I am absolutely against the disgustingly large spending behind the F-35 production and our military industrial complex in general but does this topic really matter given the fact that we don’t exist in a dogfighting era?
This is like saying “Our naval destroyers can’t engage efficiently in ship-on-ship battle”, true or not we maintain an unprecedentedly massive and unparalleled Navy that dwarfs the next dozen navies (mainly allies) that realistically (and optimistically) won’t see any fleet-to-fleet battles.
The same can be said for our air force and air-to-air dogfighting. In practically any war scenario post-ww2 US air forces have always held whats called air supremacy, or literal complete control over the skies, and won’t be seeing any dogfighting in the future (again, optimistically speaking).
This reminds me of President Obama’s counter comment of having “less horses and bayonets” to Mitt Romney’s sound-bite criticism of Obama’s foreign policy of maintaining the smallest naval fleet in the history of the US.
If we we’re to see large scale air-to-air dogfighting it would presumably be engaged with another first world military power and when that scale of war exists between two modern day superpowers I would assume all-out nuclear warfare would be on the table and actually far more likely.
I am also just an overly opinionated ex-political science major with too much time on my work break but I stick to the notion that different eras bring different technology and approaches and the ability or inability to dogfight is somewhat irrelevant to our national security.