The New Strategy“I ordered major changes to our strategy in Iraq. ... This new strategy is fundamentally different from the previous strategy. It recognizes that our top priority must be to help Iraq’s elected leaders secure their population. ... There are still horrific attacks in Iraq, such as the bombings in Baghdad on Wednesday—but the direction of the fight is beginning to shift.”—President Bush, speech in East Grand Rapids, Mich., April 20.
The Force That Flies“The association between Air Force and flying is universal, inherent, and undeniable. Yet over the years, we have become so technically proficient and specialized that we have sometimes drifted from our core essence and let our functions override our mission focus and warfighting orientation.”—Gen. T. Michael Moseley, Air Force Chief of Staff, Air Force Print News, April 18.
Bad Impression“These guys, frankly, look like thugs, some of them. They’ve got tattoos; they’ve got earrings. They don’t wear a uniform. And for those Iraqis or the people of Afghanistan, it is not clear who is United States military and who is a contractor. And frankly, it blemishes our reputation.”—Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), on contract security forces overseas, Inside the Pentagon, April 26.
Long War Objective“Our principal objective is to enable our partners in this Long War to be able to provide their own security. It’s very clear to us that in most instances, regional or indigenous forces not only will be able to do the job cheaper, but will be able to do the job more effectively. They understand the cultural terrain, they understand the local conditions, they speak the language, they’re familiar with the citizenry, and they present a friendlier face.”—Ryan Henry, principal undersecretary of defense for policy and senior official of the 2005 QDR, Defense News, May 7.
Not Alone“I think there’s a temptation to forget that we’re not alone in this fight. In Afghanistan there are 42 countries and 12 non-governmental organizations involved in working with us, or we are involved in working with them. We have 36 countries working with us in Iraq. Obviously we have the overwhelming percentage of the forces. But when small countries like Estonia and Macedonia and others are willing to commit some of their relatively small number of troops to fight alongside us, I think it is an important message.”—Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, speech to Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, May 3.
Proudest Moment“I’m proudest of helping the WAPS [Weighted Airman Promotion System] program get going. One of the biggest problems I faced as CMSAF was promotions. When I came in, we had a terrible promotions system. It was so bad we had thousands of airmen writing their Congressmen about it. The WAPS program cleared up the problem.”—Retired CMSAF Paul Airey, first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Air Force Print News, April 30.
Critical Regime“Just as Billy Mitchell endeavored to prove the potential of airpower to a skeptical nation, we must now prove the critical importance of cyberspace as a warfighting domain.”—Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne, letter to airmen, May 7.
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