In the Expansion Shadow:

Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne acknowledged Thursday afternoon that the Air Force’s planned drawdown of 40,000 personnel must factor in the debate over the plan to surge ground forces in Iraq, the overall drawdown of forces in Iraq, and the permanent expansion of the Army and Marine Corps. “We have to be concerned about the impact of the debate on the future of the air component and the mission,” Wynne told attendees at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla. For one thing, adding ground forces will require the Air Force to provide more battlefield airmen and others who directly support those forces. (Air Force budget officials made this case during budget briefs earlier this week.) Wynne asserted, “We are at a point where we absolutely must assess our size relative to our ground force brethern.” He went on, “Maybe we are now in an over-constrained environment that will only be fixed with adequate total military buying power.”