How Corruption Cripples America’s Military

Eric Zuesse

America’s military budget is roughly 7.2 times that of Russia ($610 billion compared to $84.5 billion), but even Western news-accounts are saying that the weaponry produced in Russia is superior overall to the weaponry produced in the United States.

Compare the top-of-the-line fighter jets of the two countries: that’s the F-35 fighter-jet produced by the U.S. corporation Lockheed Martin, versus the Su-35 fighter jet produced by the Russian government (its wholly owned Sukhoi Company). The F-35 costs around $100 million per plane. The Su-35 costs around $65 million per plane.

The weaponry-expert David Majumdar headlined on 15 September 2015, “America’s F-35 Stealth Fighter vs. Russia’s Su-35: Who Wins?” He concluded: “Basically, an F-35 pilot should avoid a close in fight at all costs. It is highly unlikely that a U.S. Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC) would assign an air superiority mission to an F-35 unit if alternatives were available. But given the tiny fleet of [F-22] Raptors and dwindling F-15C fleet, it is possible that the JFACC could be forced to use the F-35 as an air superiority asset.”

In other words: the U.S. had stopped production of the better planes, the F-22 and the F-15C, which might stand a chance against the Su-35. The U.S. stopped production of those planes in order to replace them with the inferior and far costlier (and more profitable) F-35.

Earlier, on 6 December 2014, Majumdar had bannered, “Killer in the Sky: Russia’s Deadly Su-35 Fighter.” He wrote:

One U.S. Navy Super Hornet pilot — a graduate of that service’s elite TOPGUN school — offered a sobering assessment. “When taken as a singular platform, I like the Su-35’s chances against most of our platforms, with perhaps the exception of the F-22 and F-15C,” the naval aviator said. “I suspect the F/A-18E/F can hold it’s own and F-35 has presumed stealth and sensor management on its side.”

But one Air Force official with experience on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter said that the Su-35 could pose a serious challenge for the stealthy new American jet. The F-35 was built primarily as a strike fighter and does not have the sheer speed or altitude capability of the Su-35 or F-22. “The Su’s ability to go high and fast is a big concern, including for F-35,” the Air Force official said.

As an air-superiority fighter, its major advantages are its combination of high altitude capability and blistering speed — which allow the fighter to impart the maximum possible amount of launch energy to its arsenal of long-range air-to-air missiles. …

Another highly experienced veteran fighter pilot added that much about the Su-35 and the capabilities of the Russian military remain unknown.

Among these unknowns were the effectiveness of the Russian plane’s “electronic attack” capabilities. Here’s how that was described:

The addition of the electronic attack (EA) capability complicates matters for Western fighters because the Su-35’s advanced digital radio frequency memory jammers can seriously degrade the performance of friendly radars. It also effectively blinds the onboard radars found onboard American-made air-to-air missiles like the AIM-120 AMRAAM. …

Said another senior Air Force official with experience on the F-22 Raptor, “So, while we are stealthy, we will have a hard time working our way through the EA to target the Su-35s and our missiles will have a hard time killing them.”

The Su-35 also carries a potent infrared search and track capability that could pose a problem for Western fighters. “It also has non-EM [electro-magnetic] sensors to help it detect other aircraft, which could be useful in long-range detection,” the Super Hornet pilot said.

Another of the Su-35’s major advantages is that it carries an enormous payload of air-to-air missiles. “One thing I really like about the Su-35 is that it is a high-end truck: It can carry a ton of air-to-air ordnance into a fight,” the Navy pilot said.

On paper, that makes the Su-35 an extremely capable platform, but as one highly experienced F-22 pilot pointed out: “Whether they can translate that into valid tactics remain[s] to be seen.”

What, then, about that electronic-attack unknown?

On 13 September 2014, Voltairenet described on the basis of a 30 April Russian report, an incident on 12 April, in which the USS Donald Cook Aegis Class destroyer, loaded with missiles, entered the Black Sea, to threaten Russia, and a Russian Su-24 flew overhead, carrying a device that can turn off all electrical systems. Voltairnet said: 

As the Russian jet approached the US vessel, the electronic device disabled all radars, control circuits, systems, information transmission, etc. on board the US destroyer. In other words, the all-powerful Aegis system, now hooked up — or about to be — with the defense systems installed on NATO’s most modern ships was shut down, as turning off the TV set with the remote control.

The Russian Su-24 then simulated a missile attack against the USS Donald Cook, which was left literally deaf and blind. As if carrying out a training exercise, the Russian aircraft — unarmed — repeated the same maneuver 12 times before flying away.

After that, the 4th generation destroyer [Donald Cook] immediately set sail towards a port in Romania.

Since that incident, which the Atlanticist media have carefully covered up despite the widespread reactions sparked among defense industry experts, no US ship has ever approached Russian territorial waters again.

According to some specialized media, 27 sailors from the USS Donald Cook requested to be relieved from active service.

Later, on 31 March 2015, Ben Hodges, the Commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, issued, to Defense News, an incoherent statement against Russia, that:

the volume of artillery and rocket ammunition that has been expended [by Russia] is eye-watering. The quality of the electronic warfare [EW] capability that Russians have employed in eastern Ukraine, this is not something that you can create in the basement of your home. So when President Putin says, well these are just coal miners and tractor drivers, it is an obvious lie.

Despite Hodges’s attempt to bury in an insult to Putin, reference to electronic warfare capabilities on Russia’s part, that were “eye-watering” for Hodges, Defense News made clear what brought these tears to his eyes, when it reported on 4 August 2015:

Ukrainian forces have grappled with formidable Russian electronic warfare capabilities that analysts say would prove withering even to the US ground forces. The US Army has also jammed insurgent communications from the air and ground on a limited basis, and it is developing a powerful arsenal of jamming systems, but these are not expected until 2023. …

Hodges acknowledged that US troops are learning from Ukrainians about Russia’s jamming capability, its ranges, types and the ways it has been employed. He has previously described the quality and sophistication of Russian electronic warfare as “eye-watering.”

Russia maintains an ability to destroy command-and-control networks by jamming radio communications, radars and GPS signals, according to Laurie Buckhout, former chief of the US Army’s electronic warfare division, now CEO of the Corvus Group. In contrast with the US, Russia has large units dedicated to electronic warfare, known as EW, which it dedicates to ground electronic attack, jamming communications, radar and command-and-control nets.

Of course, Hodges hadn’t said that about “Russian electronic warfare,” he had actually said it about “the volume of artillery and rocket ammunition that has been expended.” But he never publicly objected to the news-media’s tacit acceptance of what had really  brought tears to his eyes. Everyone knew it. And it wasn’t “the volume of artillery and rocket ammunition that has been expended.” So, Hodges had dealt with his tears by insulting Putin, instead of by thanking him for having given the U.S. this harmless warning shot across the bow. (Would Hodges have preferred that this capacity continue to be hidden by the Russian side?)

Everybody in the know knows that the U.S. wastes on corruption most of the money it pays, for military, just as it does for health care, and for education, and for other governmental functions. The higher the governmental level is (such as in the White House, and in the Pentagon), the bigger the percentage of waste is, because the skimming is monumental at those higher levels. And for recent U.S. Presidents, they and the foundations they set up suck in billions of dollars, as delayed ‘compensation’ for the favors that the former President had thrown to the ‘donating’ billionaire.

The BBC headlined on 25 January 2016, “Putin Is Corrupt, Says US Treasury,” and three days later, Reuters headlined, “White House Backs Treasury’s View that Putin Is Corrupt.” (Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury Secretary himself is deeply corrupt, even if not as much as recent U.S. Presidents have been.)

The next day, January 29th, Britain’s Independent  headlined, “Russia’s ‘Rustbucket’ Military Delivers a Hi-tech Shock to West and Israel,” and reported:

It is this military might that is underpinning President Vladimir Putin’s strategic triumphs. His intervention in Syria has been a game changer and what happens there now lies, to a large extent, in his hands. The Ukraine conflict is semi-frozen, on his terms. The Russians are allying with the Kurds, unfazed by the Turkish anger this has provoked. And, crucially, they are now returning to Egypt to an extent not seen for 44 years, since they were kicked out by President Anwar Sadat.

