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Difficult Choices on the Horizon: The only certainty in strategic planning is that there are a lot of unknowns in predicting the future, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said in his National Security Forum keynote address at Maxwell AFB, Ala. That's why balance across core functions, investment categories, and components will be critical to ensuring the Air Force is ready for the future fight, wherever that might be, he said. Defense Department and Air Force strategists will have to keep a close eye on evolving trends in economic globalization, demographics, environmental changes, information technology, shifting balances of power, and regional developments, said Donley. The austere budget environment also is not likely to change anytime soon. "The task ahead of us will be far from easy and comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities. Many difficult choices loom on the horizon," he said during Tuesday's speech. (Donley speech full text)