Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Gates On the F-35

Uncle Jimbo has a piece in the WashTimes trying to decide who won this debate between SecDef Gates and SecDef Gates:
Robert M. Gates is on his farewell lap as secretary of defense and is making his final speeches to the service academies. He also seems to be debating himself in the process. He made the following remarks to Army cadets at West Point:

“And I must tell you, when it comes to predicting the nature and location of our next military engagements, since Vietnam, our record has been perfect. We have never once gotten it right, from the Mayaguez to Grenada, Panama, Somalia, the Balkans, Haiti, Kuwait, Iraq and more - we had no idea a year before any of these missions that we would be so engaged."

“The need for heavy armor and firepower to survive, close with and destroy the enemy will always be there, as veterans of Sadr City and Fallujah can no doubt attest.”

As Jimbo so eloquently states, "Thats common sense right there"

He [Gates] also said this:
“In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as Gen. MacArthur so delicately put it.”

So now we've eliminated two whole continents and the center of Islamic extremism.

Now Lets hear the SecDef at the Air Force Academy:
“That includes the requirement for more sophisticated, high-end capabilities. I’ve said before that it would be irresponsible to assume that a future adversary - given enough time, money and technological acumen - will not one day be able to directly threaten U.S. command of the skies.

“So even as I’ve touted the need to incorporate the lessons of the current conflicts, I have also committed the Department of Defense - and this country - to the most advanced and expensive tactical fighter program in history - the $300 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The department is programmed to buy 2,400 of these aircraft, and the first Air Force training aircraft will arrive at Eglin Air Force Base in just over two months. Having a robust, large quantity of fifth-generation tactical air fighters is something I view as a core requirement, and in this era of increasing budget constraints, my goal has been to ensure that core capabilities for all the services are protected. This has meant increasing development funding for the F-35, scaling back or cutting other programs that are not as essential and intervening directly to get the program back on track, on budget and on schedule.”

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