I wonder what the Chinese and the Russians must be making of our current obsession with stealth warplanes? My guess is that they view our focus on stealth as a terrific strategic advantage - for themselves.
Here's what I'm thinking they're thinking.
1. They know the F-35 is insanely expensive and that America and its minion states will be shelling out enormous amounts to equip their air forces with the stealth light bomber.
2. They know we'll be in so deep when we buy the F-35 that we'll be stuck with it for at least three decades, maybe half a century.
3. They know, hell everyone knows, that, stealth aside, the F-35 is a very mediocre warplane with very limited range and payload that can't outrun, out climb or out turn even existing Russian fighters.
4. They know that, once stripped of its supposed invisibility, the F-35 is aerial dead meat.
5. They know that the F-35's stealth is a very brittle technology that embodies its own serious vulnerabilities and can probably be defeated which renders the entire aircraft obsolete.
Overall, I can't think of a single reason why Russia and China and their proxies wouldn't want us saddled with a warplane like the F-35. It plays straight into their hands. They've already got some quite feasible counter-measures and, with the stealth secrets they'll be gleaning from the Lockheed RQ-170 stealth drone Iran captured just before Christmas, they'll have a dandy window into the latest and greatest advances in stealth design, materials and electronics - free of charge.
The F-35 may be the greatest military acquisition blunder in Canadian history. And I'm guessing the Russians and Chinese couldn't be happier.