The larger issue is whether the Gates-led remix of airpower will cause weaknesses in American military power over the long term. In 2010, the impact of the Gates cuts on major military muscle began to draw criticisms from experts concerned with maintaining forces to counter rising peers like China.
“Gates is running the Pentagon at a time when other risks facing the United States have been growing while American power relative to those risks has been declining,” wrote former Sen. James M. Talent in The Weekly Standard in December 2010.
By Rebecca Grant
Air Force Magazine (February 2011)