The Conservatives, egged on by the defence industry, keep telling us we need to ignore that looming deficit and pressing social needs (such as family home care and pension reform) and instead drop $16 billion we don't have on sole-sourced stealth fighters because:
A first-of-its-kind hijacking exercise involving the U.S., Canadian and Russian militaries went so well that a similar drill is planned for 2011, an American officer said.
Jet fighters from Russia and the North American Aerospace Defence Command pursued a small passenger jet playing the role of a hijacked jetliner across the Pacific and back during the August exercise. The aim: To practice handing off responsibility for a hijacked jet between Russia and NORAD, a joint U.S.-Canadian command that for decades devoted its efforts to tracking Soviet forces.
Officers reviewed the exercise in November at NORAD headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. The verdict: It "was pretty much carried on flawlessly," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Lee Haefner, who was the lead planner.
NORAD and Russian officers will meet in Russia in February to begin planning a second exercise, Haefner said.