The Reasoned Review

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Flotsam and Jets

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President Obama successfully threatened a veto to sink a 1.75 billion dollar plan to update our F-22 fleet today in a rare, anti-militaristic gesture.  With his bellicosity toward Afghanistan and the unceasing rain of rockets upon Pakistan, Mr. Obama was beginning to pass for his predecessor. Yet it was a move borne mostly of pragmatism, rather than humanitarianism.  The F-22 is something of an embarrassment for the Department of Defense. Originally hailed as an unanswerable weapon against the Soviet Union, their debut coincided with the Comrade’s decline, and they haven’t really been used since.

The military trend of late has not been toward large-scale confrontations, but small-scale counterinsurgency wars.  The lesson of Vietnam was “do not commit US troops”, and we followed it well through the eighties in Central America – but 40 years is a long time to remember,  and we are once again stuck in the quagmire. Mr. Obama knows that the F-22 will help us against the Talib no more than the F-16 did against the VC – hence the switch to weapons more precise (“surgical”, in military parlance) such as the infamous “drone” rockets which now light the Pakistani sky. (On a related note – the news descriptions of these drone attacks bear strong resemblance to the German V2 rocket of yesteryear).

What Mr. Obama does not wish to admit – indeed, what it appears he cannot admit – is the similar inefficacy of all our military actions in that region. If the F-22 has not found success in “promoting our interests”, then surely the rest of the military deserves review.


Written by pavanvan

July 22, 2009 at 12:06 am

Posted in Policy, War

Tagged with , , , , ,

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