We should be use to our government making decisions that make little sense. In an age when we see millions spent on bridges to nowhere and tunnels for turtles, it should not surprise us when we see effective things replaced by the ineffective. The powers that be seem incapable of making the right decision. They spend on un-useful projects here at home and then cut where they need the money abroad. A perfect example of this is the case of the A-10 Warthog.
Investors Business Daily reported Friday:
The venerable A-10 Warthog, designed to stop Soviet tanks, and the perfect weapon to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State, as President Obama promised, faces a budgetary chopping block.
The plane has performed well in its forty years of service. It is easy to see why the scrapping of the ‘warthog’ will be welcome news to our enemies. The warthog is an effective tank killer and difficult to bring down. Originally designed to destroy Soviet tanks in a feared European war, it has scored high marks in protecting our soldiers as they advanced against those same Iraqi owned Soviet tanks.
It also performed well in Afghanistan in a similar close air support role. Though, not needed to destroy tanks, it provided high firepower for allied infantry. Now it is striking fear into ISIS, as it moves “low and slow,” firing its deadly 30 mm, 7 barrel Gatling gun. It has impressive numbers.
On Jan. 15, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James pointed out that the A-10 had conducted 11% of all sorties against IS since August, despite the fact it was not deployed to the battlefield until November.
Now, this should make us wonder about the wisdom of shelving such a durable and effective weapon. What would be the reasoning?
IBD found it ironic that:
Obama was going to war against the Islamic State with weapons systems he had scrapped, ending the production runs of the F-22 Raptor and Tomahawk cruise missiles. They were dismissed by the administration as relics of the Cold War even as Russia was rearming and trying to reassemble the old Soviet Union.
We are disassembling our military as our former enemy is rebuilding his. Not to mention the little situation of the Islamists, of every stripe, striving to bring us to destruction. Surely, with all the threats we face, the administration has something with which to replace the A-10.
In fact there is. IBD reports:
The Pentagon figures it can save $4.2 billion in operation and maintenance costs over five years by retiring all 283 of the Air Force’s A-10s. It also believes the F-35, despite its unit cost and troubled development, can fill the need for close air-support need. Whether it can take the punishment the A-10 can is open to question.
The problem is that the recent report that the F-35 would not have the use of its 25mm canon for four more years. IBD reported in December:
F-35 is expected to enter combat with the Marine Corps in 2015 and Air Force in 2016. But the software on the high-tech fighter jet isn’t capable of shooting the 25mm cannon on board. Officials from the Air Force told the Daily Beast that the software support won’t be finished until 2019.
It seems that we are doing all we can to hinder our own efforts. We continue to make decisions based on what we want to be true about the world rather than reality. This kind of decision could cost the lives of the troops this plane is supposed to protect. Not to mention the fact that there are mechanical glitches that makes the plane unsafe to its pilot.
I ask about Washington what God asked of Edom through the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 49:7
Concerning Edom. Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Is there no longer any wisdom in Teman? Has good counsel been lost to the prudent? Has their wisdom decayed?