Air Force Chief Sees Decades More of US Wars

Cites Resurgent Russia, China as Raising Deployment Times

In comments today at a spouse and family forum, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein discussed the growing number of airmen being deployed abroad for longer periods of time, saying that this problem is going to continue for decades to come.

We’ve been deploying now for 15 years, we’ve probably got 15, 20 years to go,” Gen. Goldfein warned. This wasn’t just about the current wars, either, as the general laid out some of the new deployments against new enemies, citing a “resurgent Russia and China” as driving future deployments.

The Air Force says they want a 1:2 deployment time, with airmen spending six months abroad then remaining at home for a year afterwards. Gen. Goldfein insisted the Air Force needs to be more flexible on the matter of combat deployments, saying he thinks there are too many individual deployments and not enough group deployments.

Top military brass have regularly talked up long wars in the future as part of their efforts to get more funding for future conflicts. The difference in today’s comments were very specific timetables, and setting out Russia and China as potential targets in those future conflicts.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of