Monday, September 24, 2007

Air Force going out of business?

My one-sentence interpretation of Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne's speech last week:

My service made bad force planning decisions in the mid-to-late 1990s that have made it increasingly irrelevant. I blame everyone but the Air Force.

I love how Wynne focuses his lamentations on the Air Force's offensive air-to-air capabilities, but doesn't mention its other roles -- specifically strategic airlift and close air support.

In a way, the Air Force is paying for its role as the dominant military service in the 1950s and 1960s. It took a much larger portion of the budget back then, which allowed it to fund some of their most impressive and enduring aircraft: B-52, C-5, C-130, AC-130, A-10, and F-15. Fortunately, it looks like the Air Force invested in airframes that have withstood the test of time, both in terms of performance and utility.

It makes one wonder whether the F-22 or F-35 will still be relevant as long as the B-52 has.

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