To the Editor:
Time magazine recently published an article on “The Most Expensive Weapon Ever Built,” designed to be invisible at the cost of nearly $400 billion. The F-35 is loaded with sophisticated electronics. The more sophisticated and complicated that our weapons become, the more problems occur. Costs continue to rise with this plane.
We already have the F-15, F-16 and F-18, with which no other country can compete. In addition, we have the F-22 that was built for a war that has not yet happened. They sit on runways, untested in war and never used. The F-35 is one of the most recent examples of the excesses of the industrial military complex that former President Eisenhower warned us about.
The Air Force wants an F-35-A that is stealthy. The Marines want an F-35-B that can take off and land vertically from ships. The Navy wants an F-35-C with a strong enough undercarriage to land on carriers. These planes will cost $160 million each.
We are told that both Russia and China are building these fifth-generation fighters on their own. How many times over the years have we been told that we are behind in the weapons race just to find out later that it was not true?
Also in the works are:
—The Air Force, Navy and Marines are buying 459 V-22 tilt-rotor helicopters for $115 million each.
—The Pentagon is spending $126 billion on a 25-story radar station in the ocean someplace.
—The Navy wants three Ford Class carriers for $3.1 billion each, planes not included.
—The Navy is building 30 Virginia Class attack submarines for $3.1 billion each.
The total cost in billions of dollars is almost incomprehensible. Yet the hawks in Congress and the Pentagon military industrial complex will not relinquish any of these so that we can rebuild our infrastructure of bridges, roads, schools and utilities. Republican hawks want to dismantle Obamacare and cut Medicare and Social Security.
Is there no end to our insane pursuit of weapons? The paranoia has penetrated the psyche of so-called normal America with its love and worship of guns and automatic weapons. We love to own and use weapons of destruction. We will reap what we sow.
E. David Jaris