Terrorism Not Top Priority
“President Bush should call back from Iraq as many Guard units as necessary to do the job that the Guard is trained to do: Protect Americans at home in times of peril. … The so-called war on terror will grind on, but there’s now a more urgent war to be fought against hunger, disease, misery, and urban disorder on our own soil. Homeland security should begin at home. Just ask the folks of Orleans Parish.”—Carl Hiaasen, columnist and author of best-selling novels, Miami Herald, Sept. 4.
The Military Mission
“Do we really want to saddle the military with a variety of new, noncombat missions, vastly escalating its commitment to formerly ancillary duties—and diverting its focus from its central mission of combat training and warfighting?”—Mackubin Thomas Owens, Naval War College professor of national security affairs, New York Post, Sept. 15.
Fight Over There
“Our basic military approach is that it’s better to play the away game than the home game. … The only way to fight these extremists is the offensive and not the defensive, especially since we are not willing to absorb another attack and then respond to it, but rather go and seek them out.”—Army Maj. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, director of operations for Iraq and Afghanistan, US Central Command, Asharq Al-Awsat, Aug. 25.
Strange Way To Hide
“Terrorists had no idea what all these leased office facilities were. They didn’t even know what the acronyms stand for.”—US Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.), on Pentagon’s Base Realignment and Closure decision to move military activities from dozens of leased offices in Arlington, Va., to Ft. Belvoir, Andrews Air Force Base, and other installations in the Washington metropolitan area, Washington Post, Aug. 26.
Air Defense Ready
“If, despite our best efforts, terrorists were to commandeer a civilian aircraft once again as they did on Sept. 11 in order to convert that aircraft into a weapons platform, it is very unlikely that that weapons platform, that that commandeered aircraft, would make its way to the terrorists’ intended target.”—Paul McHale, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense, Aerospace Daily & Defense Report, Aug. 31.
Time To Get Out
“We should start figuring out how we get out of there. I think our involvement there has destabilized the Middle East. And the longer we stay there, I think the further destabilization will occur.”—Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), ABC’s “This Week,” Aug. 21.
“People who want to toss in the towel were wrong yesterday, they’re wrong today, and they’ll be wrong tomorrow.”—Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld on US position in Iraq, speech at Ft. Irwin, Calif., Aug. 29.
Extended Airpower Requirement
“As I see the transition into the hands of the Iraqi military, I will continue to see the need for them to require the support from the air until they’re able to set up their own ability to support themselves. And that’s going to take a while, even after some future withdrawal of ground forces.”—Gen. John P. Jumper, retiring Air Force Chief of Staff, New York Times, Aug. 30.
“It has served its purpose and completed its mission. … We’re proud of what we have done. It’s time to move on.”—SMSgt. Steven Levin of F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., who worked with the Peacekeeper missile from 1986 until the last missile was deactivated in September, Air Force Print News, Sept. 16.
Devolution in Military Affairs
“The enemy has moved into a situation where American power that is dominant is increasingly irrelevant. … Irregular war is irregular only to us. Because we have come to dominate outer space and aviation kinds of war above 10 [or] 15,000 feet and out on the deep blue sea, the enemy has been pushed into an area of irregular war. But it’s not irregular to them—it’s very regular.”—Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Inside the Pentagon, Aug. 25.
Voice of Authority
“I am the joint task force commander and you are an asset. Now get the [bleep] moving!”—Army Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honore, commander of Joint Task Force Katrina in New Orleans, fixing a slowdown in the operation, Newhouse.com, Sept. 5.
“The use of civilian nuclear energy, which is perfectly legitimate, must not serve as a pretext for pursuing activities that could actually be aimed at building up a military nuclear arsenal.”—French President Jacques Chirac, warning Iran not to pursue nuclear weapons, New York Times, Aug. 30.
“Some of us are wondering why they need civilian nuclear power anyway. They’re awash with hydrocarbons.”—President Bush on Iran’s nuclear program, Washington Post, Sept. 14.
Sharing the Peace
“The Islamic Republic never seeks weapons of mass destruction, and with respect to the needs of Islamic countries, we are ready to transfer nuclear know-how to these countries.”—Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, official Iranian news agency, Sept. 15.
Where the Money Goes
“Since 2001, homeland security efforts have been hampered by a grant formula that guarantees each state funding regardless of the likelihood of attack. Risk plays no role. We provide more per capita to low-risk states than to high-risk, heavily populated states.”—US Reps. Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.) and John E. Sweeney (R-N.Y.), letter to Washington Post, Sept. 19.
Russian Defense Budget Up
“One may say that the Armed Forces of Russia may count for a more generous state support next year. The draft defense budget of 2006 stipulates the funding of 668.3 billion rubles against 550.1 billion assigned in the budget of the current year.”—Pravda, Sept. 12.
“The Army and Marines have an insatiable appetite for full-motion video the Predator supplies. Currently, there is a daily request for more than 300 hours of video a day, and we can only provide about 110 hours.”—Air Force Lt. Col. M. E. Bannon, 15th Reconnaissance Squadron director of operations, on Predator remotely piloted aircraft support for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, Air Force Print News, Sept. 15.
Twilight for the Tomcat
“It’s the pride of any air show. People come around to see that bad boy.”—Navy Commander Rick LaBranche as F-14 Tomcats leave Norfolk for their last tour in the Persian Gulf before replacement by F/A-18s, San Diego Union-Tribune, Sept. 3.
The Mission(s) in Afghanistan
“These missions must remain separate with separate chains of command. The only thing they have in common are that they are in the same country.”—Spanish Defense Minister Jose Bono Martinez on the refusal of France, Germany, and Spain to broaden their peacekeeping roles in Afghanistan to help fight the Taliban-led insurgency, Reuters, Sept. 15.