Tuesday, January 30, 2007

No more Tomcat parts

In response to Congressional criticism (and, of course, fear of Midtopia), the Pentagon has announced it will stop selling F-14 parts as surplus.

Well, for now, anyway. The Pentagon has halted the sales pending a "comprehensive review" of its auction procedures.

The sales were less of a big deal than it seems, because my earlier speculation was correct: the parts that were being marketed were general aircraft hardware like nuts and bolts, things not unique to the F-14 and thus not particularly sensitive. So to some extent this is Congressional (and mostly Democratic) grandstanding.

But given that Iran is the only other user of F-14s, it's reasonable to ask why we should make their life easier by selling any aircraft parts to them, even those they could obtain elsewhere. And there's also the documented problem of sensitive parts getting mixed in with the basic stuff. Until that is sorted out -- presumably what is being done by the "comprehensive review" -- there's no sense in selling anything.

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