeatedly stated that it must buy 381 stealthy F-22 fighters in order to preserve global air dominance to mid-century. That is the number required, after you subtract test, attrition and training aircraft, to equip each of 10 expeditionary air wings with a squadron of 24 fighters.

Unless each air wing has such a squadron, the Air Force says, it will not be able to sustain rotations in future wars just as the Army today is having trouble sustaining rotations in Iraq. Substituting less capable fighters would make it much harder, maybe impossible, to preserve the air dominance crucial to every other facet of U.S. military success.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England doesn't agree. He thinks he elicited a commitment from Air Force leaders during deliberations on the quadrennial defense review to terminate the F-22 program at 183 planes, and he intends to hold the service to that commitment.

But there's a more important issue here than who said what two years ago. What, precisely, is the analytical or operational rationale for terminating the F-22 at 183 planes? The world's pre-eminent repository of air-power expertise says it needs 381. Is there some other authoritative source of insight into the right number?

It turns out there are three such sources, because three separate studies on the subject were commissioned during the quadrennial review -- including one requested by England himself from the same outfit that provided an earlier plan for streamlining naval aviation.

So what do the studies say? The Pentagon won't tell us, though millions of dollars in taxpayers' money was spent to prepare the studies. And here's why the Pentagon won't tell us: Each study concluded that 183 F-22s isn't enough. They all found a requirement for more, with the analysis requested by England recommending a number somewhere in the 250-aircraft range.

In other words, policymakers are once again ignoring expert analysis because it doesn't match their personal preferences. Perhaps it is time for Congress to see what the experts found, so that it can come to its own conclusion about how many F-22s the nation really needs.

(Loren B. Thompson is chief executive officer of the Lexington Institute, an Arlington, Va.-based think tank that supports democracy and the free market.)

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
The latest in Military Technology for the 21st century at SpaceWar.com



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Raytheon Selected For Army Common Sensor Payload
Mckinney TX (SPX) Nov 13, 2007
The U.S. Army has selected Raytheon Company to provide a common sensor payload for manned and unmanned aircraft in a program that could represent more than $1 billion in potential sales. The initial $11 million order to Raytheon is part of an indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity contract award that includes options up to $1.2 billion. The program calls for design and development, testing and air vehicle integration of a variant of Raytheon's Multi-spectral Targeting System.







  • US informs Nigeria of plan to set up military command in Africa
  • India committed to boosting ties with Russia
  • Russian parliament votes freeze on CFE treaty
  • SKorea, US concerned about NKorean missiles

  • Outside View: Russia ready to leave INF
  • Iran denies rejecting UN nuclear chief visit
  • Armed gangs target SAfrican nuclear facility
  • Pakistan nukes under control: Musharraf

  • Raytheon Delivers 3000th Joint Standoff Weapon To The US Navy
  • Raytheon Standard Missile-3 Achieves Dual Intercepts In Space
  • Pakistan missile attack kills 10, militants parade troops
  • Analysis: Israel ups airline defenses

  • Proposed missile defense upgrade for Taiwan announced
  • Missile Tit-For-Tat
  • Outside View: BMD base fears
  • Israel gets US aid for anti-missile system

  • Time Magazine Recognizes The X-48B
  • Virgin to offer carbon offsets alongside drinks and perfume
  • NASA sorry over air safety uproar
  • Airbus superjumbo makes first commercial flight

  • BAE Systems Wins Unique Approval For Unmanned Air Systems
  • Elbit Systems To Supply UAV Systems To The Israeli Defense Forces
  • Unmanned Air System Project For South Coast Formally Launched
  • SDS Awarded Contract By USAF To Enhance MQ-1 Predator Training System

  • Hidden outlays to push war costs to 3.5 trillion : Democrats
  • US military meets recruiting goals
  • Feature: Marines target smugglers
  • Poland's Iraq mission to end in 'current form': incoming PM

  • Thompson Files: Experts are right on F-22
  • F-35 - The Great Escape
  • Direct Hit For Typhoon
  • Raytheon Selected For Army Common Sensor Payload

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement