Air Force adopts new, "sovereign" mission statement

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 at 07:31 AM

So not only has the Army changed advertising firms for its annual quarter of a billion dollar ad budget, but the Air Force suddenly felt the need to update its mission statement.

Both the timing and the content of the new mission statement trouble me.

The Air Force reportedly made the change in recognition of the fact that "[t]he realities of the world have changed dramatically since the creation of the Air Force in 1947 and continue to change almost daily." According to the report:

"The mission of the United States Air Force is to deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States of America and its global interests -- to fly and fight in Air, Space, and Cyberspace.

"The statement includes two new concepts, "sovereign options" and "cyberspace," which the secretary and chief defined.

"They said having sovereign options is the essence of being a superpower."

Somehow I find that new phrase "sovereign options" troubling. Isn't it odd that we never needed that little concept before now, when the far right keeps beating the drums for an American Empire, and Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations keeps beating the drum for permanent war as part of that empire?

What exactly does "sovereign" mean in this context?  Are they now providing options to the US's sovereign?  Are they providing the US with options as to the sovereignty of other nations?

Just a quick question:  If you were some small country that the US has an interest in for some reason, would you be smiling as you read the new statement?