Saturday, May 22, 2010
George Kenney: "Podcast Interview with Winslow Wheeler on the F-35 Fiasco" @ Electric Politics
Unless you follow Pentagon news somewhat closely you might not know that the F-35 program is on track to become the most expensive weapons project in history, at roughly a trillion dollars over the lifespan of the thing, or that the F-35 is actually a very lousy airplane that probably can't even perform minimally well in any of the future missions expected of it. Even I was surprised to learn that a UK satirical sendup of the British Navy, which included reference to its pending purchase of the F-35 (naval version), was factually accurate in lampooning the airplane's tendency to melt the decks of aircraft carriers. A problem the Pentagon is working on, not by modifying the F-35, but by trying to figure out how to reinforce the decks. Some airplane!
You also might not know that there are only a very few people in this country who have detailed familiarity with the Pentagon's budget, and its acquisition processes. Winslow Wheeler is one of them. His friends describe him, affectionately, as an 'unguided missile.' I'm not sure how his foes describe him but there's no doubt that he's incredibly tenacious. And, in a peculiar Washington way, quite influential.
Please excuse some muted background noise on my side, from a lawn crew, and that Winslow was slightly under the weather from pollen allergies.
I hope you find this one interesting!
As always, please feel free to forward the link.