However this part of the post makes little sense:
"Designed to combat the next-generation of Soviet fighters – which never materialized – the planes have sat on the tarmac despite the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya raging in the skies above them. They have no role in today’s wars, and by the time there’s someone to battle, they’ll be obsolete."
Trident nuclear missiles were not used in Afghanistan (Operation: USELESS DIRT 1), Iraq (Operation: USELESS DIRT 2) or Libya (Operation: USELESS DIRT 3). I don't think Mark has a grasp on why no-peer-level air power exists.
Today's wars could suddenly mean N.Korea or an encounter near the South China Sea. The, "by there's someone to battle, they'll be obsolete" statement is valueless. Also, no other aircraft in the U.S. inventory besides the F-22 has a hope of standing up to SU-35, PAK-FA, J-2x, and the Chinese JSF knock-off that is coming.
The strategy that one wants to fight anti-access threats at a peer level or worse is bad. That is exactly where the moribund DOD "strategic" thinking is going.
The F-22 exists so-as to clean any opponents air assets off the table. The fact that the oxygen mess in the F-22 isn't fixed yet points just as much to USAFs thin engineering manning as it does Lockheed Martin incompetence.
If USAF had the proper number of free-thinking engineers, along with the requisite amount of strong moral leadership to back them up, the F-22 would not have reached IOC until a serious matter like oxygen and stealth-skin defects were solved.
With that, restarting F-22 production using resources from the failed F-35 program is the right thing to do.
The guy on the left; his moustache is out of reg, but he his Guard and we overlook that a bit. But hats off to both of them for making a very hard decision, and, maybe even one that saved their life. Having an oxygen bottle ring is of little use if you are incapacitated to such a level you are unable to remember where it is. Given an incompetent engineering, flight-safety and senior leadership environment, what choice did they have?