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Schmidt you say that ..."the tyrants seeking control usually have a lot of military weapons at their disposal, mostly manufactured in the United States, Russia, and China"...
Yep, Russia is number one arms exporter, followed by the USA. Russia exports about 8.3 B in arms and we come in at 6.2 B, China is way back at 1.8 B. Three of the top five weapons importing countries are in the middle east, no surprise there. Little countries, with lots of money, and in a very unstable part of the world is a recipe for lots of weapons spending.
Is the F-35 the biggest failure in pentagon history? Depends on how it's measured. It's maybe the most expensive and most wasteful, but has it failed to do what it is designed to do? No, it hasn't even been used yet. Will it do it's job? No one knows.
The biggest success that the F-35 could achieve is deterring war and to never be used in real combat. Like nukes, I hope they will never be used. Unlike nukes, they probably WILL be used, considering the number of nations that are buying or are planning to buy it. Eight other nations are allegedly helping fund it, and even more considering buying it.
I'm not defending the F-35, it is too expensive, too wasteful, and we don't need it. But, there's LOTS of things that our government spends money on that are too expensive, too wasteful, and not needed, and that's not limited to just weapons systems.
If the F-35 were to be cancelled tomorrow, and it won't, then the pentagon would immediately go shopping for the next plane to replace it. And new military airplanes tend to be MORE expensive, not less. So we are stuck with this one.
The military and defense contractors, like big banks, big drug companies, big oil, big labor unions...thay ALL own plenty of our politicians, and will continue to be well taken care of by the government. That's not likely to change anytime soon.
This may very well be the last manned combat aircraft. It may be all drones and robots in the future.