Can’t Make Up Their Minds

Speculators in the F-35 basing game believe a statement by the BRAC commission heralds Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, as a prime candidate for the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Under the BRAC plan, USAF will strip the Idaho base of its present complement of 18 F-15s and 18 F-16s. However, the BRAC panel noted that the Air Force is considering the base as a “potential location” for an operational JSF unit and as a “training ground for international squadrons.” That might carry more weight, though, if lawmakers weren’t taking such a dim view of the program—cutting it by $270 million in Fiscal 2006—and Pentagon budget cutters weren’t sharpening their axes. Still, Republican Sen. Larry Craig told the Associated Press news service that Mountain Home has a “bright future” that includes a JSF unit. Is that why he voted for the 2006 cut