But since I did some reporting on this for last week’s column (behind the sub-wall), I figured I’d point out something that hasn’t attracted the requisite amount of attention:
The first concrete test of the strength of the military lobby and its allies in Congress is the battle over the fate of the F-22 Raptor fighter jet. Military experts agree that the F-22 is outdated and unnecessary. As Gates has noted, not a single F-22 mission had been flown in either of the current wars.
Despite the encouraging rhetoric from the administration, Lockheed Martin won the first round in December, when Gates included funding for four additional F-22s in a draft of the upcoming war supplemental.
This is really outrageous. The supplemental hasn’t been sent to the hill yet, but the draft version contains $600 million for four planes that have, by everyone’s admission nothing to do with the ongoing wars. I’m just waiting for all those Republicans who railed against projects in the stimulus that didn’t belong there to get worked up about these four F-22’s.