A Lost Generation“The Air Force is operating a geriatric fighter force. The first flight of the F-15C was in 1972. Next year, that’ll be 30 years. By the time the F-22 goes to initial operational capability, that’ll be over 35 years. So we’ve already skipped a generation, I believe, [if] the definition of generation is 20 years.”—Maj. Gen. (sel.) David A. Deptula, director, Air Force national defense review, in March 28 testimony to a House subcommittee.
Silver Bullets“Transform[ing] one’s airpower into a predominantly stealthy, precision force will cause our adversaries to change their national security priorities—to dissuade them from making choices we’d prefer them not to make. Today, they only have to contend with a silver-bullet stealth force, but their problem magnifies geometrically if we transform into a primarily stealthy force. Stealth in numbers has strategic meaning. ... This country does not buy silver-bullet tanks, silver-bullet aircraft carriers, or silver-bullet submarines, and it cannot afford to enter an uncertain future with a silver-bullet force of stealthy land-based airpower.”—Deptula, same testimony.
Mythmaking“The truth is, there really is a myth about a ‘silver-bullet’ [force]. Silver bullet is just another word for ‘you can’t afford enough.’ It’s a myth. It’s an absolutely wrong assertion. You need what the nation needs to do the job. ... You don’t want to take any chances. ... Why play around with a 50–49 score?”—Gen. John Handy, USAF vice chief of staff, in April 12 remarks to Defense Writers Group in Washington, D.C.
Why Consult NATO?“We have our own timetable. If everything is blocked in NATO, it is not our fault. It is clear that by the end of this year the [European Union] must declare that it has an operational capability. ... European politicians need to know what is going on. They need to be able to select options and then conduct operations. Why should we have to go through NATO? ... There is no question of a [NATO] right of first refusal. If the EU works properly, it will start working on crises at a very early stage, well before the situation escalates. NATO has nothing to do with this. At a certain stage, the Europeans would decide to conduct a military operation. Either the Americans would come, or not.”—French Gen. Jean–Pierre Kelche, chief of Defense Staff, in March 28 interview with the London Daily Telegraph.
Whatever“Transformation—for the Navy, strategically—is to be inland, to project power ashore, and remain there. Not for us; we keep the door open to get our sister services in the door and then help ransack the rooms inside the house. That’s their goals, to get there rapidly. If we can project the artillery, the power projection, defensively and offensively, to lighten what they need to bring forward, because we’re already there, where you were, where I am, where my son or daughter may be, we enable the transformation of a joint force.”—Rear Adm. Joseph A. Sestak Jr., head of Navy Quadrennial Defense Review office, in March 28 House testimony.
The Verdict“THE US IS NOT FIT TO RUN THE WORLD; WE MUST HELP EUROPE TAKE ON THE JOB” —Actual headline from April 1 London Observer.
Go-To Guy“Secretary [of Defense William S.] Cohen faced a very difficult challenge in the [1997 Quadrennial Defense Review] and was, quite frankly, not as well grounded in real military issues as one might have thought, given his time on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He worked hard but was at the mercy, like all of us, of his advisors, and particularly what I thought was a rather close circle of people who lacked much experience in the issues.”—Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, USAF (Ret.), former Chief of Staff, quoted in Spring 2001 Aerospace Power Journal.
New Sheriff“I think this is a line in the sand. I think today’s headline is Colin Powell saying, ‘Different person. Different Administration. New line in the sand. Clean it up, or get out.’ ”—Rep. Porter J. Goss (R–Fla.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, in March 22 comment about US decision to expel some 50 Russian diplomats on spy charges.
Carrier Angst“Anybody who thinks the small carrier is comparable to a large carrier has to have their heads in the sand. The fact of the matter is we’ve been down this road and made this argument a million times. This Mr. [Andrew] Marshall in the Pentagon, along with [Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld and President Bush, are being poorly advised and are going down the wrong road. The Marshall crowd has always preached ‘little’ carriers to avoid missile attack. My question is, ‘What missile attack?’ When did one get hit? Who is going to target it? It’s a moving platform. It has layers of defenses all around it. This is not a sitting duck. It is a fortress.”—Retired Rear Adm. Jeremy Taylor, quoted in April 2 Washington Times. Andrew Marshall has a key role in current defense reviews.
Jones For JSF“In addition to being a state-of-theart technological marvel, [the Joint Strike Fighter] also caught the attention of many countries around the world. ... If we do this right, it can be the F-16 of the 21st century. ... Look behind the Joint Strike Fighter, and you see a long list of nations lining up to buy. You have no clients other than the United States Air Force and Navy buying the F/A-18E/F and the F-22. So, that tells you something.”—Gen. James L. Jones, Commandant, US Marine Corps, in March 29 remarks at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Daily Report: Read the day's top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
Tweets by @AirForceMag