It has stealth capability, though because it must carry heavy bomb loads on hard points for it's ground attack role, it's not as stealthy as it could be.
Ah yes, the "stealth capability". That's the last argument, supposed to redeem every other flaws (along with it comes the following : "it isn't a good dogfighter ? that's alright, with its stealth capability, it won't need to")
Except, of course, that the supposed stealth is incredibly vulnerable to the elements, phenomenally costly and already made obsolete by the new radar systems of all the nations against which it would be any use.
But hey, oil and an opportunity to sell more weapon systems and keep the show going even longer. After all, GDP counts wars as positives, so overall a win, right?
Just a thought.
It is already becoming common knowledge that there is a large number of jobs that have simply no value for society at large. They exist to provide work (one of the greatest examples would be in Japan where you can see old guys standing at the exit of construction sites to stop cars when trucks get out/come in. The geezers often need the work because they have to wait a few years between the time they retire and the moment they get their retirement pension)
One of the consequences is how little Japanese people know about what the imperial army was up to in the 1930's. Considering that, even today, Japan is essentially an US dominion, that was only possible because the American government allowed it.
However, when making that kind of judgement, or excuses, it is then necessary to wonder whether the position considered modern was expressed in any way at the time the person considered lived in.
Case in point, there were quite a few very vocal voices against slavery in the late 18th century. Enough to show that on that point at the very least, the US constitution is much less a semi-divine document and much more the result of haggling over specific interests. The point being that you shouldn't be so quick to excuse people because of the "different age" excuse.
If they were federal and not some federal-in-name-only, they would all operate under the exact same rules.
Tomorrow's computers some time next month. -- DEC