Common Sense at the Crossroads for Our Air Force

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By Col Russell J. Smith, USAF, Retired.

An old proverb states that every cloud has a silver lining. Perhaps the recent debt-ceiling crisis and subsequent failure of the congressional supercommittee, together with continuing financial instability within the United States and global markets, have opened a small window of opportunity for reevaluating current Air Force budget priorities. In fact, the absolute necessity to get maximum bang for the buck could now serve as a catalyst in acquiring a credible and affordable counterinsurgency (COIN) capability for both the United States and its partner nations. In light of the tough budget decisions ahead, will the Air Force shed its affinity for technological wizardry and finally get serious about equipping its forces to fight effectively and efficiently in the battles they will most likely face in the near term?