Meme number 1: The F-22 hasn’t been used in Afghanistan or Iraq. In itself this is a statement of the obvious. What makes it a meme is the corollary that the F-22 is militarily irrelevant. However, there are many capabilities that haven’t been used in those theaters — submarines, for instance — but nobody seems to panic as we keep spending money on those.
Well, in the event that the Navy comes asking for a brand new set of fantastically expensive invisible submarines that to do nothing more than run up the U.S.’s already considerable military advantage while having no application to the actual wars we are currently fighting, we might consider panicking. Or at the very least releasing a report saying it’s a bad idea.
Sweetman concludes that “whether you think it was smart or not to kill the F-22, the public argument has been dominated by assumptions that are, at best, unproven.” That may be true, but I would suggest that many if not most of those assumptions were on the pro-F-22 side, and at the end of the day the program was killed because no one could come up with a good enough argument for why we needed it.
Read the list for yourself, but I think that the seven memes, when taken together as they should be, actually form, Voltron-like, an impressively solid argument for killing the fighter.