Depending on which account you believe, the tanker AOA says the Pentagon should consider its ever-tightening budget because there is no reason to rush into procuring a KC-135 replacement, or it says the opposite. Government Executive notes a “government source” that said that the AOA supports the view that airframe corrosion is not a pressing issue, so there’s no reason to push tankers ahead of competing budget interests. On the other hand, Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), who was at a briefing for lawmakers, quotes the study as saying that “factors other than economic concerns should drive the acquisition schedule for tanker recapitalization.” Dicks has been dismayed by the time it took to produce the AOA. He notes that $100 million Congress appropriated in 2003 is still available to kick off a replacement program.
While U.S. military leaders worry about China as a near-peer threat, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has doubts has serious doubts about the PLA’s political reliability, leadership, and ability to mobilize, fight, and win wars, according to a new report.