Reaction to Closed Minds
Very clever & entertaining but you miss the point. When air supiority goes - it is not easily retrievable, if at all except through long term actions. It is one of the key insurance policies that we have. There really can be little honest debate about that
In fact, everything the US does hinges around this asssumption. You take that away and almost everything we do well & or assume for our strategies, starts to fall apart.
Do you really want to take that chance just so you can feel intellectually superior to the Bush neanderthals & at your coffee klatches/cocktail parties?
That is my point. I am not even arguing for the original F-22 request, I am calling for great care with the thought process & rhetoric around this. When framed adequately not to many want to end the F-22 as suddenly as Gates mandates. Remember, only 1 of 3 are effectively operational at any one time normally. This becomes such a precious resource at present levels you almost have to use it for feints only & ruses at this level. You can extend it in coordination with combined F-22/F-35 use but this has 'paper' analysis seduction about it (not really as effective I think as some want to argue) that practically will make little difference
Do not mix up adversaries & strategies either:
The PRC in a regional way is framing a solution to this for Taiwan & their close blue water. It is submarine & communications based . Likely the F-22 could only withstand this (not sure the F-35 can do this mission to protect carriers there the way the F-22 can oversee) in the near future; that , the F-22 would be the sole truly effective deterrent.
The Russians have some very novel tactics ( they still fly more like WWII hellraisers versus the US more corporate politically correct scripted tactics with rules of engagement reading like federal civil procedure) . I can go on and on - go read the recommended book "Boyd" before getting to caught up in your own cleverness & posting here for the applause of the 'smarter defense ' budget crowds. By the way, Boyd was no fan of budget busting weapons programs but he clearly saw the fatal mistake of not ensuring US air superiority. Boyd conceived the F-16 with others as a more affordable variant of the F-15 - but that was to help ensure air dominance. But it all starts with air superiority.
As for 'adversaries' on the horizon, methinks you are falling into a trap that Iraq (a brilliant campaign executed with a fraction of forces any one thought possible but which showed the brittleness & weakness of the demoralized Iraq forces which went guerrilla pretty quickly - not really a good competitive comparison for the US military) & Afghanistan (war lord skirmishes & terror attacks with insurgent strategies laced with expansive border sanctuary issues) while what we face now, is the determinitive threat of US national security and, more relevantly, our operational military execution.
Russia has some top flight aircraft that the Indian Air Force recently (last few years) demonstrated in innovative tactics 'neutralized' the F-15s way more effectively than 'conventional' complacent thinking ever thought possible - by all analysts not just the USA's. This gets a little too deep for a post-response but I encourgae you to read up on this.
I woud not be surprised if in the next 2-4 years you will see some serious leap-frogging by the Russians & Chinese on this front.. They understand that you cannot just 'give' air space dominance to the USA - in fact that is the fatal flaw in your thinking and many others. Air superiority is so crucial with so many attendant consequences that adversaries must have strategies to diminish this key advantage of the US. You can sit & rationalize ( as you probably say they same to me) that we can react at that point (future). But just as with missile defense, which is getting cut which you did not address in your comments, now that the world is starting to catch up, it is was prudent to have made the continued investments all these years in missile defense systems - not just to make defense contractors rich.
That is what I am almost pleading with anyone interested in this, one makes assumptions that cannot be allowed to fail. Air superiority is one of those - as the Chinese, Russians, Vietnamese, Koreans and Japanese all know well. This is not a game for clever word speak or data tossing. If you examine US military strategy in all theaters since WWII, it factors in the valuable key of modern warfare experience, that all we do regarding manuveur warfare (we will never have the size/presence advantage so we, the USofA must do more with less manpower- always- apart from casualty aversion - Iraq had the lowest casualty rate in history yet that was all anyone wanted to focus on) ) with its demands on logistical support, hinges very simply on air superiority. So all 'your' GI Joes & Janes are at risk to varying degress based upon the breach level.
With air superiority breached or compromised, the US military becomes ordinary , more typical, especially with all our tactical assumptions built around air dominance givens. So more casualties, etc. The F-35 is not the same and you can have all the enhanced troop carriers you want (and do you really think this Adminis is going to do that? really? when even Gates is gone in a year?).. There are many strategems to accomplish this singly or together (e.g., communications jamming). The F-22 is such a platform that it makes adversaries very careful what they will do versus the F-35. It is its own deterrent
And last, I would not rather have my 'hard' earned (I work very hard and do not get a teachers or or government job pension) tax dollars go for fake stimulus packages that nearly triples the national debt in less than 6 months that is not shovel ready and only feeds Dem Party constituent interests (it is pretty apprarent to everyone non-partisian what this pork mess really is), not the broader needs of the US populace.
And you cannot get clever witht the fact that a temporary tax cut (e.g., temporary suspension of Social Security/payroll taxes) would have been a more direct immediate infusion than 3-4 year off programs that go throught the corrupt (contribute to me) grasp of House & Senate leaders (who all just happen to be Dems now) . But then maybe you are a fan of Countrywide's Angelo (and don't forget Henry Cisneros, its godfather) & will financially contribute to the re-election of Senator Chris Dodd of CT among others.
Hope this helps on an important dangerous issue - I have get back to my deadline which is slipping from all this wasteful blogging.