End of the A-10 Attack Fighter?

Manufactured in Hagerstown, Maryland, destroyer of invading Iraqi armed forces in Kuwait in 1991: is 2014 the year the A-10 begins its goodbye?  Not so fast.  The Air Force proposed retiring all A-10s.  But the House voted to keep them, and the Senate looks likely to concur if the money can be found to fund A-10 operations.  The USAF is right to contend that other platforms such as the  F-16 and F-35 are now better suited for close air support.  A-10s are fierce but slow and vulnerable.  Yet the fact that  the USAF proposed a complete  sweep of the units was driven by what is now the fifth year of heavy, short-term budget cuts.  Emotion and expediency are beating logic — not just with the A-10, but DoD’s budget as a whole.   The real lesson of the A-10 is how far we’ve come from strategy-driven decisions.