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New Video: The Jet that Ate the Pentagon

The Pentagon’s budget is being consumed by a single gigantic weapons system that continues to miss performance metrics while facing a decade of delay and costing the U.S. taxpayer nearly $1.5 trillion. The story of how the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter came to dominate the Pentagon’s budget is one of overly ambitious goals, unusual development, an army of lobbyists and an emphasis on job creation. It’s a complex story, but Brave New Films interviewed a range of experts, including POGO’s Winslow Wheeler, to help explain how the F-35 got to be so big and so bad.

To learn more, check out the new site dedicated to news about the F-35.

By: Andre Francisco
Online Producer, POGO

andre francisco Andre Francisco is the Online Producer for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: National Security

Related Content: Budget, Joint Strike Fighter, DOD Oversight, Defense, Waste, Wasteful Defense Spending

Authors: Andre Francisco

Submitted by Andre Francisco at: March 10, 2014
Hello Jmac and scottman, The problems with the F-35 are long and complicated. A video is not the best place for all the details. If you'd like to read more about why the F-35 is a bad deal for the military and for taxpayers you can see our previous writing here http://www.pogo.org/blog/index.html?bloglistrelatedcontenttags=joint-strike-fighter and additional coverage by the Straus Military Reform Project here http://www.pogo.org/our-work/straus-military-reform-project/straus-search-results.html?relatedcontenttags=f-35-aircraft.
Submitted by Jmac at: March 7, 2014
Lions & Tigers & Bears oh my! They pulled out every alarmist line of rhetoric in this clip while managing to not substantiate a signal one of them. The JSF is a game changer and the future of air superiority is resting on its success. If these talking heads are so right why are countries all over the planet lining up to buy these things? Fielding world class technology is indeed expensive. I heard no mention of the more cost effective alternative. Oh wait, that's because there is none.
Submitted by scottman at: February 22, 2014
While I'm all in favor of cutting the F-35 this video did a poor job of making the case. There were many general statements made but very few specifics. If I'm to go forward and want my representatives to come out against it I need better info then the, "it's bad", statements shown in this video. Specifics win arguments, not the bland statements in this video. For the record, I believe the day of the manned air superiority fighter is coming to an end and the F-35 program is just an ill-conceived effort to placate Lockheed and senior military personnel.
Submitted by Itzmagic at: February 11, 2014
Audit the military? That's your magic answer to all the huge cost over runs is to audit the military? The unaccounted amount right now is right around a billion, so even if all of that was going into some general's pocket, that's the most you'd save. You don't think more than a billion dollars is being wasted? You must live in Denver.
Submitted by BamaBubba at: February 8, 2014
A much better audit process needs to be implemented on all military projects. The whole military complex seems to be one bottomless boondoggle. The first financial priority is to fully audit the military top to bottom.
Submitted by Dockrat13 at: February 8, 2014
With a 2 to 1 ratio, and all the money that greases the wheels (big pentagon wheels) You would think those that are so keen to reduce the budget, and create jobs would figure out the corruption, and fix it. But of course who do they work for? You and me?
Submitted by Youlyseas at: February 8, 2014
What's kuel is we'll be able to buy Chinese stealth fighters at a fraction of the price!
Submitted by ivanczar at: February 8, 2014
Wow , outrageous , runaway wasteful , absurd and frightening ETC... ETC... ETC... !!!
Submitted by HeyJoe at: February 8, 2014
Allowing profligate waste to occur is bad for our country and our fighting forces. I'd rather fight the Pentagon and Congress over wasting our tax money than give up and say, "Eh. It happens."
Submitted by Dfens at: February 6, 2014
Sure, let's cancel this program after we've already spend nearly $200 billion on development, that way we can add 0 F-35's to our fleet of 174 F-22's. That should make for a real successful 21st Century fighting force. But clearly the next big fighter program will cost less and be more effective, right? I mean, that's what POGO told us when they wanted the F-22 cancelled so we could buy more of these F-35s at the price POGO was touting as $35 million each (that wouldn't even buy tires for the F-35 now).

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