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"Do we need the world's best air superiority fighter right now?" was the line of questioning. "Or do we instead need improved attack aircraft to deal with what is overwhelmingly a ground threat?"
And how LockMart's executives panicked, and the LM public relations department frantically worked up a big push to rebrand the F-22 as the "F-A/22", claiming that it had amazing, unparalleled ground attack abilities to suppress jihadi insurgents in Iwreck and Trashcanistan. They put together a blizzard of costly ads in the trade and military press. Deluged Congress and the media with glossy new brochures.
Including the utterly unsubstantiated assertion that the electronics of the "F-A/22" would enable it to home in on insurgent jihadi cell phone communications!
I still have a couple of those old ads and brochures around here somewhere. I should scan them in.
Given the demonstrated total incompetence of the federal government and the defense prime contractors when it comes to information security, CANES should instead stand for Chinese Aggressively Neutralizing Every System.
Inside the D.C. Beltway, political insiders have a concept known as a "Kinsley gaffe".
That's when someone blurts out an unspeakable truth that is known to the political insiders of D.C., but meant to be kept away from the general voting public in the rest of America.
An assistant SECDEF committed a Kinsley gaffe last year when she said about the current administration's vaunted Pacific pivot that "candidly, it can't happen," because there simply is not enough money to do it.
The White House had her walking back her comment within hours, but the comment is nonetheless true. America's capacity to fight wars on the other side of the Pacific is steadily diminishing, not increasing.
Meanwhile, as America's ability to make good on security guarantees to Pacific allies shrinks, the administration hands out more and more of those security guarantees. Not too hard to see where this combination of factors is leading: to big trouble.
While at the same time the Obama administration have just announced that another forty thousand uniformed soldiers and officers will be slashed from the Army over the next two years. Plus nearly another twenty thousand Department of the Army civilian employees.
Pssssst! "Focusing" on a threat is fine. Except you have to be able to do something to that threat other than merely focus.
Sure. Except as a practical matter, by the middle Apollo years, booster flight test for Saturn got so dramatically telescoped with "all-up testing" that the boosters had been only minimally exposed to said critical design conditions.
And in terms of reforming their Stateside manufacturing operations, the Big Three never did really get things back under control. They never even tried to do so. They just rudely shoved as much component-level factory work as possible outside of the USA.
American shipbuilders said, "Pshaw, the old ways are the best ways, and besides, the unions would give us endless guff about working to rule." They hence stagnated on the productivity front.
Now the Navy is paying the price for having an industrial base who, guaranteed a flow of repeat business via political grease, are lazy and disorganized in assembly. High unit costs. Late deliveries. Low quality. Really the only hull community who are hitting their budget and calendar marks are the bubbleheads.
The next SECNAV after the current hapless crew depart would be well advised to brace for political heat, and competitively bid a _Ford_ class CVN to a South Korean yard. Dispatch a bunch of observers. And take copious notes.