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Abolish the Air Force
The American Prospect ^ | Nov. 1, 2007 | Robert Farley

Posted on 11/02/2007 1:36:49 PM PDT by DesScorp

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

Surely, this is not the way the United States Air Force had planned to celebrate its 60th anniversary. On Sept. 18, 1947, Congress granted independence to the United States Army Air Force (USAAF), the branch of the U.S. Army that had coordinated the air campaigns against Germany and Japan.

But it's time to revisit the 1947 decision to separate the Air Force from the Army. While everyone agrees that the United States military requires air capability, it's less obvious that we need a bureaucratic entity called the United States Air Force. The independent Air Force privileges airpower to a degree unsupported by the historical record. This bureaucratic structure has proven to be a continual problem in war fighting, in procurement, and in estimates of the costs of armed conflict. Indeed, it would be wrong to say that the USAF is an idea whose time has passed. Rather, it's a mistake that never should have been made.

(Excerpt) Read more at prospect.org ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; Miscellaneous; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: force; military; navair; usaf; war
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Interesting article from a liberal magazine (though the author, a professor at the University of Kentucky, has also made this argument in conservative circles as well). Though I don't necessarily want to see USAF abolished wholesale, I think we'd be better served if the Department of the Air Force was abolished and USAF was tied to the hip of the Army in the same manner that the Marine Corps is part of a sharply focused seapower force with the Navy, and subordinate to it. To a man, my Army friends, past and present, think USAF does a lousy job of air support in ground combat situations because they think the mission isn't sexy enough.
1 posted on 11/02/2007 1:36:50 PM PDT by DesScorp
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To: DesScorp

Let’s abolish DOE, OSHA, FEMA, ATF, COE, staffers for congressrats, (along with free haircuts, lunches, retirement programs and expense money as well!)


2 posted on 11/02/2007 1:39:49 PM PDT by fweingart (FRED! (How is Mumia Abu-Jamal these days?))
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To: DesScorp

well, everybody knows the air farce is not the real military......


3 posted on 11/02/2007 1:40:27 PM PDT by joe fonebone (When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout)
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To: DesScorp

They’d be more useful if we would LET THEM BOMB THE CRAP OUT OF OUR ENEMIES. Apparantly that is no longer pc./sarc


4 posted on 11/02/2007 1:41:49 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul. WWPD (what would Patton do))
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To: DesScorp

Abolish the Air Force, get UFOs instead.


5 posted on 11/02/2007 1:42:00 PM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (The man who said "there's no such thing as a stupid question" has never talked to Helen Thomas.)
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To: DesScorp

I’m not going to read this left-wing crap. What an ungrateful, anti-military whackjob this “guy” is.


6 posted on 11/02/2007 1:43:15 PM PDT by darkangel82 (And the band played on....)
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To: DesScorp

Nuts!


7 posted on 11/02/2007 1:44:13 PM PDT by Vision (" 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty." Zechariah 4:6)
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To: DesScorp

All branches serve a purpose; I would be more concerned that they adapt to the times (here and in the future).


8 posted on 11/02/2007 1:45:01 PM PDT by He Rides A White Horse (unite)
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To: DesScorp

Abolish this thread.


9 posted on 11/02/2007 1:45:32 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (ETERNAL SHAME on the Treasonous and Immoral Democrats!)
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To: DesScorp

Hey! We need our brothers in blue and gray cammo. Who else could gas up the ground pounder’s UAV’s in the future?


10 posted on 11/02/2007 1:46:08 PM PDT by llevrok (Born a ham and never cured.)
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To: joe fonebone

LOL.....well my husband was in the air force, he said it was the “intellectual branch”.


11 posted on 11/02/2007 1:46:16 PM PDT by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: DesScorp

But what about all of the nice golf courses?


12 posted on 11/02/2007 1:46:44 PM PDT by neodad (USS Vincennes (CG-49) Freedom's Fortress)
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To: DesScorp
As a former combat infantryman I have a deep and lasting appreciation for the guys in the "Big Blue Wrecking Crew". The next most beautiful picture to me, after my wife and kids, is the image of an F4 in a close air support Napalm drop. No body can bring hurt in an enemy like they can!

