A reader wise in military matters writes:
Why is the Army carrying the load largely alone in Iraq (except for contractors)? The Air Force & Navy have hardly any personnel on the ground. The former has more Air Police than the Army has MPs. The latter has more CBs than the Army has combat engineers. Etc.
I suspect interservice rivalry. They don’t want their junior folks under Army command.
Seems right to me. And fixing the problem would partly overcome the problem of simply not having enough bodies in uniform to do the job.
Of course, you can’t just wish interservice rivalry out of existence. There are advantages of having separate services. And as long as there are separate services, they will be rivals.
Fred Kaplan in Slate has more on interservice rivalry and its costs.