Ask the Right Question

In a response to a Stars and Stripes article titled “Foregone Fighter,” Gen. Roger Brady, commander of US Air Forces in Europe, writes that the primary arguments—cost and relevance to today’s fight—against investing in fifth-generation fighters overlooks a paramount question: “What does the Air Force do for the nation?” He acknowledges that USAF is part of the joint team in this regard, but he writes that the “Air Force-unique contribution” delivers “more lethality, precisely where it is needed, faster, over greater distances, and [can] sustain it longer than any other force.” He quotes retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who says that even in the ground force-dominant current fight “airpower is the glue that holds together the war effort.” Brady reminds us that while no nation yet has produced fighters equal to the F-22 and F-35, “they are developing them and will field them.” (Alternate link to Brady’s response)