Small Wars Journal

Pentagon’s Special Operations Leader ‘Disappointed’ Over Handling of Light-Attack Program

Pentagon’s Special Operations Leader ‘Disappointed’ Over Handling of Light-Attack Program by Kyle Rempfer - Military Times

The Pentagon’s lead on special operations and low intensity conflict was looking forward to the Air Force selecting a light-attack aircraft this December, but like many, he was disappointed after the service got cold feet.


“If you are asking if we are disappointed the Air Force cut or delayed the light-attack program, the answer is yes," Assistant Secretary Owen West said at a recent defense industry symposium, adding that he wouldn’t elaborate on the subject in an open forum.


He did, however, say earlier in the conference that his office is exploring ways in which the U.S. military’s counter-insurgency mission could be better resourced as the Pentagon implements the 2018 National Defense Strategy.


Some of the new resourcing initiatives could include a greater reliance on U.S. special operations troops commanding partner forces, while others could involve selling cost-effective equipment to foreign militaries so they can replicate some of the capabilities U.S. personnel once brought to their fight.


“It will be a cheaper, more effective way to take on many of our enemies than we do with, say, the high-generation platforms that we do today,” West said. “It’s amazing to probably hear from me that in 2020 a propeller airplane could be effectively employed on the modern battlefield in the hyper connected age, but it’s really cheap and in some areas it’s highly effective."


“Most important, many of our local forces can maintain these aircraft,” he added…

Read on.