Brigadier General David A. Deptula
Director, Air Force QDR
AFA 17th Annual Air Warfare Symposium--Orlando
February 16, 2001
General Deptula: It is a privilege and a pleasure to be here
today to address and discuss with you the Quadrennial Defense Review or
at least what we know about it so far. I thought probably the best way
to start is to just give you a real brief overview of the origins of the
Quadrennial Defense Review and then we’ll go into and discuss where we
are in the time scales and then quickly move to what our Air Force
objectives are, what our themes are, and then I’ll leave plenty of time
to address your questions.
The Quadrennial Defense Review is a product of the Congress. It was
established as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal
Year 2000. What is the probably the most important piece of information
on this chart is the fact that the owner of the QDR is not the chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or the individual Services, but it is the
secretary of defense. The authorization language specifies that the
secretary of defense conduct the review according to those elements that
are listed there on the chart. The form and the function that the QDR
will take is clearly up to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
A couple of things in QDR 2001 that weren’t in QDR 1997 are that the
chairman has been designated to prepare and submit an evaluation, an
assessment of the review, and more importantly, an assessment of the
risk that goes along with whatever comes out of the QDR. As you can see
on the chart, the report is due September of 2001.
Now what we’ll do is take a look at some of the key defense
milestones. Many of you are familiar with the fact that the secretary
has already established or begun conducting a strategic policy review,
which, by the way, is exactly what all the Services wanted to have
happen. If you recall a lot of the discussion leading up to the defense
review and the QDR was we wanted to begin with an over-arching strategic
look at what is going on before we delved into the programmatics and the
program evaluations to determine what can most effectively support the
strategy piece. That is ongoing right now and I’ll have a couple more
words about the form and function of that.
The national security strategy is due out about the middle of June
and then, as I mentioned before, the QDR report itself is due on the 30th
of September. There is some question as to whether or not that due date
will remain September or the QDR report will slip three or four months.
That is a distinct possibility. When Secretary Rumsfeld was testifying,
there were indications from the Congress that they would be willing to
allow a slip in the due date perhaps to a December time frame which
would match where the nuclear posture review is due. At some point along
the way, there may be a review of the Defense agencies and many of you
have heard about the potential of a major aircraft review. We still
don’t have any definitive information about when or how those reviews
might be conducted. But they are out there. Next bullet.
What is going on in the joint world with respect to the Defense
review? The joint strategy review is currently undergoing final revision
in the review process. Many of you have heard about the Joint Staff
preparation activities for the QDR and one of the major elements of that
preparation effort has been the Dynamic Commitment series of exercises.
We’ve had three Dynamic Commitment exercises so far and they’ve been
extremely useful in terms of establishing the baseline for where the
follow-on studies might go. Dynamic Commitment 4 has been canceled,
however, because of the short runup time in the absence of any specific
guidance about how that might fit into the overall review. However,
Nimble Eagle stands out there on the horizon and that is a potential
wargame that would involve a look at a major theater war kind of
scenario. And of course the chairman’s assessment is waiting out there
in the September time frame.
The Secretary of Defense’s strategic policy review, in essence, will
last anywhere from 30 to 90 days. This is a scoping level effort that
will take a look at the eight areas that you see listed there on the
chart to provide the front piece for the follow-on programmatic reviews
that might follow. The way the senior OSD staff is casting this is as a
prelude to the QDR.
Now we are going to go into and take a look at what are the Air
Force’s going-in objectives and then a more specific look at our themes.
None of these that are listed here on the chart should really come as a
surprise to any one of you in here. Obviously, what we want to do is
obtain the resources that are necessary to provide the demands the
nation has for our aerospace power forces. Along with that, the QDR
provides us an opportunity to advance the understanding of what
aerospace power can do for the nation.
