Issue Briefs

The Power Of A Growing International F-35 Community

Daniel Goure

September 25th, 2020

The United States is rapidly building an international community based around the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The military value of such a community is indisputable. The F-35 will be one of the pillars supporting the creation of a new, sensor-rich way of warfare. But as the negotiations that led to the opening of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) demonstrated, potential international sales of the F-35 can provide significant diplomatic leverage as well. Moreover, experience has shown that operating the same platform and training with it alongside the same planes from other nations can bring militaries closer together. By managing the quality of the software and types of weapons available on the UAE’s fighters, the U.S. should be able to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge. I have written a commentary on the F-35 international program here.

The views and opinions expressed in this issue brief are those of the author.

Daniel Gouré, Ph.D., is a vice president at the public-policy research think tank Lexington Institute. Goure has a background in the public sector and U.S. federal government, most recently serving as a member of the 2001 Department of Defense Transition Team.