Wednesday, April 18, 2012

More on F-35

I had an op-ed in today's Globe and Mail on the F-35, putting it into context, as Canada is just one of several countries re-considering the decision to buy this aircraft. 

Ah, the comments have been quite interesting, as some folks think I am Conservative hack, some think I am a Liberal hack, and perhaps even some think I am NDP.  I am not going to respond to all of the stuff in the comments (158 and counting) here.

But a few points of clarification:
  • Folks took issue that the F-35 would foster interoperability, arguing that other countries in NATO are buying other planes.  Yes, they are.  But this is mostly a non sequitur.  Why?  Because other countries in NATO may not be as concerned with interoperability, may have lower standards/comfort levels for how interoperable they would like to be, and/or have other priorities.  So, they may be buying planes that are less interoperable than the claims made by the F-35 manufacturers and fans.  Also, other than France, most of the countries listed as non-F35 buyers are those that didn't participate in the air strikes or even no fly-zone over Libya.  So, alliance obligations (or whatever) are not a key priority for Germany, Spain, etc.  
    • Poland didn't fly over Libya and isn't buying F-35s, but I don't put them in the same class as Germany or Spain because of Poland's willingness to serve in the hard places in Afghanistan.  For the Poles, Libya was not Article V, unlike Afghanistan, so it was not as compelling.
    • Buying a Euro-fighter (Typhoon or Rafale) is more interoperable than buying a Grippen (Sweden plane) 
  • The title was not mine, so don't blame me for the "we".  But Canada as a country, with its government, made the decisions, so Canadians can take some frustrated ownership of the decision.  As an American, I cannot deny that we (the US) invaded Iraq.  But anyhow, again, not my title.  Mine was: Putting the F-35 Mess Into Perspective.I think the G&M did fine though as the piece got a heap of attention so Mission Accomplished.
Anyhow, I am pleased that folks are interested in the topic and in my views on it, but I also realize that the folks commenting already have strong beliefs and see in my op-ed what they want to see.  Not the first nor last we will be encountering our frenemy known as confirmation bias.

1 comment:

Proletariat said...

Don't fret over the comments Dr. Saideman; the crowd that posts in the Globe and Mail comment threads are, shall we say, hardly the best and brightest our country has to offer.