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Question: Which service branch of the U.S. military do you deem the most important to the security of the United States, and the perpetuation of our dominance as the lone superpower?
Army   -3 (11.1%)
Marines   -1 (3.7%)
Air Force   -3 (11.1%)
Coast Guard   -3 (11.1%)
Navy   -17 (63%)
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Total Voters: 27

Author Topic: Most important branch of the U.S. Armed Forces  (Read 1373 times)
Frodo
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« on: June 17, 2012, 12:24:33 am »
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Which branch of the U.S. military do you see as being the most important to the security of the United States, and the perpetuation of our dominance as the lone superpower? 
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2012, 01:54:59 am »
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Which branch of the U.S. military do you see as being the most important to the security of the United States, and the perpetuation of our dominance as the lone superpower? 

Perpetuation? lol
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Beet
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2012, 02:10:20 am »

Strategic Command; but of these, the Navy, because it controls the ballistic missile submarines.
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2012, 04:20:30 am »
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Strategic Command;
Thank you.  It is a Joint Command, often lead by an Admiral (and at least once a Marine General), but it's 75-80% Air Force employed and it's on an Air Force base.
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but of these, the Navy, because it controls the ballistic missile submarines.
A good argument could certainly be made there, but I'm gonna play homer and go with the AF because of the F22,B2,B1,various drones, ICBMs and general air superiority.
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The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2012, 11:00:48 am »
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Navy, because it doesn't need friendly air bases to do its job.  It can bring its own.
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2012, 12:21:21 pm »
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I'm going with the USN on this one. It can guard shipping lanes, enforce blockades, strike inland targets, wrest air superiority from the air forces of most other countries, engage in electronic warfare and surveillance, deploy SEALs, destroy inbound missiles, and - though to what rate of success I don't know - take out nuclear warheads descending toward coastal cities or military assets before they can detonate. The Navy arguably provides the most effective, most difficult-to-counter nuclear deterrent, and is essential to both projecting hard power around the world and preventing other countries from ever putting their troops' boots on our ground when it comes to conventional warfare. One might say we're much like the UK insofar as being an "island" power.
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2012, 02:25:34 pm »
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Oh, and the Air Force does the space and cyber stuff too.
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2012, 07:01:18 pm »
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The Navy. I would consider the Air Force if the US Navy weren't a better air force than most countries' actual air forces in addition to everything else it does.
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2012, 08:38:17 pm »
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Which branch of the U.S. military do you see as being the most important to the security of the United States? 

The decrease of all, so that the US would stop to be incited to insanely use them anytime anywhere in the world, and then people would feed less resentment against US.

and the perpetuation of our dominance as the lone superpower? 

Does it have to be a goal? Actually?
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2012, 12:33:40 pm »
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and the perpetuation of our dominance as the lone superpower? 

Does it have to be a goal? Actually?

You don't understand the USA very well, nor the economic system which dominates our entire world, if you ask this question seriously.  To gain power and enslave others is not only the obvious purpose of States, it is the apparent meaning of human existence.
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clarence
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2012, 11:22:21 pm »
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I'm going with the USN on this one. It can guard shipping lanes, enforce blockades, strike inland targets, wrest air superiority from the air forces of most other countries, engage in electronic warfare and surveillance, deploy SEALs, destroy inbound missiles, and - though to what rate of success I don't know - take out nuclear warheads descending toward coastal cities or military assets before they can detonate. The Navy arguably provides the most effective, most difficult-to-counter nuclear deterrent, and is essential to both projecting hard power around the world and preventing other countries from ever putting their troops' boots on our ground when it comes to conventional warfare. One might say we're much like the UK insofar as being an "island" power.
This is correct...excuse my bias but I see dead0man's towards the USAF ;-)

I respect all branches very much but he who controls the seas controls the world. The Navy is clearly the service most geared towards power projection and the Navy-Marine Corps team is the most effective of its kind...even though the USMC is essentially a smaller, better trained version of the Army nowadays. I've put the idea forward on this board of reorganizing the branches to have an air branch, a land branch, and a sea branch- with the Marines reverting back to a purely expeditionary force under the Navy. As it stands- I'd contend naval aviation is the finest in our military but the fact that all five branches have aviation corps shows the bloat.

