A microphone. Verbatim. Air Force Magazine. Cornelia Schneider-Frank/Pixabay
Photo Caption & Credits

Verbatim

Jan. 21, 2022
Oklahoma National Guard members help administer Covid-19 vaccinations to the public. Antawne Jackson/FEMA

Sorry, Gov’ner

The vaccine mandate to which the governor objects is the one—in addition to the nine that already apply to all service members—intended to protect service members from the virus which has, in less than two years, killed more Americans than have been killed in action in all of the wars the United States has ever fought. The court is required to decide the case on the basis of federal law, not common sense. … But, either way, the result would be the same.

Decision of U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot, rejecting Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s lawsuit Dec. 29, which sought to block the department from enforcing its vaccine mandate on his state’s National Guardsmen.
Mike Tsukamoto/staff; USSF; Pixabay

Time’s Up

I think after two years, the grace period is officially over for the Space Force. … Everyone understood from the beginning it would take time to stand up the new service and reorganize the military space enterprise, and members of Congress were willing to be patient. But the time for patience is over, and the pressure is mounting on the Space Force leadership to show tangible results.

Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project, CSIS, quoted in Breaking Defense, Dec. 17.
Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall. Andy Morataya/USAF

Genie of the Lamp

If there were one ask I would have of the Congress, it would be to allow the Air Force to retire its old and irrelevant airplanes so that we can free up the resources we need … to confront China and what they’re doing in their military modernization program. … Our old iron—our 30-year-old average airplane–is an anchor holding back the Air Force right now, and we’ve got to get rid of some of those aircraft so we can free up resources and get on with modernization.


Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall, Reagan National Defense
Forum, Dec. 4.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Kremlin

Innocent

What is happening now, the tension that is developing in Europe, is their fault. At every step, Russia was forced to somehow respond, at every step the situation was constantly getting worse, worse, worse. And today we are in a situation where we are forced to decide something.

Vladimir Putin to a Russian Defense Ministry board meeting
[WSJ , Dec. 21 ].
A 37-kiloton detonation at the Nevada Test Site in 1957. DOE

Something We Can Agree On

We believe strongly that the further spread of such weapons must be prevented. We affirm that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.

Joint statement signed Jan. 3 by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council: Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States.
National Guard member near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan 31, 2021. 2nd Lt. Ashley Goodwin/National Guard

Approval Authority

Defense is now the single approval authority for all requests that would involve District of Columbia National Guard personnel participating directly in civilian law enforcement activities or that require the deployment of DCNG (D.C. National Guard) personnel within 48 hours after receipt of the request.

Pentagon statement, Dec. 30.
China’s national flag flies over the United Nations flag. Mike Tsukamoto/staff; Leif Jørgensen; Ecow

Final Fantasy

The U.S. should discard the fantasy that it can compel China to follow its rules. China only accepts the international system with the United Nations as the core, and the international order with international laws as its foundation.

Lei Wei, China Daily, editorial on U.S. “Summit For Democracy” event, Dec. 12, 2021.