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By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Merrill Mcpeak
The Pentagon's top brass are second-guessing the F-35 Lightning — the most expensive weapons system in history — as spending cuts tighten the military's budget and a new report says F-35 pilots can't see that well out of the cockpit.
Pro-military advocates are warning against the dangers of letting federal district court judges start making significant Pentagon policy, saying it would essentially turn the military over to a network of political appointees who could be swayed by various pressure groups.
President Obama, who has clashed with the military top brass over war and gays, will soon have a chance to reshape the Joint Chiefs of Staff as he faces contentious decisions next year on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and on ending some weapons systems.
When the next president takes office in January, he or she will likely receive an intelligence brief warning that Islamic terrorists will attempt to exploit the transition in power by planning an attack on America, intelligence experts say.
"What he is suggesting, really, is that the Air Force should not have built a lighter, more capable aircraft," Gen. McPeak told The Times. "Why would you want Air Force fighter pilots going into combat to carry all the extra weight needed to give the Navy version the added range they need to get on shore, where the fight is, and to ruggedize the equipment, the landing gear, the tailhook and so on, that takes a repeated pounding from carrier operations? It's just a dumb idea."
"Aeronautic engineering is still somewhat witchcraft, and you don't fix problems, you just move them somewhere structurally," Gen. McPeak said. "When you are trying to meet the requirements of three different groups, it's just going to be more difficult, more expensive."