Sunday, August 26, 2018

How Specialized Does the Air Force Get Without Space?

Is an independent Space Force such a threat to Air Force missions that it will essentially become the F-35 Force?

In fact, all five of the "core missions" described at the beginning of the Air Force's most recent posture statement depend in varying degrees on space assets for their successful execution. So it is no exaggeration to say that the creation of a Space Force presents an institutional crisis for the Air Force. Its identity and relevance in future conflicts are in doubt. ...

[The] advent of a Space Force should focus the thinking of Air Force leaders on what only their service can contribute to a fight once all those satellites, and maybe the ICBMs, migrate to another service. The F-35 fighter will, for decades to come, be the defining feature of U.S. air power, and the Air Force needs to embrace that reality.

Could that be the end state of a rump Air Force after a Space Force pulls in all the space, space-related, or space-improved missions that the Air Force has?

At that point, the Army might claw back that rump to be the Army Air Corps as it once was.

I'm open to be persuaded on what we should do to own space in the Earth-Moon system, but my preference is still for an Aerospace Force that explicitly expands the Air Force to space while giving ground support aircraft back to the Army the way Marines have their own fighter and ground attack aircraft.