Purdue Libraries Professor’s New Book on U.S. Combat Jet Fighter, National Security Based on Author’s Research Using Publicly Accessible Information

Purdue Libraries Professor Bert Chapman

Purdue Libraries Professor Bert Chapman

Purdue Libraries Professor Bert Chapman’s latest book, “Global Defense Procurement and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter,” is set to be published in February next year. Chapman, who is the government information, history, political science, and sociology librarian at Purdue Libraries, said in his work in the Libraries, he encourages individuals to use government information resources in instruction and research. Chapman has a long research and publication record, which makes extensive use of government information resources.

“This book demonstrates it is possible for the general public to find detailed information on national security policy-making and weapons-system development by motivated members of the general public using publicly accessible information resources,” he noted.

Below, Chapman provides a bit more context for his latest book. More information about “Global Defense Procurement and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter” is available on the publisher’s website at www.palgrave.com/us/book/9783030013660.

Q: How did your research for this book come about? Who is the audience or are the audiences for this book?

Chapman: I have an academic background in history and political science, as well as library and information science, and an acute interest in scholarly and other information resources dealing with national and international security and the political and scholarly debates over such topics. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been part of the national security policy-making debate of the U.S. and many other countries for over two decades. I wanted to address the topics around weapons systems acquisition in a book intended for members of the general public who are interested in national security policy-making issues, academic and public libraries, for businesses involved in national security production and policy-making, and for civilian and military policymakers and policy analysts from the U.S., allied, and adversary countries who are involved in such policy-making and analyzing the effects of weapons systems purchasing and international security trends. I also have made specific public policy recommendations on whether the U.S. and its allies should purchase and deploy the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Having this work published by an internationally prominent scholarly publisher should enhance its market potential. Other books I have written have also been purchased by libraries in multiple countries.

Q: In the “About This Book” section on the publisher’s website, the description of it states your work  provides an “outline of the emerging international geopolitical and security trends the F-35 may see combat in.” Can you identify some of the trends and explain why they were important to the subject matter of your research/book (the F-35)?

Chapman: These trends include the aging nature of the U.S. combat jet fighter fleet, which is nearly 30 years; the need for the U.S. and its allies to develop and sustain a jet fighter plane (capable of carrying conventional and nuclear weapons) into combat scenarios involving powers as varied as Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and transnational terrorist organizations; the role of unmanned aerial vehicle technology in combat operations and how piloted aircraft are still necessary in such operations; examining the experiences countries allied with the U.S. (including Australia, Britain, Canada, Israel, Japan, and others) have had with this program using government information resources from 10 countries; the political, financial, and technological cost and controversy this program has generated in these countries; the widespread geographic dispersion of defense contracts for this program in the U.S. and many other countries, which has increased legislative support for this program; and how the U.S. aerospace industry and aerospace labor unions have made targeted political campaign contributions to selected U.S. senators and representatives. Additional topics covered in this work include a history of jet fighter planes broken down by technological generation and Air Force and Naval aviation developments in countries such as Russia and China, which are influencing the F-35’s development and deployment.

Q: Is your research ongoing on this topic? If not, what are you working on now?

Chapman: Research for this project is complete, but I currently have work being reviewed by scholarly journals on topics such as Baltic Security, Arctic geopolitics, and British government agencies evaluating the performance of Royal Air Force programs.