This editorial appeared in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Consider this a suggestion: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates proposes to halt F–22 production when the last of 187 planes on order are delivered in 2011.
Consider this a mandate: To "provide for the common defense."
The first is from the Pentagon's proposed budget. The second is from the preamble to the U.S. Constitution.
And thereby are drawn the lines that will determine the fate of the F–22 program so vital to our local economy and, we believe, to fulfilling that demand written into the Constitution.
Gates said Monday that the Air Force agrees with his recommendation to halt the F–22 program and expand the F–35 program.
Maybe, especially on the F–35. But on the F–22, that's a change from the studies produced earlier in which Air Force planners called for at least 60 more of the airplanes. In the past, the Air Force has said it needs 381 F–22s.
The final decision will be made by Congress, and that is appropriate.
"The most important thing to remember is this is just one step in a process," U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R–Fort Worth, told the Star–Telegram after Gates spoke.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.