The Blog

Brazil's Fighter Sweepstakes

Can the U.S. Compete?

12:00 AM, May 15, 2009 • By REUBEN F. JOHNSON
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

But, in the 21st century the economies of scale and all of the other advantages that come with having a robust defense exports business may become a dim memory for U.S. industry. The refusal to allow the LM F-22A Raptor to be exported despite some rather plaintive requests from both Japan and Australia, and then truncating production after 187 units--after a roughly $32 billion investment to develop the aeroplane--seems to make little sense. Brazil may be a country that is struggling to become a nation of the future, but the U.S. appears to be rushing headlong in the opposite direction--and undermining the foundation for how we became a defense powerhouse in the process.

Reuben F. Johnson is a frequent contributor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD Online.