After a briefly awkward exchange in which Cotton appeared to prod Dunford about the origin of his nickname, "Fighting Joe," the senator asked the general whether he worries tomorrow's infantry forces — namely soldiers and Marines — will go under resourced as the country pumps billions of dollars into the development of next-generation weapons systems such as the long-range strike bomber, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and a new ballistic missile submarine.Policy makers are finally zeroing in on the obvious.
"I am concerned," Dunford responded, noting also that he doesn't self apply his nickname. "And I think it's broader than just the infantry piece. Experience tells us we need a balanced inventory of capabilities and capacities in joint force to be successful. ... What concerns me are people who actually think they know what the future is going to look like because, our experience tells us, we don't. So having a full range of capabilities that includes having effective Marines and soldiers, from my perspective, is the prudent thing to do."
Everything must die in order for the F-35 to live. The missile sub replacement for the nuclear deterrent Ohio class can be taken out of the conversation. Its a must have (the only really survivable part of the nuclear triad) ... so the real elephant in the room is the Long Range Strike Bomber and the F-35.
But the F-35 is the project that's taking up all the oxygen in the room.
What you might not know is that the Ground Combat Element...the ground side of the combat team...is finally waking up to the fact that aviation programs are being expedited and prioritized over getting new and needed gear to the Marines and Soldiers on the ground.
Dunford is becoming more of a mystery to me.
I can tell that he knows better but he's locked into this F-35 catastrophe. Pity. He stood up for Marines in the past but his legacy will be guiding a divisive president pursuing a failed ISIS policy...the gang that let the Iranians get nuclear weapons...and finally as one of the architects that destroyed US combat capability.
Sidenote: This F-35 fiasco is such a danger to the Marine Corps reputation that I will post on Sunday meaningful ways that the full allotment of pain can be avoided. Preview? It starts by NOT declaring IOC this year.