Friday, September 17, 2010

Money for Nothing, Jets for Free

USA to Gift F-35 Fighters to Israel

Israeli government officials confirmed today that they will go ahead with plans to “buy” a number of F-35 stealth fighter jets from US military contractor Lockheed Martin. Reports suggest the deal will be worth $2.75 billion, making it one of the largest single arms purchases ever.

The high cost of the F-35s made the deal controversial among Israeli defense officials, which is perhaps surprising inasmuch as the Israeli government won’t actually be paying a dime for the warplanes.

Rather the entire cost will be covered by the US government in the form of military aid, meaning the US will be pasying [sic] Lockheed directly and delivering the warplnes [sic] to Israel for free.

This is ridiculous. I generally do not comment on matters regarding Israel because I am neither vehemently pro- or anti-Israel. But to be giving away nearly 3 billion dollars worth of our most advanced military hardware to any country is an outrage. The Israeli government can afford the cost of the jets, and the fact that they engaged in a "debate" over whether to "buy" the planes is quite bizarre, since American taxpayers will be footing 100% of the bill. And if it were up to me, none of the latest generation of our military hardware would be made available for sale to even our staunchest allies. All it would take for the enemy to catch up to us in arms technology would be for Iran to shoot down one of these F-35 we're giving to Israel and recover and study the wreckage. Just as the Yugoslavians shot down an F-117 Nighthawk during the Kosovo war, after which they transferred the wreckage to the Russians, who then went on to develop advanced radar systems that can detect the F-117 and B-2, endangering the lives of American pilots...

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