More to Do Than You Can Do

The “downward pressure” on the defense budget is “very real and, to be frank, appropriate,” said Vice Adm. William Gortney, Joint Staff director. Gortney, standing in for Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen at last week’s AFA’s Air & Space Conference, said it’s good that the services have “more missions than stuff” because it forces them to rank their priorities and focus on what is most important. That has forced direct tradeoffs between readiness and recapitalization, with everyone concerned with figuring out where to take risk. He said the Air Force and Navy are old hands at this, as evidenced by the “high-low mix” of fighters over the last 30 years. He also said it’s not as easy as some think to distinguish “tooth from tail,” especially when so much of the “tail” comprises “key enablers.”