Archived posts from category ‘Inter-Service Rivalry’

02.04.10
Axeghanistan ’10: Checkpoint Showdown

It was a confrontation a long time in the making. On March 18 at Bagram, Afghanistan, the U.S. Army’s Task Force Gladius linked up with elements of the Army’s 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade and the Afghan army and air corps for a complex air-assault exercise. Two Afghan and two American helicopters would swoop into nearby fields to disgorge Afghan commandos. There would be two iterations: one in the morning and another after lunch.

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02.03.10
Once More with Feeling: Disband the Air Force!

University of Kentucky prof Rob Farley was at the Air Command and Staff College recently to deliver one of his more controversial proposals: to shutter the U.S. Air Force and transfer its components to the Army and Navy. “I think that it’s possible for both the Army and the Navy to think about conducting war independent of each other, or at least that it’s much more possible for the Army and Navy to do so than for the Air Force,” Farley wrote in his recap of the event.

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07.02.10
Warships International Fleet Review: USA Should Have a Bigger Small-Ship Navy

For years, the U.S. Navy has struggled to field new warships capable of operating in shallow, crowded, coastal waters, while also boosting the number of ships in the fleet. Today, the Navy operates some 280 warships. For nearly five years, senior Navy officers have insisted they need 313. With shipbuilding budgets flat and the cost of vessels rising, the Navy has been unable to grow the fleet. Meanwhile, the sea service still hasn’t made much progress in building the near-shore “littoral” combat fleet it has long envisioned. Large, blue-water warships still dominate the fleet.

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03.11.09
Axeghanistan ’09: Parachute Day-Laborers

It was a war we thought we’d won. But after eight years of escalating violence, the Afghanistan conflict has morphed into something perhaps unwinnable. U.S.-led forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to deny sanctuary to Al Qaeda, a goal we’ve largely achieved. But in years of occupation, Washington has apparently conflated counter-terrorism with nation-building. Now the [...]

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25.04.09
The Day U.S. Air Power Was Saved from Itself (Updated and Bumped)

The U.S. Navy has revealed that it has leased a Super Tucano propeller-driven light attack plane, pictured, to support U.S. Special Operations Forces, with another three on the way. “This is a close air support, manned aircraft with a pilot and sensor operator. The idea here is that SOF needs an organic capability that can [...]

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24.04.09
The New York Times: Disband the Air Force (Updated Again)

Two years ago, when I proposed disbanding the Air Force, it nearly got me fired from my job at Aviation Week, which is increasingly a lobby arm of the air service. Turned out I wasn’t alone: there was a similar debate raging in the U.K. military establishment. Now Paul Kane, a former Marine and Harvard [...]

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23.04.09
Air Force Uninterested in Army’s Super Air-Intel Task Force (Updated)

Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates unveiled sweeping plans to re-orient the military towards dull, dirty, low-tech wars. The revamp means big bucks for intelligence, including airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconaissance in the form of manned and unmanned airplanes. “We will increase Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance support for the warfighter in the base [2010] [...]

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09.04.09
Gates Budgetpalooza: Helicopters, Stat!

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced some of the details of his 2010 budget “scrub” Monday, promising to “re-balance this department’s programs in order to institutionalize and enhance our capabilities to fight the wars we are in today and the scenarios we are most likely to face in the years ahead.” Among the lessons Gates [...]

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08.04.09
Gates Budgetpalooza: Will Cuts Stick?

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced some of the details of his 2010 budget “scrub” Monday, promising to “re-balance this department’s programs in order to institutionalize and enhance our capabilities to fight the wars we are in today and the scenarios we are most likely to face in the years ahead.” Gates proposals, which are [...]

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06.04.09
Gates Budgetpalooza: Winners and Losers

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced some of the details of his 2010 budget “scrub” Monday, promising to “re-balance this department’s programs in order to institutionalize and enhance our capabilities to fight the wars we are in today and the scenarios we are most likely to face in the years ahead.” I’ll parse Gates’ decisions, [...]

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22.03.09
MIT Prof: “Jointness” Sucks

“The Secretary of Defense should stop preaching jointness,” MIT professor Harvey Sapolsky wrote in the January issue of Proceedings. “The services’ inherent rivalry should be tapped, not suppressed.” If the services compete over funding and missions, they’ll have incentive to perform, Sapolsky argues. Only that will produce true innovation and efficiency. To be clear, the [...]

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13.02.09
Coasties and Marines Join Navy Pirate-Fighting Force

Washington’s new Maritime Strategy calls for “a persistent global presence … comprised of integrated Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard capabilities.” These days, the Navy hardly goes anywhere without its maritime pals in tow. Nowhere is this more true than in Africa, where the Navy’s Combined Task Force 151 has gone on the offensive against [...]

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