April 1, 2001

Heat Stroke

“As the leading element of the [Gulf War] coalition, the United States Army decisively defeated the fourth largest field army in the world. … It was the land force that provided the essential muscle to lead America’s coalition partners in the liberation of Kuwait, the decisive defeat of the Iraqi army, and the restoration of stability in the Persian Gulf.”-From “Desert Victory: The US Army in the Gulf,” February 2001 paper issued by Institute of Land Warfare, an adjunct of the Association of the US Army.

Airpower Targets Civilians

“These arguments [about the value of precision guided weapons] are a throwback to airpower theories advocated by strategic thinkers such as the Italian Gen. Giulio Douhet and the American Gen. William ‘Billy’ Mitchell in the 1920s. Then, as now, the argument was that airpower alone could win conflicts. Now, as then, there are those that advocate relaxing the targeting restrictions imposed by the law of war to enable direct attacks on civilian targets in order to inflict punishment on the population in hopes of generating opposition to their regime.”-Gen. Gordon Sullivan, US Army (Ret.), AUSA president, in March 3 Washington Times column.

You Know-Morons

“There is a new generation [of Western Europeans] coming up that has no memory of the Soviet threat as the basis of a special relationship with the United States. Young people think of America in terms of the culprit behind the death penalty, global warming, the bombs over Baghdad, and the use of depleted uranium weapons in Kosovo.”-Spanish legislator Rafael Estrella, president of NATO parliamentary assembly, quoted in Feb. 23 Washington Post.

Come on Down

“We have seen the miracles associated with things like the Airborne Laser. Who could possibly imagine being able to shoot a laser hundreds of kilometers through the atmosphere and hit a target only a meter or so in diameter? I know I didn’t believe it. No, I was the biggest skeptic in the world, and I took my leather jacket and my white scarf right out to Kirtland [AFB, N.M.], sat my butt down, and said, ‘You guys are going to have to prove this to me.’ I left there saying, ‘Amen, brother,’ because it is going to work.”-Gen. John P. Jumper, Air Combat Command commander, in Feb. 15 remarks to AFA symposium in Orlando, Fla.

Thatcher Looks at Euro Force

“The public could be forgiven for thinking there are two [European Union defense force] plans-one for strengthening NATO and one for creating a rival organization. … Our Prime Minister [Tony Blair] has assured President Bush that the former is the correct interpretation. I am sure that he will be aware of how much, in terms of trans­Atlantic trust, now hangs on that assurance. My own view is that, if the Europeans truly wish to improve their NATO contribution, they can show it simply enough. They can increase defense expenditure. They can move more swiftly to establish professional armed forces like those of the UK. And they can acquire more advanced technology.”-Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, in March 1 speech in London.

Total Takedown

“Everything-all sources, all methods, all techniques, all targets. There’s only a few people in counterintelligence that have to know everything, and he was one of them.”-Former FBI official David Major, quoted in Feb. 22 Washington Post article describing range of secrets possibly compromised by accused spy Robert P. Hanssen.

Loony Bin Prepares to Launch

“We promised not to test-fire long-range missiles during the duration of [US-North Korean] talks [on mutual security issues], but we cannot do so indefinitely. If the United States continues to fail to honor the agreement [to build nuclear power plants for North Korea], we don’t feel we should cling to it.”-From Feb. 22 statement by North Korean Foreign Ministry.

You Have Been Warned

“Our work this year revealed growing deficiencies in the [United States’] nuclear weapons production complex, deep morale and personnel problems, continued slippage of program milestones, and unacceptably high risks to the completion of needed weapon refurbishments. … There is an increasingly urgent need for a coherent vision, comprehensive plan, and programmatic commitment. Failure to meet these needs would virtually guarantee that, in the decades ahead, the nation would face a crisis in the weapons program.”-Feb. 1 letter of John S. Foster Jr., chairman of Panel to Assess the Reliability, Safety, and Security of the United States Nuclear Weapons Stockpile.

Up With Airpower …

“The [Bush Administration’s] defense review ought to begin by examining the assumption that the United States should be able to fight two simultaneous regional wars. … It would make more sense to plan for one conflict and to rely on airpower and the mobilization of reserves if a second [war] breaks out.”-Feb. 7 New York Times editorial.

… Down With Airpower

“The Administration should look hard at expensive weapons systems whose rationale may have disappeared with the Cold War. Particularly deserving of scrutiny [is] the Air Force’s $64 billion F-22 tactical fighter program.”-Same editorial.

Faith Unshaken

“As an individual, a pilot, and as a citizen of the United States, I have unwavering faith in the Osprey. It’s an awesome airplane.”-Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden Jr., head of USMC West Coast aviation units, quoted in March 1 San Diego Union-Tribune in regard to two fatal crashes that have killed 23 Marines.