Take That“You don’t believe everything you read in the newspaper do you?”—Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld to reporter at press conference in Brazil, March 23.
Not Too Blue I“People have to look twice to read ‘US Air Force’ on our uniforms, and that’s a compliment. Airmen are demonstrating a lot of innovation. They don’t think in terms of just their home base mission. Instead they think of ways to better fight for their commander, who may be a Navy skipper or an Army colonel.”—USAF Brig. Gen. Douglas L. Raaberg, US Central Command deputy director of operations, Air Force Print News, March 28.
Not Too Blue II“The Army gets only 23 percent of the regular military budget, and the top 10 items in the Pentagon procurement budget are five airplanes, four ships, and the missile defense system. ... We essentially have two services at war, the Army and the Marines, and two services at peace, the Air Force and the Navy. You can’t dispute that.”—Retired Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales Jr., former head of the Army War College, interviewed for article “Army, Marines Need Priority in Rumsfeld’s New Defense Review,” in Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, March 17.
And, As for Space ... “When you’re kicking in a door in the middle of the night, having a satellite overhead is interesting but little more. The lesson for the American military is we’re now at the age where success or failure is determined ... by the success or failure of small units.”—Scales, described as “a prominent military historian,” USA Today, March 20.
Carter Names the Culprit“The United States is the major culprit in this erosion of the NPT [Nonproliferation Treaty]. While claiming to be protecting the world from proliferation threats in Iraq, Libya, Iran, and North Korea, American leaders not only have abandoned existing treaty restraints but also have asserted plans to test and develop new weapons. ... They also have abandoned past pledges and now threaten first use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states.”—Former President Jimmy Carter, op-ed column, Washington Post, March 28.
Feeling a Draft“The all-volunteer force is close to breaking right now. When it does break, that’s when you’ll see the draft come back.”—Retired Maj. Gen. Edward B. Atkeson, senior fellow, Institute of Land Warfare, Association of the US Army, Stars and Stripes, March 19.
Long-Distance Flying“I can watch the rear of a building for a bad guy escaping when troops go in the front and flash an infrared beam on the guy that our troops can see with their night vision goggles.”—Maj. John Erickson, Air Force pilot, operating Predator reconnaissance drones in Iraq and Afghanistan by remote control from thousands of miles away in Nevada, New York Times, April 5.
Chemical-Biological Security Fails“If you were to ask me for scores out of 10 on how we are doing to secure chemical and biological material materials, I would say about three out of 10 for destruction of chemical weapons and only one out of 10 for biological.”—Former US Sen. Sam Nunn, column in London Sunday Times, March 20.
Stand By for Trouble“I personally think that Spain is making a mistake. ... I guess time will tell. The problem is that, if one waits till time tells, it can be an unhappy story.”—Rumsfeld, criticizing Spain’s decision to sell military aircraft and boats to leftist regime in Venezuela, Miami Herald, April 6.
No Need for Foreign Approval“The President has the obligation to protect the country, and I don’t think there’s anything in our Constitution that says the President should not protect the country unless he gets some non-Americans’ participation or approval of that.”—Douglas J. Feith, outgoing undersecretary of defense for policy, Pentagon news briefing, March 18.
New Day Dawns“We are going to turn the Defense Department into a different type of department. The mandate is on the wall. We are going to have to be prepared as an armed force to do much more on the humanitarian side, transition to and from war. I’ve got some strong feelings on this. I think we are going the right way.”—Thomas W. O’Connell, assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer, April 7.
Challenge in Space“For us to assume that the environment that we’re operating in is going to be benign, and someone is not going to attempt to fool with us in some way, shape, or form, is naive strategy.”— Gen. Lance W. Lord, commander of Air Force Space Command, on security in space, Denver Post, April 8.
Problem at the Dance“Taiwan wants the international community to know that it is willing to coexist peacefully with China. But it takes two to tango.”—Jaushieh Joseph Wu, chairman of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, Wall Street Journal, March 24.
Iran’s Peaceful Nukes“We urge the Europeans as well as the Americans to support us ... in being able to cover our electricity [needs] with the atom.”—Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, Baltimore Sun, April 5.
Daily Report: Read the day's top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
Tweets by @AirForceMag