"It is basically a declaration of How many bodies do you need in Afghanistan for your war to provide drugs to Russia by Romania."
Drugs to Russia get there throw Kazakhstan not Romania
What I meant to say was that the choice of worn out old model F-16s instead of nice near new Gripens is a case of Romanian politicians saying to the US we are part of the coalition of the willing, so how many of our soldiers can we send to fight in the various wars you (US) are involved in. I singled out the war in Afghanistan as the one they seem to currently want to focus on with the result that Afghans can now grow drugs with impunity to kill Europeans in general and Russians especially and earn money doing so.
Lots of Jamacians killed recently because the US wanted a drug dealer sent to America. It seems it is a different standard for people who create drugs for different markets.
Romanian politicians are incoherent and incompetent.
Good to know they have embraced democracy and capitalism so quickly.
Romanian politicians just want to kiss some ass.US offer no power and influence.
The ass kissing is noticed in the US. I can't deny an F-16 purchase will certainly gain Romania much more in terms of power and influence than a purchase of Gripens even though it is a much better aircraft in this particular case.
Down the line you will find closer ties with the US, and joint training exercises etc etc which would not occur if you bought Gripens.
Regarding real fighters vs LIFTs, I think national interests and pride get in the way too much in Europe.
You would think that Europe would have sorted its sht out and been much more pragmatic than it has but the power of the MIC is too much.
The result is the Gripen, Rafale, and Eurofighter and purchases of F-18 and F-16 and F-35 in the fighter aircraft category yet there is no decent medium transport aircraft in Europe yet. They are working on the A400M, but there is no European equivelent of the An-124, or Il-76.
You'd think they'd get together and instead of everyone buying fighters that some could just get LIFTs and spend limited defence budgets on something NATO needs.
Right now there is only the US which has all the pieces of the chess set.
The rest of NATO combined comes up short in lots of crucial areas.
Look at Kosovo, everyone turns up with fighters yet there are only American long range bombers, jammer aircraft, etc etc.
One of the main reasons that my country (New Zealand) got rid of their LIFTs and Skyhawks was the realisation that they were costing us money and against any threat that could attack us down here they would not last long. We are very active in international peacekeeping operations, but we know the last thing any international coalition wants from New Zealand are subsonic Skyhawks that have been upgraded to 90% the capability of an F-16... especially when everyone else brings fighters too.
So we cut the fighters that we never use and spent some real money on our navy an army, both of which we use a lot.
Somebody hijacks an airliner here and threatens to crash it into something and our airforce probably couldn't do much about it now.
When we had two dozen Skyhawks and a similar number of Airmacchis we would probably not be able to do anything about it either, because more than half were based permanantly in Australia and the other half were in Ohakea which is quite a long way from our main cities and international airports and both aircraft are subsonic.
So nothing is changed except our Army and Navy are better funded.