Bob Cox at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s SkyTalk blog alerts us:
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, apparently tired of the Air Force’s very open campaign to buy hundreds more F-22 fighters despite Pentagon policies, has reminded the service’s top brass that civilians dictate military policy in the U.S. and not vice versa.
The story comes from pro Pentagon reporter Peter Spiegel at the Los Angeles Times. He reports:
One senior defense official called the remarks by Gen. Bruce Carlson, who heads the Air Force command responsible for testing and developing new weapons, “borderline insubordination,” because they contradicted a decision by the president.
I actually hate it when this kind of thing happens. You may agree or not with what Carlson said. But he unguardedly stated what every USAF officer above the rank of ROTC cadet quietly believes. In my book, Carlson, who I’ve known to answer questions honestly, deserves a medal for candor and applause for lack of discretion.
Gates may put up a fight over this. But, then again, his job comes with a rather early expiration date. The USAF, Lockheed Martin, and the F-22′s legislative allies are surely aware of this. But now they’ll just stop talking.