Rajiv Chandrasekaran returns to the program to discuss Iraq, Afghanistan and the F-35 fighter jet. Always insightful, Rajiv is a senior correspondent and associate editor of The Washington Post where he has been since 1994. His two books are Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone and Little America: the War Inside the War for Afghanistan, which is available now in paperback.
And be sure not to miss Rajiv’s piece on the F-35 fighter jet and its ability to evade budget cuts in the face of automatic across-the-board sequester cuts. What Lockheed Martin has managed to achieve is remarkable. Rajiv calls it his “Too Big to Bail” story:
The reasons for the F-35’s relative immunity are a stark illustration of why it is so difficult to cut the country’s defense spending. Lockheed Martin has spread the work across 45 states — critics call it “political engineering” — which in turn has generated broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. Any reduction in the planned U.S. purchase risks antagonizing the eight other nations that have committed to buying the aircraft by increasing their per-plane costs.
It’s insight to the secret of their success. There’s a lesson to be learned there one way or the other.