One of the most senior analysts in Israeli military intelligence told The Independent in Tel Aviv last week: “Anyone who wants anything done in this region is beating a path to Moscow.”

If America elects yet another in the now-long succession, since 1980, of corrupt Presidents, it will be terrible not only for Russia, and for the countries such as Ukraine and Syria and Iraq that the U.S. is destroying, but also for the American people. 

On 31 August 2015, The Daily Beast bannered, “Petraeus: Use Al Qaeda Fighters to Beat ISIS,” and reported:

Members of al Qaeda’s branch in Syria have a surprising advocate in the corridors of American power: retired Army general and former CIA Director David Petraeus.

The former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan has been quietly urging U.S. officials to consider using so-called moderate members of al Qaeda’s Nusra Front to fight ISIS in Syria, four sources familiar with the conversations, including one person who spoke to Petraeus directly, told The Daily Beast.

Petraeus had organized the death squads in El Salvador and in Iraq, so he’s a natural for the global aristocracy to rely upon about such things. He’s even a regular attendee at the secret annual Bilderberg meetings.

On 16 November 2015, F. William Engdahl headlined, “Do We Really Want a New World War With Russia?” and he itemized the ways in which Russia’s military performance, in both Ukraine and Syria, has shocked the U.S. and its allies, especially. The main categories were: “Sukhoi SU-34 ‘Fullback’ fighter-bomber,” “New EW technologies,” “Killer Bumblebees,” and, “‘Status-6′,” which latter is “a new Russian nuclear submarine weapons system designed to bypass NATO radars and any existing missile defense systems, while causing heavy damage to ‘important economic facilities’ along the enemy’s coastal regions.”

Any U.S. President who would continue the effort started in 1990 by President George Herbert Walker Bush, to conquer and grab control of the resources of post-communist Russia, is insane, especially now, after the February 2014 U.S.-run coup in Ukraine crossed the line that Russia had repeatedly warned must not be crossed. If this effort ever stops, the ‘news’ media won’t report the U.S. gang’s retreat from this by-now 25-year-long war against Russia, which those same ‘news’ media have consistently refused to report. But even if they were to report it, no obligation by the West is so important as the obligation to stop  it — the obligation to call off the West’s Saudi-Qatari-Turkish-UAE-Kuwaiti-financed Sunni terrorists, and the rest of the West’s (via NATO, the IMF, etc.) war against Russia and against Russia’s Shiite and BRICS allies. 

On 28 May 2014, Barack Obama told future leaders of the U.S. military:

Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums.  …

It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world. The question we face, the question each of you will face, is not whether America will lead, but how we will lead — not just to secure our peace and prosperity, but also extend peace and prosperity around the globe.

If these sorts of lies are all that he can give us, then the Nobel Peace Prize Committee must demand he return his shameful 2009 Prize from them, right now. And why hasn’t the Committee already  demanded he return it?

American Presidents, and we, should leave Russia and its allies (including the BRICS and the non-BRICS such as Argentina) in peace, not pretend to support peace, when all that the U.S. actually spreads is invasions and wars — never-ending wars, and refugees from those wars, which are profitable only for the private investors in those private war-corporations or “contractors.”

Without that corruption, there would be a vastly smaller U.S. ‘Defense’ budget. The Pentagon isn’t even auditable. We have a good idea as to where lots of the real expenses are going. And it’s the opposite of ‘humanitarian’ or ‘pro-democracy.’ It’s arms to hire, or to invest in, by the world’s top kleptocrats — the people who control the lobbyists in Washington, who basically write America’s laws, and fund America’s politics.

Amongst all corrupt aristocracies (and that’s every  aristocracy), America’s takes the cake. But yet what has been a standard description which American leaders apply to the governments (such as Saddam Hussein’s, and Muammar Gaddafi’s, and Viktor Yanukovych’s) they’ve overthrown? It’s that they’re “corrupt.”

