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Claire McCaskill

Bomber must fly through enemy airspace on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON No matter which company wins the new B-3 bomber deal, the program's advocates will start facing the first of many budget battles before any metal has been bent. U.S. bomber programs have a history of political trouble. The B-1 bomber was a political football in the 1970s and 1980s. The B-2 bomber buy was curtailed from 132 down to 21 after the Cold War ended. Former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates decided in 2009 to kill an earlier version of the B-3 that had been slated to start procurement in 2018. Today, the Air Force has done itself no favors in the political arena by how it has described the new bomber's price tag. The service has said that it expects the planes...

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