Depending on how you look at it this chart either is good in that it says we are keeping our troops safe (which is debatable!) or bad in that we are allocating too much money to too much hegemony, while lining the pockets of folks like Lockheed Martin the maker of the F-35 and others on the Spade Defense Index I discussed earlier. I say this money would be better spent domestically. We are currently spending $698.14 per active-duty US military enlistee.
“The worst helicopter crash in four years killed nine people bringing NATO fatalities in Afghanistan in 2010 to 529 and making it the most deadly year since the war that began in 2001.” “Pentagon officials said most of the dead were Americans.” (N.Y. Times, 9/22/10)
There is something that Wall Streeters and Captains of Industry pay close attention to and it is called The Spade Defense Index. The SDI is a blended index of “publicly traded companies that benchmarks the performance of companies involved with defense, homeland security, and space.
For local coverage of the F-35 see the following list from CCTV: http://www.cctv.org/search/node/F-35.
CCTV began covering the issue in April, 2010. See the detailed factsheet for times in the videos cross referenced with statements made by officials.
Thanks as always to CCTV, The Center for Media and Democracy, for great consistent coverage of important local issues.
The pentagon and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have stated for the last couple of years their sincere desire to cut military costs and drive down their annual $738 billion budget. Of this $134-137 billion goes to procurement, while $77-81 billion goes to R & D according to President Obama’s latest budget proposal for FY 2011 (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/02/01/us/budget.html). However, a recent article in The Times by Christopher Drew (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/business/15pentagon.html?ref=business) reveals the true intentions of Mr. Gates et al.
Sound issues will be considerable. The Eglin Airforce Base Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) shows that the F-35 will be 27 dB louder at low elevations, and louder at 2000 ft. than the F-16 is at take-off.
While the Airforce representative tried to diminish these findings by saying that the plane would not be going at the speed represented on the chart at lower levels, he did not refute that the plane will be louder or explain the methodology of how the measurements were actually made, and the chart given showed that it would be 18 dB louder than the F-16 even at 20,000 feet.
Vermonters say Stop the F-35!
We demand that Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch and Governor Peter Shumlin halt plans to station the F-35 stealth bombers at the Vermont Air National Guard base in South Burlington.
The F-35, among many reasons to oppose it, is super loud, will be harmful to our communities, schools and property values, is a record-setting waste of money when we need real jobs programs, and is an aggressive instrument of war.
Download our petition below.
It was recently announced by the US Air Force that Burlington International Airport is now a top choice for the basing of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter despite the fact the an Environmental Impact Study has yet to be completed. BIA is the preferred location for the F-35 in part because our pristine air quality will allow the USAF (via the VTANG) to produce a large amount of pollution without requiring any mitigation. Given that the F-35 burns Benzene (a class A carcinogen) at a much higher rate than the F-16, this is a very important factor.