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No contract after nearly a year of negotiations

Negotiations between the U.S. government and Lockheed Martin over the $400 billion F-35 Lightning II program have been tense. Defense News reports that one deputy program manager said that the relationship between the Department of Defense and Lockheed is "the worst I have ever seen." 
After that comment was made, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stated, "I don't know that I would portray it in those terms. These are difficult negotiations, as they always are when you're dealing with the amount of money and the complexity that's involved with the Joint Strike Fighter."
Defense News reports that last week Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter put his support behind comments made by Air Force Major General Christopher Bogdan. Bogdan had harsh words for Lockheed Martin’s failure to sign a contract with the Pentagon for 32 F-35 fighters after almost a year of negotiations.
However, Panetta does not agree that the relationship between the U.S. government Lockheed is the worst he's ever seen.

Lockheed F-35B Lightning II fighters [Source: Lockheed Martin]
“I don't share it, number one, because … I don't know the history of just how much has gone on in the past,” Panetta said. “But at least from what I have seen at this point, my view of it is these are very tough negotiations, but they aren't a reflection that either side has given up or thinks that the other side, you know, is in a more difficult state at all.”
Panetta is also reportedly unhappy that Congress won't be back in session until after the elections in November. An initial round of budget cuts in defense spending is set to begin in January. With Congress out of session until the elections are over, there is no chance of avoiding or delaying the defense spending cuts.
Panetta said, "I'll take whatever the hell deal they can make right now to deal with sequestration. The problem now is that they've left town and all of this has now been put off into the lame duck session."
“We need stability,” he said. “You want a strong national defense for this country? I need to have some stability. And that's what I'm asking the Congress to do: Give me some stability with regards to the funding of the Defense Department for the future.”

Source: Defense News

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RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Paj on 10/1/2012 8:50:54 AM , Rating: 2
Creating countries out of thin air is a surefire way to completely fuck up entire populations.

True, the Jews have been persecuted throughout history. Their suffering has been truly terrible. What I dont understand is them acting as if they are the only ethnic group to have ever been persecuted throughout history? Why is Israel a special case?

Why can Israel be a proper country, but Palestine can't? What about the many, many, many other displaced populations of the world, who have lost their lands through military conquest, war, disease and being in the wrong place at the wrong time? If the goal is statehood and self-determination for national groups, should n't we be creating new nations for the Australian Aborigines? The Kurds in Turkey and Iraq? The Uyghur in China?

The US support for Israel is a key cause of anti-US sentiment, as is turning a blind eye to Palestinian statehood while allowing Israel to continue building illegal settlements. Ceding to Israeli demands on pretty much every respect of US foreign policy in the region. THAT is weakness, and that is what fundamentalists are exploiting.

A big step would be to make Israel retreat to pre 1967 borders, encourage nations around the world to recognise the Palestinian state. Make them lift the sanctions imposed on the Palestinian economy. Demonstrate that the US won't follow Israel around blindly - then you might start to see some change.

By Cluebat on 10/1/2012 12:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
Palestine is a made-up country and Israel is not.

Perfect example of public education.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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