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“The Chief Business of the American People is Business”

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West German F-104 Starfighter.jpg
“West German F-104 Starfighter” by Marshall, S.L.A. – U.S. Army Heritage Education Center (USAHEC) photo S.L.A. Marshall B1 no 73. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

 

You lose a war against the United States, we sell you fighter planes.  You fight a war alongside the United States, we sell you fighter planes.  You beat the United States in a war, we sell you fighter planes:

Now that the U.S. arms embargo has been lifted, what might be on Hanoi’s shopping list? According to a recent article at Defense News, U.S. defense officials and industry reports suggest “a lot.”

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  • Gotta keep that war export business going strong.

  • Woodrowfan

    “Come visit Crazy Uncle Sam’s Air Force Emporium! For 70 years we’ve been your trusted source for dominating YOUR skies! This week we’re featuring our special F-16 spare parts lot, the “Ill-Eagle!!” Keep those birds flying!! Former commies get 10% off their first order of F-22s! You’ll love Crazy Uncle Sam’s! Our prices are crrrraaaaazzzzyyyyy!!!!! If they were any lower we’d be violating international law!”

    • You too can spend hundreds of millions up front and billions over the life of the contract so the kids of your nation’s wealthiest 1% can live out their Top Gun* fantasies**.

      *Aircraft carrier not included
      **fantasies is the correct term, as any top of the line AA system will be an order of magnitude cheaper and clean the sky of the third rate planes we’re selling faster than you can buy new planes, or train their pilots.

      • ajay

        any top of the line AA system will be an order of magnitude cheaper and clean the sky of the third rate planes we’re selling faster than you can buy new planes, or train their pilots.

        I’m sure that’s what the Iraqis thought in 1991.

    • Hogan

      “How do we do it? VOLUME!!!”

  • Linnaeus

    Sometimes they’re shitty planes…like the F-104 Starfighter.

    • jroth95

      I never understood how it could even fly with those stubby little wings. It’s the Trump of airplanes!

      • BiloSagdiyev

        I was going to quip, “Hey, if it’s good enough for Erich Hartmann, it’s good enough… oh,wait, he was an exceptioanlly talented pilot.”

        But I just had to go and recheck the facts, and, oh, looky:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Hartmann#In_the_Luftwaffe_of_the_Bundeswehr

        It was shit, and he said that it stunk, and he was punished for not being a good officer politician. And then came the body count…

      • CP

        I never understood how it could even fly with those stubby little wings.

        Well, the answer is, frequently it couldn’t!

        Too soon?

        • BiloSagdiyev

          Hey, there’s always the ejection seat… oh wait, it shot downward… please try to roll the plane first…

          Damn you, objective reality! I had to go check wikipedia again. It was, then they fixed it.

          Early Starfighters used a downward-firing ejection seat (the Stanley C-1), out of concern over the ability of an upward-firing seat to clear the “T-tail” empennage. This presented obvious problems in low-altitude escapes, and 21 USAF pilots failed to escape from their stricken aircraft in low-level emergencies because of it. The downward-firing seat was soon replaced by the Lockheed C-2 upward-firing seat, which was capable of clearing the tail, but still had a minimum speed limitation of 104 mph (170 km/h). Many export Starfighters were later retro-fitted with Martin-Baker Mk.7 zero-zero ejection seats

          Twenty one pilots, and that’s just stateside. Even more fun here:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_F-104_Starfighter#Safety_record

  • Halloween Jack

    From the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition:

    #34 War is good for business.

    #35 Peace is good for business.

    • Candlbox

      My mind went to the same place. That, and, “Acquire, Brock! Acquire!”

  • Brett

    That Military-Industrial Complex isn’t going to cross-subsidize itself!

    In seriousness, though, this seems like a good and logical thing, for the reasons you pointed out. It’s good business and good strategic sense to build up Vietnam’s capabilities against China.

    • Lurker

      This is exactly what Washington argued for in his farewell address: no emotional foreign policy committments but realism. The United States should not hold permanent enmity against anyone, nor support any former ally just for old times’ sake.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Except Iran! That has to go on forever, according to some folks. Remember when they executed all of those hostages?!

        Also, I suspect that as the Chinese see it, us being in Vietnam was part of our war against them. Korean War II: Proxy Army Boogaloo. So in a sense, we’re just back again.

  • CP

    Isn’t there supposed to be a sort of strategic logic to this too? I thought part of the reason we did this was because we liked having as many countries as possible dependent on us for the supply of spare parts and eventual upgrades that’re needed to keep the fighters we sold them in top condition.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Or, in the case of Iran’s F-14’s, if they displease us, we can squeeze the parts pipeline shut. Even left certain software go tits-up after a certain date.

      • CP

        Right – obviously, that’s the other side of the coin, and it’s why you want them dependent on you, so they’ll be less tempted to do that.

        (How many of Iran’s F-14s can even fly anymore?)

        • BiloSagdiyev

          Last I heard, none for a long time, but their F-4 Phantoms were seeng bombing ISIS positions in Dec 2014.

  • Yankee

    We have never been at war with Eastasia..

  • From the lens of ol’ Symbionese Liberation Army Marshall hisse’f?

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