America's Defense Meltdown

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Our good friend Winslow Wheeler and his colleagues at the Center for Defense Information have just released a new book examining the jacked up policies that govern the Pentagon's spending plans and proposing new alternatives to the current array of programs and strategic concepts.

I haven't even gotten close to decoding the work, but our boy Steve Trimble over at the DEW Line blog pulled this gem from the tome.

Pierre Sprey -- father of the A-10, co-father of the F-16 and ardent F-22/F-35 critic -- has teamed up with ex-Vietnam fighter jock Col Robert Dilger to propose a fascinating vision for an "effectiveness-based" airpower fleet. (Read more here, pp 159-162)

  • 4,000 smaller, more agile A-10s = $60 billion
  • 2,500 turboprops as forward air controllers = $3 billion
  • 100 new tankers = $28 billion
  • 1,000 dirt-strip C-123-like airlifters = $30 billion
  • 1,100 smaller, faster F-16s = $44 billion
  • 183 F-22s already purchased
  • 200 F-35s redesignated as A-35s "to meet commitments to allies" = $50 billion

I'll take a closer look at the work today and get back with some more of my own takeaways. Also, feel free to mention some of your own and I'll feature them here.

-- Christian

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