With the amount of interservice cooperation that already exists, joint operations with Air Force attack helicopters supporting Army infantry and artillery which follows Marine riflemen into battle.... all of the above being brought there courtesy of the United States Navy would be no problem. You might ask yourself what is difference between that vision and what currently occurs...dead0man could tell you that the USAF doesn't have attack helicopters in its inventory! How does that make sense???

Sorry for the tangent... the answer as Redalgo said is the Navy. However- I am proud of every branch and each is critical for the security of the American people and preservation of freedom
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2012, 01:59:21 am »
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Back in my active duty days I recall thumbing through the "parts" catalog for the USAF.  We had/have trains.  TRAINS!  Engines, various cars, etc (no track though).  I suppose it makes sense in a way, but in another way, it doesn't make any sense at all.

The USAF doesn't have attack helos because they are designed for taking out tanks and other ground targets and supporting troops on the ground.  Of course the obvious question then arises, why is the A-10 Warthog a USAF bird and not Army?  I don't know the answer to that.

And the Navy doesn't have a better air force than the Air Force.  And I'm not sure why this myth persists.  Landing on a carrier is impressive, but it's not like USAF pilots couldn't do it if they were trained to do it.  Average fighter pilot to average fighter pilot, it's probably pretty close between the two branches, but the USAF has MUCH better birds and a lot more of them.

And to reiterate, the USAF owns space and cyber warfare.  Two very important battlefields going forward.
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2012, 07:38:25 am »
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Back in my active duty days I recall thumbing through the "parts" catalog for the USAF.  We had/have trains.  TRAINS!  Engines, various cars, etc (no track though).  I suppose it makes sense in a way, but in another way, it doesn't make any sense at all.

The USAF doesn't have attack helos because they are designed for taking out tanks and other ground targets and supporting troops on the ground.  Of course the obvious question then arises, why is the A-10 Warthog a USAF bird and not Army?  I don't know the answer to that.

And the Navy doesn't have a better air force than the Air Force.  And I'm not sure why this myth persists.  Landing on a carrier is impressive, but it's not like USAF pilots couldn't do it if they were trained to do it.  Average fighter pilot to average fighter pilot, it's probably pretty close between the two branches, but the USAF has MUCH better birds and a lot more of them.

And to reiterate, the USAF owns space and cyber warfare.  Two very important battlefields going forward.
I agree the USAF owns space and cyber warfare and this is crucial- a young man asked my advice for which branch's intelligence corps to aim to join... I told him USAF for this very reason

My point about the attack helos relates to my theory that we ought to consider separating branches by domain... and perhaps having a "Logistics Corps" for everything from supply, to transportation, to finance, to Chaplain and Medical Corps
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dead0man
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« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2012, 09:07:00 am »
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And throw in a "Police Corps" too, the Army isn't designed to play cop like we asked them to do in Iraq.
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
President William McKinley
clarence
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« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2012, 09:11:51 am »
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We have MPs/Master-at-arms... however I agree with your point exactly. We shouldn't have our troops directing traffic, enforcing drug laws, and other local law enforcement capabilities that have become part o nationbuilding...even worse then in my war

Here is what I've been discussing with Averroes Nix...the War on Terror requires low intensity conflict- drone warfare of which is part of that and where the USAF will be involved more in combat operations

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I believe the use of drone warfare ought to be limited to two situations- low intensity conflict and the disability of air defense. Disabling an enemy's anti-aircraft artillery is crucial to save our pilots' lives at the start of conflict. Outside of these two circumstances- I'd be hesitant to allow for drone warfare. I'd even be open to legislation specifying the circumstances it can be used. However- I would much prefer the use of drone warfare to nationbuilding and I believe you would also... consider Afghanistan. Our targets there are limited- al Qaeda and the Taliban remnants who support them. Why do we need thousands upon thousands of troops on the ground- performing the duties of a policeman and inviting aggression and hostility from the Afghans??? If we pursued drone warfare instead, the Afghan people would likely never see a single one of our troops, but we could effectively and precisely eliminate those who are planning terror attacks and disable the network which gives them shelter
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dead0man
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« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2012, 09:39:17 am »
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While I agree with your reasons, I don't agree with your conclusion.  I think we should be (and we are) increasing the use of drones...and other robotic warfare.  Naval and ground warfare can certainly be enhanced by the use of robots.
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
Redalgo
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« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2012, 11:58:27 am »
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And the Navy doesn't have a better air force than the Air Force.  And I'm not sure why this myth persists.  Landing on a carrier is impressive, but it's not like USAF pilots couldn't do it if they were trained to do it.  Average fighter pilot to average fighter pilot, it's probably pretty close between the two branches, but the USAF has MUCH better birds and a lot more of them.

