….suddenly there’s no money to provide our own military with state-of-the-art equipment it needs to maintain our national defense.
There is no single duty that a President has as Commander-in-Chief that is more important than ensuring the nation’s engines of defense remain at a level that will deter and defend against any attack upon America or its allies.
How is that going under the Obama Administration? As this is being written, the U.S. Air Force and Navy are seeking alternative ways of powering their aircraft after having been ordered to cut fuel costs by $20 billion. The Obama solution includes an August test flight of the C-17 transport aircraft attempt to fly missions on tallow, which is a nice way of describing animal fat.
The push for biofuels notwithstanding, the notion approaches absurdity considering the fact that, beneath the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, there are millions of untapped barrels of oil to power military aircraft. The absurdity is compounded by the White House attempt to shut down deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico which has been struck down by the courts not once, but twice.
My interest in the status of our air defense was piqued while watching a recent C-SPAN broadcast of some Senate committee discussing funding of the C-17. I paid scant attention until one senator said, “We don’t have the money.” Suffice to say, that caught my attention.
Of course we have the money! There are billions unspent in the failed “stimulus” act and millions more wasted weekly across the spectrum of a government that funds all manner of idiotic “research” programs of dubious value. Some $20 million was just spent on signs touting construction projects funded by the stimulus bill.
As Frank Gaffney, the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, recently noted, “Barack Obama came to office promising to ‘fundamentally transform’ America.” Gaffney and others are increasingly concerned that Obama is “changing the United States from ‘the world’s sole superpower’ to a nation that may require the permission, or at least the help, of others to project power and defend its interests around the globe.”
Nothing invites mischief and outright attack more than weakness. Theodore Roosevelt said, “The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer.” The latter is a good description these days of Iran.
“The backbone of America’s power-projection capability is its ability to get to a fight ‘the firstest with the mostest,'” wrote Gaffney. Something tells me that doing it with aircraft fueled by slaughterhouse renderings is a very bad idea.
No less important is the future of our fighter jet fleet. It is the subject of a huge congressional debate concerning the next generation of fighters, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). More specifically, the debate involves the engine to power it. But the rub doesn’t involve which engine to use; the argument is whether the F-35 engine should be sole-sourced to a single manufacturer or whether production should be shared by two manufacturers.
Production on the F-35 is increasing but testing is not expected to be complete before 2014 and the engine issue remains unresolved. The Obama Administration now considers avoiding the risk of a systemic sole-source engine failure as a luxury and seems willing to back up that position.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has reportedly urged President Obama to veto the 2011 defense authorization bill if the final version includes any money for the GE/Rolls Royce engine.
I cite this to alert you to the irrationality that is driving decisions affecting our most vital national defense capabilities.When a Secretary of Defense proposes a veto ofan entire defense authorization over an additional engine for the next generation of fighter jets we’re witnessing something that’s not just absurd; it’s reckless.
The notion that we can’t afford a second F-35 engine is not true. What we cannot afford is to permit our jet fighter fleet and our air transport fleet be put at an indefensible risk when the fate of the nation rests upon both. Right Side News