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Mar 23, 2005



"Further while I sincerely hope we do not have to fight another major air power (i.e. China) it is foolish to not have the capability and is ignorant of the geoeconomic and strategic military policies of our country and China which are becoming increasingly conflicted."

Does that include ? And consider that Walmart Corporation is China's 5th largest worldwide trading partner, and the largest private employer on the North American Contient.

Seems to be, that large scale war with China, with thier space fareing and long range nuclear capability might not be in the best interests of civilisation.

However, if you make a living in the US based CONGRESSIONAL Military Industrial Complex, you absolutely rely on making war on a regular basis, regardless of the cost to humanity.

In that sense, perhaps America will get exactly what it deserves.


While I applaud government oversight in general I find that this crusade -- which is essentially what this is -- strikes of bitterness rather than true oversight ‘for the people’. Indeed most 'crusaders' tend to become so fixated on their viewpoint that they tend to delve in 'half truths' and even omission of data, which does not support their viewpoint (of course the government is quite capable of this as well). Case in point: POGO points to the F-22's apparent short legs, claiming an internal fuel fraction of ~0.28 which translates to about 18,500lbs of internal fuel. But in fact this number is not correct and is actually 20,650lbs, just under 0.31. This translates into a difference of a bit over 100nm in supersonic range (In fact this allows a 100 sub + 270~320nm SS radius with combat and reserves). The internal fuel capacity can be verified by referring to US Air Force Technical Order no. 00-105E-9. Lack of accurate data leads one to question any possible conclusions or arguments by these parties.

Further while I sincerely hope we do not have to fight another major air power (i.e. China) it is foolish to not have the capability and is ignorant of the geoeconomic and strategic military policies of our country and China which are becoming increasingly conflicted.

So in short I am not attempting to assail Col. Riccioni but I find his arguments wanting and in some cases conflicted: POGO has petitioned against adding the F-22 to FMS, a position which I agree with. Only time will tell if the F-22 was a worth investment, however I certainly do agree that the current acquisition system is flawed.

robert schaefer

Where can the 66 page larger report mentioned in the linked report be found?

Fred Schoeneman

Dear Ohwilleke,

I f you re-read the colonel's report, he explicitly addresses the sale of fighter aircraft to the Saudies, the Pakistanis, and the Indians. The solution he advocates is blindingly simple.



I can't agree that our only real enemies today are the terrorists, even thought they may be enemy number one, and even though the threat from enemy fighters is not as great as it used to be when the United States and its NATO allies were facing off against the Soviet Union and its WARSAW pact allies during the Cold War.

We have sold our own F-15s and F-16s to some pretty unsavory characters. Saudi Arabia comes to mind. And, we are on the verge of selling F-16s to Pakistan. Both are non-democratic governments with poor human rights records, and the potential to be crosswise with us militarily.

Pakistan has fought recent wars with our ally India. For example, in 1999, Pakistani troops helped seize Indian held positions in Kashmir. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's agreement at President Clinton's suggestion to pull out from that advance is what caused the coup that put current Pakistani leader General Pervez Musharraf in power.

Those who think that Saudi Arabia would never be at odds with the United States should recall that Saudi Arabian units participated in the 1948 and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars, and provided large financial gifts to nations like Syria, whom we have taken a rather bellicose stance towards lately. And, of course, Saudi Arabia was also part of the 1973-1974 oil embargo.

As far as China goes the statement: "China is not going to attack the US. Engaging China in a conventional war would be the worst error this country can possibly make!", offers up a straw man. No one seriously expects the U.S. to ever invade China, which would be a horrible error, and no one expects China to attack the United States. But, the U.S. is treaty bound to defend Taiwan, and the use of American air power in support of that mission is hardly unthinkable. Indeed, it is the primary contingency for which the U.S. Navy is currently preparing.

Also, I do agree that "Only facts and cogent analyses are meaningful!" In fact, I'd go further in expounding on that point. Bold font, exclaimation points, underlining, and italics, all of which are the online equivalent of raising your voice and pounding on the table, and credentials such as getting full credit for a good idea by name, are not meaningful.

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