Independent U.S. Air Force Debate
By: Winslow Wheeler | August 26, 2013
There is been an interesting debate at David Axe's and Medium.com's "War Is Boring" over whether the United States benefits or loses military power from its independent Air Force.
The matter was initiated by Dr. Robert Farley, who is an assistant professor at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and who has authored Grounded: The Case for Abolishing the United States Air Force, which will reportedly be published next year.
His piece, "America Does Not Need the Air Force" is available at the link.
The in-house Air Force bureaucratic response was quickly furnished by an Air Force colonel, Michael Bob Starr, with experience in a B-1B over Afghanistan. Col. Starr's comments were his own, but they surely represent the corporate opinion as well. Find the piece, "Actually, America DOES Need the Air Force," here.
The exchange got particularly interesting, and convincing, when Prof. Farley responded to Col. Starr; Farley's arguments became less academic and much more real world. This third part of the exchange, Since When Does the Air Force Have a Monopoly on Air Power?," is here.
Much but not all of the debate revolves around the persistent failure of strategic bombing enthusiasts, in either their past or modern formulations, to keep their promises for the military and political effect of their prognostications. Moreover the application of tactical air power directly on battlefields has been a far more powerful way to influence the course of wars. For a historical analysis of the latter, see "Reversing the Decay of America's Air Power" (a chapter in the anthology "America's Defense Meltdown") which is reproduced with the permission of the publisher here. The chapter is authored by Robert Dilger and Pierre Sprey.