I like to use the analogy that the QDR is not unlike, in the Air
Force, an operational readiness inspection. We know that we are going to
be evaluated, but it is also an opportunity for us to put our best foot
forward and explain to people so that they understand how we fit into
the overall national security equation. And we want to ensure that we
participate effectively in each one of the QDR sessions and debates.
Ultimately, it is all about doing the right thing for the nation.
I would also tell you that if you asked each and every one of the
services what their bottom line for the defense review is, it is the
same thing. To do the right thing for the nation. We are going into this
defense review with a little bit different perspective than we did last
time around. The Air Force recognizes, and all of us understand, that
each one of the Services provides unique capabilities for the nation. We
need everyone of those capabilities. We all want to have the strongest
Army, Navy, and Marine Corps and Air Force in the world and we’ve been
relatively stressed as many of you understand. The chiefs are going into
this defense review with the understanding that they’d like to see the
water in the bath tub filled up so that all the boats float up to the
level of where their unique capabilities are most appropriate for use in
meeting the nation’s security objectives.
Now let’s take a look in a little more specificity about the themes
that the Air Force is launching into the review with.
This is perhaps the most important theme that we need to get across
and one where we need your help in making sure the American public and
the nation’s leadership understand. Modern aerospace capability is
allowing us to conduct warfare and accomplish national security
objectives in ways that we’ve never been able to do before. If you take
a look at the leap-ahead systems that we are developing, not just
systems, but also combined with our organizational transformation that
provides the nation all kinds of different alternatives to conducting
warfare using legacy constructs of operation. Alternatives like the
ability to rapidly halt aggression. The use of, not just weapons, but
information as well, to achieve desired effects in a variety of
scenarios. And the ability to conduct coercive campaigns not unlike you
saw unfold in the air war over Serbia. I would tell you that we’ve
reached a state in our defense capabilities that is almost the opposite
of what faced the air power pioneers in the 1920s and the 1930s. They
had the vision. They understood the potential of aerospace power, but
the challenge was, they were about 80 to 90 years behind in terms of
capability to initiate those different concepts of operation. Where we
are today is almost diametrically opposed. We face a situation where our
capabilities, some would suggest, far outpace the way we currently plan
to conduct our military operations. Let’s take a look at what I am
talking about in just a little bit more detail.
Aerospace power expands the nation’s strategic options. I am going to
talk a little bit more about revolution in military affairs later on and
most people in this room are familiar with the fact that it brings new
capabilities to challenge and meet emerging threats. I won’t go into
each one of these in detail because I think this is a very aware
audience and you know about each one of these things.
Let me talk a little bit about how they can all combine to provide us
with some alternative solutions. Next bullets.
Inside the beltway right now people are talking about two ways of
meeting the challenges of the strategy resource mismatch. One, you can
adjust the strategy to better accommodate the resources that we have
available to execute our tasking or two, you can adjust the resources
and bring them up to the level of strategy that you want to make sure we
can do it all. I would suggest to you that there is a third option that
can contribute to either of these first two. That is to capitalize on
the capability resident in our aerospace power forces to enhance our
joint concepts of operations. Because, quite frankly, if you do that, we
can retain the ability to engage in multiple operations around the
world. Let’s take a look at how.
The president said it just a different way about three days ago when
he was up visiting Joint Forces Command: "The best way to keep the peace
is to redefine war on our terms." That is exactly what I am talking
about. Let’s capitalize on what is unique to America’s military force to
do business in a different and a more effective way.
General Hawley showed you these previously. I want to use them again
to re-emphasize and describe how we do business today and what we can do
differently in the future. Basically, it takes us time. We count on
strategic warning and the associated time to allow us to build up forces
in theater so that we can then respond to an adversary threat.
However, future aggressors out there have been watching and paying
attention. They might not give us the gift of time that we’ve so often
relied upon in the past. If they don’t, they can make life very hard for
us. We will ultimately overcome and win, however, it might be at a very
high cost and it will certainly take much greater time. We’d like to
avoid these detrimental factors.
