Last week Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced that the F-35 strike fighter program will be reviewed. The program’s costs have reached “out of control” levels, but the Defense Department will make moves to “substantially reduce the program’s costs.”
The need for a review of the F-35 program has emerged over the last several years, especially as costs have reached a projected $1.5 trillion. Despite the funding, evidence of waste and functional failures have come to light. From technical issues such as those with the ejection systems to overall issues involving the F-35’s fighting abilities, to the oversight and cost issues found by the Government Accountability Office, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has become problematic. A review of the program will ensure that funds are being spent efficiently and on a properly functioning product.
It’s encouraging that lawmakers and Pentagon officials are making moves towards fiscal responsibility at the Department of Defense. A commitment to cost management will ensure that our military has the necessary funds to equip soldiers and stay ready. Along with re-evaluation of large programs such as the F-35 program, an audit of the Pentagon will be a necessary step to keeping the American people safe.