You haven’t really lived until you’ve pulled Mach 3

A fascinating read on the US military industrial complex – particularly the Air Force’s focus on planes which don’t actually get the job done, but do return unbelievable profits to private interests.

What the USAF really gets called on to do is bombing raids, usually on small, low-value targets, and close air support (CAS) for US ground forces or their allies.

The problem with that is that the USAF hates that job. For all kinds of reasons. It’s not as glorious as dueling enemy fighters; it’s downright dangerous; and worst of all, it calls for really ugly, cheap airplanes like the A-10 Warthog.

The frequent references to Top Gun-style heroic fantasies couldn’t help but remind me of this NZ classic: