Take it for what it is. This is a safe, bureaucratic move that goes with the flow. The F-35 program is starting to collapse under its own weight, so the timid can state that they will slow down procurement while pretending leadership.
USAF was to order 110 F-35s per year when full-rate kicked in. As a result of the 2004 SWAT, this went to 80 per year for full-rate in 2006 and extending out the years. In 2008, USAF plans and programs declared they couldn't see a way to pay for more than 48 each year.
The take-away from this article is the following:
“That call is well into the future,” Schwartz said.
Of course. He will be retired by then. Let us not make any strong leadership decisions at the service level. Just continue to rake in that 4-star pay and benefits.
"With rank comes responsibility" is only uttered as a platitude in USAF HQ. It should read, "With rank comes responsibility to protect my job and any post-retirement employment opportunities."