“The U.S. Air Force’s proposed plans to retire all of its iconic U-2 Dragon Lady spy planes by 2026 have taken a major step forward with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s signing of a critical waiver to make the controversial move a reality. This mechanism allows the Secretary of Defense to jettison congressional requirements that would ensure the capabilities lost by the end of the U-2 program would be replaced in a cost-effective manner.”