June 1, 2009  

Silence speaks louder

To Gen. Norton Schwartz. By responding to Paul Kane’s New York Times op-ed that called for the disbanding of the Air Force, the chief of staff added credibility to Kane’s unscrupulous rant. For sure, Kane’s statement that the Air Force is not at war is an outrageous lie, deeply offensive to the hundreds of thousands of airmen who have deployed since 2001, providing countless vital, life-saving missions while also losing 45 of their comrades in combat and more than 500 wounded. And shame on the Times for publishing an article that did not build a reasoned case for its provocative statements or support them with facts. But the author of this nonsense is a retired Marine with no expertise in airpower or authority to comment on the criticality of the Air Force. Instead of rising unnecessarily to the defense of the Air Force, Schwartz should have treated this op-ed with the contempt it deserved. His silent dismissal would have been the stronger statement.