Can the “Divisive Rhetoric”

Retired Gen. John Jumper, former Air Force Chief of Staff, writes that a recent Washington Times article “impugning airpower’s ability to contribute decisively in conflicts … misses the mark.” Jumper, who provided us a copy of his letter (a version of which ran in the Sept. 6 Times), points out the irrelevance of the assertion by Fred Reed (and others) that airpower advocates overpromise what they can deliver. Reed used, as a recent example, the fact that Israeli airpower did not unilaterally defeat Hezbollah in Lebanon. Jumper notes that the idea that any one service can be “decisive on its own” is passé. He also writes that what bothers him greatly are pundits who continue to offer up “divisive interservice putdowns.”