“The aircraft doesn’t know that I’m a woman.”—Maj. Nicole Malachowski, first woman pilot for the USAF Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team, USA Weekend, April 28.
“We have the same weapons in 2006 that were grossly inadequate in Vietnam. Meanwhile, we’ve been through three generations of fighter planes. There are many, many weapons on the market right now better than the M-16. Why don’t we just buy the dang things?”—Retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales Jr., former commandant of the Army War College, on the M-16 rifle, in use since 1964, National Journal, May 6.
Fight to Win
“I’m not saying I want to fight no wars, or even saying I want to win more wars—I’m just saying that I want us to win the wars that we fight. And I’m worried that Iraq was never one of them because it was started by people who knew everything except how to win—who have yet to learn that in war we absolutely have to win.”—Columnist Henry Allen, Washington Post, May 6.
Who Are Those Guys
“Who are the retired generals rallying to Secretary Rumsfeld? … They fall into three categories: Pathetic, aged retirees who desperately want to believe they’re still Washington players and who will do anything for a scrap of official attention; Air Force generals—while the Army and Marines fought, Rumsfeld funded all of the Air Force’s toys and can count on its support; and, most troublingly, serving officers selected by the SECDEF for the military’s highest offices.”—Ralph Peters, retired Army officer, newspaper columnist, and constant critic of the Air Force, New York Post, April 19.
Let’s Make a Deal
“The United States should offer Iran a bargain: No Iranian nukes, no American-induced regime change. The United States would need to commit to not attacking Iran unless Iran attacked the United States or a US ally. In addition, the Bush Administration would not seek to undermine the regime by arming or financing opposition groups (whose legitimacy in Iran is undercut by American support anyway).”—Amitai Etzioni, George Washington University professor, USA Today column, May 3.
“Make it clear that if anything happens to Iran, if anyone attacks it—it doesn’t matter who it is or how it is attacked—that Iran’s answer will be to hit Israel; the only target will be Israel.”—Retired Gen. Mirza Aslam Beg, former Chief of Staff of the Pakistani Army, to Iranian officials who asked for his advice on how to prevent attack on their nuclear facilities, Associated Press, May 13.
“There’s nothing about this that I would [call] peacekeeping. We’re in a fight.”—Army Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, commander of US troops in Iraq, Los Angeles Times, April 30.
“If the call comes tomorrow for you to deploy to Baghdad, Kandahar, or wherever our Air Force needs you, are you ready to go? You must be. We are the nation’s warriors.”—CMSAF Gerald R. Murray, “The Enlisted Perspective” message to airmen, May 1.
The Media Experience
“People who stick their head up in the media get bitten, they get hurt. And they say something that comes out a different way, or if someone prints it a way that’s different than they actually said it, and then somebody says to them, ‘What in the world, why did you say that?’ Then they have to say, ‘Well, I didn’t say that, they printed it wrong.’ Then you’re on the defense. So people become conditioned and learn that it’s not necessarily career enhancing to stick your head up and be the one out in front on the spear point talking, because you’ve got a whole array of people who are just waiting to pop you every time you open your mouth.”—Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, radio interview, May 9.
“Our political leaders have come to view air dominance as a birthright rather than a capability requiring constant renewal. … If you want to believe that America will still have the airpower to bear any burden and defeat any enemy 10 years from today, then don’t look too closely, because our biggest advantage in future warfare is ebbing away fast.”—Loren Thompson, Lexington Institute, speech at the Heritage Foundation, April 28.
“I made the case to General Franks and Secretary Rumsfeld before the President that I was not sure we had enough troops. … The President’s military advisors felt that the size of the force was adequate; they may still feel that years later. Some of us don’t. I don’t. In my perspective, I would have preferred more troops, but you know, this conflict is not over.”—Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Associated Press, April 30.
“Comrade wolf knows whom to eat, he eats without listening, and he’s clearly not going to listen to anyone.”—Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing the United States of pursuing its own interests in the world with “no restrictions whatsoever,” Associated Press, May 10.