Aug. 1, 2007
Sure It Does

“A recent study by Foreign Policy in Focus and the Center for Defense Information found that 90 percent of US security spending is devoted to military purposes, while only 10 percent goes to nonmilitary tools of security such as diplomacy, foreign assistance, and homeland security. This huge imbalance undermines the effectiveness of our defense policy.”—William D. Hartung, World Policy Institute, Washington Post, May 12.

Armed With Confidence

“Russians need not worry about defense: They can look confidently to the future. We now have new [missile] systems at the strategic as well as theater level. These systems can beat any operational and future missile defenses.”—Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, RIA Novosti, May 30.

They’ll Find Out

“If the people who say we’re not having any war on terror ever get elected, they’ll sit in the office, the Oval Office, and realize we are in a war on terror. They’ll realize there are people that are out plotting and planning. They’ll see the complexities of taking on this enemy.”—President Bush, Reuters, May 23.

Sword and Shield

“All our warriors trust each other with their lives. They count on each member of the joint team to deliver the full range of service-unique effects. Only one of our armed services can provide global surveillance, global command and control, and the requisite range, precision, and payload to strike any target, anywhere, anytime, at the speed of sound or the speed of light. With the nation at war, the Air Force is the nation’s premier maneuver force—its sword and shield, guardian and avenger.”—Gen. T. Michael Moseley, Air Force Chief of Staff, The Hill, May 23.

Only Ground Forces Win

“If you liken Iraq and Afghanistan to a game of Texas Hold ’Em, the United States is ‘all in.’ There isn’t much more land power available for use in Iraq and Afghanistan other than some under­equipped and marginally ready Army National Guard and Marine Corps Reserve units that would need training time and equipment augmentation to be fully ready for employment. To be sure, Air Force and Navy [units] remain ready but, as has been demonstrated in the latest Israeli-Lebanese episode, airpower and smart weapons have specific characteristics limiting their utility in all known scenarios. And even in those situations in which air can be used, with minor exceptions lethality is the only functional purpose; in a land war, the Air Force and Navy can inflict punishment but they do not close with and defeat the enemy.”—Retired Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, president of the Association of the US Army, June 3.

Torture Will Backfire

“The torture methods that Tenet defends have nurtured the recuperative power of the enemy. This war will be won or lost not on the battlefield but in the minds of potential supporters who have not yet thrown in their lot with the enemy. If we forfeit our values by signaling that they are negotiable in situations of grave or imminent danger, we drive those undecideds into the arms of the enemy. This way lies defeat, and we are well down the road to it.”—Retired Marine Corps Gen. Charles C. Krulak and retired Marine Corps Gen. Joseph P. Hoar on justification of torture techniques by former CIA Director George J. Tenet, Washington Post, May 17.

Iran’s Nuclear Progress

“I think that the general view of American intelligence is that they would be in a position to develop a nuclear device, probably sometime in the period 2010, 2011 to 2014 or 2015. There are those who believe that that could happen much sooner, in late 2008 or 2009.”—Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, press conference in Singapore, June 2.

Long Reach of the Corps

“Someone in the Marine Corps needs to exercise a little common sense and put an end to this matter before it turns into a circus.”—Gary Kurpius, national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, on pending Marine Corps action against a former corporal, honorably discharged but in standby reserve status, who wore military fatigues with insignia removed at a war protest, Associated Press, June 2.

Usable Weapons

“The concern is that countries are starting to see these weapons as usable, whereas during the Cold War, they were seen as a deterrent.”—Ian Anthony, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, on nuclear weapons, Associated Press, June 12.

Navy’s Big Thinkers

“There’s no obvious reason a Navy guy would be put in charge of CENTCOM, or why we would have two sea service people replacing two other sea service people at the top of the Joint Chiefs [of Staff]. But the reality is that they seem to be able to work with big ideas and big political leaders better than the other services.”—Loren B. Thompson, Lexington Institute, Los Angeles Times, June 10.

Excess of Pre-emption

“We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war, where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered.”—Former President Jimmy Carter, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 19.

Other Kinds of Wars

“We have to fight today’s war, which means using readiness money for training and recruiting and retention, but you always have to look at tomorrow’s threat as well, because every war won’t be like Iraq and Afghanistan.”—Gen. Ronald E. Keys, commander of Air Combat Command, Omaha World-Herald, May 15.

RAF Bans Nose Art

“We have women that fly the planes, women that fix the planes, and it’s just not appropriate.”—RAF spokesman on orders to remove silhouettes of pinup persons from the noses of two Harrier jet aircraft, Associated Press, June 5.