U.S. Air Force Notes Russia's Spending

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Alabama -- The Air Force's top officer has presented a new strategic plan for the service that warns the United States cannot ignore "ascendant powers" seeking to challenge U.S. military superiority as it fights low-intensity wars elsewhere.

In his new plan, General T. Michael Moseley, the Air Force chief of staff, did not name specific countries as potential challengers. But at a formal presentation late last week, Moseley singled out military spending in Russia and China, noting both are rising at a rapid clip.

Air Force officials said the new strategic plan, an 11-page "white paper," was the first since the early 1990s. It was presented at the Air University, the Air Force's premier war college.

"Ascendant powers -- flush with new wealth and hungry for resources and status -- are posturing to contest U.S. superiority," the plan says.