On Sunday, 60 Minutes ran a story about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter entitled, “Is the F-35 Worth It?” But watching the piece, I saw no debate whatsoever of that very important question.
And for good reason. All the interview subjects were government employees or contractors. They’d have been crazy to criticize their own program.
What I did see on Sunday was an ill-informed reporter—David Martin—touring the military side of the $400-billion F-35 program … and throwing in just a few boilerplate questions.
These questions were softballs, considering how big of a blunder this program actually has been. The F-35 is meant to replace 2,400 existing warplanes in the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy. But overly complex and badly compromised by the need to meet all the military branches’ diverse needs, the JSF is overpriced, unreliable and sluggish.
60 Minutes mentioned that the F-35 is behind schedule and over budget, has some bad lighting and unsatisfactory tires … and that’s about it. Those gripes barely scratch the surface of the JSF boondoggle.