The United States is making a gigantic investment in the
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, billed by its advocates as the next -- by their
count the fifth -- generation of air-to-air and air-to-ground combat aircraft. Claimed
to be near invisible to radar and able to dominate any future battlefield, the
F-35 will replace most of the air-combat aircraft in the inventories of the U.S.
Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and at least nine foreign allies, and it will be
in those inventories for the next 55 years. It's no secret, however, that the
program -- the most expensive in American history -- is a calamity.
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