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Gates Says U.S. Air Force May Resist Change Once He Leaves

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he is concerned the Air Force may revert to a Cold War-era focus on fighter jets and bombers at the expense of drones and other new weapons after he leaves office later this year.

While manned aircraft are needed, the Air Force must recognize “the enormous strategic and cultural implications of the vast expansion in remotely piloted vehicles” that already play a major role over Afghanistan and Iraq, Gates told about 2,000 cadets in a speech to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.