If we capitalize on the capabilities resident in America’s aerospace
power from all the services – an General Hawley today and General Jumper
yesterday gave you some specificity in terms of how we might do this –
we can begin very early on in any conflict to halt adversary aggression,
whether it is internal, whether it is cross border, whether it is done
with some other means other than absolute use of force.
That was the first thing. Now, in the second one that I go into, I am
going to give you a little bit more detail in terms of the specifics and
how all of this can be combined. Let’s talk about revolution in military
affairs. How many of you heard the term revolution in military affairs
discussed prior to the Gulf war. I would daresay not a whole lot. Mr.
Andy Marshall , who’s name has been in the press a lot, back in the
early 1990s, was probably the first one to come up with a viable
definition of what revolution in military affairs meant. It consists of
three elements. First, new and enabling technologies that allow us to,
second, put together innovative and different concepts of operations to
accomplish our military missions. Third is the organizational change
that goes along to codify the changes in technology and concepts of
operations up front.
What happened during the Gulf War? I would tell you that the
technologies that had matured to that point of stealth in conjunction
with precision, the number one requirement for RMA, allowed us to
accomplish and execute a different and a new innovative concept of
operations, which has come to be known as parallel warfare: the
simultaneous application of force across the breadth and depth of an
entire theater. If you take a look at what happened in that first
24-hour time frame, we struck over 150 separate and distinct targets.
That is more targets than were engaged in the years 1942 and 1943
combined in the combined bomber offensive over Central Europe. That is
impressive stuff. That is a big change.
We kind of took that in stride and moved on, but there was a second
element of your revolution in military affairs. What happened after the
Gulf War? We in the Air Force got rid of Tactical Air Command and
Strategic Air Command -- didn’t get rid of, but we replaced them with
Air Combat Command -- with the underlying idea being that airplanes are
not strategic and airplanes are not tactical. Airplanes are airplanes
and weapon systems are weapon systems. It is how you use them that will
determine whether you achieve a strategic or a tactical effect. There
you have the three elements of the revolution in military affairs –
technology, changed concepts of operation and organizational change. The
Air Force has done that. We’ve been doing transformation since our
initiation as a separate service.
As we moved into the time frame of the 1990s, what did we do? We saw
that the grand national security strategy of containment had shifted to
one of global engagement. Our organizations and structure were built
during the period of time when containment was our grand national
security strategy. We changed. Ergo, the Expeditionary Aerospace Force
construct, relying on 10 separate and equal Aerospace Expeditionary
Forces. Today, if the chief was here -- unfortunately he had to go back
to Washington — he would tell you that transformation for the Air Force
is not a destination, but it is a journey. We continue to transform.
Let’s take a look at how for the future.
First, let’s take a look at transformation that are occurring today
in the cyberspace realm.
Today, our space systems provide the nation vigilance,
communications, navigation, precision, and some degree of reachback. But
we are transforming today, as we move into the future, into a
space-control force, a force that will ultimately provide us what I call
persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance around the
globe all the time, watching every move everywhere. Space-Based Radar is
the kind of system that will allow us to do that.
National Missile Defense enabled by systems like SBIRS [Space-Based
Infra-Red System]. What I like to call near real-time global force
application, which will give us the next generation of national missile
defense conducted from space-based platforms and the next generation of
What does near-real-time global force application mean?
The way I would explain it to you is when the National Command
Authority decides they want to achieve a particular effect, within
minutes of that decision being made, those effects are being
accomplished. What is going to allow us to give that kind of option to
the National Command Authority? Systems like Space-Based Laser, Common
Aerospace Vehicles, Space Maneuver and Operations Vehicles and not just
systems but also capabilities in the cyberspace world, like computer
network defense and computer network attack. Again, not just systems,
but the way we look at and integrate information technology so we can
achieve what a lot of people talk about as dynamic battle space control,
integrating and rapidly fusing information not just from air and space
systems, but sea-based systems, land-based systems as well as air and
space-based systems. Rapid analysis of that information and then
dissemination to the force suppliers almost automatically to engage, to
get ultimately to the point where General Jumper was talking about
yesterday. And we are not talking about days or hours or weeks to plan.
