The Air Force Association – like the other service-specific (none-dare-call-them) lobbying groups (the Navy League, the Association of the U.S. Army, the Marine Corps Association) – do what their former comrades still in uniform cannot do: they complain, loudly and often, when they think their service is getting the short end of the fiscal stick.
This AFA PowerPoint briefing now flying around the Pentagon and Capitol Hill has lines of outrage printed in RED CAPITAL LETTERS:
AIR FORCE PAYS FOR MOST OF THE CUTS FROM FY12 TO FY13
AIR FORCE BUYING THE FEWEST AIRCRAFT
194 AIRCRAFT TAKEN FROM THE FIVE YEAR DEFENSE PLAN
NAVY [AIRCRAFT] FUNDING IS 53% HIGHER THAN AIR FORCE
GERIATRIC FLEET IS GETTING OLDER [editor’s note: aren’t we all?]
Air Force boosters are complaining that the Obama Administration’s new defense strategy is really a budget-cutting exercise masked as a strategy that is gutting the service. Yet both Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and General Nordie Schwartz, the Air Force chief of staff, keep showing up for work.
That suggests they can live with the budget they helped assemble. “The bottom line is if you want to know what we’re good at,” Schwartz said the other day, “we’re good at air and space control, global ISR, global mobility and global strike, and we will continue to be good at that, you know, in the future, OK?”