Why Cancel the C-17?

Looks like I’m not the only one that was puzzled by the plannedcancellation of the C-17 transport plane. Unlike other high-ticket aircraft programs,like the F-22, the C-17 is a plane that is currently in highoperational demand. And with the global shortage of strategic airlift,it’s one that is a very attractive export — even to countries likeFrance, which has traditionally avoided outsourcing its aircraftprocurement, but now finds itself in a pinch given the delays and costoverruns in the A400M program. Evenin the context of the COIN vs. conventional debate, the C-17 seems topass the test, since it fills a role in humanitarian airlift (full spectrum operations), as well as in the force projection necessaryfor boot-heavy COIN missions. Whether or not it could compete with theA400M when the latter eventually comes online remains to be seen. But the timing seems odd to pull the plug now. Anyone have a good answer for this?

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