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Grounded: The Case for Abolishing the United States Air Force (Studies In Conflict Diplomacy Peace) Hardcover – February 17, 2014
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"A timely, provocative, and very important book which makes a compelling case for challenging some hardened assumptions about how air power is organized in the U.S. military. The book is rich with detail and perceptive analysis that guides the reader into a vital understanding of tough strategic choices confronting America's global role in the twenty-first century. A must read for policymakers, Congress, academics, and the public alike."―Sean Kay, Global Security in the Twenty-first Century: The Quest for Power and the Search for Peace
""A well-written, bold, and thought-provoking book that handily sums up the feelings of many. The author is to be congratulated for articulating some of the most important issues involving the future of airpower and armed forces in general."―Martin van Creveld, author of The Age of Airpower"―
""Today, Americans live with the organizational structure for our military services―a separate Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps―that was established after World War II and has not been rethought since. Grounded makes an intelligent call for a new, serious debate regarding the organizational structure of our armed forces―not proposing the abolition of the functions of any of our services―which are supremely important, but how they are integrated coherently and effectively. Such a debate would be healthy given that the circumstances that led to the creation of the current structure are now more than a half century old."―Robert Pape, University of Chicago"―
"Based on a wide variety of sources, "Grounded" is a carefully crafted case against independent USAF."―Bowling Green Daily News
About the Author
Robert M. Farley is an assistant professor at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky.
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Top customer reviews
The book does a nice job of showing that the United States Air Force has made serious mistakes in the last 6 decades concerning procurement, training, and doctrine. The history of the service and the discussion of airpower doctrine are both quite good and worth reading for airpower buffs who want to ignore the rest of the book.
The book is less convincing, however, when arguing for its key conclusion. Namely, that USAF pathologies are the result of independence and that ending independence would resolve them. I think a deeper comparative analysis with other states, describing how and why other institutional designs either succeeded and failed in avoiding the problems Farley describes, is necessary to really isolate the key variables in the US case. The discussions of the Israeli and the RAF are suggestive, but much to quick to establish Farley's strong conclusion. So, I'd describe Farley's main conclusion as plausible and worth thinking about, but I wasn't completely convinced. In any case, the book is definitely worth reading.
That said this is an important and well written book. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the way the defence forces of the liberal democracies cam to assume their present shape, and who has an interest in how they should be shaped in future.
I can't help but add a final comment. With every book I read on the way airpower was applied in WW2 my detestation of the bomber barons increases in equal proportion to my admiration for their crews (including a beloved uncle) and for Air Marshalls Dowding, Cunningham, Park, and General Kenny et al. Incidentally Harris wasn't called "Bomber" by his crews. He was called "Butch", which was short for Butcher.
Most recent customer reviews
I hope this book footnotes my husband's excellent 2009 New York Times oped that originally advocated this concept:...Read more