A separate air power branch is inefficient and wasteful
by MATTHEW GAULT
The U.S. military has flown airplanes since the early 20th century. But the Air Force as an independent service branch is relatively recent — dating to 1947. During World War II, for instance, the American planes which carried out mass raids on Germany and Japan were part of the U.S. Army.
But the Navy still launches its own planes off aircraft carriers. The Army maintains helicopters and transport planes. The Marine Corps fields its own jets. Naval aviators are as renowned as their Air Force colleagues and launch strikes on ground targets, just as the Air Force does.
If every military branch maintains its own air power organization, then why have the Air Force at all?
This week on War College we talk with University of Kentucky professor Robert Farley, the author of Grounded: The Case for Abolishing the United States Air Force. From his point of view, a separate branch for air power created a vast bureaucracy that hampers American military strategy.
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