The U.S. Senate voted July 21 to hold the line on procurement of the F-22 Raptor fighter jet. The vote was a victory for U.S. President Barack Obama, his secretary of Defense, Mr. Robert Gates, and defense budgeting sanity. The move effectively forecloses the prospect of Japan’s purchasing the troublesome plane. That is not a bad thing. This country has better uses for its diminishing defense funds.

The F-22 is the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft. It was designed in the 1980s to ensure U.S. dominance of the air against a future Soviet threat. That enemy vanished, but the F-22 did not: The U.S. has purchased 187 of them, spending $65 billion, or $350 million per plane.

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