But we are talking about a system that allows us to execute in minutes
to get us to predictive battle space awareness. To accomplish what I
like to call global network-centric warfare, not just operating in small
groups and affecting small locales, but operating across and impacting
an entire theater. These are the kinds of things being done today in
places like CAOC-X [Combined Air Operations Center — Experimental, at
Let’s take a look at what we are doing in terms of transformation
inside the atmosphere.
Continuous advances that many of you in this room are responsible for
in precision munitions, force application and delivery vehicles, UAVs
and command and control mechanisms. Leaps in means of force application,
directed-energy systems incorporated in vehicles like the Air Borne
Laser. These kinds of things will yield to us order of magnitude
increases in our rapid precision engagement capability and our ability
to operate in the third dimension, which will then allow us to rapidly
apply force across an entire area of interest. Next Bullet.
The president again, had some remarks that basically summarized what
we are talking about here.
A couple of words on the F-22 and JSF team. General Hawley alluded to
these multiple capabilities that we can now combine together on one
platform – air dominance, suppression of enemy air defenses, precision
attack, all put together in one platform. That defines transformation in
terms of platform perspective. Supercruise, advanced stealth,
information integration. These are capabilities that no other nation in
the world possesses today or will be able to possess in the future. That
is what asymmetric means, and what we need to do is continue to
capitalize on those kinds of advantages that you all are delivering to
our military. The F-22/JSF team is another concept that some people seem
to have difficulty understanding. Their inter-dependency is key to
leap-ahead ability to operate effectively in any environment around the
Another point I’d like to highlight here today that is often
overlooked by folks is JSF is also the foundation of our relationships
with our allies. Thinking about it from a strategic perspective, if our
allies operate similar equipment, it is more than just the
inter-operability. It is the partnership and the bond that is created
amongst and between our allies that contributes to our ability to
operate effectively as a complete coalition in the future. At some
point, numbers matter, not just for that big war fight, but also for the
ability to operate in the daily global engagement operations that have
stressed our people so much over the past decade. Next bullet.
This summarizes it all with respect to these two systems. Operating
together, they will allow us to continue to be a global leader, and not
slip down that slippery slope to becoming just another regional power,
but a global leader in terms of war-time contingencies in peace and also
in terms of maintaining our aerospace industry dominance.
A couple more words on the basic logic between our teaming of F-22
and JSF. The three-pronged approach, not unlike the way a three-legged
stool operates. You need each one of the pieces for this whole thing to
operate. We need new fighters. General Ryan yesterday talked about our
recapitalization challenges. We are getting to the point where we are
facing economic obsolescence and operational obsolescence which are
causing costs to go up and capability to decrease. We need
transformational fighters, not to be able to challenge the threat that
exists just today or tomorrow but the threat that will exist out there
20, 30 and perhaps even 40 years into the future. We need sufficient
numbers of these jets, like I said earlier, not just to fight the big
one, but also to maintain that rotational base so we don’t drive our
people into the dirt.
I’ve talked about systems. I’ve talked about concepts of operations.
Transformation also applies to organizations. All of you are very much
familiar with the way that we’ve changed organizationally in the move to
an expeditionary aerospace force. But that journey is not complete. It
is not over with yet. For this thing to work, what we need are ten fully
capable and equally capable Aerospace Expeditionary Forces. We are not
there yet. As a matter of fact, for example, there are only three out of
our ten AEFs that have a stand-off precision engagement capability right
now. What we are doing as part of the QDR is putting together what we
will require to achieve a fully capable expeditionary aerospace force in
each one of those categories.
When someone asks you, "We understand what you’ve done in the past.
