Disband the Air Force?

Discussion in 'SitRep' started by comiso90, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

    Fed up with unnecessary gold-plated fighter jet programs, the service's impatience with counter-insurgency and its anti-China rhetoric, back in August I proposed the disbanding of the U.S. Air Force. The air service's missions could be folded into the Army, Navy and Marine Corps without any loss in national power -- and we'd benefit from cuts to Pentagon overhead.

    Now Robert Farley over at The American Prospect has taken up the cause in a new piece, "Abolish the Air Force." To complement the piece, Farley has solicited input from a number of bloggers, including yours truly.

    "Does the United States Air Force fit into the post-September 11 world, a world in which the military mission of U.S. forces focuses more on counterterrorism and counterinsurgency?" Farley asks:

    Not very well. Even the new counterinsurgency manual authored in part by Gen. David H. Petraeus, specifically notes that the excessive use of airpower in counterinsurgency conflict can lead to disaster.

    In response, the Air Force has gone on the defensive. In September 2006, Maj. Gen. Charles Dunlap Jr. published a long article in Armed Forces Journal denouncing "boots on the ground zealots," and insisting that airpower can solve the most important problems associated with counterinsurgency. The Air Force also recently published its own counterinsurgency manual elaborating on these claims. A recent op-ed by Maj. Gen. Dunlap called on the United States to "think creatively"about airpower and counterinsurgency -- and proposed striking Iranian oil facilities.

    "Striking Iranian oil facilities?" That's exactly the kind of bone-headed chest-thumping that has made the Air Force a liability to U.S. diplomacy, as I explained in my reply to Farley's piece:

    In September Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne brazenly undermined years of careful diplomacy aimed at heading off an unnecessary war with China -- all in the name of defending the service's latest Cold War-style fighter jet.

    Defense experts had proposed cutting the planned 1,800-unit production run of the $100-million F-35 light fighter, a plane originally justified to Congress on the grounds that it would cost less than the current $50-million F-16. The F-35 program's $300-billion budget would be better invested elsewhere, the argument went. But Wynne rejected the proposal: "How big do you think China is?" he said.

    As if a fleet of short-range fighters would make any difference if the United States went to war with China. Does Wynne honestly believe that we'll somehow find ourselves holding territory in China from which to operate these aircraft? Does he really anticipate a ground war on the Chinese mainland?

    Of course not. The idea is sheer lunacy. (You think the occupation of Iraq is expensive and bloody? Imagine the occupation of China!) Wynne's statement was pure rhetoric.

    But in the world of diplomacy, rhetoric matters. Note the care with which Navy and Marine Corps leaders have approached China in recent years. Since the low point in U.S.-China relations in the aftermath of the 2001 collision between a Navy patrol plane and a Chinese fighter, our sea services have taken the lead in reaching out to the communist state and industrial powerhouse. Admiral William Fallon, who organized the first exchange of port visits in years and plotted out joint exercises with Chinese forces, has steadfastly avoided painting China as a prospective enemy. And Marine general James Mattis said in Washington this year that China should be a partner, not an enemy -- and that we'd best be conscious of the way our words and attitudes influence Chinese behavior.

    But to Wynne, our delicate relationship with the world's future superpower is grist for the military-industrial lobbying machine. His dangerous characterization of China is indicative of deep cultural problems in the nation's youngest military service. The Air Force's top priority is buying airplanes. Don't take it from me. Air Force general Ronald Keys said in August that the air service's "hardest wars" weren't in Iraq or Afghanistan, but in the halls of Congress. For the Air Force, global strategy and fighting our current low-tech wars are both secondary concerns. That's putting the cart way before the horse.

    Disband the Air Force


    ...
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    How about folding the marines into the army?
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Both ideas are ridiculous. There was a reason that the Air Force was separated from the Army, actually there were many, all of them good. If they think disbanding the Air Force is going to save us all kinds of money on fighters, then what are they going to do without air superiority? Have these a-holes not learned anything?

    You want to save money, bring the Pentagon down to a reasonable sized staff and move their offices out of the high dollar district of Columbia and move it to Nebraska, or North Dakota. The Pentagon brass and staff are way bigger than they were in WWII, when we had at least 10 times the amount of men in uniform (at LEAST)! They want to save money, start trimming at the top.
     
  4. david johnson

    david johnson Member

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    "Does the United States Air Force fit into the post-September 11 world, a world in which the military mission of U.S. forces focuses more on counterterrorism and counterinsurgency?"

    all situations are temporary.
    these guys need to see the difference between tactics and strategy.
    keep your tools ready for any job,

    dj
     
  5. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    Haha! A**hole! :lol:

    The idea has been brought up repeatedly throughout history. The USMC and the Army are very different organizations. They are only apparently similar to the outsider that does not have military experience in either.

    USMC warfighting doctrine and the means in which it deploys is very different from that of the Army. You've probably heard the terms "MAGTF" "MEU" and "MEF" in the news. That's what the Marine Corps is all about. We are a seaborne expeditionary fighting force.
     
