It's important for the United States to have the very best fighter aircraft in the world.
That's why there's a lot of debate on the new F-35 fighter jet. Controversy has arisen over where the engines for the F-35s should be made. That's because many jobs and a lot of money will be involved. A program to build an alternative engine for the jet would cost $3 billion over several years-$450 million this year alone.
The competitors have been General Electric and Rolls-Royce in Ohio and Pratt & Whitney in Connecticut. Pratt & Whitney builds the main F-35 engine.
But having a second manufacturer of engines for the F-35 will increase costs at a time when Congress needs to be economizing.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen testified in the House, "I've been doing money a long time; I can't make sense out of a second engine."
And in a House vote, the pricey alternative-engine plan lost-at least for the time being.
Military equipment decisions should never be based on partisan politics or regional interests. Production decisions should be made on the ability to deliver high-quality equipment at the lowest cost and on the best time schedule.