OSD Correcting Cartwright Raptor Statements

Just before the vote on the Levin-McCain amendment Tuesday (see above), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), speaking on the Senate floor, quoted the Daily Report that had revealed the Pentagon had done no formal studies to justify ending the F-22 line at 187 aircraft. Referencing comments made by Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell to the DR, Chambliss said the Office of the Secretary of Defense is now correcting statements made by Gen. James Cartwright during a July 9 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Cartwright told lawmakers during that hearing that there was a Joint Staff study with the Air Force that “says we should terminate the program at 187,” Chambliss said. “Well, unfortunately for General Cartwright we now know that no study was done, and it’s our understanding that the comment of General Cartwright is being corrected for the record and that we’re receiving a corrected statement coming to the committee shortly.” When pressed by the DR, Morrell clarified that Cartwright was referring to two “work products,” but that neither one amounted to a formal study. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) had referred to Cartwright and the JCS-Air Force studyin defending his amendment to remove additional F-22 funding from the 2010 defense authorization bill. In a statement following the Tuesday vote, Chambliss expressed his disappointment, saying: “We’ve been fighting a headwind from the White House and the Pentagon leadership for weeks now. For whatever reason, the White House expended a lot of political capital to seek to terminate the F-22 program.” He noted that the issue will still be on the table at conference.