In a speech in Chicago today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates (again) called on Congress to resist the urge to pack the defense budget full of pork. And because certain lawmakers have been digging in their heels this week, Gates wasn’t mincing words. The best bits (emphases mine):
We must also get control of what is called “requirements creep”—where more features and capabilities are added to a given piece of equipment, often to the point of absurdity. The most flamboyant example of this phenomenon is the new presidential helicopter…Once the analysis and requirements were done, we ended up with choppers that cost nearly half a billion dollars each and enabled the president to, among other things, cook dinner while in flight under nuclear attack…
The F-22, to be blunt, does not make much sense anyplace else in the spectrum of conflict. Nonetheless, supporters of the F-22 lately have promoted its use for an ever expanding list of potential missions. These range from protecting the homeland from seaborne cruise missiles to, as one retired general recommended on TV, using F-22s to go after Somali pirates who in many cases are teenagers with AK-47s—a job we know is better done by three Navy SEALs. These are examples of how far-fetched some of the arguments have become for a program that has cost $65 billion—and counting—to produce 187 aircraft, not to mention the thousands of uniformed Air Force positions that were sacrificed to help pay for it.
h/t: Danger Room.