Thursday, December 13, 2012

When it comes to the F35, the price isn't the only changing narrative

F-35 report leaves Tories exposed on previously strong fiscal credibility

Now, for the purposes of this post we will ignore the obvious "fiscal credibility" propaganda. They were never credible fiscally, not before the F35 and not after it. But no, I'd like to focus on the changing narrative of the collapsing U.S. 5th generation joint offensive.

New narrative:
"What's important here is that we act on these recommendations, that we deliver to Canadians the certainty, the surety they require that they're getting the right aircraft for our country for the long term and that we're being responsible with taxpayers' dollars," he [MacKay] said.
Old narrative:

Canada needs the F-35 fighter to take part in international air missions with allies, Defence Minister Peter MacKay argued Tuesday, as he met with a U.S. counterpart who described the costly jet as the only option for his country.

U.S. Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta not only reiterated his country’s commitment to the F-35 fighter, but said he feels there’s no alternative. “It’s the fifth-generation fighter,” he said. “We absolutely need it for the future.”

Mr. MacKay said it’s important to have the right equipment for domestic defence, but stressed that Mr. Panetta has often emphasized the need for allies to work on interoperability – having compatible equipment to make it easier to train and fight together – citing that as a key reason to buy the F-35.

“Being able to participate internationally requires – demands – these considerations around interoperability. The F-35 is one example of that. A modern, forward-looking example of that,” Mr. MacKay said.
And while the U.S. joint offensive collapses due to cost (because all of the nations involved are actually insolvent) the Russian/Chinese initiative for a 5th generation stealth fighter (which the F35 is not designed to counter) proceeds with leaps and bounds.

I have to wonder if perhaps our growing ties with Asian economic policy had something to do with dropping this program now, they were always aware of the costs and had no problem spinning them as necessary for "Canada" (read: NATO). Hmm.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

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