The problem today is not with the Air Force, but with the policy makers. When you park the B52's you are telling the enemy and the world that there are things more important to you than military victory. More rubble means less trouble.

13 posted on 11/02/2007 1:46:53 PM PDT by Natural Law
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To: DesScorp

I respectfully disagree. While the current enemy may not require a well-trained, well-equipped Air Force, tomorrow’s may be another story.

This kind of short-sightedness ALWAYS gets us in to trouble. If we had not down-sized air defense as part of the “peace dividend” at the close of the Cold War, 9-11 might not have been so tragically effective.


14 posted on 11/02/2007 1:47:21 PM PDT by ODC-GIRL (Proudly serving our Nation's Homeland Defense)
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To: JRios1968

Thoughts?


15 posted on 11/02/2007 1:47:36 PM PDT by FredHead47 (KIMI = World Champion 2007)
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To: zot

Back to the past?


16 posted on 11/02/2007 1:47:53 PM PDT by GreyFriar ( 3rd Armored Division - Spearhead)
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To: DesScorp

We have the Iran fight coming up and there are advocates for “boots on the ground” as being sufficient? or eeven a large component? We do not have and do not have the prospect of having sufficient boots for this concept to be viable beyond specialized applications.


17 posted on 11/02/2007 1:48:16 PM PDT by arthurus
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To: Natural Law

Ok, this gets my vote for most ignorant idea of the month.


18 posted on 11/02/2007 1:48:59 PM PDT by rbmillerjr
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To: DesScorp

Well... the air arm had been part of the U.S. Army until the National Defense Act of 1947. Reintegrating the Air Force into the Army is a good idea, IMHO.

Of course, the AmPros lefty who wrote this wants to ultimately abolish the entire American military (how `sixties’ of him), so I say,

Chuck you, Farley!

;^)


19 posted on 11/02/2007 1:49:36 PM PDT by elcid1970
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To: DesScorp

In the upcoming war with Iran, the AirForce and Navy, both so often deemed unnescessairy for the WoT, will do the lions share of fighting.


20 posted on 11/02/2007 1:50:05 PM PDT by SolidWood ("I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.")
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To: rbmillerjr

Month? Of the Century gets my vote


21 posted on 11/02/2007 1:50:34 PM PDT by craig_eddy
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To: fweingart

You forgot the Dep. Of Education, Dep. Of Welfare, Public Broadcasting. These liberals seem to forget the Main purpose of the Government is to protect its people. The rest of the stuff is un-Constitutional and should be eliminated first.


22 posted on 11/02/2007 1:50:35 PM PDT by Exton1
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To: DesScorp
Great idea.

We have the world's most capable Air Force. Let's scrap it!

What an idiot.

23 posted on 11/02/2007 1:51:17 PM PDT by SIDENET (Hubba Hubba...)
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To: Vroomfondel; SC Swamp Fox; Fred Hayek; NY Attitude; P3_Acoustic; Bean Counter; investigateworld; ...
SONOBUOY PING!

Click on pic for past Navair pings.

Post or FReepmail me if you wish to be enlisted in or discharged from the Navair Pinglist.
This is a medium to low volume pinglist.

24 posted on 11/02/2007 1:51:28 PM PDT by magslinger (cranky right-winger)
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To: DesScorp
I will respectfully disagree with this article.

All branches serve a purpose.

There is plenty of pork we could cut in the halls of Congress.

Leave the military ALONE.

25 posted on 11/02/2007 1:51:44 PM PDT by TheWriterTX (Proud Retrosexual Wife of 14 Years)
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To: DesScorp

Many caddies will be out of work. Don’t want that, do we?


26 posted on 11/02/2007 1:52:17 PM PDT by dakine
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To: DesScorp
I agree.

Let's turn the Air Force back into the Army Air Corps.

And rename the Marines. Every other country calls their version of the Marine Corps the Naval Infantry. Then the Marines can be folded back into the Navy.

And then we can get rid of this Department of Defense silliness. No "Defense Department" ever won a war.

Time for it to be the War Department again.

Now I just have to decide whether I'm making a serious joke or I'm only jokingly serious.

27 posted on 11/02/2007 1:52:17 PM PDT by Knitebane (Happily Microsoft free since 1999.)
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To: Hillarys Gate Cult
Abolish the Air Force, get UFOs instead.

