What, Exactly, is the B-21 For?

It looks amazing, and I like that its name derives from the 1942 “Doolittle’s Raiders” mission over Tokyo.

But, at over $700M per plane, what is the reason for adding the new B-21 nuclear stealth bomber to our fleet? The original order with Northrop is for 100 of them.

”The B-21 is a long-range, highly survivable, penetrating strike stealth bomber that will incrementally replace the B-1 and B-2 bombers and will play a major role supporting national security objectives,” the USAF explained in a statement.

When I ask what is it for, I don’t mean that I don’t understand its capabilities. Rather, as dads ask young men waiting in the hallway to take their daughters out for the evening—“what are your intentions, son?” In other words, what “national security objectives”?

China is a “competitor”, according to the current glitterati in Washington D.C. We don’t seek a larger war with Russia, they always say, while pouring fuel on the fire that is Ukraine.

The future of air combat, we are often told, is UAVs and precision weapons controlled from locations nowhere near a battlefield.

Again, I’m not confused, but this is confusing rhetoric. The actions and words don’t align.

One of two things could be true.

Maybe we are just seeing the “military-industrial complex” at work here—in which there will of course, ALWAYS, be bigger, faster, more lethal aircraft, because we can!

Or…maybe modern civilian and military overlords are doing a piss-poor job of explaining the world as it actually is, and rather than preparing us for real conflicts on the horizon, are indulging in fantasies such as testifying that the climate crisis is our number one enemy.

I see you ordering 100 Raiders and I think you’re either wasting our money, or lying, or both, and I don’t like it.

The B-21 looks like American exceptionalism. Our leaders are anything but exceptional.

 

 

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