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Air Force, Squawk Ident: Culture and Congressional Liaison

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Technical Report

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The Air Force as of late is going through a change in its mission areas and in what the nation has asked of it in time of war. It has transitioned from a bomber-centric type of strategic warfare into a diverse force capable of applying effects in a range of conflicts. Part of that change process has induced an identity crisis of sorts, a blurring of the culture. This paper has set out to look at the culture in the context of the Air Forces legislative strategy and see where, if at all, improvements could be made to better the services relationship with Congress.This paper focuses primarily on the Air Force Legislative Liaison office, although much could still apply to the Financial Management office in charge of congressional relations. This paper first sets out to establish a basis of understanding regarding the culture and organization of the Department of Defense, and the same for Congress. It utilizes the Navy as a comparison due to similar mission areas and strategic outlooks. It then delves more deeply into the culture of both the Air Force and Congress. This paper concludes with recommendations for a way-ahead, including some short-term and long-term suggestions. It is critical the Air Force approach Congress as a partner instead of an adversary. Already the service has made gains, but there is more work to be done. In that effort, it must first work to understand its own culture, capturing its identity. Since that is a long-term prospect, the Air Force must also bolster its legislative affairs activities including moving with a bureaucratic sense of urgency. Additionally, the Air Force needs to recruit the right people for legislative affairs, and make efforts to keep those professionals engaged and educated throughout their careers.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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