The U.S. is running out of fancy planes to send to Korea

With each passing day, the United States has met North Korean bellicosity with the deployment of increasingly sophisticated aircraft to the East Asian peninsula. But with Sunday's mobilization of F-22 stealth fighter jets, the U.S. military has quickly hit its ceiling of awe-inspiring next-generation aircraft. Let's review:

1. B-52 Bombers

On March 18, the Pentagon announced the flight of nuclear-capable B-52 bombers in training missions above South Korea. The subsonic, jet-powered bombers may be from Eisenhower's reign, but they're still capable of launching nuclear-armed cruise missiles. In response, the North Korean army threatened to strike U.S. bases in Guam and Japan.

2. B-2 Bombers

Next came the B-2 Spirit bombers on March 28. The stealth bombers, capable of deploying both conventional and nuclear weapons, dropped munitions on a South Korean island and flew back to their home base in Missouri in one trip. Flying the B-2s was a pricey excursion (the planes alone cost $3 billion each), but it didn't stop Pyongyang's provocations. North Korea responded by vowing to nuke Los Angeles, Washington, and other U.S. cities. 

3. F-22

On Sunday, the United States sent F-22 stealth fighter jets to join war games with South Korea. As the Aviationist noted, in the event of an actual invasion, the radar-evading F-22s would likely escort B-2 bombers "after the rain of cruise missiles that would wipe out most of North Korea's air defenses." But the DPRK kept on shouting its "sea of fire" rhetoric. It called for a "sacred war of justice."

So what's left? There's the state-of-the-art F-35, but it's not operational. There's the futuristic-looking V-22 Osprey, but it's not much of a strategic threat. There's the expansive U.S. drone arsenal, but we're already giving those to the South Koreans. It would appear that if U.S. muscle-flexing is to continue, military planners will have to come up with something more creative than dusting off the latest hangar trophies.


The wacky things Pervez Musharraf has been tweeting since returning to Pakistan

When former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf returned to Karachi from exile on March 24, at least 17,000 people were following along -- on his Twitter feed, @P_Musharraf. He even made his own hashtag for the occasion: #musharrafreturn.

It's been a pretty strange ride ever since. Despite occasional lapses into the third person, Musharraf appears to run his own account (in the style of American politicians such as Claire McCaskill, and formerly Chuck Grassley and Scott Brown), which makes for a level of intimacy that is unusual for public figures on the Internet. Here are the highlights -- sometimes bizarre, sometimes insightful -- from the former president's feed over the past several days.

Before he returned to Pakistan, Musharraf -- in true politician style -- used his feed to advertise his homecoming with goofy graphics and donation requests. 

The requests to "donate generously" were repeated daily. But on March 21, the feed got more personal. It tracked his pilgrimage to Mecca and chronicled his flight back to Karachi.

There's still plenty of politicking in his feed -- he's once again running for office, after all -- and he tweets his many press appearances. But then there are gems like this: 

That link goes to Musharraf's Facebook page and a picture of his imposing bodyguard carrying an M-4. Or this one:

Look at those shoes! Just look at them! (Also, can someone get the president a better camera?) And then today he live-tweeted his bail hearing.

So, there you go. Just one more way the Internet is making politics downright weird.