More Emphasis on Homeland Defense

That’s the message that Lt. Gen. Harry Wyatt, director of the Air National Guard, said he is conveying to the powers that be during the Pentagon’s current Quadrennial Defense Review, its overarching study of warfighting strategy. “We think a lot more attention needs to be paid in defense of the homeland,” Wyatt told reporters during a July 29 meeting in Washington D.C. After all, he said, that’s “the number one mission” of the US military. Wyatt said he thinks it is good to have the QDR process because, “from an Air Force and an Air National Guard perspective, we need to know what it is that the country expects us to do.” He said no matter what strategy is decided upon (e.g., the ability to conduct two major theater wars), “our number one priority ought to be defense of the homeland.” As part of the QDR process, Wyatt sees the need to consider the role that US Northern Command and National Guard play in providing support to civil authorities domestically. “That is a whole different concept than fighting the war ‘over there,’” he said, referring to the overseas conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. (For more from Wyatt’s discussion, read Platform Agnostic and Disjointing.)