The lede paragraph seems to sum things up:
The first batch of U.S.-provided F-16s has arrived in Iraq, following a string of delays over security and other concerns.A later paragraph seems to ask more questions than it answers:
The Iraqis purchased 18 F-16s in 2011 for $3 billion, and another 18 for $830 million two years later, for a total of 36 aircraft.Am I wrong or could the Iraqis have saved something more than $2 billion if they had delayed their initial purchase by two years, a period during which inflation might have taken a toll?
And later still, the reporter seemed inclined to suggest that the whole exercise -- hardware, money et al. -- was an exercise in big-bucks futility:
Pierre Sprey, a defense analyst who helped to design the concept that led to the original F-16 in the 1970's, told FoxNews.com, "It takes an entire culture to make a fighter pilot. Here we go starting these guys off on F-16s, and there is not a chance that in the next 20 years they will be able to fly them effectively."