What should the responsibilities of US Armed Services be

Some people have alleged that the four services of the US military have overlapping functions, duplicate each other, and have duplicative programs. Therefore, I’ve decided to draw up my list of functions for each of the four services, clearly delineating the responsibility of each service.

For the Air Force, its responsibilities shall be:

  • Nuclear deterrence;
  • Air superiority;
  • Homeland air defense;
  • Airborne and spatial strategic missile defense;
  • Long-range-strike and ground attack;
  • CSAR;
  • Strategic airlift;
  • Tactical airlift;
  • Aerial refueling;
  • ISR;
  • Cyber warfare;
  • Space exploration and space assets operation; and
  • VIP transportation by plane.

The Navy’s responsibilities shall be:

  • Sea dominance;
  • Achieving air superiority and performing tactical ground attacks where tactical USAF aircraft cannot operate;
  • Nuclear deterrence;
  • Strategic missile defense;
  • Tactical missile defense;
  • Intelligence;
  • Sea transport;
  • Diplomatic forward presence;
  • Humanitarian relief;
  • Enabling the USMC to deploy.

The USMC’s responsibilities should be:

  • To be ready to deploy anytime, anywhere in the world.
  • To be able to fight simoultaneously on the ground, in the air, and at sea;
  • To be able to win the first ground battles and establish beachheads;
  • Amphibious, aerial, and dual amphibious/aerial assault (landing);
  • Protecting American embassies and consulates;
  • Protecting naval installations and the Navy’s assets;
  • VIP transportation by helicopter.

The Army shall have only two responsibilities:

  • Tactical missile defense with systems such as THAAD and PATRIOT; and
  • Achieving sustained land dominance in order to fight and win America’s ground wars.

As you can read from this list, all four services would have clearly delineated, separate, different responsibilites under this arrangement. No services would have overlapping responsibilities, except that:

1) Both the Air Force and the Navy would be responsible for nuclear deterrence (the Air Force with ICBMs and bombers, the Navy with SLBMs), because each of them is responsible for roughly 50% of the country’s nuclear arsenal; and

2) Both the Air Force and the Navy would be responsible for strategic missile defense (with different systems), while the Navy and the Army would both be responsible for tactical missile defense (with different systems).


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