Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chinese & Australian strategies add perspective to US defense needs

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

AFA Members, Congressional Staffers, Civic leaders, and DOCA members, a couple of items to bring to your attention.

First, Australia has just released a new White Paper. I came across it because of a Wall Street Journal editorial where the author says, "In the preface to a sweeping defense review released Saturday, Australian Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon writes: 'The biggest changes to our outlook . . . have been the rise of China, the emergence of India and the beginning of the end of the so-called unipolar moment; the almost two-decade-long period in which the pre-eminence of our principal ally, the United States, was without question.'"

A link to the editorial can be found here.

A link to the entire White paper is here.

As I read it, I am reminded that most nations of the world publish Defense White Papers. It contributes to stability for all countries to publish what they think about defense. For example, here is China's most recent White paper.

Second, GTMO has been in the news recently. I waited for the issue to die down a bit before bringing you some information on it. Here are a couple of pieces that I think have merit:

One link is by Senators Graham (a former USAF JAG) and McCain (who has a unique perspective on POW/detainee issues.

The second link is by Charles Krauthammer … and is a bit political … but brings you a viewpoint that you may not have considered.

For your consideration.

Michael M. Dunn
President/CEO

3 comments:

Clay said...

Mr Dunn,

I'm appalled and saddened to see that you have chosen to effectively endorse Mr Krauthammer's defense of torture. He started the article of correctly: "Torture is an impermissible evil." There are no exceptions. There are no ticking bomb scenarios that justify the impermissible.

The USA was right to try and convict several Japanese for torture during the Tokyo War Crimes Trials. Torture against Doolittle's Raiders was wrong, even though I'm sure that the raids looked a lot like a ticking timebomb to the Japanese. As a retired USAF officer, I didn't and still don't view the protections and obligations of the Geneva Conventions as "quaint." I view them as part of the better world that our great nation has helped to create and defend for generations.

You're correct in your assessment that Mr Krauthammer's article is political. Mr Dunn, your readers and the membership may well be political, too, but many of us in the AFA are first and foremost proud defenders of this great nation of ours, a nation founded on constitutional rights and obligations. When we give up those rights, and abjure our obligations, we have lost the war, and we have let down those who have gone before us, who were willing to fight and to die for what's right.

If you really want to share an article from the Washington Post that provides the perspective of another JAG (who is not now a politician) I recommend this one:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201170.html

Torture is wrong Mr Dunn. Period.

Clayton D. Bosler
Lt Col, USAF (Retired)

Clay said...

Mr Dunn,

I'm appalled and saddened to see that you have chosen to effectively endorse Mr Krauthammer's defense of torture. He started the article off correctly: "Torture is an impermissible evil." There are no exceptions. There are no ticking bomb scenarios that justify the impermissible.

The USA was right to try and convict several Japanese for torture during the Tokyo War Crimes Trials. Torture against Doolittle's Raiders was wrong, even though I'm sure that the raids looked a lot like a ticking timebomb to the Japanese. As a retired USAF officer, I didn't and still don't view the protections and obligations of the Geneva Conventions as "quaint." I view them as part of the better world that our great nation has helped to create and defend for generations.

You're correct in your assessment that Mr Krauthammer's article is political. Mr Dunn, your readers and the membership may well be political, too, but many of us in the AFA are first and foremost proud defenders of this great nation of ours, a nation founded on constitutional rights and obligations. When we give up those rights, and abjure our obligations, we have lost the war, and we have let down those who have gone before us, who were willing to fight and to die for what's right.

If you really want to share an article from the Washington Post that provides a perspective that's not getting much press, I recommend the following (from another JAG who is not now a politician) :

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201170.html

Torture is wrong Mr Dunn. Period.

Clayton D. Bosler
Lt Col, USAF (Retired)

SAC EWO said...

"But institutions can have short memories too. And in the early 60s we entered another Asian war, this time in Vietnam, without a capable air-to-air fighter -- without pilots schooled in the fine art of air-to-air combat -- and without weapons to neutralize the emerging threat of surface-to-air missiles -- and we paid a terrible price against a third-rate power.
In the six months from 23 August 1967 to 5 February 1968, Vietnamese MiG-21 pilots racked up a 16 to 1 kill advantage. In all, we lost 2,448 fixed wing aircraft to a third world military whose Air Force deployed fewer than 200 aircraft.
How easily we forget."


AND THAT IS THE SOURGRAPES MINDSET OF THE VIETNAM ERA FIGHTER PILOT.
They blamed it all on the Bomber Generals and trashed the very heros and institutions that made the USAF an Air Force worthy of a superpower.

The history of that war is well known. Decisions made in the 50's to protect this nation against an enemy bomber force can not be condemned for foul ups created later by the white house and the Johnson administration!

THESE GUYS CRASHED AND BURNED THE STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND, made a joke of this nations nuclear deterrent, AND ALMOST THE ENTIRE USAF. It gave us MARINES running STRATCOM (as if any marine was qualified to do so.)

GUESS WHAT? SAC IS BACK and Bombers have proved they are NOT obsolete. Range and payload are still relevant requirements for combat airpower!

Get over the air-to-air dogfight obsession. If TAC had focused on its REAL mission of supporting the Army over the years, perhaps we wouldn't have the Army encroaching on USAF mission territory today.

Here's some quotes you should publish:

"Never have so few who did so little, pushed the myth that they had so great an impact on warfare as the fighter pilot."

"No Air Force helped win a war by shooting down other airplanes one at a time - they did it by killing targets on the ground."

Thankfully these air-to-air bloviators have had their day. Hopefully USAF doctrine can once againt be re-written to put "air-to-air" back into a supporting role where it belongs.