  6. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    I do believe the USAF needs to focus somewhat less on what's good for the Air Force and more of what's good for the US. It's been leaked the Commandant wants to pull out of Iraq and shift Marines to Afghanistan. The USAF is up in arms because they don't want to give up airspace territory to the USMC, like it was divided in Iraq. They want to be the monolithic air god even though they are not.

    And what was the need to develop the F-22 and F-35 concurrently???
     
  7. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    All forces should be seperate entities; they want to join them all here... and it's a moronic idea.

    What they SHOULD do is try to increase the ability of the forces to work together...there's too much inter-service rivalry , and thats good - up to a point - after that point it's dangerous and stupid.
     
  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Exactly that is just plane stupid. The two services are completely different. The Army uses mass force and takes land and holds it. The Marines use smaller forces to overwelm the enemy. The Marines are faster more lighter force.

    Our military could not complete its overall missions without the Marines or the Army.

    As to getting rid of the USAF is also just plain stupid. The other services would not be albe to efficiently run the Air Force as the Air Force does. Also this guy obviously does not understand how valuable the Air Force is.

    Basically he is a ****ing nut job.
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I wanted to see what reaction I could get from you marine types....

    :lol:
     
  10. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I'm not sure what to say... the concept at best is naive. Who controls the development and deployment is only part of the issue. In the end, it comes down to doctrine, HOW the aircraft are used and HOW to spend the money..

    Those issues would still exist whether the AF were a separate service or not.
    The need for Air Superiority will never go away... strategic bombing may take different forms but it to will always have a niche...
     
  11. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    A hundred years ago, the world powers got together and outlawed war then WWI broke out. After WWI we gutted the military and we had to hide aircraft and tanks from our own government then WWII broke out. The military was drawn down after WWII to the point were we had to throw individual reservist and nation guard members into ad hoc units for the Korean War. In the 90's, active and nation guard Divisions were disbanded. Now our troops are pushed to the breaking point. Throughout our history, whenever the politicians draw down our military, a war occurs. Cause and effect? I do not know but Robert Farley is setting us up for a major problem.

    DBII
     
  12. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    I guess you were successful :D

    DBII - Stressful deployment cycles - absolutely. Breaking point - hardly.
     
  13. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    One of the few legacies that Rumsfeld will have is applying great pressure on the DoD to be more flexible and responsive. He met with a lot of Admirals, Generals (Air and Army) kicking and screaming at the thought of integrating.

    The Marines pioneered the MEF which is a self contained Regimental unit with all the air, sea and land assets to hit the ground running, so to speak. The Army put more emphasis on Spec Ops, and all the Spec Ops were somewhat re-aligned to operate under one hat with a top down semblance of an idea how to deploy the right assets with the right priority instead of (constant) fist fights between Navy and Army over mission turf.

    The Air Force has fewer barriers between TacAir and StrategicAir than before. The Naval and Marine and Air Force fighter assets work far better today than 20 years ago.

    The Air Force is evolving with fewer missions overlapping Marine Air, Army Air, Navy Air, Space (air?) missions - and the RPV is gonna change a lot more both with respect to mission/local control and strategic objectives.

    At the end of the day, unless we achieve further inroads on unified command, throw away all different uniforms, train specialists to be (and lead tactically and strategically) the different assets for different missions - we are nearly as far as we can go at 'integration' either with purpose or command structure.

    But we would be stupid to actually 'get rid of the Air Force' any more than we would be smart to 'get rid of the Marines'.

    We need to think about Mission, Doctrine, Assets and Leadership - to break up Combat, Logistics, Training units into the org structures to meet prioritized objectives quickly. Our technology and budget should be aligned to maximize against the threats we perceive.

    Air Forces, Ground Forces, Sea Forces and Space Forces will follow logically

    Just my two cents (or pence for Plan_D) worth.
     
  14. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    They unified our military in 68 I think it's a great idea but it's hard to change the minds of those with long ties to a particular arm . It met with a lot derision old army guys or navy or airforce scorned the idea . It takes a generation for the idea to work but it makes sense.
     
  15. david johnson

    david johnson Member

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    everything will be better when we burn those $#@#! black berets and wear the stylish castro hats again.

    dj
     
  16. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    Just a small correction - the Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) can vary in size, but is usually commanded by a LtGen, based about a Marine Division, a Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), and a logistics group. A Marine Expeditionary Brigade would be built upon a Marine Regiment.

    Maybe it suited Canada well enough, but I definitely do not think it would be a good idea for the US military. Think of the size of our military. The USMC is the small service, and we are currently about 186,000 active strong. As previously stated, there are various branches with different missions, assets, and capabilities. Combining these forces would cause a loss of capability in certain areas due to specific prioritization of leadership.
     
  17. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    Does the Air Force of the US Navy, or the Air Force of the USMC have any special name?

    I can't find one.

    I didn't realize until today that they both have separate Air power. Thought they shared it.
     
  18. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    SW - for some reason a lot of people think that the USAF is the only service with air assets. Very common misconception.

    Marine air doesn't have a "special name." You could just call it, well, Marine Air. USMC air power is positioned throughout 4 Marine Aircraft Wings (3 active, 1 reserve). Under these wings fall various Groups, and then the squadrons themselves.

    As far as I know the USN has no clever name for its air assets either.
     
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