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Thread: The Demise of Secretary Wynne

  1. #21
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Dec 2005


    Here is a more complete study of "Air Policing" based upon the British experience. This is very interesting because that used Air officers in a ground/cultural intelligence collection process to control tribes, also developed the the Inverted Blockade Technique (they kept people away from their homes and farms) most common weapon was a 5 pound bomblet.

  2. #22
    Council Member
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    Feb 2008
    The Midwest

    Default Not everyone is about blowing things up...

    Quote Originally Posted by LawVol View Post
    Concur. From what I see, the AF views everything from a lethal lens. Bombs on target is the end all and be all. There is no concept of using a soft touch (read non-lethal).
    While the focus of the Air Force is more on high-intensity conflict, I don't think everything is focused on blowing things up.

    There is a definite understanding that right now ISR, Non Traditional ISR, mobility, force support, and in-lieu of taskings are how we support the joint force in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Armed overwatch of the folks on the ground is the main kinetic operation, but even in that we've developed some great TTPs to reduce the force used to the neccessary levels.

    See this article for examples:

    The main way the AF is directly involved in counterinsurgency (IE as a supported force if you will) is in training the HN AF. Our Coalition Air Forces Training Team (CAFTT) in Iraq is being hugely plussed up, and is supported not just by AFSOF but also by AETC and a host of other folks.

    Finally, there's a lot the AF can do on the support side to help with counterinsurgency. A good example is this article:

    I want to make it clear I am not advocating air policing in Iraq or Afghanistan, nor am I saying it would be effective or could replace the Army.

    At the same time, you have to understand that some of these articles (MGen Dunlap is one example) have problems with the doctrine as written. Just because air policing wouldn't work in Iraq or Afghanistan doesn't mean it won't ever work... it is simply another tool or capability. At some point it may be the right tool. That decision will be based on both the situation/country in question but may also be based on the US population/leaderships will to commit money/people/resources... IE, there could be a situation (just like in Iraq for 12 yrs following Desert Storm!) where the will of the nation will support air policing, but not boots on the ground. Attacking debates on doctrine just because they wouldn't work in the current fight leads to dogmatism.

    Again, I am not agreeing with all of the arguements made by some of the airpower enthusiasts, I am simply arguing that a healthy debate on doctrine isn't bad.



  3. #23
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Largo, Florida

    Default The New Role of Air Strike in Small Wars

    The New Role of Air Strike in Small Wars
    A response to Jon Compton

    By Richard Andres, Small Wars Journal

    In a recent Small Wars Journal article entitled “The Demise of Secretary Wynne,” Jon Compton offered some observations about the role of airpower in counterinsurgency operations. The article has received a good deal of attention and spurred some debate. Like most other readers, I agree with some parts of the article and disagree with others. However, since Jon cited me and my name has been linked to his in what has become a contentious discussion, I would like to offer some thoughts of my own.

    I should begin by saying that I have no intention of laying out a complete summary of counterinsurgency theory here. I will talk mainly about the role of airpower, and particularly airpower in an ISR and strike role. Except where these subjects are concerned, I am generally in agreement with John Nagl on transforming the Army for the COIN mission and with James Corum on the role of airpower. I will leave it to the reader to determine the delta...

  4. #24
    Council Member
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    Oct 2007


    Perhaps I have misunderstood Professor Andres, but if he is proposing the use of airpower in an economy-of-force role, isn't this much the same sort of error the British made in Iraq during the 1920's?

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