What is it that you are doing today in terms of transformation?", the
answers are very simple. The transformation the Air Force is conducting
by developing leap-ahead capabilities is already skipping a generation
of technology. I know many of you out there have seen the video clip, I
thought it might have been shown earlier today – that is why I didn’t
show it – of the Su-35. It is an awesome airplane. It is out there
today. Guess what? We had that capability. We took an F-15 –
McDonnell-Douglas took an F-15, put canards on the front and put
vectoring nozzles on the back. We could do the same thing. But we
elected not to go into that generation of technology. We skipped it.
Ergo, F-22, delivering us leaps in capability that will allow us to
produce the effects of mass without having to mass in the function and
in the way that we have in the past, ultimately allowing us to transform
our concepts of operations for the entire military. Bullet.
And allowing the U.S. Air Force to contribute its part to this new
architecture, to the defense of America and our allies, that the
President talked about the other day.
Our third theme is our capability to defeat anti-access strategies.
General Jumper and General Hawley gave magnificent presentations that
laid out this concept, so I am not going to elaborate any further. Next
Air and space is one contiguous domain – aerospace. That should have
been evident in some of the things I just previously said about how we
need to bring together various elements of air and space. It is
interesting that there is this underlying sentiment among some that we
need to split up and develop a separate space force. I am reminded of
the analogy of oceans. You don’t hear anybody calling for a separate
submarine service do you? But operating underneath the water is very
much different than operating above the water. An entire domain belongs
to the U.S. Navy, as it should. Likewise, operations in the air and in
space are very much different. But we need to retain, to be effective,
that approach that says air and space is an indivisible medium. Because,
if we split it up, we’ll lose the synergies that will occur in order to
accomplish some of the things that I’ve talked about previously.
I recently went to a presentation by a new think tank in Washington.
I went with my Marine counterpart. The individual giving the
presentation had come up with this new defense program, their
perspective and it gave something to each one of the services. Then it
took something away. I listened very attentively. When he got to the Air
Force slide, I asked him, "You don’t mention the word space anywhere on
the slide". He said, "Don’t worry. Wait till I get to the transformation
slide". He did and I got there. And there was a bullet for U.S. Space
Command and an arrow going to U.S. Space Service and the words that went
along with this chart said something like this: "I’ve been out to Air
Force Space Command and they’ve got a magnificent master plan. They’ve
got everything plotted out and they’ve got all the dollars associated
with it. But they just don’t have enough money to do it". I said,
"You’ve just put your finger on the head of the nail". The problem isn’t
interest. There is nobody that is more interested in capitalizing on the
virtues of space than guys wearing this colored uniform. The problem is,
there are increasing demands on our forces and that is the challenge.
Future total force initiatives. I don’t think anybody in any of the
services would argue that the U.S. Air Force is the model service when
it comes to using all elements of our force. General Shaud mentioned it.
I had the great privilege of being the commander of Operation Northern
Watch for a very short 18 months. I would tell you I would much rather
be up over Northern Iraq, having Iraqis shoot at me than where I am now
because at least I knew who the enemy was. (Laughter). It is kinda tough
in this job.
