s then departing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said so famously, “In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to send a big American land army into Asia or the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined…” With the war in Iraq ended and the war in Afghanistan ending, a war-weary, battle-scarred, and budget-stretched America is unlikely to send the Army or Marines into battle overseas in large numbers again anytime soon. But, that does not mean that we can afford to rely on diplomacy and foreign aid alone to protect and defend us. Increasingly, working in concert with Special Operations Forces and the Navy, we will see the Air Force play an even greater role in our national defense. The Air Force’s top military commander will explore this issue in considerable detail.
Gen. Mark Welsh, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force
MODERATOR: John King, Chief National Correspondent, CNN