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Story By Roscoe Koppel - OPT-ED
Published on Tuesday May 3, 2011 - 2:50 PM
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Of Federal taxes paid by Oregonians this year about $ 10 billion will go to defense and national security spending. $ 10 billion pays for K-12 education, in Oregon, for 3 years. For every one dollar Oregonians pay to support K-12 education in Oregon we pay three dollars for national security and defense.

In the 'Y' article published in early April we were introduced to an extraordinary document. Written by a Colonel in the Marine Corp and a Captain in the Navy the 'National Strategic Narrative' is particularly interesting because the authors work for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Admiral Mullen. The preface presents the Narrative as "a non-partisan blueprint for understanding and reacting to the changes of the 21st century world. In one sentence, the strategic narrative of the United States in the 21st century is that we want to become the strongest competitor and most influential player in a deeply inter-connected global system, which requires that we invest less in defense and more in sustainable prosperity and the tools of effective global engagement."

The $ 1 trillion, 20 year, DoD, Joint Strike Fighter program is a prime target to reduce military spending. The agreement with Lockheed Martin to develop the 5th generation Jet fighter and deliver 3000 over ten years was penned on October 26, 2001, in the height of confusion and despair after the 9/11 World Trade Center tragedy.

It is the largest arms contract in the history of the world. $ 219 billion to develop and manufacture 3000 airplanes. Ten years later the cost has ballooned to $ ½ a trillion for 2400 planes. Maintenance and flight costs have almost quadrupled. Total life time costs of the weapons system is over a $1 trillion and delivery is 5-7 years behind schedule.

Every day, 365 days a year, Lockheed Martin receives $ 32 million, from taxpayers, to pay for JSF. That, coincidently, is what Oregonians pay every day for our share of defense and national security spending. DOWNSIZE JSF! Pass the word! Write your elected representatives!

Respectfully, Roscoe Koppel