And to reiterate, the USAF owns space and cyber warfare.  Two very important battlefields going forward.

To be clear though, I was not under the impression that the Navy has a superior air force to that of the USAF. Our best-performing birds, when measured along the lines of most mission-relevant metrics, cannot be launched from aircraft carriers. And so far as I am aware there is not a big gap (if there is one at all?) in quality concerning the pilots themselves when it comes to skillfully, professionally accomplishing mission objectives. However, we do not always need the best of the best hardware because the air forces of most other countries have much less experience and/or significantly inferior birds to contend with. We fight all our wars in developing nations these days.

On the other hand, I am somewhat biased because of my policy preferences for closing down American bases abroad (which inflates the importance of the USN in terms of force projection) and working multilaterally with other countries on humanitarian interventions where I imagine the USAF would oft occupy a secondary role of logistical support rather than being at the tip of our spear, so to speak. Under these conditions the States would not remain a superpower militarily without having a clear measure of dominance at sea regardless of how far the fleets travel from home.

Looking ahead, I do see wisdom in your points concerning space and cyberspace. In general, I reckon that future technological developments will inevitably make control of the skies - not of the waves - the single most important factor in proficiently projecting American hard power and protecting our economic interests. There will someday come a point at which naval assets become an utter waste of taxpayer money useless refashioned to serve out their traditional charges in space instead of under or atop of the water. For the time being though I am pretty comfortable with considering the USAF the second most important branch of the armed forces. :]
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« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2012, 07:27:58 pm »
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I'm going to guess Clarence is quite familiar with The Influence of Sea Power upon History? I had to read it for a history course a few years back. Very interesting book; argues its case well and holds up even now.
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« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2012, 06:18:08 pm »
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The USAF doesn't have attack helos because they are designed for taking out tanks and other ground targets and supporting troops on the ground.  Of course the obvious question then arises, why is the A-10 Warthog a USAF bird and not Army?  I don't know the answer to that.

Back during Vietnam, the Air Force got in a huff about the Army using armed observation aircraft in the air support role there instead of depending upon its jets, so ever since 1965 the Army is not allowed to fly armed fixed-wing aircraft.
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« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2012, 10:01:06 pm »
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The Coast Guard protects the integrity of America's shorelines, which is probably a lot more important than "building peace" in some obscure Middle Eastern country. 
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« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2012, 11:28:11 pm »
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The Coast Guard protects the integrity of America's shorelines, which is probably a lot more important than "building peace" in some obscure Middle Eastern country. 
I'd argue the Navy serves that function more... the Coast Guard couldn't defend against an invasion. It certainly has critical functions but to say it is the most important branch is- I believe- a stretch
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« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2012, 11:37:13 pm »
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The USAF doesn't have attack helos because they are designed for taking out tanks and other ground targets and supporting troops on the ground.  Of course the obvious question then arises, why is the A-10 Warthog a USAF bird and not Army?  I don't know the answer to that.

Back during Vietnam, the Air Force got in a huff about the Army using armed observation aircraft in the air support role there instead of depending upon its jets, so ever since 1965 the Army is not allowed to fly armed fixed-wing aircraft.
Well the AF was wrong on this.  Especially back then when interservice battlefield communication was less than ideal.  It seems to me you'd want the boys on the ground to have clear and consistent communication between themselves and the air cover.  Friendly fire is a bitch.
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Quote from:   Martha Gellhorn for The Atlantic 1961
The unique misfortune of the Palestinian refugees is that they are a weapon in what seems to be a permanent war...today, in the Middle East, you get a repeated sinking sensation about the Palestinian refugees: they are only a beginning, not an end. Their function is to hang around and be constantly useful as a goad. The ultimate aim is not such humane small potatoes as repatriating refugees.
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