Four years after the Carter administration canceled the B-1 bomber, President Ronald Reagan revived the program amid the fervor of the Cold War. Between 1982 and 1986, no fewer than 100 Lancers rolled off the Palmdale, Calif., assembly line. Regardless of what one thinks of the much-maligned B-1B, the episode holds a valuable lesson for political leaders and military planners today. During the program interruption, the Defense Department maintained the tooling and other equipment needed ...

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