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The Costs of the Administration's Plan for the Air Force Through the Year 2010.

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Memorandum rept.

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The Reagan Administration planned to have more than 40 Air Force tactical fighter wings to fight the former Soviet Union, although the service never managed to field more than 37. The Bush Administrations base force would have contained 26 wings to fight the smaller and more diffuse threats of the post-Cold War world. The Clinton Administrations Bottom-Up Review--a statement of the Administrations defense policy, released in 1993--asserts that 20 wings, about half the Reagan goal, should provide enough combat punch to fight two regional wars. Goals for fielding strategic bombers have also undergone downsizing, reflecting the deemphasis of the strategic mission, though the cuts are smaller than the reductions in fighter fleets. Fleets of strategic bombers, pegged at about 300 planes in Cold War plans, would have shrunk to 210 under President Bush. The Clinton Administration expects to reduce the number of bombers set under the Bush plan by about 10 percent. Inventories of intercontinental ballistic missiles have suffered similar fates. One major element of the Air Force, however, is not declining. The Air Force expects to preserve the capabilities of its airlift fleets at current levels, since the capacity to move troops and equipment early in a conflict may be particularly important in a world where conflict could take place in unexpected locations. Under the Administrations current plan, Air Force budgets will also decrease between 1990 and 1999, but by lower percentages than decreases in combat forces. The Air Force budget in 1995--about 75 billion--will be approximately 30 percent lower than the services 1990 funding. The budget would decline further to about 70 billion in 1997 and remain at roughly that level through 1999 see Figure 1. pg7 JMD

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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