FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW: Deborah Lee James had been in office a very short time when she learned of a crisis in the Air Force’s nuclear force and had to hold her first press conference as the service’s top civilian to discuss cheating and drugs. A tough start to a new job.

She still faces a myriad of touch choices and did not leave them behind her even as she crossed the Atlantic Ocean to wave the flag for the F-35 fighter on its first foreign visit and to do those things senior Pentagon officials do at air shows.

Note her frank talk in the video above about closing bases and — Sen. Kelly Ayotte and friends take note — the retirement of the A-10 fleet when I ask her to list the top three toughest budget issues she faces as her department begins building the 2016 budget in earnest. Though she knows she faces stiff congressional opposition to both moves, James staunchly defends the necessity of both.


  • Ineluctable

    Is she like the Other Obama appointees? No conscience, no concern for Americans outside the ghetto, dubious concern for American security, honor a dirty word for losers? Does she just want to provide money for Obama to hand out for votes at the expense of the military? IS she another Sibelius? You have to answer.

    • jgelt

      She’s an insider like most appointees have been since the 70’s. She headed up SAIC which is a contractor that has a stranglehold on many intelligence programs for the Air Force. Cronyism, the revolving door and influence peddling didn’t start with Obama, they just don’t bother to hide it anymore.

  • originalone

    “Closing bases, retiring the A-10”, having to fight the NIMBY’s in congress, oh my goodness, the fur will be flying. Congress needs to wake up and quit wasting time and money, though I doubt that will happen soon, as long as the lobbyists are allowed to hand out those bags of money.