The International Criminal Court will begin to have credibility if and when it starts to prosecute American leaders such as George W. Bush and Barack Obama, but not a minute before that time. Western gangsters lead the world right now, and Western political leaders are their agents — merely fixers, for those elite gangsters.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • wunsacon

    >> even Western news-accounts are saying that the weaponry
    produced in Russia is superior overall to the weaponry produced in the
    United States.

    Eric, what is credible about Western “news” repeaters? I doubt anything they say hasn’t been purposely distorted to promote one of the objectives of TPTB. Maybe this is a repeat of historical hysteria about “gaps” and why we had to spend soooo much more money to fight the bogeyman. The day this “information” starts leading to HUGE CUTS to the bloated military budget is the day I believe this type of “story”. But, to be clear: I think reasonable minds can agree with your interpretation and inferences.

    • Don Robertson

      “[…] I think reasonable minds can agree […]”

      LoL Sure, were there any truly reasonable minds, which there clearly aren’t. ALL our rational human faculties are merely subjective realities tempered by overblown egos.

      Here’s a hint. Certainly no one tells the truth about military capabilities. No one ever has and no one ever will. And just as certainly, everyone tells vastly expansive lies about military inefficiencies.

      The same is true about geopolitical alliances. Putin is not the nemesis he’s made out to be in the brainwashing media. Putin is 100% is on our side. Things haven’t been better in Russia in a thousand years. Why would Putin rock that boat? He clearly wouldn’t. Exxon/Mobil is very busy doing oil exploration for the Russians right now. The world goes round and round, but until you examine the business relationships underlying all the propaganda, you’ll never figure out the direction the world turns every day.

      The purpose of these sorts of widespread and widely regurgitated reports should be obvious.

      They are directed at China, saying loudly and clearly, “Jump, MF’ers.”

      Jump, and before your feet relight upon the firm earth again, you’ll find out the rapid effects of a few military secrets. So, either jump, or bow very lowly!

      The atomic bomb is coming up very quickly upon being one-hundred year old technology.

      You think about that timeframe before you proffer some silly theory about military capabilities.

      LMFAO Some delusional dope-smoking alternative media clown is prognosticating deficiencies in the U.S. military on the Washington’s Blog. Woo-hoo, Homer.

      • wunsacon

        To be clear, I wasn’t agreeing with Eric’s argument either but held out the possibility others might. I agree with your observations/theory (many of which I’m sure Eric would as well), except that I don’t understand one of your points:

        >> The purpose of these sorts of widespread and
        >> widely regurgitated reports should be obvious.
        >> They are directed at China, saying loudly and
        >> clearly, “Jump, MF’ers.”

        In this context, what does the “Jump, MF’ers” metaphor mean? TIA.

        • Don Robertson

          The Chinese are beating their chests militarily. They’re being invited to jump, if they think they have something to show the world. Come on China! The U.S. of A. is weak, and coming undone! Jump!

          The Chinese are cowards, starving, backward, ignorant, and crude cowards, despite ten thousand years of history. They brag their economic might, when in fact, they cannot feed and clothe their own people. Their centrally planned economy is a bad joke that has collapsed.

          Life is cheap in China, very, very cheap. But the fear the Chinese oligarchs have will keep them in line. If China wants to be part of the modern world, it’s high time they allow their many shortcomings to be discussed in public by the Chinese people who are held under the yoke by those who laud over them.

          China has two choices at this juncture, revolution or war.

          They are currently catastrophically suffering both. China is a human wasteland of unimaginable, endless, generational human suffering.

          • wunsacon

            Thanks for explaining. Re your first paragraph, I share your suspicion the “we’re incompetent” meme is used in part to bait.

            Re the rest, I’m not sure how much of that is accurate or different from our own problems. While I can’t imagine you don’t know the BS machine works on all topics and is most directed at us locals, I can’t draw that inference safely from your post. So, in case it needs elaboration…

            Oligarchs run our government. They don’t feed their own people, unless you count the un-nutritional calories in bread (including the pulp filler added to some fast food breads) and HFCS. They pump people full of anti-depressants, b/c heaven help people if they go the Arthur Miller route and try to learn what their psychological pain might be telling them. If we’re not at the same juncture (revolution or war), perhaps it’s because we’ve already *chosen* war — *lots* of it and never-ending.

