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The F-35 fighter-bomber was grounded again this week — the most expensive weapons system in history is too dangerous to fly. A supersonic “stealth” aircraft with different versions for the Navy, Air Force and Marines, the F-35 was purchased before it was tested. After multiple failures, the cost is now $400 billion, with the House and Senate providing even more than the Pentagon is asking for. Is the F-35 a high-tech requirement for future warfare, or a pork-barrel project that will be obsolete when it finally gets off the ground?

Also, Bashar al Assad is sworn in for another 7 years as Syria's president, and Israel’s Netanyahu finally speaks his mind.

Banner Image:  The U.S. Navy variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C, conducts a test flight over the Chesapeake Bay.

A Confident Assad Sworn in for Another 7 Years as Syria’s President 6 MIN, 30 SEC

President Obama once said Syria’s President Bashar al Assad would “have to go,” but today he was sworn in again in Damascus for a third 7-year term. Despite three years of civil war with a death toll of 170,000, his inaugural speech on state television sounded more confident than ever. Liz Sly is Bureau Chief in Beirut, Lebanon for the Washington Post.

Guests:
Liz Sly, Washington Post (@lizsly)

The F-35 Striker Jet and Pork Barrel Politics 35 MIN, 28 SEC

More than 15 years in the making, the F-35 striker jet still has trouble landing on wet runways. The most expensive weapons system in history was grounded again this week, missing several airshows in England. They were much-needed marketing opportunities to help sell the F-35 fighter-bomber to foreign countries, amortizing increasing costs. We’ll hear about continued Congressional support despite a history of failure.

Guests:
Amy Butler, Aviation Week (@ABAviationWeek)
William Hartung, Director, New America Foundation's Arms and Security Initiative
Dan Goure, Lexington Institute (@dgoure)
Paul Scharre, Center for a New American Security (@paul_scharre)

More:
F-35: The Plane to Nowhere | Commentary
The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane to Nowhere
Lockheed F-35 for Marines Delayed as Test Exposes Cracks
F-35 Lightning II Will Not Strike At Farnborough

Surprise Look at Netanyahu’s Worldview 8 MIN, 4 SEC

Last week, on day four of what Israel calls “Operation Protective Edge,” Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu held a news conference in Hebrew. His direct remarks about the current crisis were widely reported — but that wasn’t all he said. David Horovitz is former editor in chief of the Jerusalem Post, now founding editor of The Times of Israel.

Guests:
David Horovitz, Times of Israel (@davidhorovitz)

More:
Netanyahu finally speaks his mind

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