Airpower Research Institute press release on Shortchanging the Joint Fight by Major General Charles Dunlap.
The counterinsurgency manual used by U.S. Soldiers and Marines undervalues the role airpower plays in fighting insurgencies, according to a monograph recently published by Air University officials.
That guidance, designated Field Manual 3-24 by the Army and Warfighting Publication 3-33.5 by the Marine Corps, has been widely celebrated since its publication in December 2006 for filling a gap in American military doctrine.
However, its relegation of airpower to a five-page appendix does not fully recognize the important part air, space and cyberspace operations can play in neutralizing insurgencies, according to Maj. Gen. Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., the Air Force's deputy judge advocate general.
In his monograph "Shortchanging the Joint Fight?", General Dunlap lauds the manual, co-authored by the Army and Marine Corps, for skillfully addressing many important counterinsurgency issues but fears it may be adopted as the de facto U.S. joint solution for combating insurgencies.
"By failing to reconcile the full potential of today's airpower capabilities and by focusing almost exclusively on the surface dimension, FM 3-24...falls short of offering U.S. decision makers a pragmatic, overall solution for the challenge of counterinsurgency," General Dunlap writes.
Efforts are underway to write a joint counterinsurgency doctrine in which all services will have input, and General Dunlap hopes the U.S. Air Force's "airminded perspective" is captured in the final product...