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In Today’s News June 25, 2009

Posted by Stephen Abott in News.
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  • Congress has issued a direct challenge to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, over the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter. Gates wants to end production of the $150-million-a-pop, super-plane, at 187 copies, in favor of more armed drones and intelligence aircraft. But Congress wants at least 12 more Raptors, and is willing to pony up the cash.
  • Like so much else in Washington, the debate over the F-22 has become theater. When on April 6 Gates said he wanted to end production of the F-22 at 187 aircraft, he told reporters that: “The military advice that I got was that there is no military requirement for numbers of F-22s beyond the 187.”
  • Simply canceling programs is not reform. The defense budget for fiscal year 2010 has been presented to Congress only in pieces. And what has not been provided is justified by a defense strategy issued in a previous administration. It’s been unsettling to listen to the thin explanations of program cuts during testimony and press questioning.

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