Northrop had a flying wing fetish that started in the '30s, with some research going into a full-sized bomber that began before WW2.
The only Amerika Bomber that was a flying wing was a scaled up version of the Horten Ho 229, the Horten H.XVIII. The American product was probably further along.
Yes, Operation Paperclip was useful, but it's worth noting that magic Paperclip didn't save Northrop's wing from its later problems.
Indeed, wargaming and numerical simulation is necessary to quantify the qualifications that are brought into being with handwavium.
I think it may make more sense to state that will be used to exploit electronic data, as part of F3EAD
Because you just need a jammer to make life living hell. Or you have an inside man carry a brick of C4 into the "secret location" and decapitate the teleoperation system. Want to bet national security on a very, very weak link like that?
We always assume we're not going to fight nation-states...until they declare war on us, and the historians go in with the benefit of hindsight and point to faint data that is used to support their argument.
Pride and Honor is what resulted in the procurement of Tiger tanks when they needed less unicorns and more Panthers (or even long-barrel PzIV). Pride and Honor drove the Soviets to build the most extensive military-industrial complex in history (consuming ~20-30% of GDP).
"money and will" goes a long way to making many projects work.
We lack money and will at the moment.
That said, many of JSF's capabilities are tied up in the avionics...this is probably more software drama than hardware, especially since it is likely being built from scratch with little recycled source code. And given the Air Force's propensity to recycle as little as possible from previous aircraft...
Pretty sure the Harrier's payload in vertical takeoff is severely compromised. If you want vertical takeoff, helicopters are your friend.
It would be an astronomically expensive (ha ha) feat to maintain assets in space for a terrestrial intervention.
An ICBM was launched from an aircraft once...could always try that again.
Radar absorbent paint won't make a large dent in the radar cross section. Shape is probably a good deal more important, otherwise we would have slathered paint on all the things already.