I have a piece up at David Axe’s joint on military institutions and the USAF:
With the Iraq War over and the fighting in Afghanistan winding down, why does the United States need to maintain two large land armies, the Army and Marine Corps? The question seems perfectly reasonable given the apparent absence of large terrestrial threats, but it leads us down the wrong path.
The United States military is all about redundancy; in addition to two armies, it also fields two navies — the Navy and the Coast Guard — and five or six air forces, depending on how you count the aerial arms of the various branches.
The real problem isn’t that the Army is marginally more or less useful that it was 10 years ago, but rather that the institutions that were designed in 1947, when the Army and Air Force split, are insufficiently flexible to negotiate the modern security landscape.
This also serves as a backdoor announcement that the book (Grounded: The Case for Abolishing the United States Air Force) will be published by University Press of Kentucky this spring.
I’d like to take this opportunity to promise that this site will not become a platform for nearly constant book promotion. I’d genuinely like to take that opportunity.