RAND Study Claims Air Force Suffering From 'Identity Crisis'

RAND Study Claims Air Force Suffering From 'Identity Crisis'
U.S. Air Force photo MSgt Shane A. Cuomo

The Air Force is struggling to define its roles both as a warfighter and as an enabler for the other services to fight. This “identity crisis” is affecting the service's competition for resources within the Defense Department, the RAND Corp. writes in an extensive new report on military culture.

RAND, on Monday, released a 267-page report, sponsored by the Defense Department's Office of Net Assessment, entitled “Movement and Maneuver: Culture and the Competition for Influence Among the US Military Services.” The report, written by six authors and sourced heavily by anonymous interviews with uniformed and civilian service officials, states the Air Force's main goal is to make “air superiority a central tenet of American strategy.” This ensures that Pentagon leadership and Congress view the Air Force as more than just an enabler of other services, and acknowledges that USAF aircraft and airmen do more than conduct support operations for ground and sea forces.

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