USAF Under Fire for Perceived Campaign Against the A-10

An Air Force General who suggested that any airmen talking to Congress about the A-10's capabilities would be committing treason has come under fire for his comments.

According to the military blog John Q. Public Major Gen. James Post, in speaking with a group of officers in late January, said “If anyone accuses me of saying this, I will deny it … anyone who is passing information to Congress about A-10 capabilities is committing treason”. Although the Air Force has said that the comments are mere hyperbole, at least one senator is worried that the general's comments may be an attempt to stamp out any voices of dissent at the proposed elimination of the A-10.

The Air Force has already been accused of misrepresenting facts and figures in relation the the A-10's service record, when they selectively declassified information for this USA Today article which suggested that the A-10 was the most deadly aircraft to civilians and friendly forces, with the B-1 bomber coming in second.

According to the Project on Government Oversight, the statistics were purposefully picked to present the aircraft in a negative light. Some of the cherry-picked statistics include:

  • The time period selected for the civilian casualties in the USA Today article starts in 2010 (despite data going back much farther), avoiding the 2009 Granai Massacre, in which a B-1 bomber mistakenly killed between 26-147 civilians.
  • While they shortened the civilian casualty time frame, the time frame for killing US soldiers was extended back to 2001. If they had used the more recent 2010 start date, the B-1 bomber (which killed 5 US soldiers in a single incident in 2014) would have topped the list.
  • Also, they did not release any data for wounded civilians, wounded US soldiers, or allied soldiers that were killed or woundedb by US air strikes.
  • Finally, no data was released on the number of combat missions flown for the fratricide data (2001-2014), while that same data was released for the civilian casualty period (2010-2014). With the A-10 flying more missions (and making more attack runs during each mission), this substantially changes the average casualties per 100 combat missions, especially going back to 2001.

With this seemingly purposeful misrepresenting of facts to paint the A-10 in a negative light, Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) has asked the Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah James, for an update on the Inspector General's investigation of General Post. The USAF has said that they will hold off on any conclusions about Post's actions or comments until the investigation is completed.