“Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of ploughshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well…We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.”
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
–- From the farewell address of President Dwight David Eisenhower – January 17, 1961
“The world’s military forces survive primarily as instruments to protect elite interests and suppress the civil unrest that results from economic injustice. They further place an unconscionable burden on the earth’s scarce ecological resources.” — From “The People’s Earth Declaration: A Proactive Agenda for the Future” (the summary statement of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – June 12, 1992)
The US Navy’s Blue Angels won’t be transitioning to Lockheed-Martin’s (and the Pentagon’s) latest fighter jet boondoggle, the F-35, each of which costs $121,000,000 per each.
According to Popular Mechanics the F-35C was supposed to be “initial operations capable? (ie, “combat war-ready”) at the end of 2015. (Note that “combat war-ready” means that at least a squadron of planes can carry out limited combat operations. That date, according to some watchdog agencies may never come.
Popular Mechanics says that there are other reasons to put off the hoped-for transition to the F-35s:
- Replacing the Blues’ Hornets with Lockheed-Martin’s F-35s would be enormously expensive ($121 million each). Purchasing 11 of them for the “flight demonstration team” would cost $1.34 billion – as much as a new destroyer;
- It’s more cost effective to convert aircraft that have already flown operationally and are already paid for;
- The F-35C isn’t entirely suitable for the Blue Angels propaganda work (the F-35C is a single-seater cockpit and therefore can’t give celebrities rides at their air shows);
- The planned new Blue Angels’ fleet of Boeing’s F/A-18Fs will have two twin seater jets for VIP work.
Besides being major draws in the 70+ air shows in which they do their stunt-flying each year,