The Economist on the F-22 vote:
The secretary of defence did not want to add to the programme. Nor did the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Nor did the Air Force’s two senior leaders. Yet 40 senators still thought they knew better.
Now, I’m convinced that on the merits, the “anti-more-F-22s” side is easily on the right side of the debate, but nonetheless in a representative democracy it properly is the elected officials—including the 40 pro-F-22 senators, however misguided—who should be deciding whether to spend billions of taxpayers’ money on weapons systems, and not members of the armed forces or a political appointee who’s never been elected to or sought public office. Certainly I hope The Economist is not suggesting that senators and representatives should always defer to the preferences of the military and the executive branch, even when their views are held in unanimity.
As an aside, the F-22’s demise also will prove a useful lesson to Lockheed and other defense contractors in the future: next time, ensure the contract’s jobs are in as many states as possible.
Bryan of Arguing with signposts asks whether reorganizing FEMA along military lines would make it more effective; this would not be unprecedented, as there are already several federal government agencies with primarily civilian responsibilities that are organized like the armed forces: the Coast Guard, the U.S. Public Health Service (hence why its head is the “surgeon general”), and NOAA.
James Joyner and Jeff Quinton have links to the real BRAC list, which wasn’t quite as sweeping as anticipated here. The only meaningful casualty in Mississippi is NS Pascagoula, which co-blogger Robert Prather points out is little more than a 20-year-old Trent Lott pork project.
Columbus AFB will actually gain jobs, Keesler will lose about 400 positions (about half contractor positions), and NAS Meridian only loses 16 jobs total.
Jeff Quinton has a post with a list of military bases allegedly (and I stress allegedly) on the Base Realignment and Closure list to be announced tomorrow. Among the casualties include Mississippi’s Columbus AFB, NAS Meridian, and Pascagoula NS, leaving (by my estimation) just Keesler AFB and the Sea Bee base in Gulfport in service.