02/22/08 — Airpower plan: Air Force announcement demands action right now

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Airpower plan: Air Force announcement demands action right now

Anyone who cares about the defense of this country and the men and women who keep us safe should be disturbed by the revelation this week that the Air Force’s fleet is getting a little ragged.

Top officials told Washington leaders that the Air Force will be in real trouble if something is not done — and soon.

As we wait to see what happens with the upcoming election, we need to keep in mind that whether or not we are in Iraq, we have to have a strong and battle-ready military to protect this nation.

And shoring up the cracks in our nation’s airpower should be top priority.

We need a strong Air Force not just because of battle needs, but also because of the transportation of people and of the equipment that keeps the rest of the armed services moving.

Waiting until the problem is urgent is simply not an option.

There will be lots of rhetoric coming from all sides as the state and national campaigns heat up. And as the “I support the troops ... ” soundbites start to fill the air, we need to listen closely.

We need candidates and leaders who understand that the strong tradition of America’s armed services has to be maintained if this country is going to remain safe — and that means more defense spending.

This is a dangerous world full of people with loathing for free and democratic nations and agendas to match.

Letting military readiness lapse is not an option. There is too much at stake. It is up to us to make sure our next president has that same priority.

Published in Editorials on February 22, 2008 10:07 AM