The DoD is the biggest welfare program going. We don’t need to spend half of all military spending. Maybe we should give up our dreams of never ending military superiority and try to live in peace with the world.
This not the first generation to be hung on a cross of iron, but no we can no longer afford it.
Some people like to knock the Lockheed Martin F-22 for costing $140 million a piece, excluding all expenses for development and spares (which takes the price all the way up to $350 million/copy?).
But not to worry! The next fighter coming along Lockheeds F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is supposed to be based on affordability, with a (formerly projected) flyaway cost at roughly one-third of the F-22s price tag using 2001 dollars.
So, lets see how the F-35 measures up.
The US Navy and US Marine Corps plan to buy a total of 680 F-35Bs and F-35Cs over the next 15-20 years. The FY2009 budget contains budget projections for the remainder of the program. Note that this includes only procurement (flyaway) cost. Amortized development and spares costs are excluded.
Year Aircraft Average unit cost/aircraft
FY2008: 6 $184.2 million
FY2009: 8 $200.2 million
FY2010: 18 $172.3 million
FY2011: 19 $146.4 million
FY2012: 40 $124.4 million
FY2013: 42 $115.1 million
Remainder: 547 $109.3 million
Total: 680 $115 million
(A little more than one-third of an F-22s cost. But thats just Navy/Marine figures. Our Air Force is buying the most, in the A version. Were on schedule for almost 2500 of em for all service branches; we likely wont be able to afford 250 total, w/ about 68 going to the Navy/Marines. Guns or butter, eh?)
Is that you, Dr. Paul?
Did it ever occur to you there's relative peace with the world because we spend around half of all military spending?
You see our allies long ago gutted their defence capabilities to pay for their unsustainable social welfare states. We've picked up the slack.
Under Carter we dropped to 3% of GDP in military spending. Reagan got it up near 5% and finally ended the Cold War. Clinton brought it back down to 3% and we ended up with 9/11. Bush got it back up and now Obama's got us almost back to 3% even with the wars.
We're not going broke because of "the wars" which have cost only $1 trillion over 10 years. Compare that to $1 trillion in stimulus.
We're going broke because of failed social programs that are far afield from constitutional mandates.
How bad are our allies? Let's look at Libya and NATO.
The UK had no carrier available because 2 of its 3 carriers have already gone to scrap and the 3rd it set for retirement short term with a gap of several years where it will have no carriers.
When it finally completes one, it won't have aircraft because the F-35 JSF is running behind schedule and they've already scrapped their Harrier fleets.
France has one carrier that had to return to port for maintenance shifting flights to land bases far off, increasing fuel use along with wear-and-tear.