            Our non-war economy collapsed. Our statistics are gamed. “War” (in its various forms — remember this is a full-spectrum business) remains the only “healthy” business. And because it helps direct people’s anger abroad, our oligarchs sure don’t mind us sharing a “two-minute hate” occasionally about foreigners.

            Of course, I could be wrong. Reasonable minds can certainly disagree with the foregoing gloomy observations and inferences.

            >> MFAO Some delusional dope-smoking alternative
            >> media clown is prognosticating deficiencies in the
            >> U.S. military on the Washington’s Blog.

            I suggest you consider reading blogs more often. Not just because of the first WMD deceit (promoted by most of the “important” / “reputable” people, newspapers, and military brass) but over time, I’ve concluded there’s more “signal” information in blogs (like this) than elsewhere. People who aren’t “connected”, don’t work in the industry they’re reporting on, and never travel anywhere can essentially produce better information simply by reading voraciously on the internet. And that shouldn’t be surprising, because everyone who is connected, works in the industry, or travels is not only usually politically/socially/economically compromised but ultimately relies on reading reports prepared by other people anyway. In other words, it’s all a “game of telephone” anyway.

          • Don Robertson

            The dope issue is over. People who use dope are losers. My deceased mother was an alcoholic. AlcohoI is no different from dope. I have siblings who are drug addicts, and one who died of a heroin overdose.

            The dope puppy’s poop in Portugal is out of the closet with Portugal’s rapidly declining social efficacy and the incredibly high rate (and steadily rising) of Portugese prostitution.

            Blogs are a piss-poor way to get information. I read enough blog-blob to glean a little bit of he said, she said about the trends in daily events. But I prefer books. Muckraking at every level has gone from bad to worse, ignoring the important issues in favor of the tabloid issues .

            Here’s a question for you, since you seem immersed in the drug culture, and you’re in the habit of playing forty-questions.

            You do understand that marijuana is a narcotic drug, right?

            Because, that’s why users like pot so much. It’s why they attribute all sorts of magical properties to pot, curing cancer, PTSS and ignorance in one fell swoop. It’s that -narcotic love- that keeps pot smokers at elevated levels of self-satisfaction, leading them to believe they’re geniuses, while they put their lives at risk driving around getting stoned, while begging for incarceration, or someone to lace a joint for them with PCP, bath salts or heroin.

            I think just using dope, having dope in your possession, should be a capital offense, and should invoke summary execution. I suspect the war on drugs would be won then. The world does not need dope or more dopers. But maybe putting the heads of dope users on pikes in their communities would be required to bring the age of dope-related self-destruction to an end..

            They’re geniuses alright, potheads. As a group of people, included within that elite group of enlightened (what do you think of alcohol) pot smokers, are the users of all the other illegal drugs too.

            Dope is for dummies, dummies who think too much of themselves and their idiotic life choices. But the choice is yours, until it isn’t a choice any more, and you like so many other dope users, end up a 100% tax write-off tax burden on the rest of society.

          • wunsacon

            IIRC, don’t some Middle Eastern countries consider drugs a capital offense? Portugal’s economic problems — which are small enough compared to problems elsewhere that your drugs-economy causality hypothesis sounds weak — aren’t going to be solved by reverting to the same counterproductive policies.

            Anyway, I don’t appreciate your attitude or incorrect presumptions about me. But, thanks for elaborating. You’ve satisfied my curiosity.

          • Don Robertson

            I get a kick out of your new found reticence. Suddenly, when asked to explain your views. Suddenly, you’ve had your lazy curiosity fulfilled.

            Your mindset is pretty common, even stereotypical. You needn’t say another word.

            What you fail to comprehend is, the world does not revolve around you and your like-minded dopey friends who are sure the answers to all the problems in the world are 1) to get rid of the Federal Reserve, 2) pay more attention to the imaginary issues that are plaguing the consciousness of the so-called millennials, and 3) legalize dope.

