What Are the Choices?

The Air Force can’t really give up any of its core missions, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told reporters Monday. Although it is definitely looking to make some vertical budget cuts, “we need to be prepared to do all” the kinds of missions the service has been asked to do and, based on experience, it “will be” asked to do in the future, Donley said. Given that, what can the Air Force do to get its costs down? The choices to be made, Donley said, are “how fast you can respond” to certain kinds of contingencies, “how many” of certain kinds of operations can be carried out simultaneously, and “the time between one” type of campaign and another, he said. Another area of attention is force structure posture “in various parts of the world.” The current review is very much like previous budget drills, he said, but this time, “the stakes are higher.”