On October 19, the Center for a New American Security hosted a lunchtime discussion at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel with General Norton A. Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. The discussion was part of CNAS' ongoing National Security Leaders Forum series.
General Schwartz acknowledged that the current period of fiscal austerity poses various budgetary challenges to the Air Force and to the other branches of the military. In considering where and how to cut the defense budget, he recommended that policy makers recognize the four enduring capabilities of the Air Force that allow it to make a unique contribution to national security: 1) domain control; 2) intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; 3) rapid mobility; and 4) global strike. Following his presentation, General Schwartz fielded questions on a range of topics including: how budget cuts will affect Air Force acquisition programs; what role jointness between the services will play in implementing budget cuts; and how reduced resources could influence the Air Force’s ability and desire to collaborate with allies and coalition partners.