McCaffrey’s Seven

Retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, in his memo (see above), proposes a seven-step get-well program for the Air Force. It is eye-popping. The seven “imperatives” (McCaffrey’s word) are these:

1. F-22A fighter. “There is no single greater priority for the coming 10 years for the US Air Force than funding, deploying, and maintaining 350+ F-22A Raptor aircraft.” (The current program of record calls for only 183 fighters.)

2. C-17 airlifter. “We must create the strategic national military airlift and air-to-air refuel capability for 600+ C-17 aircraft to project national military and humanitarian power in the global environment. … The C-5 aircraft must be retired–these planes are shot.”

3. UAV, ISR, Strike. “Primary control of these assets should be exercised by centralized Joint Air Component command and control. … We are confusing the joint battle space doctrine. Air Component Commanders should coordinate all UAVs based on Combatant Commander situational war-fighting directives.”

4. Space Primacy. “Our global communications, ISR, and missile defense capabilities cannot operate without secure, robust, and modernized space platforms. … Space is an under-resourced and inadequately defended vital US technical capability.”

5. Cyber Capabilities. “We must expand exponentially the resources, R&D, and human talent devoted to the massive and on-going war against our US communications-computer-control systems. … This calls for a serious Joint Combatant Command status with a heavy Air Force component lead.”

6. Next Generation Bomber. “We need a follow-on long-range system to the B-2 Spirit Bomber. The B-52 needs to be retired within the decade. The B-2 is inadequate and too vulnerable as a long-range strike platform. … Our offensive capability should include … a fully modernized stealth heavy strike bomber.”

7. Missile Defense. “The US Air Force Airborne Laser is just short of operational deployment. … The system needs substantial continued R&D investment and continued operational incremental upgrades in the coming 15 years.”