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The Pentagon was built to wage wars abroad, but much of its war-making has been inside the building. Inter-service rivalry is a hackneyed phrase that fails to convey either the brutality of the bureaucratic in-fighting over budgets and resources that has always defined the place. For more than 70 years, the very structure of America’s military establishment has been tragically misaligned, and you don’t have to be a peacenik to think it’s time for a major reform.
In 2014, under pressures both of shrinking funds and of dramatically shifting strategic needs, this can begin to change. And, as a heretical article in a recent issue of Foreign Affairs dares suggest, the place to start might well be the abolition of the US Air Force.