Faced with the termination of the F-22 and deep cuts in existing fighter force structure, Congress has been pinging the Pentagon to provide the analysis that top defense leaders insist has been done to show the cuts are prudent. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told reporters at the Pentagon Friday that the “analysis does exist.” However, he apparently hasn’t seen it. “I’m sure that analysis exists in the building [the Pentagon]—describing the relative benefits of more or less tactical airplanes in various scenarios.” He said he’s “not sure actually if we have any specific pending requests for … what analysis is there.” Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), in remarks appended to the House Armed Services Committee 2010 defense bill mark up, wrote: “We have repeatedly requested that the department provide the committee and members with analysis upon which this budget decision was based. That analysis has not yet been provided, leading to a strong indication that it is a budget drill, pure and simple. … I urge Secretary Gates and my colleagues to work cooperatively on an F-22 termination plan that is reasoned and based on real military requirements and analysis, not budget drills.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.