When President Harry Truman called for a balanced defense budget, the U.S. Air Force responded by launching a lobbying campaign to replace large naval and ground forces with capital-intensive strategic air power. The Air Force succeeded, having benefited from the public’s misconception that the effectiveness of air power during World War II had little to do with land and sea support provided by other branches of the military.

Arlene Lazarowitz is associate professor of history at California State University, Long Beach.
Defense and Foreign PolicyDefense BudgetGovernment and PoliticsPolitical History