Photo: James Irwin/NASA
FLY ME TO THE MOON
“We have the wrong strategy, the wrong ideas, the wrong doctrine. We are trapped in an industrial age model of thinking about space.”
Lt. Gen. Steven L. Kwast, former commander of Air Education and Training Command, making the case for why the nation should shoot for the moon.
Photo: A1C Aspen Reid
CURTAIN 1 OR CURTAIN 2
“It’s either the F-35 or the S-400. It’s not both. It’s not park one in the garage and roll the other one out. It’s one or the other.”
Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, Pentagon press briefing [Washington Post, Aug. 27].
Illustration: Mike Tsukamoto/staff
DEPENDS ON YOUR PERSPECTIVE
“When I meet with my international counterparts, I try not to spend too much time talking about how $738 billion doesn’t go as far as it used to.”
Commander of Air Combat Command Gen. James M. Holmes, noting that the US defense budget dwarfs that of most allies.
TURN IT UP
Q: “On the scale of 1-to-10, how important is it that we get this budget done”
Exchange between Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and then-Army Secretary Mark T. Esper, at Esper’s July confirmation hearing to be Defense Secretary, on the urgency of passing a defense budget and avoiding a continuing resolution. A CR keeps Pentagon spending limited to the levels of the previous budget, and prevents new starts in technology, readiness, and modernization.
Photo: Leonard DeFrancis
EMBRACE THE YUCK
“The more it sucks out here—and you’re eating MREs and you’re pooping out in the Porta-John—the higher the morale is.”
Col. Donn Yates, commander of the 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., during the Operation Rapid Forge exercise, which prepares airmen to operate in an austere environment [Defense News, August 2019].
“America has never been satisfied with bringing a knife to a knife fight. We will approach a fight with a peer adversary from a true position of strength, of readiness, and of skill, regardless of the quantity of their forces.”
Acting Air Force Secretary, Matthew P. Donovan [Defense News Conference, Sept. 4].
IS THAT A THREAT
“The Chinese side urges the US side to fully comprehend the severity of selling arms to Taiwan, and clearly evaluate the situation.”
Senior Col. Wu Qian, China Ministry of National Defense, on the sale of US F-16s to Taiwan [August 2019].