"He who gets there fastest with the mostest wins the battle," coined by an American Civil War general, is as relevant today, whether it be desperately needed resupply - as by Lockheed C-5s to Israel after a surprise Arab attack three decades ago - or troop-carrying helicopters and tanks by Boeing C-17 to the Balkans/Gulf in the past decade.

If the current anti-US situation results in conflicts in Africa and Europe (from growing Islamic fundamentalism, for example) being left to a solely European rapid-reaction force, it would need bulky equipment without time-consuming shipment and/or rebuild. I'm sure that any military - rather than political - leader would prefer C-17s to Airbus Military A400Ms.

D Clucas London, UK

Source: Flight International