Welcome to Flatland

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley struck a somber tone in his keynote address at AFA’s Air & Space Conference Monday. Warning that defense budgets will likely remain flat for years, Donley asserted that “we can’t expect to do everything and buy everything” the service needs to fulfill its role. Comparing today’s Air Force program to the Vision 2020 roadmap outlined by service leaders in 2000, he said that in almost all categories, USAF will buy far fewer things and at a more stretched out pace, than the worst-case scenarios of nine years ago. “We are not building the Air Force we thought we would build,” he said. He forecast, “We can be assured of little-to-no-growth defense budgets,” and this will force “painful trades” in almost every area of USAF endeavor. Continue