“In general, in capabilities, you can just basically look at the lessons learned out of Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, that speed is more important than mass.”—“ Senior Administration official,” speaking on background, Pentagon news briefing, June 9.
“Simply put, the demands on our deployable forces have not diminished and are not expected to decline for some time. We have a new rotational requirement for nearly 20,000 airmen—about three times the demand prior to Sept. 11, 2001.”—Gen. John P. Jumper, Air Force Chief of Staff, “Chief’s Sight Picture,” June 4.
“No matter how exalted the aims of the US in the war, in the final analysis it was a colonial war very similar to the wars conducted by the ex-colonial powers when they went out to conquer the rest of the world—either in the name of Christianity, or bringing civilization to underdeveloped countries, or bringing the rule of law to uncivilized populations.”—Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi ambassador to Britain, statement to Irish Independent, cited by Washington Times, May 25.
“France will never forget. She will never forget that sixth of June 1944, the day hope was reborn and rekindled. She will never forget those men who made the ultimate sacrifice to liberate our soil, our native land, our continent, from the yoke of Nazi barbarity.”—French President Jacques Chirac at D-Day ceremonies June 6, Washington Post, June 7.
“My own military career started out at Kansas State University, … where ROTC was at that time mandatory. When I went through summer camp, the officer who wrote my evaluation gave me a pretty mediocre write-up. In fact, it wasn’t mediocre; it was really bad. As I recall, the words on my training report were, ‘Cadet Myers doesn’t have much of a future in the military.’ Maybe he was right. After 39 years, here I am in a dead-end job.”—Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Naval Academy commencement speech, May 28.
Come See the Cows
“I’ve never been angry at the French. France has been a longtime ally. … If [Chirac] wants to come and see some cows, he’s welcome to come out [to Crawford, Tex.] and see some cows.”—President Bush, Paris Match interview, May 28.
“General Franks has been a sterling friend. … This award is to recognize his exceptional and inspirational leadership of British forces during operations both in Afghanistan and Iraq.”—British defense ministry spokesman on the knighting of retired US Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks, New York Times, May 26.
Don’t Hold Your Breath
“It’s an idea whose time may never come.”—Charles Moskos, noted sociologist on military issues, about a return to the military draft, Associated Press, June 1.
“There’s no one who deals with the global community who doesn’t understand the degree to which we’ve isolated ourselves, and I think we’re less safe because of that.”—Sen. John F. Kerry, Democratic Presidential candidate, New York Times, May 30.
No Trailer Hitch
“Comanche was $14.6 billion over the program—$14.6 billion. That was going to buy 121 helicopters—121 helicopters. [Comanche] had yet to fully lift its mission load and was not protected against the threats to which we have lost scores of aircraft in the current fight, the IR threat. It has some counter-radar capability, but we hadn’t in a long time seen a radar on the battlefield shooting at one of our aircraft. So, what we have … is what I call a Porsche without a trailer hitch when we are in the cattle-hauling business.”—Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, Army Chief of Staff, Defense Writers Group, June 15.
Other Side of the News
“The American people do not get to see all the times our troops are mobbed by supportive villagers wishing to show their appreciation.”—Spec. Stan Matlock, Army medic serving in Iraq, letter to Defense News, June 7.
“It seems to me, our expectations have to be recast and be realistic. It is a tough, ugly business to get from a dictatorship to a freer system, and our task is to help them do it.”—Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld on progress in Iraq, meeting with sailors on USS Essex, June 4.
Tester’s View of Technology
“Every time you have a conflict, it’s an opportunity to go show off these systems. I might call them toys.”—Thomas P. Christie, Pentagon director of operational test and evaluation, Government Executive, June 1.
All Bids Welcome
“I don’t care if the planes are made by Martians.”—Air Force Secretary James G. Roche, welcoming European contractors to compete on aircraft programs, London Financial Times, June 10.
CIA Knows Best
“For those agencies that have military as well as intelligence responsibilities—like the National Security Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency—the Secretary of Defense should have to send his nomination of their leaders to the [Central Intelligence Agency] director, who would decide whether to appoint them. Their tenure, too, would be determined by the director of central intelligence.”—Robert M. Gates, former CIA director, New York Times op-ed, June 8.