            I think that typifies the whole lot here, on the Internet.

            My focus is on the future, not any of those living today at all. .Most of your ilk have no sense of the limitations of their ability, their aptitude, and their compete lack of maturity. They’re not worth the time generally.

            All I do now is state the obvious case for the few who are seeking some substantiation of their own doubts about what is commonly referred to as, progressive, pragmatic and popular. The advocates of these aberrations, are just too stupid to get outside the box and look back in at what they’re doing.

            What are these bloggers doing? They’re rolling the dice. They’re playing craps with their future, and the futures of everyone around them.

            If the world is being changed by the Internet, it is surely being changed for the worse. You can take that bald truth straight to the bank. The Internet is providing an excuse for every abhorrent behavior known to mankind.

          • Silverado

            “You do understand that marijuana is a narcotic drug, right?”

            No I don’t understand that as much as I do understand you’re an idiot for making such a claim. You can’t be serious? And if you are everything you’ve written is suspect.

    • Jay Stew

      Disinformation pays dividends. Misinformed public. Wake up to that possibility.

  • Libertybellle

    That is okay. We are safe now with homosexuals in the military and women on the front lines,

    • Michael Daush

      I’ll never forget watching the Fort Hood Memorial service and marveling at the astonishing width of the backsides of many of the female soldiers. When comparing them to the upright and strong male GI’s I saw, it made me wonder what other soldiers of the world must think of us.

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  • Jay Stew

    This is all bullshit. F-35 while the program is stumbling is 3 different aircrafts with 3 different missions, and the vast negative reporting is doing so measuring how we used to measure pure air combat fighters when high acceleration and high maneuverability mattered. This was back when guns were as important in air combat as missiles. For many years this has not been the case. Stealth and super-cruise is much more important in modern air warfare. F-22 was specifically designed to do the direct air superiority and air supremacy missions just like how F-15 was in the days when F-16 was called on to do the multi-role missions. Could F-16 do air to air combat? Sure. But why would you use a single engine fighter with high maneuverability to do close in air combat when you have a twin engine long range beyond visual range fighter in the F-15 designed to do exactly that and with an actual kill ratio of 104:0? It is the same argument today. Why would you use the F-35, a single engine fighter as an F-22? when you have F-22’s? The answer is simply you won’t. You also won’t be putting either the F-22 or F-35 in close range engagements with the enemy that is what BVR combat was invented for. BVR or Beyond Visual range combat combined with the stealth of our airframes allow American pilots to see and target and attack the enemy before they are even detected. There is no way for you to attack an aircraft you can’t see on your sensors and since the combat takes place at BVR beyond visual ranges, you also can’t “see it” with your eyes.

    The companies responsible for construction of the F-35 have started to be held accountable by the Air Force and are made to fix the mistakes the Airforce is finding at their cost. They are under contract to do this and they are doing it. F-35 is not a boondogle. Defense and security cost money. Both the Russians and Chinese are learning stealth isn’t easy to do, and are way behind the United States in this area and at a strategic disadvantage because of it. F-35 is a very credible air to ground warplane for use in high surface to air threat areas like Syria if we were to have to go in there and face Russian anti air measures however that has not been the case. Nor should we. Syria isn’t our fight or our problem. It is long past time that the rest of the world get involved in this struggle against radical extremism in the name of whatever religion they are claiming to fight on behalf of this month.

    Thank you.

    • kimyo

      this sober evaluation by the lead pentagon official is at odds with your view: Watchdog report: Technology, capability issues still plague F-35

      The findings [PDF], which were made by Dr. J. Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), include:

      Serious deficiencies with the plane’s software & engineering, likely to further delay its suitability for combat.

      Serious limits on the capability of planes already declared operational.

      Costly and possibly even illegal flaws in a Pentagon plan to buy 270 additional F-35s.

      “If used in combat,” says Gilmore, the Marine plane, “will need support from command and control elements to avoid threats, assist in target acquisition, and control weapons employment.”

