A Four-Star Response:

Retired Gen. John Jumper, former Air Force Chief of Staff, writes that a recent Washington Times article “impugning airpower’s ability to contribute decisively in conflicts … misses the mark.” Jumper, who provided us a copy of his letter (a version of which ran in the Sept. 6 Times), points out the irrelevance of the assertion by Fred Reed (and others) that airpower advocates overpromise what they can deliver, using as an example that Israeli airpower did not unilaterally defeat Hezbollah in Lebanon. “Since the evolution of air, land and naval components in joint warfare, no strategically successful military leadership has expected one service to be ‘decisive’ on its own,” writes Jumper. One thing that Jumper believes would greatly benefit the military is “less of the divisive interservice putdowns that are far more prevalent today in the pens of pundits than in the minds of American warfighters.”