9 years, 5 months ago
Having been a strong proponent of the wise and strategic use of air power in small wars, The Captain’s Journal continues to advocate both retooling and rethinking not only the Air Force proper, but air assets in the Navy, Army and Marines. The order of the day seems to be small wars and counterinsurgency, and any air support of the efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan are bound to be highly visible. The Air Force knows this, and the Multinational Force cooperates with the need to publicize the many accomplishments of air power in Operation Iraqi Freedom. MNF press releases routinely include air power summaries, whether involving precision-guided munitions, A-10 engagements, helicopter gunship engagements, or flyovers to cause a “show of force.”
This advocacy for involvement in small wars on our part can be misconstrued, however, to intend the diminution of the Air Force proper, and some analysts have gone on record advocating not just the diminishing of the Air Force, but the complete reorganization of this branch into the other branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, in a role subservient to the needs of the specific branch to which the assets have been assigned. But are these calls for busting up the Air Force really strategic, and if so, how forward reaching is the underlying strategy?
In terms of global strategic thinking, Pentagon senior leadership has bigger problems than what to do with the Air Force. In a stark admission of what repeated and protracted (15 month) deployments have done to the Army, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen weighed in on his view of the current state of the ground forces: “Are the ground forces broken? Absolutely not,