Naval War College Review


One of the most remarkable aspects of American joint-force combat capa- bility today is the close harmony that has steadily evolved since the 1991 Persian Gulf War in the integrated conduct of aerial strike operations by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy, along with the latter’s closely associated Marine Corps air assets. This under-recognized and little-appreciated aspect of the nation’s warfighting posture stands in marked contrast to the more familiar and con- tested relationship between the two services in the roles and resources arena, where a fundamentally different incentive structure has tended to prevail and where seemingly zero-sum battles for limited defense dollars have appeared to be the natural order of things from one budget cycle to the next.