To Do What?

In spite of the estimated $450 billion over 10 years that the Defense Department must take out of its plans, the Air Force hasn’t been given any relief from the missions it now performs, so it’s choosing lower capacity rather than a hollowed force, said Lt. Gen. Herbert Carlisle, the Air Staff’s top operations, plans, and requirements official. Speaking Thursday at an AFA-sponsored breakfast in Arlington, Va., Carlisle said the standard response to any suggested funding level is, “To do what?” The answer that has come back has been, “To do what we’re doing now, just at a lower capacity.” That’s driving reduced depth in all mission areas, he said. He warned that if the congressional joint deficit committee fails to reach a deal in November, the situation will be “dire.” If the Air Force must adjust to a cut of twice the depth that it’s now struggling with, “the Air Force will not look like it does today,” said Carlisle.