But, when I was there, for that short period of time, 49 percent of
all the units that showed up were Guard or Reserve forces. Flying over
Northern Iraq, with those Guard and Reserve forces, many of them on
their first day, I can tell you that I couldn’t tell the difference
between a Guard unit’s first day in the AOR or an active unit’s last day
in the AOR and that is a real tribute. We need to continue that kind of
integration of our Guard and Reserve forces with our active forces. Next
Last one, in terms of our themes, but perhaps the most imminent one
in terms of need. Recapitalization. You heard the Chief talk about the
need yesterday. The fact that we are on a 250-year recapitalization
schedule with our infrastructure. The industry standard is 50 years. The
Chief testified that we are looking at a bill to make our Air Force
whole across the entire board of $20 to $30 billion. That is not over
the FYDP [Future Years Defense Program], that is a year. Again, a short
story to help explain why recapitalization of our force is very
Twenty years ago I had the opportunity to fly F-15s at Kadena Air
Base. F-15C’s and D’s. They were brand new airplanes. They still had
that new airplane smell. It was a wonderful thing. One of my last
missions that I flew in Northern Watch, I went back and I looked at my
log book and the aircraft that were there were from Kadena. It turns out
the airplane I was going to fly that day was the exact same tail number
– 78-500 that I had flown 20 years before, except this time, it had 5700
hours on the platform. So I go out to fly it and I am coming out of the
north, going to hit a tanker to get some gas and all of a sudden my
emergency light panel over here lights up with all kind of bizarre
stuff. I have a "fuel low" light; I have a "transformer rectifier"
light; I have a "bleed air malfunction" light. It is weird stuff. I’ve
been flying the airplane for 20-some-odd years and I kinda know what the
emergencies are. To make a long story short, I turned away from the
tanker, went back to Incirlik, landed. And here is what had happened:
They discovered that the wiring bundle that has a sensor – the wires
that go from all the sensors in the back of the airplane to the
emergency light panel, all that insulation had turned to powder over
time, sitting out in the sun and getting used and it just so happened
that it had gotten to the point where all the wires fused together when
I happened to be on that mission.
The essence of the story is that airplane is down now for a certain
period of time while they take out that wire bundle, sent it back to the
depot, get a new one from the depot, put it back into the airplane. The
airplane is out. You’ve got to get another airplane from somewhere –
Kadena. And do you know how many tankers it takes to ferry one airplane
over? So there are tankers, there are people. That is increased cost.
That is how our mission capable rates have gone down over the years
because that airplane is out of service. Declining mission capable
rates, increasing costs. That is why we need new airframes and new
platforms. It is not because we just want to have new equipment. That is
what happened to an F-15, average age around 17 years. That one was 22
years. The F-15s first flew in 1972. They will be over 30 years old,
some of them, by the time we go IOC [initial operational capability]
with the F-22. Think about our tanker force: average age today 38 years.
Average age. What happens when the same kind of a wiring bundle
malfunction happens across the entire tanker force? Now it is not just a
problem for some small exercise going on over here or engagement
scenario. The entire U.S. military gets affected. The only way we are
going to fix this one is with a major increase in the Air Force budget.
The Air Force’s contribution to our joint force operations is made
through our core competencies. Everyone in here is pretty familiar with
those, so I am not going to go into a lot of detail here, but I do want
to show them, just to remind you of what those core competencies are.
Aerospace superiority. Information superiority. Global Attack.
Precision engagement. Rapid global mobility. Agile combat support.
The Air Force is committed to joint warfare.
We are committed to giving joint warriors the modern aerospace
advantage, the kind of advantage that accrues from those characteristics
that you see on the left side of the chart.
All the services are investing, to one degree or another, in the
aerospace power advantage. I would tell you that we agree with that kind
of investment, because it simply doesn’t make sense to expose young
Americans to hostile fire without capitalizing on what is clearly our
advantage up front. Last chart.
Many of you have heard people talk about adversary asymmetric
advantages. You know what? We’ve got an asymmetric advantage, too. It is
America’s joint aerospace power. You can argue until the cows come home
over how Kosovo was executed or air war over Serbia, more properly
stated, was executed. But nobody can argue that only the United States
of America had the resident aerospace power capability to do what we did
in 78 days. Right now there are over 40 nations engaged in peace keeping
operations on the ground. But we are there, not because we have to be,
but by choice. That wasn’t the case with our aerospace power forces. We
had to use those to succeed to the degree that we did. Quite frankly,
this is where we need your help, to make sure that people understand
what America’s aerospace power advantage is and we need to ensure that
we fully fund that advantage. Thank you.
Q. With the Andy Marshall review and what is going on in DoD,
how does that influence the QDR in terms of process and then substance?
