The F-35 is useless for Pacific Rim ops. And that assumes it works as advertised; simply because the Joint Operational Requirements Document (JORD) for the Joint Strike Fighter is now way past obsolete. Oh, it would be useful in fighting ALLIED FORCE in 1999. Well not really, as now unlike then, most aircraft can carry JDAM, many can carry JSOW and some can carry longer-range stand-off precision weapons. J-weapons and similar allow for contempt of engagement of legacy ground-to-air threats. Allied Force after-all was mostly a plinking war against known, fixed targets. And, even under that legacy threat, we lost 1 F-117 stealth aircraft and another damaged.
$200M-plus weak-to-the-threat Joint Strike Failures don't allow much for war attrition.
It is poor thinking like this:
Australia, on the other hand, is more likely to see the manned F-35 as the long-term answer to its future air power needs. The Lowy’s Brown points out, “Our approach to air combat is very conservative; our air force is opposed to the widespread use of unmanned technology. And there’s now enough momentum in the F-35 program to give you the sense that it will get through to its conclusion.”
...that has put the issue of RAAF air supremacy at extreme risk.
Worrying for the Diplomat article, is that the author is unable to see that the F-35 has no credible worth in Pacific Rim operations.
And, how are big-deck U.S. aircraft carriers supposed to take on emerging threats with an increasingly obsolete-to-the-threat carrier air wing?