Out of Joint: Independent Air Forces in Democratic Cultures
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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This study comprises an analysis of why independent air forces in democratic nations maintain a focus on the independent aspects of air power, rather than embracing jointness. The author describes how the civil-military relations within a democratic culture enable an independent air force to choose to what degree they comply with government direction and policy in particular, the governments policy and direction on the priority to be given to supporting joint operations. Next, the author describes why independent air forces maintain a focus on the independent aspects of air power. The author starts by explaining how historical influences created this autonomous focus and how concerns over organizational independence have allowed it to remain. This is followed by a description of how the budgetary process within democratic cultures encourages services to maintain an independent focus. The author then moves on to describe the organizational aspects of independent air forces which give rise to a tendency for them to maintain a narrow understanding of the application of air power. Coupling these historical, budgetary and organizational factors with the ability to choose, the author explains why independent air forces maintain a focus on the autonomous aspects of air power, which in turn, creates a perception that they are unwilling to become part of the joint team. The final section of the study includes proposals as to how this focus on the independent aspects of air power can be reduced, and how the wider application of every aspect of air power will allow air forces to become more joint.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Government and Political Science
- Military Aircraft Operations