General Deptula: I hope I answer this in the way it was
intended. A lot of people are making a big deal over the fact that
certain people were selected to head up certain of these defense review
panels. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, that is exactly what we wanted.
We wanted an up front strategy review. That is exactly what Mr. Marshall
has been asked to do by the secretary of defense. It is the secretary of
defense’s prerogative to choose who he wants to conduct the strategy
review. We don’t have any problem with it. In fact, we believe it is
exactly part of the process that we had hoped, each one of the services
had hoped, would happen. It is part of the process. We are looking
forward to the outcome of the review and the Air Force quite frankly is
excited about having an open and honest review of all of systems and
Q. We have a traditional Air Guardsman now as President of the
United States. As you develop the QDR, is there any change in this role
that you perceive with regard to Guard and Reserve?
General Deptula: Yes. Increased utilization and incorporation
and integration of the Guard and Reserve into the way we do business. As
we get smaller in the active force, by necessity because of funding and
smaller because of the resident increases in capability, we will rely to
a greater and greater extent on our Guard and Reserve forces and there
are some things that they can do and we can all do to work together that
perhaps can increase the effectiveness of our overall total force.
Units, for example, that are manned by elements of all three: active,
Guard and Reserve. Incorporation in operation of new equipment. The step
that we took in incorporating Guard and Reserve forces into our
Aerospace Expeditionary Force operations was another great leap that
allowed us to better integrate and capitalize on the kinds of attributes
that Guard and Reserve forces bring to the defense table.
Q. What is your perspective on how defense industry input to
or interaction with the QDR process might be helpful?
General Deptula: I would encourage everybody in here to do
their best in explaining, when you have the opportunity to interface
with the American public, just what the aerospace industry, in
conjunction with the U.S. Air Force, is doing. Because frankly, a lot of
folks don’t understand I would particularly encourage you to get
together with those defense information houses, the RANDs, the CSISs
[Center for Strategic and International Studies], Centers for Defense
Information, those organizations that tend to be quoted and picked up by
the press and help them understand what our real capabilities are so
that we can get out the correct information with the assistance of our
good friends in the media to the American public. This is all about
understanding. It is all about education. Unless you are involved with a
lot of this stuff internally, it is hard to grasp. We need to do it in a
fashion that is easy for the man or woman on the street to understand.
That is where we can use a lot of your help.
Quite frankly, and the Air Force Association is doing some great work
for us already, but perhaps if we can put together some venues that
expand upon each one of those themes that we talked about, that is
another way that we can get the American people and our nation’s
leadership to understand the value of aerospace power.
Q. You are an advocate of effects-based operations as a more
effective way to accomplish the same goal with fewer resources. How does
this advocacy figure into the Air Force planning in the QDR?
General Deptula: I think not just within the Air Force, but
there is becoming an understanding across the security environment that
the way we need to approach our national security challenges is not by
defaulting a solution to the way we have employed force in the past.
That is easy to do because the systems and capabilities that we have
today are ones we’ve used in the past. An approach to take – let me go
to the extreme end – ultimately, what the nation’s military would like
to provide the National Command Authority with is an option to be able
to influence a potential adversary to act in accordance with our
strategic interest without that adversary even knowing that he or she
has been acted upon. That is way out there. But if you think about
ultimately our ability to influence people in that fashion, you begin to
think about different ways to employ force. Clearly, force application
is going to be part of achieving this goal, but we are a long way from
it. It allows you to begin to think about employing weapons that don’t
have a whole heck of a lot of explosives. Think about it: the only
reason we’ve got high explosive in weapons is because we had to
compensate for the lack of precision that we had in the past. I don’t
care whether a weapon has any explosive in it at all. Five hundred
pounds of concrete will ruin your whole day going 500 knots if it hits
you. Effects-based thinking about how we do business is applicable
across the board and we’ll be better off for approaching our security
challenges if we think in that vein.
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