The costs of interservice rivalry

Manpower shortage in Iraq? How about the Navy and the Air Force?

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.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

2 thoughts on “The costs of interservice rivalry”

  1. The Key Quotes from the May 3rd Charlie Rose on the Abuses at Abu Ghraib Prison (Part 3)

    [Part 1 is here, and Part 2 is here] And now for the one that really keeps me awake at night, the one that emphasizes to me that even if every single bystander in the world woke up tomorrow and

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