Wednesday, July 8, 2009

For Your Consideration ... nuclear arms control

Saturday, July 11, 2009

FA Members, Congressional staffers, Civic Leaders, DOCA Members, we have recently developed a briefing on the Principles of Airpower. A hearty thanks to Col (Ret) Phil Meilinger for his assistance in developing it. I would ask you to comment on the briefing … so we can improve it. Send your thoughts to Chet Curtis at: CCurtis@AFA.Org

You can find the briefing on our website here.

Secondly, President Obama was in Russia this week. He and the Russian President signed a preliminary agreement on a new nuclear arms control agreement. This will begin serious negotiations. However, I worry about the preliminary agreement because it starts with the number of warheads and launchers … and does not seem to derive from strategy. I also worry that DOD is not yet finished with its Nuclear Posture Review - which defines the strategy from which we derive the numbers of weapons, etc. I also would like to hear the views of the Joint Chiefs, the Commander of STRATCOM, and others. This is an area in which we should all pay attention … because it is absolutely critical to our security. To help add clarity to this issue, Keith Payne [no slouch in Arms Control circles] wrote an op-ed that appeared in the Wall Street Journal. In it he points to many areas of concern. I especially liked his concluding quote/warning from Winston Churchill: "Be careful above all things not to let go of the atomic weapon until you are sure and more than sure that other means of preserving peace are in your hands."

You can find a link to the op-ed here.

For your consideration.

Michael M. Dunn


Unknown said...

The briefing is visually appealing with lots of nice quotes, but does not address the "key issue" of today: Balance. Secretary Gates acknowledges the dominant effects that airpower brings to the battlefield.

However, we are constrained by fiscal reality, and DoD can't buy everything that it "wants." Meanwhile, we must fight two large counterinsurgency campaigns, where airpower brings dominant kinetic and ISR effects, but is a supporting element to our ground forces. In this current fight, we are under-invested in our ISR and UAV forces, and are over-invested in manned tactical fighter forces in support of this fight. This over-investment is particularly evident when you consider the air assets of our Navy and Marine forces in combination with our Air Force assets.

Instead, for this brief to "matter," it needs to focus on why airpower matters in the next 10 years, not on how great airpower was in WWII or Desert Storm. Furthermore, it needs to convince the audience that we are under-invested in airpower to meet that requirement, and where DoD is over-invested so that resources can be diverted toward the "airpower" need.

--Lt Col Matt Isler, USAF

wsomike said...

This proposed agreement kind of brings into question the need to establish a nuclear specific BH52 unit.

Best case 1500 warheads

Rough numbers:
non MIRV'd
14 subs X 24 missiles = 336
450 minuteman = 450
24 B52 ( one wpn/aircraft = 24
810 weapons

2 warheads on sub missiles 672
2 on minute man 1000
B52 ???

Almost get back to that old letter about aircraft procurement:

Buy one and let them take turns

Unknown said...

An article from the Washington Post 12 July 09: "Repair costs raise questions about plans for more F22s". Article states >30 hours of maintenance is required for each hour of flight in the F-22 creating a hourly flight cost of $44,000; and that "the problem lies in the aircraft's radar absorbing skin, a problem concering contractor technicians since mid-1990s". If this is so what is the case of the B-2, the F-111, and the F-35, all of which have these coatings? Why are not they a maintenance problem as well? Is this report truthful, or more anti F-22 propaganda whose facts have been taken out of context?

Unknown said...

I fear there is a mentality in Washington that the military power of the US can be ignored, because history shows we get away with it, every time. Each major global conflict started when we were weak and each time we had to ramp up our military and re-arm it, in a hurry. Because we were always able to do so in the past, some think we still can - and now they hold the reins of power in the Legislative and Executive branches of government.

It takes a lot longer to build an aircraft today, that can compete with what the enemy has, than it did in WW I or WW II.

If a major conflict starts in this century and we are not ready to meet it, it will be lost before the first bird rolls off the assembly line - "Rosie the Riveter" doesn't have the technical expertise to build an F-22 or the next generation bomber or tanker.

AmericaFirstVet said...

My comments HERE ,might be included with the F-22 Defense Program as well. I feel we should go back to the same frame of mind, in the past days of "SAC", with 24-hour "Looking Glass KC135's" doing their 24/7 duty in the skies and fully loaded B-52's etc., always in the air "at the ready". I am very sad that George H. Bush did away with "SAC" when he did. Today, the Global Strike Command is a wannabe SAC. I hope it works of course but, if programs actually work, why re-invent the wheel? The F-22 program needs to continue full swing 100%. NO CUTS!
BOTH republican & democrat administrations and Congress will be so quick to cut vital programs but, when it comes to un-constitutional FOREIGN AID 'hand-out' give aways to the world (billions of tax payers money) they do not hesitate! THANK YOU Air Force Association for continuing to do your duty by being that voice against AF defense program cuts like the F-22.
Defensor Fortis! I am a proud AFA member and National Veterans Coalition member (