      According to Gilmore, those weaknesses largely stem from the current software iteration, or “block,” on which the plane operates. The F-35 is billed as a flying computer, containing more than 8 million lines of code, which act as a form of artificial intelligence. “Blocks” are software suites, which enable the plane to assess the battlespace, identify threats and targets, deploy weapons, and evade the enemy.

      The Marine F-35B runs on a software block called “2B,” which Gilmore says contains “hundreds of unresolved deficiencies.”

      Gilmore goes on to criticize the Marine Corps on how it went about making the decision to declare its plane operational. In May 2015, the Marines held a series of sea trials aboard the USS Wasp – trials the Marines said were a huge success.

      Gilmore is dismissive, calling those trials merely a “demonstration” – and emphatically stating it was not a real test. Gilmore even implies those trials had to be gamed simply to produce inferior results.

      Despite an overreliance on outside contractors and other support unavailable in a real combat environment, he says the Marines still had trouble keeping more than “two to three of the six aircraft in a flyable status on any given day.”

      the f-35: the most massive boondoggle on earth, by far, wrapped up in a vaporware fiasco which cannot be unwound, regardless of how many programmers you throw at it. they cannot fix an utterly flawed design created by a bunch of children who think ironman and the transformers are real.

  • Judy Gilmore

    Well done!!!

  • Brockland A.T.

    Great article that covers an important topic well. It could have done more on the corruption angle, though. As a vehicle of corruption, the F-35 is mission accomplished.

    1. The F-35 has transferred $US1.5 trillion (and counting) to the big players in the MIC.

    2. The F-35 PROGRAM was designed to be invincible, and darned if it isn’t the most vested of interests.

    3. The F-35 is possibly the last kick at the can for manned fighters in the U.S. military, so the MIC is milking it good. Assuming military futurists are correct and the drones are where air warfare is at. Boeing has had the QF-16 (drone F-16) since at least 2013.

    4. The American F-35 was never really intended to fight a Russian SU-35, because that would almost certainly mean the unthinkable – two nuclear armed powers at war. In such a scenario, the prowess of conventional weapons at best only serves as a modest buffer to buy time to deploy the nuclear arsenal. Nuclear armed subs are the real weapon; although they too may be about to become obsolete.

    5. Stealth is the most overrated mil tech buff ever. Any advanced power can find ways to beat it.

    6. The F-35 is more than a match for any SU-35 ‘monkey model’ Russia sells. The F-35 is not likely ever to face anything approaching a peer opponent, unless one seriously believes Russia is going to sell front-line models to China. Or, that India or Iran have the depth of personnel and tech expertise to field and maintain SU-35s like the Russians.

    7. Air power, even stealthed air power, is only applicable after A2AD capabilities are removed. If A2AD can’t be easily overcome, there’s no point in going to war save to prove that wars of choice at this level are pyrrically pointless. The F-35 is a niche platform for specific conditions of warfare that hardly exist anymore.

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  • Darkwing

    I worked for the federal government for a long time. I saw corruption all over not just the military. If you report it, you were told that people would not know it was you. Big surprise, the people went after you big time. Everytime I reported anything it was covered over and I was blamed. BTW: it you saw fraud and did not report it, you would face a court of law, if you did report it, they tried to fire you.

  • hvaiallverden

    Yup, the circle upward in weapon systems is accelerating, the electronics and ability to read physics is sky rocketing this days, and we face in some decades an reversal in war fare, where everybody is blind and then we end up with medieval type of war fare anyway, all wars are made on the ground, air superiority is an dead end, Vietnam is what the Yankees should remember, you dropped more bombs on the Ho-chi Ming road, more bombs than the entire ww2, combined, and even then, against bare footed natives you lost.
    This is Russians, Yankee, they will give you hell.

    The EU I dont consider to be nothing more than an joke, the norDicks, is going to do absolutely nothing, when the Yankees are gone.

    Then we end up with maybe, some rusty old crap the Brits have from the stone age, and the French is to small to be perhaps an short time irritation, like cockroach, but thats it.

    Its basically You and the Russians, China I dont believe anything, before I see it my self, until then, I dont expect anything.