First off, I don't think anyone has come up with a more cogent response than Tom Ehrhard, in his comments on the Air Power Australia document. In particular, read and remember this:
This is the essence of the Billy Mitchell Syndrome -- if you present an airpower alternative forcibly enough to make an impact, you are branded as divisive, but if you are timid or circumspect, you will be ignored. They leave us no middle ground, although the more timid among us have been searching for it in vain since 1903.
And I'll add one comment: the Air Force is being branded as divisive today for asking for something to be done about the management and control of UAVs, but nobody calls the Army divisive when it plans a fleet of heavily armed UAVs that will be under division-level control and will talk primarily to its own tactical ground control stations.
More generally: since the end of the Cold War, the USAF has been like the guy in a Cleveland suburb who's out spraying his yard one morning.
"What're you putting on there?" his neighbor asks.
"Rhino repellent," he says.
"But ... there aren't any wild rhinos for six thousand miles!"
"Works good, don't it?"
Just because the immediate adversary has no use for airpower does not eliminate the need for an independent air force, and does not eliminate the need for fighters, for three main reasons.
The first and most obvious is that not all future adversaries will not use airpower. Generals are often accused of fighting the last war, but it is an equivalent mistake to assume that all future wars will be the same as the current conflict. There are still a lot of Su-30-family fighters being built and sold. As a retired RAF fighter pilot remarked, showing a slide of an Su-30 with its routine ten-AAM loadout: "Call me a coward if you like, but I call that a threat."
The second reason is that fighters are not just for air-to-air combat. They are weapon platforms that can be anywhere in the world in less than 24 hours, operate anywhere within 1000 miles of their operating location (given some tanker support), attack targets ranging from concrete bunkers to deployed infantry, and perform close air support, intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance, and maritime recce and strike missions. (Try doing that with an Apache.) That's why the US Navy, to take one example, is beating its fighter force to death in current operations.
The third reason is that the fighter is also a weapon platform that can defend itself. Again, the A-10 - which is the Army's favourite jet, entirely because it's slow and can't do anything except get the Army out of trouble - is very valuable in the present situation, but what happens if the conflict level moves up a notch and the enemy has something like the 2S6 Tunguska gun-missile system? To quote Tim the Enchanter, "He'll do you up a treat, mate."
Now, that isn't to say that a fighter-dominated air force is the only way to go. However, for nations that can support only one type of aircraft, a fighter with the highest possible degree of versatility, with sharp sensors, a good cockpit, a wide variety of weapons and tanker support is essential. (We can have another debate over what kind of fighter is appropriate.) For instance, France plans to replace its entire air force, including its carrier-based air, with one airplane - the Rafale.
The USAF is in the near-unique position of being able to support multiple combat aircraft types. The service does need an open debate, as a result, about whether it needs to maintain the fighter numbers that it has today, because such an effort will monopolize its budget for a long time. If it wants a long-range strike system - something which makes sense in a great many situations - something on the fighter end may have to give. However, simply backing off even further on combat aircraft procurement - that is, failing to replace the fighters of today without providing resources to perform their missions - must not be an option.