Millenial fever at MoJo?
Do you guys have millennial fever? First you took Shell Oil money for your banner ads and now you’re trying to make the dirty intervention in Kosovo a heroic thing. I guess the end of 1999 had to mark the complete sellout of Mother Jones.
Don’t cripple the Air Force
I have to take exception to your assertion that “With the Cold War rationale for F-22 in tatters…” there is no longer a need for upgrading America’s Air Arsenal. Just because the Iron Curtain has fallen, does not in any way stop the Russians from exporting their fighters and their technology. Indeed, the economic conditions in the former Soviet Union almost demand that they do so! You also failed to include the fact that France, Sweden, Germany, and Israel ( just to name a few ), also make very capable fighters and are just as capable of exporting their technology as we are. F-16s are already 20 years old and experiencing a number of mechanical problems ( as recently disclosed in an Arizona Republic article dealing with pilot training at Luke AFB in that state ). The F-15 is older than that.
Another recent article disclosed a huge disparity between our Navy pilots flying F-14s and F-18s and Israeli pilots flying F-16s ( their own KFIR fighters are at least as capable as the F-16!). In this article, discussing war games between the two nations, the Israeli’s were able to “down” 220 of our aircraft, while our pilots were only able to “down” 20 of theirs! The overall score for both air-to-air and ground attack competitions was 20 to 1 in favor of the Israeli’s! The results have been denied by both nations to protect the U.S. from embarrassment!
However, the truth is we are currently in a very bad situation. Cutbacks in pilot recruitment and retention, coupled with cutbacks in training have led to a much less capable fighting force, in spite of our overwhelming successes in Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo. It is our superior weaponry which makes allowances for less than the best in piloting. That is not to say that we don’t have some superior pilots, but, as the Israeli war games pointed out, as a whole there is much room for improvement. Continued downsizing and cuts in spending are to blame for this situation. Those cuts, which I infer from your tone you supported, when combined with the cuts that your article supports, will only lead to an Air Force that will barely be able to compete with the poorest of countries, let alone those “oil rich” and/or emerging economies who would like to see the U.S. loose its dominant place in the world.
He’s got questions
Is there some grand plan that the un-elite are not privy to? Left as unchecked as it is will the barons of capitalism eventually prevail? Will their technology solve pollution? Will their mutated crops feed the multitude? Will their bombs bring peace? Will toxic waste not maim their children and their children’s children? Will the sacrifice of millions upon millions of people of color result in some sort of utopian monument to profit? Are those who cry foul and tilt lances at windmills merely out of the loop that propels the kings of the stock market and the west wing on to greater wealth and power? Why can’t there be a dialog established? Is polarization part of the plan and is it not working well? Can anyone be sparred as co-conspirators whether of intentional ilk or not? Are the answers beyond our evolutionary capability? Or will getting Warren Beatty elected be the beginning of the solution or part of the grand scheme the un-elite like myself are not privy to?