Uh, who do you think already has them?

;-)

28 posted on 11/02/2007 1:52:43 PM PDT by SIDENET (Hubba Hubba...)
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To: DesScorp

From the American Prospect, tells me all I need to know.


29 posted on 11/02/2007 1:53:52 PM PDT by GOP_Raider (Television is all Tommy Westphall's fault, damn it!)
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To: DesScorp
Robert Farley:
Indeed, it would be wrong to say that the USAF is an idea whose time has passed. Rather, it's a mistake that never should have been made.
Freaking numb-skull moonbat. Without the USAF the entire world would be speaking Russian. But Bob would prolly like that scenario.

Oh Bob, and speaking of mistakes that never should have been made, how's your parents?

30 posted on 11/02/2007 1:53:56 PM PDT by Condor51 (Rudy makes John Kerry look like a Right Wing 'Gun Nut' Extremist)
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To: DesScorp

As an Army type, I think the idea of abolishing the AF is just liberal rhetoric. If we don’t use the AF properly it’s our fault. The same goes for the Marines, Special Forces, etc.


31 posted on 11/02/2007 1:54:11 PM PDT by caisson71
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To: FredHead47

Sorry, but nothing says power like an F-22 Raptor demo or a Thunderbirds fly-by.

Hard to imagine 10s of thousands of people showing up to watch the “Green Devils Precision Artillary Team”...


32 posted on 11/02/2007 1:54:19 PM PDT by Philistone (If someone tells you it's for the children, he believes that YOU are a child.)
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To: DesScorp

There seem to be a lot of articles and comments on the net made against various things military because of the fact that we’re currently at war against an enemy that has no borders, navy, or air power. For example, who hasn’t seen an article about the F-22 that doesn’t have someone chiming in about how useless they are against terrorists?

It’s short sighted at the least, and downright dangerous to make decisions regarding war planning based upon the current war. People need to pull their heads out and look 5-20 years down the road.


33 posted on 11/02/2007 1:54:24 PM PDT by Hazwaste (Now with added lemony freshness!)
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To: dakine
Many caddies will be out of work. Don’t want that, do we?

I'm a Major and have never played a single game of golf.

34 posted on 11/02/2007 1:54:26 PM PDT by SIDENET (Hubba Hubba...)
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To: joe fonebone
"well, everybody knows the air farce is not the real military......"

Gee, does that mean I can't put my flag out and take the 12th off?

35 posted on 11/02/2007 1:54:33 PM PDT by Jaxter ("Vivit Post Funera Virtus")
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To: DesScorp
Now I am pissed....


36 posted on 11/02/2007 1:54:57 PM PDT by darkwing104 (Let's get dangerous)
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To: snippy_about_it

“They’d be more useful if we would LET THEM BOMB THE CRAP OUT OF OUR ENEMIES. “

Agree 100%.

Death from above. We need to just flat out kill more of the enemy before they try and kill us. Kill em all and let Allah or the Dhims sort em out. “Blow em up, blow em up real good”.

Sooner or later we’re going to have to kill them anyway. Push always comes to shove in the real world.

Maybe the Dhims can talk the Islamofascist Nazi’s to death instead.

I doubt it.

I love the A 10’s.


37 posted on 11/02/2007 1:55:59 PM PDT by garyhope (It's World War IV, right here, right now, courtesy of Islam.)
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To: Natural Law

F4J.......physical proof that if you put big enough engines in a brick, it will fly...


38 posted on 11/02/2007 1:56:07 PM PDT by joe fonebone (When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout)
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To: SIDENET

Never make O-6 that way...


39 posted on 11/02/2007 1:56:17 PM PDT by dakine
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To: DesScorp
My son is Navy. So was I. So on our visits I get plenty of this kind of argument.

My question is the same for all time. How do we best defend this nation? If the Air Force is part of that, it remains a vital part of the triumvirate. If not, they should be absorbed elsewhere.

Which outfit is doing the Lord's work preparing for the next war, or even later in this one. Is the Air Force providing needed innovation to help keep us one step ahead of the bad guys? Can the Air Force do things the Army, Navy and Marines can't and aren't interested in developing?

Would we be better off with just one branch of the military? What would you call it? The United States Military? Heck, maybe that's the right direction.

