Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Threat, Technology, China

AFA Members, Congressional staff members, Civic Leaders and DOCA members:

Several new op-eds recently on current events have gotten my attention. First, the bombs recently discovered on a flight bound for the United States only proves that we face a thinking enemy who adapts to changes in our security countermeasures. This proves once again that Al-Qaeda does not sleep, and we have to remain vigilant to this threat. ADM James Loy, former Commandant of the Coast Guard and Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, wrote a good piece on this in the Washington Post. You can read the piece here at:

Second, new and improved weapons such as high imagery satellites and unmanned drones have not only changed the nature of warfare but their accessibility to other nations (and non state actors) in fighting their own insurgencies may lead to new rules regarding targets and targeters. [Reportedly Hizbollah has used remotely piloted aircraft to gather intelligence on Israel.] Another Case in Point, Saudi Arabia reportedly used high-tech imagery satellites from France to target insurgents in Yemen. The Saudis, according to the author, now want their own satellite capability, and they will soon request bids from Western companies for such a system. The piece says they also want drones that can see and attack enemy targets in remote places. You can read this here at: [may require a one-time free registration]

Third, fear of the growing influence of China has spurred a deeper relationship between the United States and some South Pacific nations such as Australia. According to Secretary of State Clinton, “The US was 'determined to strengthen and deepen' its 'strong alliances' with Australia, Japan, South Korea, The Philippines and Thailand.” This is just an example of the issues facing these Pacific nations who want to do business with both the U.S. and China but are mindful of China’s military modernization and claims to the South China Sea. You can read the article here at:

All three pieces expose the risks to our security in this century. Terrorism, the rise of peer nations and the spread of military technology should cause us to proceed carefully and cautiously with defense cuts and policies regarding our allies. We are reminded that the world is still a dangerous place.

For your consideration.


Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association

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