F-22 Smackdown

The Rapture. Or is it Raptor? Personally we like Rapture, but no matter the name, the U.S. Air Force’s F-22 is quite the little hot commodity. Like the overused “Men want her, and women want to be her,” the Air Force wants more of this reportedly most advanced fighter, and many nations — including friends like Australia and strange bedfellows like Japan — want her, too. There is a prohibition against selling our most advanced wares to foreign nations (guess we got that one right!), but what’s a prohibition in the OK Corral (or maybe Coral Sea?) of diplomacy where firepower and bucks speak volumes. 

So, do we sell to the Aussies? Our guess is we will purport to seriously weigh the pros and cons. (You know, “D— the rules and full speed ahead!) And Japan? Our guess is that one’s not going to happen. It has been a chilly relationship, World War II aside. Our warmest moment collectively was back in 1912 when the Japanese gave us those really nice cherry blossom trees, a few of which have survived and can be enjoyed by the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., and many of which survived longer than the feigned friendship that was blown out of the water with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Though enraptured by even the most remote prospect of acquiring the F-22, Japan’s forces are defense forces, and their need for the F-22 is a stretch at best. That said, the “Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend” rule applies and given concerns over other nations’ strength in the region (and we’re not talking our war buds in North Korea), the U.S. seems to be courting this former foe (uh, Japan), not with roses and chocolate but with the sweet whispers of love just the same: Technology. 

Though a number of nations are salivating over the new fighter, having both Japan and Australia with checkbooks open may show how far we’ve come in 65 years, or it shows that maybe not much has changed. Atomic bomb detonations aside, Japan came out of World War II in a trading position it may not have enjoyed otherwise. Has Japan been biding its time for an opportunity to strike and annex, oh, all of Asia, moving southward toward Aussie country? At this point, many think the Japanese navy might be second only to the U.S. Navy (haven’t we been there before?), which must give someone other than those at “Inside the Headquarters” pause.

A stretch? Maybe. Maybe not. Peace constitution? C’mon.

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