Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Note from AFA President -- Loh, Fogleman, op-eds

I have several op-eds to bring to your attention.

The first is by Gen (Ret) Loh which appeared as a letter to the editor of the NY Times. It contains the clearest and most succinct articulation of Airpower that I have seen. You can find the piece below my name.

Secondly, I ran across a piece by former Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen (Ret) Fogleman. In it he states we can reduce our active military and rely on the National Guard and Reserves, while bringing down budgets and investing in the next-generation technologies we’ll need in the decades to come. You can find the piece at: 

A second piece by the general also merits your attention. It appeared in Defense News. You can find it at:

Third, we have put the links to several op-eds on our website – some on both sides of an issue. The general location of them is in our Education and Opinion section. (See:

For example, on Iran, Mark Helprin of Wall Street Journal and Shibley Telhami and Staven Kull of New York Times differ in their approach to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Likewise Chairman McKeon (R-CA) of the House Armed Services Committee takes issue in the Washington Post with the Administration on its new strategy.

Finally, a thoughtful piece on Taiwan appeared in the NY Times. It was written by Su Chi, Chairman of the Taipei Forum. You can find the piece at:

For your consideration.


Michael M. Dunn

Air Force Association


To the Editor:

Re: "Panetta to Offer Budget Strategy Cutting Military <> " ("The Next War" series, front page, Jan. 3):

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta's task of cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from the defense budget while retaining a competent military is not as drastic as your article describes if he reverses the growth in ground forces and expands the investment in air power.

President Obama and Mr. Panetta now recognize that the precision, efficiency, low cost and near zero casualties offered by a strategy based on air power allow them to withdraw sooner from Afghanistan and attack Al Qaeda effectively from wherever it chooses to operate. At the same time, we can build our air forces to deter aggression in Asia and elsewhere.

Air power provides the capabilities, flexibility and long range need to fulfill Mr. Panetta's strategy of fighting and winning one major conflict, while being able to "spoil" a second adversary's ambitions in another part of the world, and countering terrorism.

But Congress keeps talking about cutting the very programs needed to do this - modern fighters, long-range bombers, drones and global surveillance assets. Instead, we need to invest in these systems to replace our worn-out air power assets, not cut them.

Mr. Panetta's strategy is right. To make it work, we must underwrite it with a robust modernization of air power forces.

Williamsburg, Va., Jan. 3, 2012

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