40 posted on 11/02/2007 1:56:40 PM PDT by stevem
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To: DesScorp

Granted, the USAF wears postal uniforms and has confused military bases with country clubs, but we don’t go around disbanding an entire military branch because we might be able to get by without it for the next 15 minutes.


41 posted on 11/02/2007 1:57:58 PM PDT by SampleMan (Islamic tolerance is practiced by killing you last.)
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To: joe fonebone

Enzyte. Look into it.


42 posted on 11/02/2007 1:58:30 PM PDT by jblair (Air Force Brat)
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To: dakine
That's what I hear, except many of the 0-6s I know are runners, not golfers.

(Of course, I'm not a runner, either.)

:-)

43 posted on 11/02/2007 1:59:48 PM PDT by SIDENET (Hubba Hubba...)
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To: DesScorp

“To a man, my Army friends, past and present, think USAF does a lousy job of air support in ground combat situations because they think the mission isn’t sexy enough.”

I spent time in the USAF and while its not perfect I cannot see that attitude. IMO its just another hit piece trying to be divisive.

On another note I once saw a cartoon comparing the different services. Starts with a marine in a muddy hole with bullets and bombs whizzing over his head; he says “I love how it sucks here”.

The army soldier is in a similar hole and says “ boy it sucks here”

The navy guy is looking out his porthole and says “boy it sucks over there”.

The Air Force guy is sitting in his recliner watching TV and says “WHAT NO CABLE, THIS SUCKS!!!”

Point is the services have always fought for a bigger role in whatever conflict. The USAF does an amazing job and ideas to abolish it during a time of war are naive at best. Attaching it to the Army is just plain stupid. Lets remember the Army uses comic books for training manuals.


44 posted on 11/02/2007 2:00:46 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: jblair
Enzyte. Look into it.

LOL!

45 posted on 11/02/2007 2:00:46 PM PDT by TankerKC (You don't have to believe everything you think.)
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To: arthurus
If a single strike is called for against Iranian targets to halt production of nuclear weapons - you can bet it will be USAF with their B1's will called to get er done.

Next time boots on the ground are called for it will be the USAF that softens the targets and claims the sky (while waiting for the Navy to arrive) so marines and the army survive long enough to engage. If China gets bold to the west it will be the USAF that will make them think twice.

America has dominance in the seas, in the sky and on the ground - the only place we don't do so well is with the policy makers.

46 posted on 11/02/2007 2:01:01 PM PDT by DaveyB (Ignorance is part of the human condition - atheism makes it permanent!)
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To: DesScorp
I like your idea, though I'm afraid it might be too late. The "not a pound for air-to-ground" mentality shown by the Air Force over the last 60 years can be pretty infuriating to a grunt. The discredited air power dominance theories of Giulio Douhet and Billy Mitchell are alive and well in the USAF.

They fought tooth and nail to get rid of a superb CAS aircraft in the low-stall-speed, long-legged, well-protected, and well-armed A-10 to replace it with more F-16s, which had none of those qualities. They've always considered strategic bombing and interdiction to be a much higher priority.

At the very least, placing tactical air units directly under the operational command of Army units in theater, at the brigade level or perhaps even lower, is something that should be considered. This would be somewhat similar to the Soviet Frontal Aviation model. That sort of tactical flexibility will become increasingly imperative going forward.
47 posted on 11/02/2007 2:02:04 PM PDT by The Pack Knight (Duty, Honor, Country.... Valor.)
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To: rbmillerjr
I don’t understand your post. If you think my post was ignorant you obviously have never heard the crack-thump of an incoming round or smelled cordite. The single biggest element in any combat situation is establishing and maintaining air superiority. That, my friend, takes an Air Force. If, on the other hand, you are stating that the proposal to abolish the Air Force is ignorant we have common ground.
48 posted on 11/02/2007 2:02:18 PM PDT by Natural Law
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To: DesScorp
Does the United States Air Force (USAF) fit into the post–September 11 world

A resounding yes.

49 posted on 11/02/2007 2:02:33 PM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: Natural Law

Your complaints should be directed against the leaders of the Air Force, not the policy makers.


50 posted on 11/02/2007 2:02:36 PM PDT by quadrant
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