Thursday 16 Aug 2018 | 05:15 | SYDNEY
Thursday 16 Aug 2018 | 05:15 | SYDNEY

Gates the quotable


Sam Roggeveen


21 July 2009 10:29

A friend alerts me to US Defense Secretary Gates' latest speech. Gates is never dull, and not afraid to take on his critics, including those opposed to the Administration's decision to cap the purchase of highly advanced F-22 fighters:

...supporters of the F-22 lately have promoted its use for an ever expanding list of potential missions. These range from protecting the homeland from seaborne cruise missiles to, as one retired general recommended on TV, using F-22s to go after Somali pirates who in many cases are teenagers with AK-47s – a job we already know is better done at much less cost by three Navy SEALs. These are examples of how far-fetched some of the arguments have become for a program that has cost $65 billion – and counting – to produce 187 aircraft, not to mention the thousands of uniformed Air Force positions that were sacrificed to help pay for it.

And yes, a retired general did say that. The video doesn't lie:

What's really breathtaking about this segment is just how casual General McInerney is about the use of American force against not only pirates at sea but against the territory of another state.