During the Second World War, the German military actually employed a number of incredibly high-tech devices which their local propaganda machine dubbed "Wonder Weapons" ("wunderwaffen"). These weapons included jet fighters (the Me-262), Man-Portable Air Defense Systems ("Pilot Fist"), and Inter-continental ballistic missiles (the dreaded V-2 rocket).
While these weapons were impressive, they were utter strategic failures. The supersonic V-2 rocket, for example, was negated by asymetric means. Most notably, the British Intelligence service had cracked the German codes, imprisoned most of the German spy ring, and transmitted false targeting information to the Third Reich, causing the missiles to overshoot Britain and land in the sea. It also helped that Allied attack fighters, vastly outnumbering the Me-262 jet fighters, were also able to destroy V-2s on the ground.
Many 5th Generation fighters these days are quite similar to the Wunderwaffen. Although they show great promise in dogfights against any potential rival aircraft, their use is limited in the types of conflicts which have come to dominate the early 21st Century. For example, the new F-22 has sat out the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the time being--it's of little use against an insurgency which plants bombs on the sides of roads and easily blends back into the local population, and it can do little to prevent sectarian violence.
It is worth mentioning, however, that the F-22 is the best jet fighter in the sky today. Bar none. The only fighter that can come close to the F-22 is an aircraft called the Eurofighter Typhoon, a joint venture from Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Spain--most of whom (except Austria) are NATO allies.
I actually have high praise for the Eurofighter--it's performed remarkably well against the F-15 Eagle in dogfights, and the F-15 is famous for enjoying the greatest air-to-air performance record of any plane in history (115 kills with no losses).
But like the F-22, the Eurofighter also has little to bring to the table in the conflicts Europe might see in the near future. Certainly, it's not exactly the best thing for preventing further civil war and ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia.
So what's the best way to use these aircraft? Well, none other than the German Luftwaffe seems to have an idea.
Apparently, a German diplomat in Croatia ran out of a certain type of mustard that went with a particular brand of sausage. With a dinner party quickly approaching, the diplomat was determined not to commit a culinary faux pas. Rather, he called back to Germany, where a Eurofighter Typhoon was dispatched, carrying the exquisite mustard to the reception.
That's right, a fighter that costs about $100 million per copy just ran an errand at the grocery store for a diplomat. Wonders never cease.