The United States Air Force gets around $160B per year for its annual budget. This is important to me because I don’t think the top leadership of the USAF is convincing with his ideas of the services’s future direction. If you take a critical eye to some of his words, he is basically trying to convince everyone that somehow, the USAF is important. Shouldn’t its actions speak for itself? Curtis LeMay and Billy Mitchell he is not.
If those believers in small wars über alles are willing to put their money where their mouth is, there is even more trimming that can be done to all services—except the United States Army.
We have a lot of ground forces tied up wearing USAF uniforms. This is not unlike the Luftwaffe of World War II when it was seriously losing purpose and creating ground formations. If a task does not involve flying and space systems, we do not need the USAF. The USAF could operate better if it was concentrating more on the flying part of the business all while shedding things like the nuclear mission for the long range bombers and throwing the F-3$ requirement into the trash heap.
The Navy could be so much better with ships that are relevant. We have a United States Navy that is buying big dollar ships that are not going to make a bit of difference to any future war we fight; LCS, DDX, etc.
Today we have Marines doing jobs that should be done by the Army. The USMC should do only those things that Marines are good at. If the job isn’t about amphibious efforts and the littorals, we don’t need the USMC.
In addition to the military services we are throwing away billions into out-sourced logistics. Looking at today’s ground campaigns, it would seem that if types of personnel were streamlined down into fighting the good fight (such as it is), that we should pull money and resources from the above mentioned players and put it into the United States Army. I would rather see Army logistics battalions instead of contractors from who-knows-where.
So with all that, it still seems laughable to me when we hear Gates and others talk about the needs for the wars we fight today. He has not even put a dent in the reformation he speaks so big of.
If the QDR is going in the small wars direction, they better act like it; all while not forgetting that the U.S. Army needs to be much bigger and other services much smaller.
Or we can just watch the whole system muddle along and not accomplish very much.
Personally, I don’t like useless dirt ops. If muddle is all we get, it is time to cap the annual defense budget at $400M and get it over with sooner rather than later.