Posted by Erick Erickson
It has been almost 90 days since General McChrystal asked Barack Obama for more troops. No decision has been made. The General still waits as our soldiers keep dying.
But that might actually be a better alternative to any decision Obama might make.
As awful as that sounds, new information is proving Barack Obama’s got his first major military decision disastrously wrong and the repercussions to our national security will be far reaching in light of China’s growing aggressiveness.
Back up to January. Barack Obama had just been sworn in to office and the Pentagon then began reviewing whether the F-22 Raptor program should get more funding. Despite lots of talk about saving and creating jobs, the Obama administration nudged Defense Secretary Robert Gates to kill the F-22, an advanced stealth fighter for which no nation has put up a competing system.
In April, Robert Gates said he intended to kill the program. In July, Senators tried to keep the funding alive citing threats from China. But, Barack Obama’s administration said those threats were overestimated and Obama threatened to veto the entire defense budget if F-22 funding were left in.
Gates said Monday he’d heard no “substantive” argument for keeping the jet for national security reasons, pointing out that China has no planes that can compete with the more than 1,000 advanced fighter jets the U.S. will have by 2020.
Gates said that the gap between the two countries’ aerial arsenals will only widen.
Unfortunately for the United States military, that turns out to be flat out wrong.
According to Aviation Week, China not only is building a 5th generation fighter to compete with the F-22, but they’ll begin testing it this year.
Beijing’s fighter announcement suggests a serious failing in U.S. intelligence assessments, mocking a July 16 statement of U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates that China would have no fifth-generation fighters by 2020.
Note that China announced this while Obama was in China sucking up to them.