This Is the Biggest Waste of Money in U.S. Military History

Look, it’s about the lessons we learned along the way
This Is the Biggest Waste of Money in U.S. Military History

I think that for even the most jingoistic among us, the U.S. military budget is still a little staggering — especially because of the hospital-Advil style markups they charge taxpayers for basic equipment. Even the most budget-ignorant interior designer to the stars would be answering questions over spending $1,280 on a cup. For that price, it better refill itself with fresh, drinkable water using alchemy.

However, theres one military project thats particularly infamous for the sheer amount of money its burnt: the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter. Its not just the retail price of a single one of these planes, though $100 million a pop definitely stings for anyone thats ever transferred savings to checking to pay rent. Its the greater price of the over 20-year research and development program that went into a plane that the military doesnt even really like.

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An F-35A Lightning II pictured on the ground, which is where they spend a remarkable amount of their time.

First off, it's the most expensive weapons program in U.S. history. No, not the most expensive failed weapons program, but the most expensive weapons program period. If somethings going to hold that title, you would hope it made war obsolete altogether. Instead, its a single not-great plane. 

The total financial damage of the F-35 program? $1.7 trillion. 

Which I dont think still does it justice, because its hard to imagine just how insane of a number a trillion is. Were talking about a million dollars squared, then almost doubled on top of that. The cost of making this one dogshit plane makes up five percent of our entire national debt. By the way, though there are completed F-35s being used today, the program is still officially in the “development phase,” 23 years after it was launched in 2001.

So whats wrong with them? Dan Grazier, an expert on the aerial shitshow that is the F-35, explained it to CNN. The idea behind the F-35 is that it would be able to do the jobs of multiple specialized aircraft, all in one. But it is very much not able to. Apparently, those top aerospace engineering programs dont ever teach the phrase “jack of all trades, master of none.” The F-35 is basically an airborne, $1.7 trillion spork. 

Dont believe me? Listen to the military themselves, trying to explain why they need a new plane to replace the F-35, which they never even officially finished.

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