Crossing the Streams

The nation has not yet reconciled its fiscal situation with the world security situation, and that debate needs to happen soon, said Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. “The tension between needing to do something to address the deficit and the strategic environment has been two separate discussions … [moving] along in parallel,” Donley told defense reporters in Washington, D.C., on April 23. It’s “up to the national leadership to decide when those streams cross, and to make the right decisions on a budget plan that fits the strategic realities we might face,” he said. While the Air Force and its other-service brethren could deal with any potential foe right now—”we’ll make that their worst day ever”—Donley acknowledged that “we’re adding risk” about that outcome. “Internal to the [Defense] Department, we see the tradeoffs very clearly, and we’re conveying to the national leadership and to the Congress where those risks are,” he said. “But it’s important we get to a national-level discussion and decision on the way forward for resources for defense,” he added. (For more coverage of the media roundtable, read Donley: Principal Deputy Acquisition Post Filled.)