Friday, October 10, 2014

Decisions Matter

Australia has joined the air war over Iraq, demonstrating the truth that you go to war with the air force you have and not the air force you wish you had.

This week, Australia dropped bombs on ISIL targets in Iraq:

"Overnight the Australian Air Task Group operating in the Middle East attacked its first target in Iraq," the Australian Defense Force said in a statement.

"Two bombs were dropped from an F/A-18F Super Hornet on to an ISIL facility. All aircraft exited the target area safely and returned to base," it said, using an alternate name for the group.

And the reason they could is that they made a decision in 2006 to have this capability now:

But none of their missions would have taken place but for a private meeting eight years ago in October 2006 in a suite next door to the Cabinet room in Parliament House.

That decision was to bridge the gap in strike capability created by the retirement of elderly F-111 strike aircraft and the time it would take to get F-35s. The gap was filled with Super Hornets that carried out the strikes this month.

Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was bitterly condemned over his comment in response to our ground forces being stretched in Iraq by noting that you go to war with the army you have and not the army you wish you had (at that moment).

I suppose it would be more accurate to say that you go to war with the army you wish you had about a decade earlier.

Or your air force, of course. Fortunately, in 2006 Australia wished to have the air power that they have used in 2014.

UPDATE: What happens when you make poor decisions years ago and find out just what you wished to have in 2014.