The CORM report, like the HBFS Study before it, did not address the task it had been given by Congress. It had been chartered to examine the economic impact of losing and having to reconstitute the industrial base. Instead the commission merely iterated the industrial base could be reconstituted (Barefield, 1997) without answering the core question being asked: at what possible cost?
"the studies generally conclude that long-range bombers and the B-2 in particular, are cost-effective, and in some cases the only means of rapidly projecting survivable power" (p. 2).The CORM staff paper strongly advocated acquiring significant numbers of more B-2s. The staff paper was widely circulated in Congress, and was eventually made public, but the differences between the CORM report and the findings with recommendations of their technical staff were never publicly explained. This disconnect may very well have contributed to Congress’ continuing determination to keep revisiting the issue. It may have also influenced the decision of Congress to repeal budget cap limitations and to authorize additional B-2 acquisition activities as part of the 1996 Defense Authorization Act. Early in the 1996 election year, instead of applying funds for long-lead items needed to build more B-2s as intended, the President directed the acquisition funds authorized by Congress be used to only upgrade the one remaining dedicated flight-test aircraft to operational standards, bringing the total number of operational B-2s to 21 (GAO, 1996).
The Air Force has set a goal of increasing its long-range strike capabilities by 50% and the penetrating component of long-range strike by a factor of five by 2025. Approximately 45% of the future long-range strike force will be unmanned. The capacity for joint air forces to conduct global conventional strikes against time-sensitive targets will also be increased. (p. 56)