Ares blogger Joris Jansen Lok — aka, the giant Dutch-man — today offers a smart piece on the purpose and relevance of air power in modern combat.
I can’t agree more with his point that the US Army’s air defense units, such as PAC-3 and MEADS batteries, should be absorbed by the US Air Force, a la the Israeli Air Force. Presumably, this would sharply reduce the risk of friendly fire, as when PAC-3 batteries in Operation Iraqi Freedom mistook three coalition fighters for phantom enemy warplanes or cruise missiles. Perhaps more tactical systems, such as SLAMRAAM or Avenger, should be left within the army’s force structure, as they provide air defense for small, manuevering units.
I know that Sweeden lumps close air support forces with its artillery forces, which also seems a sensible pairing, but can you ever imagine the day that the US Army gets to own the US Air Force’s A-10 fleet?