Fighter Gap, Spending Gap, or Freedom Gap?

Either out of ignorance or in an effort to keep us from questioning their decisions to so drastically limit the size of our fighter force, Robert Gates and company kept telling us that the Chinese and Russians were years away from fielding a 5th generation fighter to compete with our F-22 and F-35.

Defense analysts, officials, and industry personnel have long believed that the U.S. F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter would not face serious threats from foreign fifth-generation fighters for the next 20 years.  In September 2009, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates repudiated claims of a looming “fighter gap”—a deficit between the services’ fighter aircraft inventories and their operational requirements. “[T]he more compelling gap,” he argued, “is the deep chasm between the air capabilities of the United States and those of other nations.” In an earlier speech, he argued: China…is projected to have no fifth generation aircraft by 2020. And by 2025, the gap only widens. The U.S. will have approximately 1,700 of the most advanced fifth generation fighters versus a handful of comparable aircraft for the Chinese.” http://www.defencetalk.com/russia-pak-fa-stealth-fighter-developments-mean-for-america-30434/

Now it appears that they missed their estimate of both time and technology by a few years as both Russia and China have now flown 5th generation prototypes, and expect to have them in mass production by as early as 2015.  With their own production, exports, and licensed production, the numbers of these fighters we are likely to face will greatly exceed the numbers of F-22’s and F-35’s we have decided to build.

Russia unveils its first stealth fighter jet
This happened several years sooner than our “experts” said it would

China stealth plane still ‘years away’, says Pentagon
Our government was wrong AGAIN about the capabilities of our potential enemies

Black Silk – Chinese J-20 Stealth Takes Off
Yep.  Still YEARS away.

China’s new stealth fighter may use US technology
Intel shows the Chinese actively sought access to the wreckage following the shoot down.  After both selling them nuclear secrets for campaign contributions (Clinton), and their active nuclear espionage efforts, there’s nothing that makes their pursuit of our stealth technology implausible.

U.S. Doubts ’99 Jet Debris Gave China Stealth Edge
Remain calm.  All is well.  Nothing to see here.  Our secrets are safe.

China Says Stealth Technology Not From U.S. Plane
<wave of hand, Jedi mind trick> “These are not the storen technorogies you’re rooking for.  We deveroped everything on our own.  Not even Hans Brix can prove otherwise.”

So, how many fighters of equal or greater capabilities can 187 F-22’s defeat?  It’s kind of difficult to have air supremacy, or even air superiority, when you’re heavily outnumbered by a force that is at least technologically similar.  We have to ask ourselves what is worth more.  An overblown sense of entitlement in our country indulged by power hungry politicians willing to feed that beast to stay in power, or a strong national defense that provides the protection and environment necessary for opportunity and freedom to flourish?

How does that old saying go?  Oh, yeah.  Freedom isn’t free.


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