Press On

Sequester would force changes in the national strategy, but Air Force leaders aren’t yet ready to go there. Under Budget Control Act spending levels, the strategy—“to be able to defeat one adversary, deny a second adversary, and defend the homeland simultaneously … becomes un-executable,” Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said at a Feb. 13 press conference at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando. “We just don’t have the capacity” at BCA levels to achieve the “simultaneity” the strategy requires, added Welsh. If the nation isn’t willing to adequately fund the strategy as it stands there will need to be a national discussion, he said, about “what exactly do you want your military to be able to do?” Sequester will drive “a much lengthier discussion, and there would be multi-parties involved,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said at the press conference. “We would have some input in terms of Air Force capabilities,” but she added, “The national strategy is a good strategy, we ought not change it. And so we are holding firm and we are just going to make the case as strongly as we know how … that we need this additional funding.”