Good news: Foreign Policy magazine may solve the dilemma for you. The Washington-based magazine demonstrates that Canadian opponents aren’t alone in thinking the “fifth generation fighter” (which sounds significant but really only means there were four earlier ones, kind of like owning a “fifth generation Oldsmobile”) is a disaster waiting to happen. In “The Jet that Ate the Pentagon” it pretty much dismembers the argument for the plane, largely on the basis that it will be insanely expensive (even more insanely than the costs known at present, and which the federal government sought valiantly to disguise by letting Defence Minister Peter MacKay be in charge). And besides the expense, it says, the planes don’t work very well, and aren’t likely to. […]
Potentially as damaging as the cost over-runs are the claims made by critics like military analyst Winslow Wheeler that the F-35 is a “virtual flying piano” that lacks agility and is grounded far too often for maintenance. The day the Auditor-General’s damning report on the F-35 fighter jets landed, the Harper government attempted to contain the damage by announcing the creation of a new “F-35 Secretariat” to oversee the process to replace Canada’s aging CF-18 fleet. […]
CBC News http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/04/04/f-vp-stewart-f-35-secrecy.html?cmp=googleeditorspick
Brian Stewart: The F-35 fiasco and Ottawa’s culture of secrecy Apr 4, 2012
By Brian Stewart, special to CBC News
Two Freemasons: CBC News Correspondant Bro. Brian Stewart and CBC News Anchor Bro. Peter Mansbridge
The who-knew-what about the real costs of the F-35 fighter jet Canada wants to purchase is worrisome enough. But at the heart of the fiasco is a far more serious concern about what public honesty means to this government.
It’s a sad state that few Canadians appear surprised by the auditor general’s findings that Parliament was kept in the dark over the real costs of this program and what looks to be a $10-billion overrun.
Many seem to assume that misleading and denying whenever it suits is a government’s normal default position. After all, this government seems to have done it for years on Afghanistan and with its other problems in national defence.
In my own attempts to unravel the F-35′s real costs I never once met a single soul outside government and knowledgeable about defence purchases who believed the prime minister’s promise that the planes could be delivered for a bargain-rate $75 million each.
Coyne: F-35 debacle demonstrates a system of government in collapse April 4, 2012
By Andrew Coyne, Postmedia News
Two Freemasons: Chief of Defense Staff Bro. Walter Natynzyk and Defense Minister Bro. Peter Mackay
There are so many layers of misconduct in the F-35 affair that it is difficult to know where to start. Do we especially deplore the rigging of operational requirements by defence officials to justify a decision that had already been made? Or should we focus on the government’s decision to buy the planes without even seeing the department’s handiwork? Is the scandal that the department deliberatedly understated the cost of the jets, in presentations to Parliament and the public? Or is it that its own internal figures, though they exceeded the published amounts by some $10-billon, were themselves, according to the Auditor General, gross underestimates?
It’s all of those things, of course, and more: a fiasco from top to bottom, combining lapses of professional ethics, ministerial responsibility and democratic accountability into one spectacular illustration of how completely our system of government has gone to hell.
This was, until last year’s shipbuilding contract, the largest single purchase in the country’s […]