Aug. 1, 1996

Price of Safety

“I think we have an excellent safety program. We are being penalized . . . by the fact that, by definition, if an aircraft receives $1 million in damages or more, it’s categorized as a major aircraft accident. With the cost of engines today and costs of some of our components, you can lose an engine due to foreign-object damage or some other means, and it will be listed as a major aircraft accident. . . . But as it is, I stand behind the US Air Force’s safety record any day, before anybody, anywhere.”–Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, USAF Chief of Staff, in a June 7, 1996, press conference following release of an accident investigation board’s report on the April 3, 1996, CT-43A crash that killed Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown and thirty-four others.

Proaction in Action

“IFOR [the US-led NATO implementation force] is now in a position to expand its presence throughout all of Bosnia[-Hercegovina] to establish a safe and secure environment for civilian implementation. Our troops will conduct more visible and more proactive patrols throughout the country. This will improve conditions for freedom of movement and put war criminals at greater risk of apprehension.”–Secretary of State Warren M. Christopher, in a June 2, 1996, statement in Geneva, Switzerland, indicating that the Alliance force would be more aggressive in arresting Serbian war criminals.

Here’s a Second Opinion

“I would remind you that when IFOR . . . went in, [it] went in with a certain, very strict mission, and it did not include running down people who were suspected of war crimes. . . .

“IFOR troops can arrest anybody who’s been charged with a war crime with whom they come in contact, but they are not charged with, in effect, being the domestic or the international police force and targeting people and going after them.”–President Clinton, in a June 12, 1996, press conference at the White House.

Russian Politics Explained

“This was not an attempted coup. It was an attempt to put pressure on the President.”–Gen. Alexander Lebed, Russian defense minister, in a June 18, 1996, news conference, referring to an attempt by Russian generals to put the Army on high alert to thwart the firing of Defense Minister Pavel Grachev.

Lesson Learned

“Many people have raised the question, ‘What will happen in Bosnia in 1997?’ Is there a danger of the war restarting? . . . The deterrent to that war restarting, implicit in NATO air, is very powerful. All of the former warring factions have had very vivid examples of the capability and effectiveness of NATO air strikes.”–Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, in a June 13, 1996, press conference at NATO headquarters, Brussels, Belgium. His reference is to Operation Deliberate Force, the US-led NATO air campaign in late 1995 against the Bosnian Serbs.

Gray Threats

“I doubt very much we will buy another C-5 or anything like a C-5 class. We can’t afford it. I recommended to [Lockheed Martin] folks that they come in with ideas on how to modernize the C-5s, so we can keep them around for forty or fifty years. U-2s will probably be seventy-five years old before they are retired. B-52s are already thirty-eight; they will probably be fifty-plus when retired. With the F-22 coming in, with the procurement rates we are talking about, F-15s will be forty-five years old before they are retired. It is aging aircraft and how to modernize them [that is] the name of the game.”–Arthur L. Money, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, in a May 24, 1996, address to the Air Force Association’s Acquisition Update conference held in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Prevent Defense

“The security of the US continues to require us to maintain strong military forces to deter and, if necessary, to defeat those who threaten our vital national interests–and we do. But today, the US also has a unique . . . opportunity . . . to prevent the conditions for conflict and to help create the conditions for peace. . . .

“America’s security policy in the post­Cold War era requires us to take advantage of that opportunity: to make ‘preventive defense’ the first line of defense of America, with deterrence the second line of defense, and with military conflict the third and last resort. . . . Preventive defense creates the conditions that support peace, making war less likely and deterrence unnecessary.”–Secretary Perry, in a May 13, 1996, address to the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Air Dominance

“I would describe the difference between ‘air dominance’ and ‘air superiority’ as one of magnitude of ability to influence events in a given piece of airspace. For instance, when you begin to conduct any kind of a combat or theater-wide operation, normally that theater commander’s first priority is to make sure that you have air superiority over your own troops, [which should] generally guarantee that you will not have your troops attacked. . . . The next stage has been called air supremacy, where you, for all intents and purposes, not only are able to defend your own people, but you pretty much dominate the space. You can operate at will in there. Air dominance . . . is a term that’s sort of grown up in the last couple of years in joint doctrine. . . . Dominance to me is kind of an extension of the supremacy idea that says, ‘Nothing moves or operates in that guy’s airspace.’ I mean, you totally control it. It’s a step above.”–General Fogleman, in March 14, 1996, testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.