QX54 unmanned aircraft. Photo: USAF video still.
“The US technology-control system is designed for an era of US technological dominance that no longer exists. The export-control mechanisms, which were designed to maintain US technological dominance developed at the height of the Cold War and protect the advances of state-sponsored R&D, have lost their relevance in an era where global commercial R&D investment outstrips military R&D. The legacy export-control system not only impedes economic security, but also poses a threat to US national security.”
William Greenwalt, former Pentagon official, in a report for Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security [April 23].
Pentagon Press Conference. Staff illustration
WE CAN'T HEAR YOU
“Government officials need to know that they will have to face the media on a regular basis. That reality will cause them to be cautious and judicious in wielding the tremendous power they hold. Media engagement can be painful at times, and it will create some missteps and miscommunications. But the benefits outweigh the costs. We need to see our civilian Secretaries, Admirals, Generals and senior intelligence professionals at the podium again—now and often.”
Retired Adm. James G. Stavridis, 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and an Operating Executive at The Carlyle Group, remarks in Time magazine in April on the Pentagon not holding press briefings for more than 6 months.
Nuclear missile warhead. Photo: SSgt. Chad Trujillo
“After 25 years of primarily drawing down and sustaining the nuclear forces we built during the Cold War, repeated decisions to defer recapitalization of our nuclear forces have caught up to us. Now, we must concurrently acquire and field modern systems in each leg of the strategic nuclear triad.”
Ellen M. Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee [May 1] .
“The Doolittle Raid exemplifies American defiance and ingenuity. … They bet big, and it worked, because nobody thought such an attack was even possible. Nobody, except those who threw out the rulebook, customized the airframe, its hardware, its engine, and pioneered the training and operational tactics to do the unthinkable on an impossible timeline.”
Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson remarks at the memorial for the last Doolittle Raider, Lt. Col. Richard Cole, at JBSA-Randolph, Texas [April 18].
Fred Kennedy. Photo: Sun Vega/DOD
THE TIMES, THEY ARE A-CHANGIN'
“Some of us may have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. How we do things in space has to change.”
Fred Kennedy, Space Development Agency director, at the 35th annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. [April 8].
Virgin Galactic. Image: Roderick Eime/Virgin Galactic/Traveloscopy
“I’ve driven a Bugatti at 253 miles an hour, I’ve skied to the South Pole, swam at the North Pole. I’ve done a lot of stuff, and the thing I really want to do is fly in space.”
Jim Clash, adventure journalist and passenger 610 on Virgin Galactic’s roster of tourists waiting to fly in space. He’s been on the list for 10 years.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
“The US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, and now from the INF Treaty, paves a way to a large-scale arms race with unpredictable consequences.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, March 20 statement to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
THREAT? WHAT THREAT?
“China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man—they can’t even figure out how to deal with the fact that they have this great division between the China Sea and the mountains in the West. They can’t figure out how they’re going to deal with the corruption that exists within the system. They’re not bad folks, [but]. … They’re not competition for us.”
Former Vice President and current presidential candidate Joe Biden [May 1].
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