The writing's been on the wall for years. You can't be at war for over two decades, tackle an exponentially increasing number of overall missions ("Air, Space and Cyberspace") and whittle your numbers down to 30 pilots, 2 cops, a PJ and a mechanic without there being consequences.
Of particular interest to me was this observation:
Just before my last Christmas in the Air Force, the MXG CC gave a powerpoint presentation to the group about how much harder everything was going to get, and that we'd better get our shit together or we'd be out, as they were looking to fire people who'd failed a PT test years ago regardless of present performance, among other things. He then started making comparisons between himself and Curtis LeMay ("I don't mind being called tough, because in this racket, it's tough guys who lead the survivors") and quoted his own change-of-command speech from a year or two prior, and went on about how "the weak will be left behind."Airmen who have raised issues of manning and overstretch have been reminded that things are tough all over. Airmen who have warned that they can’t get the mission done without more people and resources have been told no help is on the way. Airmen who have warned that they’d vote with their feet have been told they’re replaceable and invited to essentially not let the door hit them on the way out. Media outlets that have written about the unfolding crisis have been mocked and marginalized, even and especially those outlets CSAF claims he doesn’t read.
It did not have the desired effect.
Now in the face of disaster, the Air Force is all "BABY COME BACK PLEEEEASE," really trying to get people to stay, get reservists to go active, and get serious about bringing prior service guys back in. That brings to mind a certain line:
"I'm not gonna drive you to the hospital because you won't learn anything if I do."
Or perhaps a certain song by Taylor Swift.