That’s the opinion of Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, according to a report by Otto Kreisher in CongressDaily. Speaking at a Center for Strategic and International Studies-sponsored forum last week, Schwartz said he believes the new next generation bomber should have a nuclear capability and that would indicate it should have a pilot. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told lawmakers earlier this month that he was not certain a new bomber needed to be a manned platform. Schwartz acknowledged that the bomber question must await the Quadrennial Defense Review and Nuclear Posture Review, but he believes there’s no question it should be nuclear capable “and that means it probably should be manned.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.