To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” –George Washington, 1790
After months of careful study, the 9/11 Commission concluded that a “failure of imagination” on the part of the U.S. intelligence community led to the attacks of September 11, 2001. Unfortunately, it appears that our defense community is now experiencing a failure of imagination, however, this time, the threats are not as abstract and unimaginable as was the terrorist threat prior to 9/11.
The F-22 Raptor is the newest fighter jet in the American arsenal and it is the most advanced fighter jet in the world today. The Air Force, writing of the F-22, notes that it “cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.” Despite the unrivaled air superiority that the F-22 has allowed us to enjoy, the Department of Defense is reorienting itself to fight assymetrical wars and that means cutting new orders for F-22s in favor of unmanned drones. So at a time when the size and strength of the Chinese military is increasing, the North Koreans are experimenting with rocket technology and Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, we are investing in low-tech weaponry? Perhaps California senate candidate Chuck DeVore summarized it best in a tweet yesterday (paraphrase): North Korea’s firing rockets and Obama’s firing CEOs. What could possibly go wrong?