When Failing to Invest is Too Expensive

The Air Force stands at a crossroads and faces “the eventual cessation of key missions” if it must defer, yet once again, acquisition of key systems to replace legacy hardware that has diminishing utility, warned nine retired Air Force senior generals, including former Chief of Staff retired Gen. John Jumper, an ex service historian, and a former USAF chief scientist. “Modern combat operations are simply not feasible without the capabilities afforded by American airmen,” wrote this group in its Nov. 14 letter to Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.). The group added: “When viewed in those terms, failing to adequately invest in the Air Force would be the decision that proves ‘too expensive’ for our nation.” The group’s letter registers support for Forbes’ “Strong Defense, Strong America” initiative (see webpage). Against the backdrop of the looming budget drawdown, Forbes seeks to raise awareness that “further reductions to core national security funding will cause significant harm to United States interests.” The group agreed: “The policy and budget decisions made over the next few months will shape the options available to leaders for decades into the future. One thing is certain: America’s future security demands that strategic wisdom, not short term opportunism, governs this process.”