The Law and an Inadequate Budget

In a new Heritage Foundation paper, Mackenzie Eaglen says that Congress should care about sustaining the alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for several reasons, including the fact that it’s new Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act requires “competition for all major subsystems.” Congress has supported the alternate engine—over Pentagon objections—but that may be about to change, given as Eaglen says, “members have largely acquiesced to all of President Obama’s defense cuts.” And, the Air Force has said it would have to cut 53 F-35s to keep funding the second engine. In Eaglen’s view, that just points to the real crux of the problem. She writes, “That debate should be centered squarely where it belongs: in the Air Force budget topline, which is wholly inadequate for what the nation is asking the service to do now and in the future.” Continue