Can’t say that I agree

Axe: Disband the Air Force!


  1. A few months ago Axe made a similar post at (I think) Danger Room of much the same substance, but he made some rather foolish statements (such as the Navy being better at moving cargo worldwide, or the Marines being better at battlefield air defense) to back it up. He hasn’t let the same howlers slip into this piece, at least; instead he comes across as thinking that COIN will be the only kind of war ever to be fought again and that this justifies dismantling the Air Force. It’s really par for the course with Axe; he’s very much on the record as a general air force hater and I read such pieces mostly for the howlers.

  2. Nah, don’t disband them, but sure as hell scale them back some. Leave the cargo hauling, and overland air superiority to them. Navy can handle Naval air superiority and deep inland strikes, Marines can handle Marine CAS and overlap some of the Navy’s responsibilites, and the Army should have its own dedicated CAS units. All would overlap in some areas, but each service would be tasked with providing its own air support for ground units. Perhaps the Airforce should become the Aerospaceforce. THat way they can have their own ‘turf’ that nobody else can play in, like they seem to prefer.

  3. Doubtless this will get zapped by the great Murdoc, but I will say it anyway. I see air force almost every day, and they are a nearly perfect case for fraud, waste and abuse investigation. They get nearly 40 percent of the defense budget so they can buy the 2.2 BILLION per copy B2 flying edsels, yet cannot be relied upon not to drop bombs on friendlies. They have a corporate culture vice a military mission and their attitude is based on a civilian mindset. They pamper their people unnecessarily, and act as if they are in ‘business’ to make money off the other services. The Key West agreement assured that would happen. The air force had a perfectly capable bomber in the B-1 Lancer, but no, the zoomies needed the super secret subsonic stealth bomber. Why? They also fail to understand that you cannot hold ground with an airplane. If asked, I could provide multiple examples of why they are drastically in need of adult leadership, and at minimum a serious revamping. But as I said at the start, I seriously doubt anyone will get to read this missive.

  4. The Air Farce has a lot of bad points and are in need of some new leadership. However, they will continue to be absolutely vital for our national security strategy. Want to know why we seem to be fighting COIN lately? Because the zoomies are so damned good at what they do. There isn’t a country in the world that would want to try us in a stand up fight. The Navy and the Air Force are necessary even if all they do is continue to be our strategic deterrence force. We’ll never know how much drama they prevent, simply by existing. Now, if we can only get them to spend on R&D vice the gucci bases…. Regards

  5. USMC Steve, I think you have some valid points, but you’re a little off the mark with the B-1/B-2 business. Remember, these were Cold War birds with a Cold War mission. The B-1 was originally killed (it is said) when the Soviets deployed interceptors with lookdown/shootdown radars. The B-2 was, in part, a reaction to this; the U.S. still needed a bomber which could hunt down the USSR’s mobile ICBMs. The end of the Cold War (or was it a timeout?) doomed the B-2 in turn, resulting in the tiny buy and hence the ridiculous per-airframe cost. The smart thing to do probably would have been to mothball the B-2s until further notice. The really smart thing to do would be to mothball the B-2s and half of the B-1 fleet, and push UCAV development. There’s hindsight for you.

  6. Yeah, let’s get rid of the Air Force because they’re so screwed up. Hold on, let’s get rid of the Navy because they’re screwed up too. Look at LCS or V-22 for proof. Then let’s get rid of the Army. FCS anyone and how about Crusader? Dumbasses! Why not fix the problem? Duh, we prefer to pay contractors more to f us than to build airplanes or ships or tanks that work. Gee, where’s the problem? Seems to me we’ve got a nation full of retards who get better than they deserve. When you finally manage to outsource all your weapons programs to communist red China you’ll finally get exactly what you deserve!

  7. This is classic:

    A research firm has concluded that performance-based acquisition — touted by the Bush administration as its preferred contracting model — may prove too risky and expensive for many potential vendors. The Reston, Va.-based firm INPUT released a report this week noting that vendors who want to do business with the government may face steeper bid and proposal costs and vague contract requirements as agencies struggle with implementing performance-based acquisitions. Performance-based acquisition defines contract work in terms of required results instead of how work is to be accomplished or how many hours of work are to be performed. The initiative focuses on assessing accomplishments against measurable standards and uses those standards and financial incentives to encourage competitors to offer innovative and cost-effective proposals.

    Yeah, it would be way to risky to propose to build an airplane that actually flies and then build one that does. It’s far better to get paid for effort where the results are irrelevant. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all get paid that way. Gee, boss, I tried. After all, what we Americans believe above all else is, ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.’ Capitalism, what’s that, eh, comrade?