Dec. 1, 2010

From Berlin to Bagram

“Born in an era of incredible innovation and change following World War II, the United States Air Force has lived up to its promise, changing how our armed forces have both protected the peace and secured victory. From the Berlin Airlift during some of the toughest days of the Cold War to Operation Everest outside Bagram, Afghanistan, this year, from embracing new technologies to supporting counterinsurgency efforts in two wars, the men and women of the United States Air Force represent one of the fastest and most flexible ways we execute our national will.”—Adm. Michael G. Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Sept. 18.

Hands Across the Ocean

“During my recent travels to North Korea and China, I received clear, strong signals that Pyongyang wants to restart negotiations on a comprehensive peace treaty with the United States and South Korea and on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”—Former US President Jimmy Carter, New York Times, Sept. 16.

Second Opinion

“As long as US nuclear aircraft carriers sail around the seas of our country, our nuclear deterrent can never be abandoned, but should be strengthened further. The United States is not a defender, but a disruptor, of peace.”—Pak Kil Yon, North Korean vice foreign minister, Los Angeles Times, Sept. 30.


“I’m not doing 10 years. I’m not doing long-term nation-building. I am not spending a trillion dollars.”—President Obama on strategy for Afghanistan, Bob Woodward, Obama’s Wars, released Sept. 27.

Airpower Independence

“Airpower, an independent air force, is essential in today’s world just as it was in 1940. Every element of warfare needs expertise. Air warfare is no different. I suggest others in other environments would nowhere near be as capable because they do not have the experience, nor have they got the talents, to do it.”—Royal Air Force Air Chief Marshal Stephen Dalton on 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, London Telegraph, Sept. 15.

Studying the Bomber Studies

“Eighteen years later, we’re still studying it. The study has gone on so long that we’re studying our study. It’s time to quit studying and put pencil to paper. We need to start executing instead of thinking about executing.”—Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.), on next generation bomber under study since 1992, Warner Robins Patriot, Sept. 27.

Dissuasion and Deterrence

“Dissuasion and deterrence are the dual abilities to discourage potential adversaries from acting contrary to our national objectives or interests. Dissuasion provides the credibility that adversary activities can always be countered by our national power. Deterrence is the credible threat and/or use of force in response to adversary actions.”—USAF 2010 Combat Air Force Strategic Plan, Sept. 15.

Joint Basing Failure

“The bottom line is there are some significant issues with joint bases, and over time, you will see no more, that’s for sure. The question is whether we will see less.”—Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, Air Force Chief of Staff, on consolidation of military bases, Air Force Times, Sept. 20.

Ancient History

“Nine years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, one percent of Americans mention terrorism as the most important problem facing the country, down from 46 percent just after the attack.”—Gallup poll report, Sept. 10.

Source of the Force

“Propensity to serve is most pronounced in the South and the Mountain West, and in rural areas and small towns nationwide. … This trend also affects the recruiting and educating of new officers. The state of Alabama, with a population of less than five million, has 10 Army ROTC host programs. The Los Angeles metro area, population over 12 million, has four host ROTC programs. And the Chicago metro area, population nine million, has three. It makes sense to focus on places where space is ample and inexpensive, where candidates are most inclined to sign up and pursue a career in uniform. But there is a risk over time of developing a cadre of military leaders that politically, culturally, and geographically have less and less in common with the people they have sworn to defend.”—Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Duke University, Sept. 29.

Assassin’s Mace

“China’s military buildup centers on a set of capabilities, called ‘Assassin’s Mace’ by the Chinese, which is designed to exploit surprise. … East Asian waters are gradually becoming a ‘no-man’s land’ for American warships and forward based aircraft, while US satellites are becoming sitting ducks and the Pentagon’s digital backbone is increasingly endangered.”—Andrew F. Krepinevich, president of Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 11.

Cyber Defense in Depth

“The first critical component required to develop the capability to operate through an attack is to evolve from a perimeter-defense strategy to a defense-in-depth strategy. Our approach to cybersecurity in the past had been to build walls around the network higher and thicker. This puts all of our protection at our borders and protects everything inside to the same standard. … We are pursuing a defense-in-depth strategy that segregates internal assets based on their prioritization. … Attackers must therefore overcome increasingly greater protections to gain unauthorized access to higher-value resources.”—Maj. Gen. Richard E. Webber, commander, 24th Air Force, House Armed Services subcommittee on terrorism and unconventional threats, Sept. 23.

Al Qaeda Resurgence

“We have to recognize that we are dealing with the third generation of al Qaeda that is more advanced, so we have to deal with this. There are definite signs of regeneration.”—Iraqi Defense Minister Qader Obeidi, Los Angeles Times, Sept. 13.