If It Sounds Like a Duck: Andrew Krepinevich of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments has released a document of some 150 pages that outlines his views on what the Pentagon must do—by way of the Quadrennial Defense Review—to shape US military force to meet “three enduring challenges.” You know them already: the ongoing war against radical Islam and military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan; the nuclear race in Asia, from Iran to North Korea; and the uncertainty surrounding China’s rise as a great power. The role Krepenevich envisions for the Air Force is one that relies much more heavily on stealthy, long-range strike aircraft—manned or unmanned—rather than tactical strike aircraft. He calls fighters equipped with precision guided munitions “a victim of their own success.” He denigrates USAF’s efforts to shift the F-22 air superiority fighter to the F/A-22 with ground attack capability. He decries the planned buy of F-35s for all the services. He has similar criticisms for the Army’s Future Combat Systems and Stryker Brigades. We won’t go into the Navy sea force, since he says that’s not his own work. His views sound much like what we’ve been hearing about the efforts of the QDR crowd.
After a long period in which munitions were almost an afterthought and sacrificed to pay for other priorities, the Air Force needs to focus on them in order to have the right “package” of capabilities for future conflicts, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said June 7.