Procurement: July 1, 2000


The US Air Force is desperately fighting the battle of its life. A new commission is studying whether to form a separate US Space Force, and the Air Force is having none of it. The Air Force wants the space mission (and its funding) all to itself. The Air Force has launched a new program known as Aerospace Integration, by which it means that airpower and space forces must naturally work together. Generally speaking, Space Command wants to be a separate branch, and the others (the Army, Marines, and Navy) wouldn't mind seeing the Air Force deprived of its space mission. Their theory is based on the Air Force's propensity to gain as much funding as it can for any mission anyone thinks up, then divert some of the money into buying fighter planes. The Air Force has been criticized for not spending enough on transports and ground-based tankers that the other services need. There is also concern that the Air Force has won a share of the missile defense budget for its flying radar plane, then tried to move some of that money
into other programs.--Stephen V Cole


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