March 1, 2006
Cut Active Force First

“Should the American people calculate the threat to their security is better served by reducing military manpower as a cost-savings measure, then it seems obvious that the most expensive forces (the active component) should be sacrificed first, followed by the least expensive (the Guard and Reserve).”—Brig. Gen. Stephen M. Koper, USAF (Ret.), president of the National Guard Association of the United States, letter to Congress, Dec. 21.

Bad Year for Bad Guys

“I predict that the enemies of the United States of America are going to have a bad year in 2006.”—Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Stars and Stripes, Jan. 4.

Imagine That

“The President is the President 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as we all know, wherever he goes.”—Trent Duffy, White House deputy press secretary, Washington Post, Dec. 29.

Long-Range Force

“As of today, the Air Force has over 2,500 fighter aircraft but only 181 bombers. … If the Navy were clever, it would buy strike versions of the joint unmanned combat aerial vehicle and put them on carrier decks, thus giving it a true long-range, penetrating strike capability from close-in bases. The Navy would then become heir to the long-range strike mission that the Air Force seems unwilling to take seriously.”—Philip S. Meilinger, author of 10 Propositions Regarding Airpower, Air and Space Power Journal, winter 2005.

Tell Your Grandchildren

“One day some years out, you’ll have children. One of them will come home with a textbook and there will be a chapter on Iraq and it will talk about the Saddam Hussein regime and hundreds and thousands of dead people killed by that regime in mass graves. And it will talk about the struggles, the victories that were achieved over Saddam Hussein, that regime, and the struggles that have helped Iraq along its path to democracy, ushering in a new chapter, a new hopeful era not just in Iraq but in the Middle East. Each of you will be able to look down at your children or your grandchildren and say that you were there.”—Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld to Task Force Freedom, Mosul, Iraq, Dec. 24.

Prospects in Iraq

“I can think of more ways for it to come out badly than for it to come out well. But that does not mean it cannot come out acceptably.”—Former Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, Washington Post, Jan. 6.

Osama Is Listening

“Every time we talk about withdrawal, you can see the ears of Osama [bin Laden] and his friends perking up.”—Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Secretary of State in the George H.W. Bush Administration, Washington Post, Jan. 6.

Ralph Peters Again/Still

“The primary mission of today’s Air Force is to support ground operations. Now, the Air Force doesn’t like that, but you don’t get to pick your wars. … This is a service in crisis. They blithely go down the path to diminishing relevance at a time when we badly need a responsible, capable, and appropriate Air Force.”—Ralph Peters, retired Army lieutenant colonel, syndicated columnist, and frequently quoted critic of the Air Force, Inside the Pentagon, Dec. 15.

Improved US Nukes

“You cannot tell people that nuclear weapons are bad for you but we are modernizing ours.”—Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, on proposal for new generation of US nuclear weapons, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 14.

Peace in Our Time

“The reality is that, since the end of the Cold War, armed conflict and nearly all other forms of political violence have decreased. The world is far more peaceful than it was.”—Andrew Mack, former director of strategic planning for UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, op-ed column, Washington Post, Dec. 28.

Opposes Fast Pullout

“I don’t think that the United States military at its current strength can sustain this level of deployment for an extended period of time. So one way or the other I think a drawdown will begin in 2006. But essentially just to walk away, to say that we’re taking all of our troops out as fast as we can, would be a tragic mistake.”—Retired Gen. Colin Powell, former Secretary of State, Reuters, Dec. 18.

Raptor Effect

“You can imagine if you are at 60,000 feet doing Mach 1.9 (about 1,400 mph) and these bombs are flying out of your airplane, the swath of hell you can produce going through a country saying, ‘I’ll take that target and that target.’?”—Lt. Col. David Krumm, F-22 instructor pilot, on selective multiple target capability of the aircraft, Associated Press, Dec. 23.

Bigger Force or Fewer Wars

“The Pentagon expects to face many Iraq-type conflicts in the coming years, wars that involve battling insurgents and restoring stability. As a result, a debate is beginning to churn in defense policy circles: Should the government enlarge the military so it can more easily fight these wars? Or should the government alter its policies, so as not to fight such wars as often, at least not alone?”—Fred Kaplan, national security analyst, New York Times commentary, Jan. 1.

Citizens Who Have Been There

“The only silver lining you can find in these numbers is that, for a generation to come, America will have many, many adults who understand the reality of what war is all about.”—Loren B. Thompson, Lexington Institute, on numbers serving in Iraq, Associated Press, Jan. 2.

Zbig Restates the Options

“?‘Victory or defeat’ is, in fact, a false strategic choice. In using this formulation, the President would have the American people believe that their only options are either ‘hang in and win’ or ‘quit and lose.’ But the real, practical choice is this: ‘persist but not win’ or ‘desist but not lose.’?”—Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor in Carter Administration, op-ed column, Washington Post, Jan. 8.