The decision is welcome on two fronts. First, the F-22 contributes little to U.S. national security. It has not flown a single mission in the Iraq or Afghanistan campaigns. Further, as the Center for American Progress’s Larry Korb explained in 2005, the F-22 was designed to address threats that the U.S. last faced during the cold war:
The F/A-22 Raptor is the most unnecessary weapon system being built by the Pentagon. In fact, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld tried to do away with it in the summer of 2002 but backed off when his Air Force secretary threatened to resign over the issue. It was originally designed to achieve air superiority over Soviet fighter jets, which will never be built.
I think most of the fixed-wing aircraft combat usage in Afghanistan and Iraq these days is for Close Air Support (CAS). The planes for that are not first-line strike fighters of course, but they still fly too high and too fast to be very discerning about their targets. I propose a retro alternative that can fly low enough and slow enough that the pilot can tell a war party from a wedding party. For a buncha guys only with weapons to be a wedding party, it would have to in a pretty secure and liberated part of the country!
Empty yer Kalashnikov one last time at this, Osama. It will look good in Paradise if yer heater is still smokin' when you arrive. Kiss yer ass goodbye, but be sure to get yer lips off yer ass before you get there. That wouldn't look good at all. Heh.
Maybe you can pick yer nose with the tailhook too.
Douglas Skyraider - "A propeller-driven anachronism"
Speaking on behalf of anachronisms everywhere, just, sighhhh...